The sixth-largest city in Switzerland, Winterthur is also one of the country’s most culturally sophisticated. Art tourists in particular will find themselves in bliss, wending their way amid the many lovely parks and gardens in the city as they visit some of Europe’s most important collections of art, as well as attending shows and plays at the handful of theaters and cabarets (the Sulzerareal auditorium is the largest indoor venue in Europe).
Probably the best reason to venture the short distance from Zurich to Winterthur (particularly for fans of 19th century French painting) is the Oskar Reinhart Collection, which includes hundreds of works of European art from the 14th to the early 20th century. Also worth visiting are the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, the Villa Flora, and Fotomuseum Winterthur, all of which house internationally significant collections of contemporary art.
When not standing agape in the presence of artistic genius, it is advisable to avail yourself of one of the local tours designed to show off the many villas and sights in the so-called “garden city”. Afterward, relax in one of the many charming cafes and restaurants in Winterthur’s picturesque old town before hiking up to Kyburg Castle, which dates to the 10th century and features regularly scheduled displays of various aspects of life during the High Middle Ages.
If you happen to be in the area during late February, you’ll be pleased to discover that the city features vibrant and exuberant (and family friendly) carnival celebrations. The festivities begin on the 24th and conclude on the 27th. Note: Lodging can be limited at the best of times in Winterthur. Reservations come highly recommended.
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