Flowing out of Lake Konstanz, The Rhine Falls are Europe's largest waterfalls and a major tourist attraction in northern Switzerland. Visitors can stand high above the falls, hearing their thunderous roar and watching them hurl immense quantities of water. This powerful experience leaves travelers truly in awe.
The falls are situated at Neuhausen am Rheinfall, near the city of Schaffhausen. To get here, you can either take a 25 minute train ride from Winterthur, a one-hour train ride from Zurich, or drive yourself. Once you arrive, walk to the 1000 year old Schloss Laufen (Laufen Castle). From here, you can get to the observation platform either on foot via the Belvedere Trail or by taking the Panoramic Lift. Once you reach the top, you will finally see spectacular views of the falls. This excursion is certainly one you don’t want to miss!
Here are some tips to make your trip to the Rhine Falls even more extraordinary:
1.The best view is from the platforms ("Känzeli") on the left shore. You can get here through Laufen Castle.
2.There are several affordable boat tours you can take from the Neuhausen side. These tours allow you to truly experience the impressive power of the falls. The tours take 10 to 30 minutes (depending on which one you choose) and are available from April to October.
3.If you go on a boat tour, sit or stand at the front of the boat. The viewing platform at the top only holds about six people, so if you don't get there first you will need to wait anxiously before getting to the top!
4.It can be wet, slippery and windy at the falls—especially if you go to the lookout rock in the middle—so dress appropriately.
5.There are four nearby restaurants if you get hungry during your visit, and all of them are excellent options. It’s best to book in advance in case there are several tour groups visiting that day.
6.If you’re on a budget, go to the opposite bank of the Rhine, bring a picnic and enjoy the view from there (it's free!).
7.The Falls are still beautiful on foggy days, as the mist adds a delicate and magical touch to the scenery. If you come after a heavy rainfall, the sight will be even more dramatic, but unfortunately the boats won’t be running.
8.The Rhine Falls are almost always illuminated after dusk, so visitors can still appreciate the falls at night.
9.Your visit will probably only take about four hours altogether, so you will still have time to explore another sight on the same day. One fascinating nearby attraction is the majestic Munot Fortress in Schaffhausen.
If you haven’t booked your trip to The Rhine Falls yet, here’s one final tip: Travel to the falls by cruise ship so that you can experience several must-see cities along the way. When you cruise with CroisiEurope, both the Basel to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Basel cruises will take you to the falls. In addition to Rhine Falls, Basel and Amsterdam, these cruises offer excursions in phenomenal cities like Haarlem, Köln, Arnhem, Mainz, and Titisee. Visiting these spectacular places on your journey to the falls and back with make your experience more astonishing than you could ever anticipate.
Find out more about CroisiEurope Rhine River Cruises.