A Sunny Day For A Day Trip From Zurich
We had several things planned for our short stay in Zurich. We waited for the first sunny morning and headed out for a a day trip to visit Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls. The train took us first to Schaffhausen where we wandered about this interesting and colourful town. Then we did a short hop down the river and saw the Rhine Falls. It was a complete day.
We took the Neuhausen train to Schaffhausen. It was a beautiful day with classic Swiss scenes out the windows.
The Beautiful Small Town Of Schaffhausen
The train let us off close to the Old Town of Schaffhausen. As soon as we entered the cobblestone streets, we were enchanted. The town was known for its Baroque buildings, decorative balconies and painted building facades. It was a visual treat as we walked through the town.
We stopped and looked at the intricate details on the Haus zum Ritter building. The mural by Tobias Stimmer illustrated civil virtues. It was one of the most important Renaissance frescoes north of the Alps. The originals were removed in 1935, preserved and moved to the Museum zu Allerheiligen.
Interesting fountains and statues caused us to pause as we slowly walked through town.
We stopped at the St John’s Church. The steeple had a now familiar clock face. A quick peek inside showed us a quite simple interior compared to the ornate churches we saw on our recent visit to Austria.
A Short Stop For Lunch
We walked to the river. Short cruises went up the Rhine River but we did not have enough time on this visit. We found an Italian restaurant and ate outside on the patio. Being so close to Italy, we easily found good Italian food. We were getting ready for our final stop in Milan!
It was a great day as we walked the Old Town and enjoyed the views on our day trip to visit Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls.
Head High For A Panoramic View
The Munot Fortress stood high above the town. The towers peeked up above the buildings as we walked through town. When we got to the river, we looked back for a full view of the fortress.
We were refreshed after a good lunch and ready to walk up the 350 or more stairs to the fortress. As we walked up, we saw vineyards on either side of the stairs. When we paused to catch our breath, we looked back over the town of Schaffhausen. We clearly saw the steeple for St John’s Church above the grape vines.
At the top we walked into the large and empty stone fortress. There was a model of the fortress as it had once been. From the main level we kept walking up a spiral ramp inside the fortress tower.
When we reached the top, we knew the walk was worth it. There were great panoramic views from the top of Munot Fortress.
We were glad we climbed to the top of the Munot Fortress on our day trip to visit Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls.
The Train To The Rhine Falls
The Rhine Falls were about 4km from Shaffhausen. There were several ways to get there. We could take a river boat or the train to make the trip.
We chose to get back on the train. There were train stops on both sides of the Rhine Falls. The train stop on Schloss Laufen Au Rheinfall was on the side by the castle.
There were two stops on the other side in Neuhausen – one in the city further from the falls and one just over the falls. The train schedules were not always clear about the stop right at the falls. So be careful.
We took a train that showed a stop at Neuhausen. And got lucky when we saw that we could actually get off by the falls.
Enjoying The Rhine Falls
We loved to visit waterfalls on our travels. The waterfalls in Iceland were top of the things we wanted to see. And when we cruised the Norway Fjords, we found beautiful waterfalls at several stops.
When we got off at Neuhaussen Rheinfall, we were above the falls. The Rhine Falls are the largest waterfalls in Europe. Various cascades fell across the 150m width of the falls. The highest point was about 23m.
We walked along the upper walkway for a great panoramic view of the Rhine Falls. Across the river we saw the Laufen Castle and the other way to begin a visit to the Rhine Falls.
A view of the Rhine Falls from above was a great way to start on our day trip to visit Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls.
Down At Water Level
We had several ways to get down to the water level at the Rhine Falls. A paved path provided a zigzagged path to get down. A set of stairs led down beside the small hotel at the falls. We chose to take the elevator down. It was located right by the train platform.
We started our walk around and got a full frontal view of the breadth of the Rhine Falls. here were a couple of spots for food and drink. And lots of benches to sit and watch the show.
We saw several different boats on the water in front of the falls. Some boats simply took people for a close up view of the falls. Some were ferry boats to the viewpoint that stood right in the middle of the falls. Others took people over to the Laufen Castle side of the Rhine Falls. On this visit to the Rhine Falls, we did not visit the castle side.
A Closer View Of The Rhine Falls
After we had our fill of this view of the Rhine Falls, we walked back around the water basin and climbed the stairs beside the falls. There were a number of smaller falls on either side of the main waterfall. A small waterfall turned a water mill.
We watched the water as it cascaded over the the falls. At the top we saw the broad Rhine River as it tumbled over the rocks before the falls.
It was great to see the Rhine Falls close up on our day trip to visit Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls.
Enjoy A Day Trip To Visit Schauffhausen And The Rhine Falls
We were so glad we planned a day trip to visit Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls on our visit to Switzerland. Schaffhausen was a charming town with lots of visual delight. The trek up to the top of the Munot Fortress gave us a great panoramic view.
At home we are an hour from Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls was a regular day trip for us all the year around. The Rhine Falls were not as big as Niagara Falls. But they were certainly a great stop on our visit to Zurich. There were many ways to enjoy your day at the falls.
Have you done a day trip to visit Schauffhausen and the Rhine Falls? What was your favourite sight?
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Rhine falls is so beautiful! Looks like a great option to spend a beautiful day outside. Also, the spaghetti looks so yummy!
We were glad we got a good day to head out of Zurich. The Rhine Falls were the perfect outdoor destination.
Switzerland is indisputably beautiful – those painted facades alone….so gorgeous. The only think I don’t get is that you opted for spaghetti instead of a traditional cheese fondue, raclett, or any other food drowned in hearty cheese.
I must admit we were tempted by the cheeses in Switzerland. But the spot we stopped tempted us with great Italian food. A weekness for sure!
What a spectacular place to visit. Those medieval quaint villages and towns and the biggest waterfalls in Europe… I think my parents took us kids there when we were small, but we were more interested in chocolate and soft toys back then than in nature or architecture.. You seem to have been extremely lucky with the weather too. The view from the castle over the town is crazy cool. I’ve decided on the spot right now that I’ll have to go back.. and soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Most of our time in Switzerland was great and cloudy. So we were delighted when we got the perfect day to head out for a day trip to the Rhine Falls area. Great to mix the small charming town of Schaffhausen with the Rhine Falls. It would be fun for you to go back and see it through more adult eyes!
This just looks like such as lovely place. It reminds me a bit of the black forest or something you’d see in disney cartoons. So stunning
It was great that the sun came out and we found a great spot for a day trip. Lovely to see the Rhine Falls.
The Rhine Falls looks like it was a perfect day trip – the pictures are stunning!!
Thank you so very much ?
This article could not have come at a better time! I am in Switzerland now, in St. Gallen, it’s less than an hour away from Rhine Falls. I’ve already visited but never heard of Shaffhausen until now. I am definitely going to visit when I go back to Rhine Falls. We visited in winter and it wasn’t as nice. I love the greenery in your photos so I’m guessing you went in summer. Thanks for sharing
I am so glad that the timing of this blog post worked out. I hope you get to visit Schaffhausen if you get back to the Rhine Falls. We were there in May and it was lovely!
I have read about swiss mountains but for the first time reading about this beautiful waterfall. It definitely looks like a nice experience, I will bookmark the article for future reference.
I hope you get to visit this part of Switzerland. We were certainly charmed.
I love those baroque buildings of Old Town of Schaffhausen. and the small majesty of the little Niagara that is Rhine Falls!
It was a lovely trip to see both of these gems. Definitely worth a trip if you are in Zurich.
You always have such great photos! I don’t know why but I have not been to Zurich or this part of Switzerland on either of my trips to that stunning country. Still gotta go! Thanks for all the great ideas!
I am happy to provide you with a beautiful spot to add to your travel wish list!
Thank you for sharing. My biggest disappointment was I never got to see this in real life. Fingers crossed I will one day. My mil has been and she said it was the highlight of her trip.
I hope you do get to visit. We were sure glad we got a great weather day to visit.
This looks a lovely day trip. The rhine falls are simply beautiful and the vineyards at the side of the fortress are so pretty. I’d definitely add this to my trip if I visit Zurich.
We loved both spots on our day trip from Zurich. An easy day trip by train.
Switzerland is so stunningly beautiful and your post proves it one more time. It would be great to see Rhine falls myself!. Thanks for sharing!
I hope you get to visit the Rhine Falls one day. Definitely a great day trip.
Wow! the architecture and waterfalls – what a combination. Looks like an amazing trip and overwhelming views!
It really was a great combination of sites to visit. And easy to hop around by train.
The Rhine Falls were our go-to day trip for any visitors when we lived in Zurich – so easy to reach yet so spectacular in every season! Though I’m sure your visitors would have more of the wow factor with the Niagara 🙂
We are a bit jaded having Niagara Falls so close by. But I loved the variety of sights in this area. We were sure glad we went.
Schaffhausen looks lovely! I love the architecture and color in the buildings. A trip to Rhine Falls looks like a great way to spend the day, visiting waterfalls is one of my favorite things to do. I would also love to visit the fortress and the views look stunning! I love your photos, they give me the sense of being at the destination.
I am so glad the post took you there with the photos. We were happy we got to see both Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls on a beautiful day.
I could spend hours exploring the small towns of Europe and especially Schaffhausen – it looks beautiful. The Rhine Falls look like a great place to spend time at for a day trip.
We too love the small towns of Europe. So glad we found this great combination of charming Swiss town and towering waterfalls. A perfect day!
I am big fan of visiting smaller towns and Schaffhausen is a great choice for a day trip from Zurich. I love all your pictures, especially the one taken from the vineyard. Rhine falls is so beautiful and the spaghetti looks so delicious!
We would highly recommend a visit to Schaffhausen if you visit Zurich. A lovely small Swiss town that delighted us.
I always tell people to include a day trip from Zurich to Rhine Falls whenever they ask me for my suggested itinerary in Switzerland. I remember visiting here almost 5 years ago and loved it! The view from the top of Munot Fortress is magnificent as well!
We were glad we chose to visit the Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen on our visit to Zurich. I can see why this is one of your top recommendations.
I love the Rhine Valley. Its awesome wherever it flows – Swiz, France, Germany everywhere. I’ve been to Basel’s Rhine valley and a few towns in Germany, yet to visit Zurich, so thanks for all this information that I can use when I plan my visit. The old town looks absolutely gorgeous with its mosaic works and old style buildings. Renaissance frescoes in the exteriors? Wow! The view of the town from the fortress through the vineyard is just beautiful.
I hope you do get to experience this part of the Rhine. We were delighted with the chance to see a small town and the roaring falls.
While I’m aware of Rhine Falls, I haven’t heard much about Schaffhausen. Great to know they can be combined for a day trip from Zurich. The mural on the Haus zum Ritter building alone would make the stop memorable for me. Rhine Falls would be the perfect picnic spot
We easily had enough time to do both the Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen on one trip. The train made it easy to hope between if you had no car. Hope you get to visit the next time you visit this area.
For sure I’d climb to the top of the fortress, and go to the falls, which look fabulous, but I would go to this town just to see the Haus zum Ritter building. What an extraordinary, and beautiful mural that is.
I hope you do get to visit this part of Switzerland. It was the perfect day trip from Zurich.
It looks absolutely beautiful there! One of the things I love about Europe the most are these medieval towns and the architecture there. Switzerland is really great for that. So much history there! We would love to return there since we have only been to Basel. Also Rhine looks amazing.
We missed Basel on this visit to Switzerland. Can’t wait to explore more one day.
You’ve just described the perfect day trip for me! I would absolutely love to visit this charming town. Wander the quiet streets, gaze upon the amazing architecture, especially the mural on Haus von Ritter, and climb the 350 steps to the fortress to get those amazing views! The scenery of the waterfall is so incredible. This just got added to my travel list!
I am glad to have added this day trip to your travel planning wish list. It was indeed a lovely mix of small town charm and stunning nature.
How cute it is to have vineyards on both sides of the stairs to the fortress! And the views from above are just amazing. I’m impressed with all the statues and decorative balconies in Schaffhausen.
We were glad we planned the time to explore Schaffhausen from above and in the town. It was a charming spot to spend the day.
That looks like a great day trip! Were you there in Spring? The water level looks high and makes the falls look very impressive!
We visited Switzerland in May. It was the perfect time to see the water roaring at the Rhine Falls.
Such a beautiful area to visit on a sunny day. The fortress looks amazing and it also looks like you had it to yourselves as I didn’t see much other other people in your photos. Having lunch before the walk was definitely a good idea. 350 more stairs is quite a lot especially on an empty stomach.
It was a quiet day in May on our visit. Perfect to enjoy the spaces with no crowds.
Great photos! We also love visiting waterfalls whenever we travel thus, I truly enjoyed reading the part of your post about Rhine Falls. It is nice that there a lot benches to sit and watch. I can imagine myself staying there the whole afternoon enjoying nature at its finest.
We sure could have used more time at the Rhine Falls. Great to know how easy it will be to go back.
I so envy you for having visited Schaffhausen. I missed it when I visited Rhine falls. Watching it from the Rhine falls was a torture – especially since I knew I can’t manage the visit. It looks amazing from inside and that view of Munot Fortress is just gorgeous. Lovely pics at the Rhine. Cheers
We were glad we managed to squeeze both Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls into a day visit from Zurich.
Wow both are just amazing destinations. I now hope I had included it when we were in Zurich couple of years back. While we went in for a day out to Lucerne we overlooked this trip. Reason to go back again among many other reasons to go back to Switzerland. But God only knows when.
We missed Lucerne on our visit. But were glad we chose to spend a day at Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls. But as you say, so many other great spots to visit in Switzerland. One day …
I’d never heard of Schaffhausen before but what a quaint & beautiful town. As always your photos show it off at it’s best. Also I have to confess that I didn’t realise that Rhine Falls were the largest in Europe. They look spectacular. I love visiting waterfalls on my travels too so I’ll add both of these to my ever growing list of places to go in Europe. Thank you!
I am glad to have added a new spot for your visit to Switzerland. We were sure glad we took the time to visit for the day.
What a beautiful stopover! I love how the town of Schaffhausen has so many details with the statues and mosaics. I also didn’t realize that the Rhine had waterfalls (but it totally makes sense!). Heading to the fortress for an overall view was a smart choice, too. I’d love to head there next time I’m in Switzerland. So lovely!
I hope you do get to visit Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls if you visit Switzerland. A great day trip from a stay in Zurich.