Getting to know Solothurn
Once you've settled in to your new home and covered all the essentials, it's time to get to know your new environment.
Becoming familiar with the local culture is a start. Meet people with similar interests and make an effort to take part in activities that interest you. Most importantly, stay open and receptive to the new experience.
Things to do in Solothurn
Solothurn is a lively town with a rich cultural life. Many well-known Swiss artists and writers have called Solothurn home. Arts and cultural events are regular highlights of the annual calendar. Known as the ‘Ambassador's Town', Solothurn has a well-preserved Baroque heritage, which blends Italian grace, French charm, and German pragmatism. Its excellent public transport network and compactness make it easy to navigate and explore. Solothurn has plenty to offer children and nature and sports lovers.
Culture and heritage in Solothurn
- Explore the town on a guided tour with Solothurn Tourism. Themes include: Baroque, Ambassadors, Women's Issues, Sights in focus, Energy Park, JURAworld of coffee, and Scooter Experience. Casanova spent a while here with a local woman and there is a tour in French or German providing juicy details.
- Visit the Old Town and immerse yourself in Baroque and Renaissance architecture, including the Church of the Jesuits, Clock Tower, 11 fountains, Basel Gate, and the Landhaus. The St Urs Cathedral, built from pale Solothurn marble, is the finest example of Early Classical architecture in Switzerland.
- Kultur Schloss Waldegg in Feldbrunnen is a museum and convention centre. This imposing building was formerly the seat of the French ambassador. Sokultur , Solothurn's department for promoting culture, is based here.
- Museums and galleries: the annual Art Supermarket is essential for art lovers and the Museum of Fine Art is worth visiting for its collection of Swiss art, including works by Hodler, Luginbühl, Tinguely and Oppenheim. Other highlights include the Historical Museum Blumenstein, the Natural History Museum, ENTER Computer Museum, and the Museum of Stones.
- Visit the romantic Verena Gorge with its chapel and hermitage and extensive tracks and paths for exploring by foot or bicycle.
- The Weissenstein Mountain can be explored by cycling, walking, cross-country skiing, or sledging. Relax at the Hotel Kurhaus Weissentein. This local mountain is 1291m above sea level, with fine views of the Alps and central Switzerland.
- Boat cruises include Three Lakes, Solothurn-Biel, Lake Biel sightseeing, and the Öufi boat. Take a summer boat ride on the Aare to the Altreu Stork Colony via Büren.
- Discover Solothurn's regional specialities.
- Canton Solothurn Tourism has great ideas for day day trips and exploring further afield.
Regular annual events include:
- Solothurner Film Days: an important event for Swiss filmmakers.
- The Solothurn Carnival takes place in February or early March.
- Biertage: 20 breweries celebrate Swiss beer culture in April.
- Bike Days is a celebration of everything to do with bicycles and cycling.
- Literature Days is a contemporary Swiss writing forum held over the Ascension weekend in May
- Solothurn Classics shows open-air opera in July.
- Art Supermarket showcases works of established and emerging artists every November.
- Kulturnacht Solothurn is held every two years.
Meeting people in Solothurn
- Meet expats in Solothurn. The Anglo-Swiss Club Solothurn organises regular get-togethers.
- Join Solothurn Meet and Greet, a networking group of Solothurn expat professionals on LinkedIn.
- Join sports clubs that share your interests.
Restaurants, entertainment & nightlife
- Pool! lists cultural events and event organisers in Solothurn.
- Nightlife and live music venues include the Kulturfabrk Kofmehl, Discotheque and Bar Eleven, visit the Aarequai in summer, and the Landhausquai in winter. Restaurant Chutz is a must for jazz lovers.
- Nightlife, bars and clubs: Take a stroll along the Aare to see what's going on. There are numerous inviting bars and clubs. A few places to visit are the Absinthe Bar ‘Die Grüne Fee', Eleven, and Kulturfabrik Kofmehl.
- Theatre highlights include Solothurn Classics open air performances; Solothurn City Theatre, Kulturm Solothurn, and Mausefalle.
- Film and cinema: Don't miss the Solothurner Filmtage. Solothurn's six cinemas coordinate their programmes for variety. There are regular special offers such as Cinedolcevita and Ladies' Night. Monday entrance is at a reduced price.
- Restaurants: Solothurn Tourism provides a range of suggestions for eating out, from traditional to trendy.