Olten lies at the junction of the north-south Basel-Chiasso and east-west Geneva-St.Gallen railway lines. Moreover, a national Autobahn junction is also in the immediate vicinity. The central location of Olten in Solothurn canton is legendary, and the Olten railway buffet is a popular meeting point since it is equally close for all Swiss. Its good accessibility already made the town a popular location early on for trade and industry.
The town has numerous hotels and restaurants with a sought-after infrastructure for meetings. Benefiting from having been well maintained is the historic core of the old town. Especially popular are the car-free pedestrian zones with very interesting buildings and attractive shopping possibilities, along with an active music and extraordinarily varied cabaret scene.
When undertaking a tour through the old town, a visit to Olten’s museums, the nature museum, art museum, historical museum and home of the cantonal archaeological museum and «Wertpapierwelt», the historical museum of shares and bonds, is well worthwhile. Those with a yearning for the exotic will find Switzerland’s largest Thai temple in nearby Gretzenbach. Finally, on travelling around Olten, visitors will encounter a multitude of interesting fortresses, ruins, castles, churches and chapels.
Numerous excursions, walking trails and bicycle tours in a surprisingly untouched natural environment with light broadleaf forests lead towards the Jura and along the course of the river Aare. Following a climb through the famous «Tüfelsschlucht» (Devil's Gorge) on to the «Allerheiligenberg» (All Hallows Mountain) and then making your way on to Belchen, you’re then rewarded with a delightful panoramic view across the Swiss Mittelland. The numerous steep Jura faces, climbing walls and quarries attract ambitious climbers to the region as well.
Golf enthusiasts will find a beautiful, 18-hole golf course between Olten and Aarau. The solar bobsleigh run in Langendorf by Oberen Hauenstein is aimed at children and the young at heart. When snow falls suffice, small ski areas are operated at several other Jura slopes in the winter. However, the «Jurahöhen» (Jura heights) primarily remain a much-loved cross-country ski region in winter.
- Olten's Old Town – small and lovely and together with the wooden bridge over the River Aare a popular spot to take a memorable photo.
- Olten Nature Museum – an attractively designed museum for learning and information; dedicated to the nature and natural history of the region.
- Belchenfluh – a prominent border point (1098 m) between the canton of Solothurn and the Baselbiet region. Panorama across the Mittelland, Alps chain, Black Forest and Vogesen mountains.
- Jacob’s Ladder near Egerkingen – a walk with a half-hour climb on the 100-year-old 'ladder' with 180 steps leading up to the «Höchi Flue» (966 m) offering up a beautiful panorama.
- Bally Park – from 1868 onwards, the shoe manufacturer Bally arranged for an English-style landscaped park, complete with a straw-roofed lakeside dwelling, to be created along the Aare near Schönenwerd.
- Olten Fasnacht – a colorful festival of great tradition, transforming the city each year in a carnival stronghold (February).
- Olten Cabaret Festival – the nationally known satire festival in Olten encourages new, young talent and presents the Swiss Cabaret Prize, the «Cornichon» (May).
- Olten Chilbi – the third-largest «Chilbi» (village fete) in Switzerland (August).
- Book Fair Olten – excellent entertainment and the largest in German-speaking Switzerland (end of October).
- Olten Dance Festival – this dance festival promotes contemporary dance (November).
- 23 shooting stars – Advent and culture in Olten (December).
- Christmas market in the cloister garden – a selection of crafted Christmas fare on sale in quaint little chalets (December).