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How to visit the Rhine Falls from Zurich

In addition to the imposing Alps and the charm of the dense forests, did you know that Switzerland is home to the largest waterfalls in Europe? Yes, it is Rhine Falls and here is a complete guide to visit it from Zurich.

Carla Yaquer

Carla Yaquer

9 min read

How to visit the Rhine Falls from Zurich

Rhine Falls | ©Hindol Bhattacharya

Often only the Swiss Alps come to mind when talking about the Swiss country, however, there are other natural treasures not to be missed in its lands. Whether you travel to Zurich for 3 days or just one, be sure to include Rhine Falls, Europe's most famous waterfall.

A visit to Rhine Falls is one of the bestthings to do in Zurich. If you want to know the different alternatives available to see them on your own, by bus, train or private tours, here is the summary you need to know prices, duration and tips for your trip.

1. The best way to see Rhine Falls: An organized tour from Zurich

Excursion to the Rhine Falls| ©Albrecht Fietz
Excursion to the Rhine Falls| ©Albrecht Fietz

Rhine Falls, translated as Rhine Falls, offers a splendid spectacle to visitors and locals. Its 150 meters wide with a height of 23 meters make it the largest waterfall in Europe.

Throughout the year, numerous visitors are seduced by its charms. The visit cannot be missing on the list of things to do in Zurich in summer, as the best time to visit Rhine Falls is between July and August.

The best way to visit them are theorganized toursfrom Zurich, both for the convenience of getting there and for the presence of a guide.

2. Combined tour Rhine Falls, Titisee-Neustadt and Swiss Black Forest

Boat trip to the falls| ©Mike Knell
Boat trip to the falls| ©Mike Knell

This is a delightful excursion between Switzerland and Germany. After the group of up to 60 people gather on the banks of the Limago River, usually near the Provitreff Cultural Center, they board the coach for the drive to Rhine Falls.

Before seeing the largest waterfalls in the territory, you change countries, entering German lands to visit Titisee-Neustadt, the city of cuckoo clocks and a classic pastry: the Black Forest cake.

In Titisee-Neustadt you will find a variety of stores, factories and exhibition of cuckoo clocks, the flagship product of the area, plus a wide range of restaurants where to eat (do not forget to try the authentic Black Forest cake, this is its land of origin).

After a couple of hours getting to know Titisee-Neustadt, it's back on the bus to head for Rhine Falls. The falls are a visual spectacle and you can see them from the different platforms arranged on both sides of the waterfall or, if you prefer, you can sign up for the Rhine Falls boat ride for an additional supplement.

  • Price: From 86 €.
  • Duration: 7 hours.
  • What the tour may include: Round trip transportation by luxury coach from a central point in Zurich to Rhine Falls. Professional guide service in English. Entrance to the Drubba watch showroom. Entrance fee and boat ride at the Rhine Falls.
  • Means of transportation: Coach or minibus.
  • Pros: The coach tour is comfortable, the stop at Titisee-Neustadt is perfect for stretching your legs and visitors are given the flexibility to explore these areas on their own, you can even take a boat ride.
  • Cons: The total time by coach is 3 hours (1.5 hours each way).

Book a tour to Rhine Falls from Zurich

3. Combined tour Rhine Falls & Schaffhausen

Laufen Castle in Schaffhausen| ©André Karwath
Laufen Castle in Schaffhausen| ©André Karwath

This is the ideal combination of sightseeing tours from Zurich that include the largest waterfall in Europe.

The small and beautiful town of Schaffhausen is located 10 minutes from Rhine Falls. The town center has retained its medieval village appearance.

I recommend walking around the Museum zu Allerheiligen Schaffhausen or Museum of All Saints, through the circular wall of Munot and climb a circular path to reach the Laufen Castle, where you will find a nice view of the Rhine Falls.

In the streets of Schaffhausen you will find the Swiss spirit. The excursion includes the commented walk, perfect to learn about Swiss culture and history with the sound of the Rhine Falls in the background.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 60 €.
  • Duration: 4 hours.
  • What the tour may include: Transportation to and from Zurich. Visit and guided tour of Schaffhausen. Entrance to the Rhine Falls, boat ride over the falls.
  • Means of transportation: Coach.
  • Pros: The tour allows you to experience the authentic atmosphere of Switzerland from the heart of a single village, Schaffhausen.
  • Cons: The tour is fast and is recommended if you are going for express city tours or expect to spend free time around.

4. Combined tour to Rhine Falls with tour of Zurich

St Peterskirche Church and Cathedral on the river Limmat| ©Russ Bowling
St Peterskirche Church and Cathedral on the river Limmat| ©Russ Bowling

For those interested in getting an overview of the Alpine country, this is one of the most recommended day trips to discover Switzerland from Zurich thanks to the comfort and varied route it offers.


The tour begins after meeting around Sihlquai to board a luxury coach that takes you straight to the Rhine Falls. Lean out of the window to enjoy the view, while the guide describes the areas of the tour.

As soon as you get off the bus you will be able to hear the Rhine Falls in the background. The sound is colossal, 600m3 of water shaking this alpine village and the views do not leave visitors indifferent.

Be sure to climb up to the observation platforms to take your best pictures. If you want to get even closer, enjoy a boat ride and cross the waterfalls.


After this stop, return to the coach to go to Sihlquai just to have lunch in the surroundings while waiting for the second part of the excursion, the city tour of Zurich.

This tour includes a walk through the old town Limmat, the St. Peterskirche or St. Peter's Church and its iconic clock with the largest clock face in Europe.

The itinerary, which will allow you to see the best of Zurich in one afternoon, passes by other monuments, such as the Fraumünster Church decorated with stained glass windows by Marc Chagall, the National Museum, the sophisticated shopping street Bahnhofstrasse, as well as the school where Albert Einstein taught.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 85 €.
  • Duration: 7 hours.
  • What the tour may include: Shuttle service to and from Zurich. Entrance and guided visit to the Rhine Falls. Tour of Zurich and walk through the emblematic sites of the city.
  • Means of transportation: Coach.
  • Pros: The city tour complements the visit to Rhine Falls. With this tour you can appreciate the old part of Zurich, some medieval villages, museums and alpine landscapes while an expert guide shares curiosities of the city.
  • Cons: Only available in German and English.

Book a guided tour of Zurich

5. How to get by car to Rhine Falls from Zurich

Detail of the Rhine Falls| ©Hindol Bhattacharya
Detail of the Rhine Falls| ©Hindol Bhattacharya

This way of traveling will allow you to move at your leisure and get the most out of your trip. If you don't have your own car, you can always rent one from one of the various companies at Zurich airport, such as Sixt, where you can rent a car from 37 € per day.

In any case it is a nice adventure, although not too necessary because in Zurich the public transport service is excellent.

If you are still determined to drive to the Rhine Falls in your car, you should take Neumühle Quai and Wasserwerkstrasse to A1L in Kreis 6. Then connect with A1/A4 and E41 to Dorfstrasse in Laufen-Uhwiesen, exit at 7-Uhwiesen from A4/E41 and finally take Lauferstrasse to your destination.

Following your GPS route you will reach your destination in less than 40 minutes (please note that traffic may vary and you will encounter a couple of tolls on the way).

6. How to get by bus to Rhine Falls from Zurich

Rocks at Rhine Falls| ©T T
Rocks at Rhine Falls| ©T T

Bus travel is a good option to travel from Zurich to Rhine Falls, as it only takes a little longer than trains and costs much less. From 2 € you will be able to buy a ticket for the bus, so it is the cheapest option.

The main transport company is Verkehrsbetriebe Schaffhausen, which has departures every 10 minutes with lines 1, 7, 21 and N4 to Schaffhausen, the medieval town on the German border.

The buses are comfortable and air-conditioned. They depart from Sihlquai station (Zürich HB). It is between 66 and 75 minutes for this stretch, once there, you need to change buses.

Several lines take you to Neuhausen Zentrum, including bus numbers 1, 6 and 12, although if you take bus 10 from Schaffhausen train station it will take you directly to the falls at the Rheinfall stop.

From Schaffhausen to Neuhausen is only 7 minutes and drops you off in the center of town. From there it is only a 400 meter walk to see the falls.

Book a tour to Rhine Falls from Zurich

7. How to get by train to Rhine Falls from Zurich

Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall Station| ©Chris j wood
Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall Station| ©Chris j wood

This is the most practical way to travel to the Rhine Falls from Zurich. The price, time, comfort and speed of this trip make it the best alternative.

To get to the falls you must go to any of the Swiss Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS) stations, such as Hauptbahnhof, Oerlikon, Winterthur or Zurich HB, from where the best scenic trains also depart.

You must take a train to Schaffhausen, where you must transfer and get on another train to Neuhausen am Rheinfall or Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall. The difference between them is the side of the Rhine River where you are dropped off.

Once you get off the train, the falls are a mere 10 minutes away. If you plan to take a boat ride, choose a train going to Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall station, as the boarding is just a short walk away.

The Rhine Falls are just an hour from Zurich if you travel by train and the ticket price is around 19 €.

Book a scenic train excursion from Zurich

8. Other means of transportation from Rhine Falls from Zurich

Boats touring the waterfalls| ©Roland zh
Boats touring the waterfalls| ©Roland zh

Limousines, conventional cabs, luxury minivans... are some of the means of transportation used as a private alternative to travel from Zurich to the Rhine Falls.

For this distance of approximately 50 kilometers, cab fares start at 230 €, which makes this the most expensive option.

This alternative does not seem to me the most convenient, however, for special events it may sound attractive, here are the pages of three companies:

Comparison of excursions to Rhine Falls

  • Combined tour Rhine Falls, Titisee-Neustadt and its Swiss Black Forest
  • From: 86 €.
  • Duration:7 hours.
  • Combined tour Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen
  • From: 60 €.
  • Duration:4 hours.
  • Combined excursion Rhine Falls and Zurich sightseeing tour
  • From: 85 €.
  • Duration: 7 hours.

Comparison of transport to Rhine Falls from Zurich

  • By car
  • From: 37 €.
  • Duration: 40 minutes.
  • By bus
  • From:2 €.
  • Duration: 66 - 75 minutes.
  • By train
  • From: 19 €.
  • Duration: 48 - 62 minutes.
  • By cab
  • From: 230 €.
  • Duration: 40 minutes.

Tips for exploring Rhine Falls from Zurich

View of the Rhine Falls| ©Roland zh
View of the Rhine Falls| ©Roland zh
  • Boat rides over the falls are available between April and October. However, July and August are the best months to enjoy the waterfall. If you are looking for a good view, go up to the central platform any time of the year. I assure you that you will be impressed.
  • Continuing with the boats, they have limited capacity, so the ideal is to make a reservation in advance or hire the service directly with the chosen tour to not miss the experience of sailing the Rhine Falls.
  • Between November and March, the trail leading to Laufen Castle with the falls in the background remains open. Only boating activities are excluded, so you can still enjoy these beautiful views.
  • If you are traveling by bus, be aware that many buses do not have ticket vending machines, so you will not be able to board them. It is best to secure your seat by purchasing your ticket at the Zürich HB terminal or the one closest to your stay in advance.