In this guide, we’ve found the 10 best things you can do in Aarau, when visiting the old, but beautiful Swiss town in the heart of the canton of Aargau.
Aarau is located just between the major cities of Zürich and Basel in the northern part of Switzerland and as you’ll see, the landscape is flatter than in the usual postcards from the alpine country.
Mostly known for its production of bells, the town was founded almost 1,000 years ago at the Aare river (hence its name), thus keeping a lot of history worth discovering.
We’ve researched tourist reviews, forums, and ratings, and according to tourists, these 10 attractions are worth visiting when in Aarau:
10. Kettenbrücke Aarau
The river Aare was always a dangerous beast. Being the longest river in Switzerland, it boasts a length of 288kms. To tame it, the townsmen needed to build an equally impressive force. So in 1850, the town of Aarau built the chain bridge, or as the Swiss call it, the Kettenbrücke Aarau.
From the old town to the Scheibenschachen district, this bridge connects the south to the north.
Between 1948-1949 the old chain-bridge was reworked into a concrete structure. Despite this, locals continue to call it the Chain bridge. It seems they grew a liking to the name. Either way, the Chain bridge is a cool place worth checking out.
9. Meyersche Stollen
Tucked away underneath the world, this series of tunnels has been a curiosity for many historians. The Meyersche Stollen was built around 1798-1810 by the revolutionary Johann Rudolf Meyer. Possessing a mastery over a belt of talents, Meyer was a silk ribbon manufacturer and natural scientist, amongst other things.
The tunnels were built for two purposes:
- To drain marshy land.
- To generate power for various industries.
The tunnel would collect water for dye works and generate hydropower for a factory. A section of the tunnel is open for tourism; although you’d probably want to bring a handkerchief, it can get a little dusty in here.
Official website: meyerschestollen.ch
8. Biberstein Castle
There is, without a doubt, an abundance of medieval structures in Aarau. History lovers will love this city, mainly because of Biberstein Castle. As the name suggests, Bieberstein Castle is a medieval castle situated above the steep banks of the River Aare. Although the property can be dated back to the 13th century, most original structures have been renovated.
Only the outer walls and the well-preserved masonry of the former donjon inside the building can be regarded as medieval buildings. A hybrid mixture of medieval and modern, the castle can provide a unique experience during your visit. We do hope you check this place out if you’re in Aarau.
Official website: www.schlossbiberstein.ch
7. Rolling Rock Skate & Sports Centre
You might have been interested in adventure sports or skateboarding but never got the chance to participate. Well, we’re sorry about that. We can’t change the past, but we can provide your kids with the opportunity to enjoy their heart’s content! The Rolling Rock Skate & Sports Centre has all the facilities a kid could dream of.
It’s the only adventure sports facility available in Switzerland. Although there’s no doubt that your kids will enjoy this place, it’s not all about the fun and games. So if you’re in Aarau, your kids deserve an opportunity to enjoy discovering a newfound interest in adventure sports!
Official website: www.rollingrock.ch
6. Hallenbad Telli
A lot of people like to go for a swim. If you’re one of those people touring Switzerland, you might be missing that experience. Well, worry no more! We want to suggest to you a swimming pool complex called Hellenbad Telli. Although it is meant to be a swimming school, there are no restrictions on visitors.
You can visit when you please with the option of choosing between an indoor and outdoor pool. There’s even a kids pool for you kids to enjoy and a restaurant that can cater to your vacation needs! However, we would suggest you go during lunchtime (11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.) Or, you could go in the evening after 5 p.m.
If you’ve visited the museums in Aarau, then you’ll probably develop an interest in medieval history. In that case, the Obertorturm or the Upper Tower is something you can’t miss. Well, you can’t miss it anyway, since it’s visible from every second street in Aarau. Although the tower’s history is shrouded in mystery, it is the oldest structure in the city.
You might also know it as the clocktower. If you’re interested in visiting the Obertorturm, you can do so with the help of a tour guide. The view from the top is spectacular! Visit this place and catch the vibe of a bygone era.
4. Stadtmuseum Aarau
The museum of Aarau or the Stadtmuseum Aarau is hard to miss if you’re passing by. The building is a renovated, 750-year-old medieval tower house. Stadtmuseum Aarau is considered the memory of Aarau as it contains more than 60000 items from the past. All of Aarau’s history is exhibited here in this museum, even covering socio-political aspects of life through the pages of history. The distinct look of the building with a medieval tower on one side and a modern building on the other is an eye-catcher.
So in case you’re curious about the city’s history, you know where to go now.
Official website: www.stadtmuseum.ch
3. Aargauer Kunsthaus
After the live museum, you might be looking for a quiet place that can still fascinate you just as much. If you’re interested in such a thing, you can head towards Aargauer Kunsthaus. The museum was founded in 1959 and is now one of the leading art museums in Switzerland.
You can witness the most crucial collection of Swiss art from the 18th century till date, which is showcased in special exhibitions. There are about ten large and small-scale exhibitions each year that specifically focus on new artists. That’s a lot of displays! The new generation is given their due importance and place in the realm of art.
Official website: www.aargauerkunsthaus.ch
2. Naturama Aargau
Naturama Aargau is a live nature museum situated east of Schachen and was opened in the year 2002. If you aren’t able to find your way, look for Cafe Friedrich. The museum is close by.
Since it’s a nature museum, Naturama Aargau gives a real-life experience of a journey through time with dinosaurs, mammoths, and more. It sounds like the perfect place to bring your kids! There are regular exhibitions on current events as well. You don’t need to be a kid to be interested in pre-historic wildlife, though. And besides, the museum offers knowledge in a variety of areas. This place is an interactive library for people with curious minds.
Official website: www.naturama.ch
1. Wildpark Roggenhausen
If you’re an animal or nature lover, the Roggenhausen Wildlife Park might be an excellent place to start your trip. The wildlife park was founded in 1903 and is located west of Aarau city. With an area of 15 hectares, the park offers more than enough space for your leisure. Many native animals, such as the ibex, wild boar, marmots, and deer, call this place their home.
Keep in mind that you can only feed the animals a special kind of animal food sold inside the park. Roggenhausen has a lot to offer, and the free entry makes it all the more worthy of a visit.
Official website: www.roggenhausen.ch