9 Highlights at the Rhine Falls
- The Rhine Falls impresses with an average flow rate in summer of about 600'000 liters of water per second.
- The highest measured value was 1,250,000 liters per second in 1965.
- The Rhine Falls extends over a width of 150 meters and reaches a height of about 23 meters. This makes for a spectacular sight.
- In the middle of the Rhine Falls is a large rock called "Mittelfelsen" or "Big Middle Rock". This rock divides the waterfall into two halves and gives it a unique shape.
- You can admire the Rhine Falls from different angles. There are well-designed viewing platforms on both sides of the river that offer breathtaking views of the waterfall.
- One of the most famous ways to experience the Rhine Falls is the Belvedere Trail, which leads from Schloss Laufen to the "Känzeli" platform.
- A boat trip on the Rhine brings you very close to the waterfall.
- The Rhine Falls have a rich history and are immortalized in many legends. One of the most famous stories says that the monk Felix Manz tried to fly over the waterfall here in the 16th century. In the process, he tragically drowned.
- The surroundings of the Rhine Falls offer many opportunities for hikes and walks. You can stroll along the Rhine and enjoy the nature.
The Rhine Falls, which are about 15,000 years old, are an impressive natural spectacle. The right bank of the Rhine Falls is on the territory of the municipality of Neuhausen (Canton Schaffhausen). The left bank belongs to Laufen-Uhwiesen (Canton Zurich).
The Rhine Falls used to be called "Grosser Laufen". In addition, there was the "Kleiner Laufen" in the High Rhine near Laufenburg and the "Mittleren Lauffen" near Ettikon. The Kleiner Laufen rapids no longer exist today.
What awaits you at the Rhine Falls
You can view the Rhine Falls from different perspectives. There are viewing platforms on both banks, the Rhine Bridge, a path from Schloss Laufen and the possibility of a boat ride.
The Rhine Falls can be visited all year round. However, the boats operate only between April and October.
Rhine Falls South Bank Viewing Platform
Schloss Laufen is also located on the southern bank of the Rhine Falls. From here you can view the Rhine Falls up close. There is a circular route from the castle, both by steps and by elevator. You reach platforms at different heights, which allow you to admire the Rhine Falls at different distances. On some of them you even get wet. You pay a small entrance fee here. Popular is the Belvedere path from the castle to the "Känzeli", a viewing platform directly at the waterfall.
At the paid parking lot near the visitor center you will find electric charging stations with fast charging stations.
Rhine Falls North Bank Viewing Platform
On the north bank you have a good overview of the Rhine Falls. Access to the shore is free of charge here. The boat trips start here and you can also see other attractions such as the Smilestones and the Adventure Park at the Rhine Falls.
The parking lot is also for a fee.
Hiking trail at the Rhine Falls
A beautiful circular trail starts on the south bank at Schloss Laufen and takes you to the other bank via the Rheinsteg Nohl. The Rheinsteg Nohl is located southwest of Schloss Laufen. The panoramic circular trail, designated as No. 896, is about eight kilometers long. On the way you have a good view of the waterfall, among them are some particularly beautiful viewpoints. On the north bank, you will first reach Wörth Castle and continue up along the mill wheel. For the way back you have the choice. You can take the way over the eastern Rhine bridge Neuhausen - Flurlingen or the shorter way over the railroad bridge to Schloss Laufen.
Hike from Schaffhausen to the Rhine Falls
A nice hike starts in the old town of Schaffhausen with the Munot fortress. The old town is one of the best preserved medieval town centers in Switzerland. Schaffhausen counts 171 oriels and adorns itself with colorful facades.
The hiking trail goes down to the Schifflände and then along the Rhine. Away from the road you walk to the Rhine Falls, which you can hear from far away. Past Schloss Laufen, a nature trail leads back along the Rhine on the other side. Small detours take you through Flurlingen and Feuerthalen. The circular route is about ten kilometers long.
Boat trips on the Rhine Falls
Boat trips are offered by two boat companies. They are called Rhyfall-Mändli and Schiffmändli. Their moorings are on the north bank near Schlössli Wörth.
Rhine Falls boat trips by Rhyfall-Mändli
The boats of the ship company Rhyfall-Mändli are yellow, red, pink or blue. They sail from April to the end of October, depending on the weather also until the beginning of November.
|ride to the rock in the Rhine Falls
|connects the castles of the south and north banks
|small round trip through the basin of the Rhine Falls
|longer round trip also outside the basin, with audio guide
With the yellow boat of line 1 you go directly to the rock in the Rhine Falls. It is a scheduled boat that leaves every 20 minutes. The trip (including a visit to the rock) takes about 30 min.
The red boat of line 2 connects the two castles (Schloss Laufen and Schlössli Wörth). So the boat takes you back and forth between the south shore and the north shore in line trips. One crossing takes five minutes.
Line 4 is colored blue and is intended for a short round trip. You drive around the basin of the Rhine Falls. You experience the waterfall up close, as far as this is possible with the boat. This small round trip takes 15 minutes and starts every 15 minutes.
The pink-colored boats of line 5 also take you to other interesting places on the Rhine in a longer round trip. You get an audio guide for the trip and can listen to all the important information. The trip lasts 30 minutes and departs every hour.
Boat trips Rhine Falls from Schiffmändli
The trips from Schiffmändli are operated as line 3. Information is provided by the boatman en route, for example about the beavers on the Rhine. The mooring for both round trips is at Schlössli Wörth, the crossing from Schloss Laufen to Schlössli Wörth is included in the price. These ships sail from April to mid-October.
|small round trip incl. Rhine Falls
|course boat to the Rhine Falls
|large round trip incl. Rhine Falls
Line 3a is a 30-minute round trip that takes you along the tranquil Rhine to the German border. At the end it goes to the Rhine Falls. Line 3b offers a big round trip starting at the Rhine Falls basin and going 7 km along the Rhine and back. You can get off briefly in Rheinau and at the Rheinfelsen. This round trip takes 70 minutes.
From Rheinau power station starts the 40-minute trip of line 3b. A stop is made at the Rheinfall Schlössli Wörth landing stage, where you can get off.
Attractions at the Rhine Falls
There are two castles at the Rhine Falls: Schloss Laufen from the 9th century and Schlössli Wörth from the 12th century. Both castles are run as restaurants today. The terraces of both restaurants let you look directly at the waterfall. In addition, you will also find a kiosk on the northern bank.
The Historama with historical information about the Rhine Falls and Schloss Laufen is located directly in Schloss Laufen.
Overview of restaurants at the Rhine Falls
|Restaurant Park am Rheinfall
|in the north bend of the Rhine, best view of Rhine Falls
|maritime and Italian flair
|in Schloss Laufen, with panorama terrace
|additional self-service restaurant
|in Schlössli Wörth, with panoramic terrace
|specializing in fish
|at Schlössli Wörth
|mainly snacks, self-service
But around the Rhine Falls you can discover even more attractions. Directly at the Rhine Falls basin there is a large playground. Here you can also find a fireplace and benches.
Adventure Park in Neuhausen am Rheinfall
The Adventure Park is just a few minutes' walk from Schlössli Wörth. It is located above the parking lots and near the playground. Here you can choose from more than 165 climbing elements and other attractions.
- 2 courses for children
- 14 courses (graded from 8 years to 16 years)
- 3 modules "overcome your fear of heights"
- 1.5 km ziplines
In the rope park, employees assess the ability of children from 8 years old. Children and teenagers who already have rope park experience and can climb well may then also choose courses for which they would actually still be too young.
From the rope park you have a good view of the Rhine Falls. It is open from April to the end of October.
Smilestones at the Rhine Falls
The Smilestones is a miniature world of Switzerland. Some of the most famous Swiss destinations are represented here. These include the Bernese Oberland, the Alpstein region, the Rhine Falls and much more. You can discover many funny details in the miniature landscape. The modeling is designed like a three-dimensional hidden object. You should plan about one hour for the visit.
Rhyality at the Rhine Falls
Above the Rhine Falls is an innovative feature: Switzerland's first immersive art gallery. Immersive means as much as "to immerse oneself and become a part of the artificial world in one's own perception."
28 video projectors irradiate the surfaces of the immersive room with moving images. Here you immerse yourself in the cinematic action. Throughout the seasons, the first film production shows the Rhine Falls in moving nature shots and artistic animations.
How to get to the Rhine Falls
We recommend that you do not drive to the Rhine Falls, as parking lots are often overcrowded. Traveling by public transportation, on the other hand, is very convenient, with two train stations in close proximity to the waterfall.
During the boat season, the Rhyfall Express also runs. The little nostalgic tschu-tschu train runs daily from the old town of Schaffhausen to the Rhine Falls and back. It runs five times a day and takes between 20 and 30 min for the trip.
By public transport
There are three train stations near the Rhine Falls that you can get to:
- Neuhausen (10-15 min walk to the Rhine Falls)
- Neuhausen Rhine Falls (right next to the north shore)
- Neuhausen, Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall (right next to the south bank)
The stops Neuhausen and Schloss Laufen are on the line from Zurich to Schaffhausen. Here you have a direct train from Zurich three times an hour, which takes just under an hour.
If you want to visit Schloss Laufen and the south bank, get off at Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall station. For the north bank you have two options. You can either go to Neuhausen and walk about 10 to 15 min to the Rhine Falls. This train runs three times an hour from Zurich. Or you can go to Neuhausen Rhine Falls, where a direct train leaves Zurich once an hour.
Arriving by car is rather not recommended, as the (metered) parking spaces are limited. Parking spaces are available on both sides of the Rhine bank.
If you are traveling from Germany: Please note that a vignette is mandatory in Switzerland. The vignette is valid on the freeways (blue) as well as on the highways (green). Already in the border area you can buy it on the German side for CHF 40.00. If you drive on the A81, the vignette is only valid from "Schaffhausen - Schweizersbild". If you do not want to buy a vignette, you can instead leave the highway and take the national roads to the Rhine Falls.
For whom is the Rhine Falls suitable?
The Rhine Falls can be visited as an excursion with the whole family. The visit can be perfectly combined with a detour at the children's playground, Adventure Park and Smilestones.
With wheelchair or stroller you should choose the stop Neuhausen Rhine Falls. Here there are wheelchair accessible paths to the boat landing. A panoramic lift for wheelchairs and strollers to the viewing platform is available at Schloss Laufen.
Some of the viewing platforms on the south bank come very close to the waterfall. So you can get wet there. Rainwear or a change of clothes is appropriate.
Dogs on a short leash are allowed on the boats for free. The only exception is the rock ride, where dogs are not allowed.