Five Reasons Why Winterthur, Switzerland is a Dream Destination for Photographers

Five Reasons Why Winterthur, Switzerland is a Dream Destination for Photographers

It’s almost impossible to take a mediocre shot in this photogenic Swiss city, where the art of photography is revered.

In partnership with

cities are an underrated delight for travellers. Sure,
any visitor to Switzerland will want to see Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern and beyond. But if you ask any
seasoned Swiss adventurer, chances are they’ve had their heart
stolen by a smaller town or under-the-radar spot. The culture-rich,
nature-abundant university hub of Winterthur is one such place, making it a
stellar Swiss city-break destination.

Switzerland’s sixth-largest city lies just a 20-minute train
trip north-east of Zurich, and is blessed with all the ingredients
for a perfect European getaway: a gorgeous, well-preserved medieval
centre, a string of world-class galleries and 17 museums, an edgy
and progressive culinary scene and a dazzlingly picturesque natural
setting. Tourists rarely venture here, but dedicated photographers
do. Here’s why.

In the frame: a photographer’s tour of Winterthur

1. Fotomuseum Winterthur

Winterthur is home to arguably Europe’s best photography museum,
. “We show and communicate photography from the past
to the present, as well as visual culture, and, together with
Fotostiftung Schweiz, form the Center for Photography,” says
director Nadine Wietlisbach. “Events, workshops in the lab, at the
exhibition and in schools are a central part of our work, so, while
we attract local photographers, we also have an international

2. Cultural clout

Winterthur was an important industrial centre for most of the
17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and the city has been left a
substantial legacy of artworks and treasures by notable merchants.
The big name is Oskar Reinhart, the son of a wealthy cotton
merchant, who amassed one of the 20th century’s greatest private
collections of art, and bequeathed the finest pieces to the nation
upon his death in 1965. As a consequence, Winterthur residents have
access to masterpieces by Caspar David Friedrich, Alberto
Giacometti, Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Holbein, Breughel, Rubens
and Ingres in Reinhart’s museum collections and his villa, which
overlooks the city. Don’t miss the Oskar Reinhart collection
Am Römerholz,
housing European art from the 14th to the 20th century. The
Casinotheater, meanwhile, has evolved into a vital
nerve centre for the German-language cabaret scene; appropriate for
the nation that gave us Cabaret Voltaire and the Dadaist movement.
The city’s cultural calendar also offers a strong line-up of
festivals, including Afro-Pfingsten, Kurzfilmtage, the International Short Film
and the Winterthurer Musikfestwochen festival, as well as
regular performances by Winterthur Musikkollegium.

3.Show-stopping vistas

Winterthur is an inspiring subject for photographers. Its strong
industrial heritage bequeathed the city incredible architecture –
from grand merchant villas to industrial warehouses and cotton
mills – as well as plenty of dedicated parks and gardens.
Surrounding the city are castles and ancient woodland, along with
attractive vineyards, plus, the city makes a great base for day
trips to the Rhine Falls, Lake Constance and outings along the Töss
and Rhine rivers.

4. Medieval marvels

Winterthur is a compact, bike-friendly city, but it also boasts
Switzerland’s largest and loveliest pedestrianised medieval Old
Town. During golden hour – that magical time before sunset that
galvanises photographers – take a wander around the gorgeous
mansions surrounding the Marktgasse, visit City Church, stroll past
Fisher Maiden’s Fountain and capture that iconic shot of Town Hall

5. Culinary creativity

Winterthur has evolved dramatically from an industrial enclave
to a fiercely innovative university city, with plenty of surprises
in store for first-time visitors. The destination is home to one of
the largest German-Swiss wineries, Rutishauser-DiVino, and a handful of local breweries.
And, unlike the big Swiss cities that have to slightly pander to
tourist tastes, Winterthur only needs to please its youthful,
international demographic, which has led to a powerhouse of a
culinary scene that belies the city’s modest size. Start with
Nachbarsgarten, a bohemian bistro whose divine terrace
is a perfect place to photograph the young kitchen team and local
delicacies, and reflect on a day viewing Winterthur through a
photographer’s lens.

The Lowdown

To find out more about Winterthur, visit

Discover More
48 Luxurious Hours In Lausanne, Switzerland