Rhine Falls: the must-knows

  • The Rhine Falls are most spectacular in May and June, but you can visit them year-round.
  • The falls can be reached in a 45- to 60-minute train ride from Zurich.
  • Our suggested 45-minute round trip on foot and by boat allows you to see the falls from all perspectives.
  • If you have to choose between visiting the northern or southern bank, we recommend the southern side: it has more diverse views and photography options.
  • Bring a waterproof jacket if you plan to make a boat trip close to the falls.
Min. time required: 2:00
Season: all year
Recommended season: early April to late October
Max. altitude: 403 m (1322 ft)

What are the Rhine Falls? Copy link to clipboard

The Rhine Falls ('Rheinfall' in German) are a 150 m wide and 23 m high waterfall, located near the towns of Schaffhausen and Neuhausen in northern Switzerland. They're at a 45- to 60-minute train ride from Zurich. The falls can be seen up close by foot and by boat.

Two castles, restaurants, a panoramic elevator, an exhibition, and beautiful illumination at night complete this excursion.

Rhine Fall access prices Copy link to clipboard

Price of an access ticket to the southern Rhine Falls banks

The northern promenade can be visited for free. An entry ticket for the southern promenade costs CHF 5 in 2023. This provides access to the spots with the best views of the fall.

Price of boat trip at the Rhine Falls

Prices for boat rides depend on the route you pick. Tickets cost approximately CHF 5 to CHF 20 per adult.

Where to buy your Rhine Fall tickets

All entry and boat tickets are available on the spot. Some can be bought online too.

Discounted or free travel to the Rhine Falls

If you have a rail pass you may be entitled to free or discounted travel to the falls.

Book a tour to the falls

Many (guided) tours to the Rhine Fall are available. Most of them start and end in Zurich. A tour may include transportation, access tickets for the southern promenade and/or a boat ride. What exactly is included varies per tour, so check the specifics.

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Find tickets and tours for the Rhine Falls Copy link to clipboard

Neuhausen am Rheinfall interactive scavenger hunt with the smartphone
Neuhausen am Rheinfall interactive scavenger hunt with the smartphone
Gaming
Discover the town of Neuhausen am Rheinfall with friends or your family. Solve interesting puzzles together and learn new things about the town.

Offered by Swiss Activities: www.swissactivities.com

  • Easy, online, free cancellation in most cases
  • Extra Support: if you buy here, MySwissAlps can also assist if you have questions about your order.
Half Day Tour to Rhine Falls and Stein am Rhein (Zurich Departure)
Half Day Tour to Rhine Falls and Stein am Rhein (Zurich Departure)
Guided day tour
Discover the splendor of nature at Rhine Falls followed by a journey back to the medieval era in Stein am Rhein

Offered by Klook: www.klook.com

  • Best price guarantee: Klook will refund double the difference if you find a lower price.
  • Extra Support: if you book here, MySwissAlps can also assist if you have questions about your order.
Rhine Falls Töffli tour 4 hours
Rhine Falls Töffli tour 4 hours
BikingGuided day tour
Ride for four hours from GÀchlingen on a Töffli (moped) and reach the Rhine Falls. You will also pass through the longest continuous vineyard in Switzerland.

Offered by Swiss Activities: www.swissactivities.com

  • Easy, online, free cancellation in most cases
  • Extra Support: if you buy here, MySwissAlps can also assist if you have questions about your order.
This list includes external links to our trusted partners.

Promotions Copy link to clipboard

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Various multi-day packages for guided and self-guided trips to Switzerland. The offerings change regularly. Packages including surrounding countries are available too.

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Discounted access with your rail pass Copy link to clipboard

PassDiscount
Day Pass No discount:
  • Attractions and boat trips
More information:

To Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall and Neuhausen Rheinfall (train): free.

Eurail Global Pass No discount:
  • Attractions and boat trips
More information:

To Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall and Neuhausen Rheinfall (train): free.

Interrail Switzerland Pass No discount:
  • Attractions and boat trips
More information:

To Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall and Neuhausen Rheinfall (train): free.

Saver Day Pass No discount:
  • Attractions and boat trips
More information:

To Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall and Neuhausen Rheinfall (train): free.

Swiss Half Fare Card No discount:
  • Attractions and boat trips
More information:

To Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall and Neuhausen Rheinfall (train): 50% discount.

Swiss Travel Pass No discount:
  • Attractions and boat trips
More information:

To Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall and Neuhausen Rheinfall (train): free.

Swiss Travel Pass Flex No discount:
  • Attractions and boat trips
More information:

To Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall and Neuhausen Rheinfall (train): free.

How to reach the Rhine Falls: directions and map Copy link to clipboard

The Rhine Falls can be reached by train (which we recommended) and by car.

The train trip to the falls

The easiest way to reach the Rhine Falls is by train, to either the station called "Neuhausen Rheinfall" or "Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall" on the other side of the river. Both stations are located right next to the falls.

The town Schaffhausen is often associated with the falls. It's close to the falls, but it's not the right destination to put in if you search for connections.

How to reach the falls from Zurich

There are trains from the main railway station of Zurich to both 'Neuhausen Rheinfall' and 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall'. A single journey takes 45 to 60 minutes. Some of the connections are direct ones, others require a change of trains in Schaffhausen.

Arrival by car

If you travel by car, you can use one of the parking lots near Schloss Laufen or Schlössli Wörth. If there's no parking space left, you can use parking lots further away and take a bus to the Rhine Falls.

The Rhyfall Express

During the boat season (roughly April-October) the tourist train 'Rhyfall Express' transports passengers from 'Schaffhausen SchifflÀnde' (the boat dock of Schaffhausen) and the parking lot Burgunwiese to the Rhine Falls and back. This ride has to be paid for. Reservations are recommended for groups.

Map of our suggested tour at the Rhine Falls

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Map

Opening dates and hours, timetable info Copy link to clipboard

Rhine Falls opening dates

The Rhine Falls are accessible all year long. The northern banks can be visited 24 hours a day. Opening hours for the southern side vary from 08:00-19:00 in summer to 10:00-16:00 in winter.

The trains to the fall operate all year round. Most boats near the falls operate from April to October. You can still visit the falls in the other months, just without a boat ride.

How to plan your journey with the Swiss timetable

These are the destinations to enter when planning your visit in the timetable:

  • "Neuhausen Rheinfall" for the train station close to the northern promenades
  • "Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall" for the train station on the southern bank
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Best season to see the falls Copy link to clipboard

The best months to visit the Rhine Falls are early April to late October. April, May and June are the top months in our opinion. That's when the amount of water usually peaks. As for other periods:

  • The boats operate from April to October. If you want to make a nice round trip including a boat ride, that's the best time of the year to get to the falls.
  • The Rhine Falls are accessible from November to March as well. You can't get on the boats, but you can still see the falls from the northern and southern promenades.

Weather info and forecasts Copy link to clipboard

Dry weather is best to visit the Rhine Falls. It allows you to make a beautiful roundabout walk including a boat ride. Clouds and drizzle are no problem, but in heavy rain the views won't be great. The boats operate under most weather circumstances, but services can be suspended in case of strong winds or heavy rainfall.

Weather forecasts for Neuhausen near the Rhine Falls 

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Weather forecast

The best route to see all of the Rhine Falls

We suggest the below roundabout walk to see all of the Rhine Falls. It assumes you visit in April-October, when most boat tours are available. If you visit in other months you can still do most of this route, but you’ll have to skip the boat section.

Where to start and end

Our suggested route starts and ends at the rail station ‘Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall’. You can just also start from the rail station at the other side of the river: ‘Neuhausen Rheinfall’.

How long this circular route takes

The route takes 45 minutes, but that doesn’t include any breaks or activities other than the proposed boat trip crossing the Rhine.

Route description

Our route is indicated on the map. Assuming you’ll start from “Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall”, it’s as follows:

  • You’ll first walk from the rail station to the 1000-year-old Schloss Laufen (Laufen Castle). There’s a restaurant, playground, and a ‘Historama’ here. The Historama is an exhibition about the castle and the Rhine Falls. You can learn that there have been plans to ‘remove’ the falls by blasting away the rocks, because it was considered an obstacle to shipping traffic. We’re glad those plans were never realized! Today it is still not possible for ships to pass the Rhine Falls.
  • Next, you go down to the observation platform, either on foot via the Belvedere Trail, or by the glass Panoramic Lift.
  • Take the boat across the Rhine to Schlössli Wörth. This castle is hundreds of years old and located on a tiny island. There is a very good restaurant inside the castle.
  • Cross the pedestrian bridge to the bank and turn right. Walk along the river promenade. There are again good views of the falls. Take the pedestrian path on the railway bridge that leads back to Schloss Laufen and the rail station.
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Boat tours at the Rhine Falls

Several boat tours on the Rhine close to the falls are available. There’s a boat trip to the rock in the middle of the falls for example: the ‘Rock Experience’. In addition, you can enjoy shorter and longer round trips, plus crossings between Schlössli Wörth and the southern banks.

The tours take 10 to 30 minutes, depending on which one you choose. They’re mostly available from April to October.

What else to see and do near the falls

  • There’s an adventure park across the street from Schlössli Wörth. You can enjoy various sorts of climbing and abseiling there. The park is closed in winter.
  • The Rhine Falls are often illuminated after dusk. Lighting designer Charles Keller has made sure that a visit to the fall is worth it at night too.
  • Above the falls there’s a multimedia art hall, called ‘Rhyality’. Video images and animations display the falls throughout the four seasons.
  • The miniature world ‘Smilestones’ shows tiny versions of Swiss landscapes.
  • There’s a picnic area with fire pits directly on the northern basin.

Rhine Falls FAQ

  1. Which side is better: the northern or the southern banks?

    We recommend visiting both sides for a complete and varied view of the Rhine Falls. But if you have to choose, we advise you to get to the southern side. More activities such as the Historama and the panoramic elevator are available there. And as sunlight comes from the south during a large part of the day, photographing the falls is easier from the southern banks.

  2. How long does a visit to the Rhine Falls take?

    The circular route we suggest takes about 45 minutes without any breaks. But to fully enjoy the fall and activities you’d need 2 to 4 hours. If you plan this excursion from Zurich, count on half a day to a full day.

  3. How to dress when visiting the Rhine Falls?

    If you’ll just be seeing the falls from the promenades and observation decks you don’t need specific clothing: just dress according to that day’s forecast. If you plan to make a boat ride close to the falls, we recommend a waterproof jacket: you may get wet due to the splashing water and the thousands of tiny water drops.

  4. Is visiting the falls suitable for children?

    Yes, we think it is. The Rhine Falls are impressive and the boat rides are spectacular, for kids as well. The “Smilestones” miniature world and the adventure park are great additions to the Rhine Fall experience.

    If you travel with children who are easily scared, we recommend not to take the boat trip to the rock in the middle of the falls: that might be overwhelming. Nor is this tour recommended for children under 1,2 m tall.

  5. Are the falls wheelchair- and pram-friendly?

    Yes, most of the promenades can be explored with wheelchairs and prams. The panorama lift, observation deck “Belvedere”‘, Historama, Visitor Centre, and restaurant on the southern bank are all accessible for wheelchairs and prams.

    The main exception is getting down to the basin and shipping piers. This is not possible on the southern side, but it’s available upon advanced booking on the northern side.

    Special tickets for visitors with wheelchairs and prams can be bought at the Visitor Centre.

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Itineraries including the Rhine Falls Copy link to clipboard

Jungfrau, Breithorn, Tschingelhorn and Lauterbrunnen valley from MĂ€nnlichen

Best of the Alps

This extremely varied trip includes the famous Jungfrau, cogwheel train rides, cable cars, the Rhine Falls, Zurich and more: the 


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Annika
Page author: AnnikaSince early childhood I've been visiting Switzerland during my holidays and I just fell in love with the country. I spent many summers in the Bernese Oberland, which still feels like my second home, and then started to explore other areas. Traveling, hiking and photographing in the Swiss Alps are my absolute favorite activities.