Hoher Kasten: Top of Appenzell
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Hoher Kasten: Top of Appenzell

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Escape to a place that is the epitome of Swissness, a destination famed for an almost inconceivable 360° panorama across six countries. Perhaps take a short hike? How about we include some local culinary delights at a revolving restaurant? 

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Appenzellerland: Discover secluded valleys, hidden lakes and Hoher Kasten

Welcome to a part of Switzerland that you can really experience - you breath it, taste it and let your senses explore this abundant bastion of Swiss culture. If hordes of tourists alighting buses is not your cup of tea, then you will love Hoher Kasten. Tranquillity, natural beauty and tradition reign supreme and unchallenged in this hidden part of Appenzellerland. And, the best beer in Switzerland is brewed in this wonderful Canton.


Gorgeous views of Alpstein and the Rhine valley with Hoher Kasten peak and restaurant on the left © Hoher Kasten/ Armando Branchi


Unmatched: the Geological Panorama Trail

Lake scenery at its best on the Geological Panorama Trail © Hoher Kasten/Michael Meusburger


History and natural beauty is always a winning combination for travel enthusiasts. And there's plenty of it in the Geological Panorama Trail which oversees Hoher Kasten. 

With 15 information boards peppered along the trail, you'll be able to delve deep into the geological processes that have formed the breathtaking Alpstein. It's not just about expanding your knowledge of geology. You'll also be able to witness the geological transformation unfolding right before your eyes.

The daring peaks of Alpstein © Hoher Kasten/Michael Meusburger


At every corner, the trail uncovers new immersive views: whether it's the 300+ peaks showing up, the view into the Rhine valley, the Alpstein and the Appenzellerland, or the two mountain lakes, Fälensee and Sämtisersee, you won't even notice the passing of time.

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Brülisau and up to Hoher Kasten

Quietly hiding in a small valley is a picturesque village called Brülisau. From here you begin a journey that is truly unforgettable. This is the starting point for Hoher Kasten, a destination known mostly to Swiss people. Hoher Kasten means ‘high cupboard’ and it sits overlooking the Alpstein massif.

In just eight minutes a cableway will gently glide you to the mountaintop where an incredible panoramic view of six countries (Switzerland, Germany, France, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy) will dazzle and impress even the most experienced travellers. Here, day-trippers stand silently in awe of the immense view instead of rushing to take selfies. It really is that special.

To give you some idea of the exceptional scenery, here’s some.

Amazing panoramic views of six countries © Hoher Kasten


💡 Our tip: Special offers at the Hoher Kasten Revolving Restaurant

On Hoher Kasten, after you have taken in one of the best views in the country a hike back down is a superb option. But before you do that, you may wish to indulge in some local cuisine in the only revolving restaurant in eastern Switzerland.

Enjoy a breakfast buffet or the restaurant’s à la carte service which offers both seasonal and regional dishes like the sliced venison with cranberry cream sauce, paired with buttered 'spaetzli' and fresh seasonal vegetables.

Breakfast buffet at the Hoher Kasten revolving restaurant © Hoher Kasten/ Andreas Butz


RESTAURANT DEALS: Every day until 10:30 a.m. and from 02:30 p.m, you can get combined offers for Breakfast or Snack Platter included with your cable car ride at the lower terminus ticket office. Children up to 15 years of age can ride the cableway for free.

Check the fares and reserve your table ​​​​​​​here.

Below the revolving restaurant is the Panorama Restaurant and Café, which offers a more simplified buffet-style menu. If you do potter in that direction for a coffee, don’t miss their Apfelecken, which is delightful, but more so the Mandelstange which is exceptional, and all reasonably priced. 

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Hike or trottibike

From the short and impressive barrier - free Europa Circular Trail to the more challenging Geological Trail, there are lots and lots of paths to amble along. Some are a little more challenging than others, but in general they are all well marked and sign-posted. Make sure you come well prepared: bring a pair of solid hiking boots, as you will often encounter steep, narrow and partly exposed terrain. It is almost impossible to get lost and the descent can take as little as an hour and a half, if you are of average fitness and cheat just a little bit and get a trottibike.

Why walk down when you can trottibike? © Hoher Kasten


The view of the small lake called Sämtisersee is the icing on the cake and add that to the fabulous display of colourful wildflowers and you have to be impressed. There’s Butterworts, Alpen Masslieb – the ‘Daisies of the Alps’ and if you keep a good look out you might even see some light-lavender shaded Spotted Orchids which are extremely pretty. 

Depending on your route down, you might, after an hour or so, reach the Berggasthaus Ruhesitz. Here you can pop inside to the bar, fill out a slip with your name, address and phone number and then grab your scooter or trottibike. From here you can zoom down the wonderfully windy road to Brülisau. You are never too old to do this! It is so much fun. 


Stay longer and discover so much more…

The town of Appenzell has numerous accommodation options with a wide range of prices. If you stay for three consecutive nights or longer with the same accommodation provider in Appenzell or the surrounding area, ask your host for an Appenzell Holiday Card.

There’s over 20 benefits including 2 free trips on the cableway to Hoher Kasten. Considering all the complimentary museum tickets, additional cable car rides, the 15-zone travel ticket, free pool admission and additional gifts that come with this card, it has to be the best add-on deal available in Switzerland.

If you can't stay longer to enjoy all of these, come back for more adventures during autumn, winter or spring.

The Berggasthaus Ruhesitz is one of 26 mountain inns currently taking part in the Appenzell Whisky Trek.



One last little tip for the history buffs: whilst in Appenzell, pop into the local Catholic church. The first Parish Church of St. Mauritius was initially constructed in 1069. What you can see today is the more modern Gothic structure from the early 1500’s. The Canton’s patron saint was a Roman Commander who lived during the 3rd Century. He died in AD 287 in Agaunum in Switzerland. Today, you may know it as St. Moritz. 

Wherever you go within this beautiful region, you will be surrounded by intriguing history, stunning scenery, idyllic buildings and the best local culture and food that the country has to offer. Whether you are travelling alone, a couple on a romantic break or looking for a family adventure, Appenzellerland will surpass your expectations.

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Need more inspiration for this summer?

Hoher Kasten is a fantastic destination in Switzerland, but just in case you want to explore more...

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