Visiting the Rhine Falls Near Zurich, Switzerland
Spanning a width of 150 metres and a height of 23 metres, Switzerland’s Rhine Falls is said to be the largest and most powerful falls in Europe.
Some fun facts about the falls: around 600, 000 litres of water go over the falls every second in summer, and 200, 000 litres in the winter. The falls are also approximately 15, 000 years old.
And the best part? It can be easily reached within an hour from Zurich!
Getting there is easy – you can take a straight train from Zurich to Neuhausen Rheinfall, which will take you approximately one hour. You can also opt to take a 40-minute train from Zurich to Schaffhausen, before transferring to a touristic train to Neuhausen Rhinefall.
Alternatively, you can also take bus no. 1 from Schaffhausen towards Herbstacker. I recommend taking a direct train to Neuhausen Rheinfall, and returning via Schaffhausen on the way back. This will allow you to spend some time exploring the quaint medieval town of Schaffhausen as well.
There are a few ways to enjoy the falls. First, you can walk on a boardwalk around the perimeter of the falls. Enjoy feeling the spray of water on your face but do watch your step – some parts can be rather slippery!
You’ll come across multiple benches along the way; bring a snack or a book, these make for great resting spots with a view.
There are various viewing stops – some of them above the falls, some of them directly next to the falls – offering different vantage points of the thundering water.
The area is huge; be prepared to spend at least half a day exploring the Rhine Falls.
Take some time to explore Schloss Laufen, a castle teetering above the falls.
My favourite part, however, would be taking a boat right up to the falls. There’s a large plethora of boat rides to choose from, with durations ranging from 15 to 75 minutes.
The longer boat rides will cruise along the waters for some time before approaching the falls.
If you wish, you can even choose to take a boat out to Middle Island, where you can climb a flight of slippery steps to be right in the middle of the action.
And if you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot a rainbow during your visit!
After the boat ride, you can grab a bite to eat at the al fresco area before making your way to the train station. However, feel free to stay as long as you wish!
From the Neuhausen Rheinfall station, it’s a short train ride to either Schaffhausen or back to Zurich.
Suitable for all ages, the Rhine Falls makes for a great half-day or full-day trip option from Zurich – one that offers spectacular views and a breath of fresh air!