A peaceful city of almost 100,000, set in rolling countryside on the River Töss, Winterthur boasts a volley of impressive art museums, displaying Old Masters, classic Modernists, Impressionists and contemporary photography. It lies in Canton Zürich, slightly west of what is usually termed Ostschweiz.
The Industrial Revolution powered meteoric growth during the nineteenth century, and after 1848 Winterthur became the centre of Switzerland's democratic movement. Local architects and engineers visited England in mid-century to study designs for factories and workers' housing, bringing English ideas back to Winterthur's booming textile and railway industries. Most Swiss today still indelibly associate Winterthur – the country's sixth-largest city – with industry: it has pulled off the transition into hi-tech, and remains a dynamic place. It's also surprisingly green, and the combination of bicycles, green hills and world-class art galleries can make for a pleasant day or two.