Solothurn is regarded as the finest Baroque town in Switzerland, where Italian grandeur is combined with French charm and German practicality. The so-called «ambassador’s town» is at the southern end of the Jura by the River Aare, about 30 km east of Biel/Bienne.
From the 16th to the 18th centuries, the Catholic town of Solothurn was the residence of the French king’s ambassador. Fine Baroque and Renaissance buildings, such as the noble Palais Besenval, and magnificent religious buildings meet the visitor at every end and turn – the Old Town has eleven churches and chapels and the same number of fountains and towers. Truly magnificent is the St.Urs Cathedral, with an Italian-style staircase in front. Inside are wonderful Baroque stuccos. The town walls, which are still intact in some places, were built according to the principles of the French military engineer Vauban.
Between the beautiful historic monuments, the patrician buildings and the sturdy fortifications, the traffic-free Old Town is a pleasant place to wander, with lots of small shops and inns. On warm summer evenings, it is very pleasant to sit in the garden restaurants and bars by the Aare.
The town has a range of cultural attractions going far beyond the regional, including the Solothurn Film and Literature Days. The museums range from the History Museum to the internationally acclaimed Natural History Museum, a Museum of Stones, the ENTER PC Museum and Schloss Waldegg, not to mention a collection of sentimental light fiction. Finally, in the «Old Arsenal» is one of the largest weapons collections in Europe.
Children feel perfectly at home in Solothurn. And the Natural History Museum is particularly popular with families and a fascinating way of viewing the region’s animal, plant and mineral life. Utterly unique are the 150 million year old fossilized turtles from the quarries of the city, the beautiful starfish from Weissenstein and of course the famous Lommiswil dinosaur tracks.
A little outside the town is the romantic Verena gorge with its chapel and hermitage, a popular destination for walkers. Hikers and cyclists will find an extensive network of footpaths and 600 km of cycle tracks in the surrounding area and along the Aare. Solothurn is on two national cycle routes: the Mittelland Route and the Aare Route.
Savoir vivre, Solothurn style!
Discover Switzerland’s most beautiful Baroque town through the eyes of a local: visit their favourite places, get insider tips, and see how they live. Visitors learn more about the history of the town and let themselves be inspired by its wide range of culinary offerings.
Here, on the oldest square of the city, around 70 beautifully decorated stalls sell beautiful Christmas gifts. Culinary delights are also well taken care of, whether with a cup of warming mulled wine or delicious grilled dishes. The Solothurn «Weihnachtsmäret» (Christmas market) takes place on the outskirts of Solothurn.
Bipperlisi Puzzle: On the railway line between Solothurn and Niederbipp, all the family can embark on a journey back in time of the 100-year Bipperlisi, the train connecting Solothurn with Langenthal. During this time travel, the family will have fun solving a variety of puzzles and will help Bipperlisi find something dear that has been lost. At the end, the sleuths will receive a little finder’s reward in Niederbipp. More information
Tim und Lena – a spooky train journey: Aboard the Weissenstein Express from Solothurn to Moutier, the family can solve exciting puzzles to find the letters of the missing word. A small reward awaits those who find the right solution. More information
Drallo 11 Tour: Using GPS coordinates on the free Drallo app, families will be guided through the beautiful Baroque town of Solothurn and discover more about the magic number 11. If the family answers all questions correctly, a surprise lies in store at the end. More information
Detective Trail: Various puzzle spots are located along the entire Detective Trail, which the family must solve using the clues provided. The detectives will find a treasure chest at the end of the trail that can only be opened with a code. If the right code is entered, the whole family wins a prize. More information
Treasure hunt with chocolate fondue: The family can take part in one of four exciting treasure hunts in winter too. Young and old either become detectives or try their hand at being naturalists. At the end, everyone will receive a small gift and a delicious chocolate fondue. More information