The Rhine Falls
Do the round trip on foot and by boat, and view the overwhelming force of the waterfall up close.
The forum allows you to post your questions and discuss your plans.
Attraction type: natural site, waterfall
Escort: independent (no guide)
Region: Lake Zurich (Region Zurich)
Duration: 1 day or less
A visit to the Rhine Falls
The 150 m wide and 23 m high waterfall is located near the village of Neuhausen in Northern Switzerland. The nearby city of Schaffhausen is commonly associated with the falls too. Even though the Rhine Fall is a form of mass tourism, the natural beauty is overwhelming and for sure worth your time. May/June is the best time to visit because the amount of water peaks then.
Round trip on foot and by boat
The map shows our suggested route, which starts and ends at the rail station 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall'. You can just as easily start from the rail station at the other side of the river: 'Neuhausen Rheinfall'. The route takes 45 minutes, but that doesn't include any stops to enjoy the view, take pictures, do activities along the way, or additional boat trips apart from the one crossing the Rhine included in the route. To fully enjoy the fall and activities, you need 2 to 6 hours.
The route, assuming you'll start from 'Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall':
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. One of the things one can learn here, is that there have been plans to 'remove' the falls (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. Further on, the river bank is forested for about 200 m so the views are now blocked for a short while. Take the pedestrian path on the railway bridge that leads back to Schloss Laufen and the rail station.
If you want to experience the falls even closer, then you can take several boat tours on the Rhine. There's a boat trip to the rock in the middle of the falls, for example. The tours take 10 to 30 minutes, depending on which one you choose.
The scheduled boat services are available from April to October. This also goes for the boat crossing the Rhine, which you will need for the suggested route. However, you can visit the Rhine Fall all year round if you don't need the boats.
There's an adventure park across the street from Schlössli Wörth. You can enjoy various sorts of climbing and abseiling. The park is closed in Winter.
Apart from a couple of weeks per year, the Rhine Falls are illuminated after dusk. Lighting designer Charles Keller has made sure that a visit to the Fall is worth it at night as well.