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Basel to Schaffhausen Train: All You Need To Know

Last Updated on December 19, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Schaffhausen is a beautiful city in the northern part of Switzerland, near the German border. It is home to many landmarks, including the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall, the elegant timepieces of IWC, the alcohol-free wine Rimuss, and the prehistoric cave Kesslerloch. If you’re planning a trip from Basel to Schaffhausen by train, you’ll find all the info you need here.

Image of Schaffhausen by TouringSwitzerland.com

An impressive waterfall and a charming old town with colorful buildings await visitors in Schaffhausen. With that being said, seeing Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls is a popular activity for many visitors to Switzerland.

Logistical concerns come up inevitably. Particularly for those who want to travel by rail in Switzerland, there are several specifics concerning train travel. What is the best way to get from point A to point B? Does it offer scenic views? So on and so forth.

This article will answer all your questions about the train journey from Basel to Schaffhausen

Overview: Navigating Swiss Trains

You can start by visiting the SBB website: www.sbb.ch. Using the website, you can type in your departure and arrival destinations. It will then guide you to where and when you need to be. An app is also available for iOS and Android devices.

If you wish to pay half the fare for all your train rides in Switzerland, a Half Fare Discount Card (1-month validity) is available on www.sbb.ch. This allows you to travel for half the price on all SBB routes and most other railways during the duration of your discount card.

Using the Swiss Pass, you get unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat in Switzerland. Over 500 museums are also free or discounted, and there are free or discounted excursions to mountain summits.

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Getting tickets from RailEurope is convenient while traveling within Europe and/or visiting multiple countries. Having been in operation since the 1930s, RailEurope‘s extensive history, user-friendly website and mobile apps, flexible currency payment options, commitment to customer satisfaction, and strategic partnerships with leading rail operators, collectively establish it as a reliable and trustworthy platform for booking European train travel.

You can obtain from RailEurope the following travel passes:

  • Swiss Travel Pass – choose between continuous or flexible Swiss train passes for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days. The perks? unlimited use in over 90 Swiss cities, free admission to more than 500 museums, and discounts on mountain railways and cable cars. You also get discounts on high-speed Lyria trains between France and Switzerland as well as Nightjet trains that go through Switzerland. See RailEurope for more information.
  • Eurail Global Pass – unlimited train travel to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for non-EU residents
  • Interrail Global Pass – access to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for citizens and permanent residents of the EU

How To Get From Basel to Schaffhausen

Image of Basel Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

The fastest way to get from Basel to Schaffhausen is to go via Basel Bad Train Station. You may also go from Basel to Schaffhausen via Zurich Train Station but this will add 30 minutes to your journey.

How To Get From Basel EuroAirport to Schaffhausen

The fastest way to get from Basel to Schaffhausen is to go via Basel Bad Train Station.

Here are the following connections from Basel EuroAirport to Schaffhausen:

  1. From Basel EuroAirport, take Bus 50 to Basel.
  2. In Basel SBB Train Station, take the S6 train to Basel Bad Train Station.
  3. In Basel Bad Train Station, take the Interregio train (IRE3) to Schaffhausen.

How To Get From Basel Train Station to Schaffhausen

Image of Schaffhausen Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

Here are the following connections from Basel Train Station to Schaffhausen:

  1. In Basel SBB Train Station, take the S6 train to Basel Bad Train Station.
  2. In Basel Bad Train Station, take the Interregio train (IRE3) to Schaffhausen.

How To Get From Basel Train Station to Schaffhausen via Zurich

Zurich Train Station
Image of Zurich Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

In case you miss your train connection to Basel Bad or it is not available, you may also go via Zurich Train Station. However, this trip will add around 30 minutes more to your journey.

In case you want to go from Basel to Schaffhausen via Zurich, you may follow the steps below:

  1. In Basel SBB Train Station, take the direct train to Zurich.
  2. At Zurich Train Station, take the direct train to Schaffhausen. These are the direct trains from Zurich to Schaffhausen:
    • S9 to Schaffhausen
    • S12 to Schaffhausen
    • Intercity to Singen (Hohentwiel)
    • S24 to Thayngen
    • RE to Schaffhausen

How Long Is the Train Ride From Basel to Schaffhausen?

The following table shows the train ride duration from Basel to Schaffhausen and the other way around (updated December 2023):

RouteDuration (fastest)
Basel – Basel Bad – Schaffhausen1 hour 24 minutes
Basel – Zurich – Schaffhausen2 hours
Schaffhausen – Basel Bad – Basel1 hour 25 minutes
Schaffhausen – Zurich – Basel1 hour 56 minutes
Duration of the Train Ride between Basel and Schaffhausen

Is the Train From Basel to Schaffhausen Scenic?

Unfortunately, the Interregio train from Basel to Schaffhausen is not the most scenic train route. These are mostly commuter trains that will bring you from one city to another while passing by residential areas. If you would like to ride other scenic trains, we have listed a couple of examples below.

Other Scenic Trains

In case you would like to check out other scenic trains, then there are more scenic trains recommended below. These are the Golden Pass Linethe Glacier Expressand the Bernina Express. Another interesting train is the Historical Train that goes from Davos to Filisur.

Image of Bernina Express by TouringSwitzerland.com

Your other options in detail are the following:

  • Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. You would take a train from Zurich to Lucerne, then change to Interlaken. This is sometimes referred to as the east end of this route. The Golden Pass has panorama coaches and is scenic.
  • Glacier Express – Glacier Express is a long journey that starts from Zermatt, home of Matterhorn. It then traverses 291 bridges and 91 tunnels before stopping in St. Moritz. Both Zermatt and St. Moritz are beautiful mountain resorts worthy of a longer stay. The Glacier Express passes by several idyllic mountain villages.
  • Bernina Express – Bernina Express is another train route that begins in Chur. Chur is the oldest alpine city in Switzerland and is worth visiting. This train route spans 196 bridges. It goes through 55 tunnels and passes 20 beautiful villages in Switzerland. For you to go on this scenic train, you will have to go from Zurich to Chur first.
  • Historical Train Davos to Filisur – May through October, vintage carriages are pulled by the century-old crocodile locomotive from Davos Platz to Filisur. The train line covers a total length of 4,200 meters through 14 tunnels and 28 bridges. Its scenic highlights include the Wiesen Viaduct and the Zügen Gorge.

How Much Will the Train Ticket From Basel to Schaffhausen Cost?

If you stay on the Swiss train network, you can buy your tickets from SBB.ch. However, if you go via Basel Bad, you will have to buy your tickets separately from the Swiss and German train networks.

Here are the train ticket prices from Basel to Schaffhausen (updated December 2023):

RouteFull Fare Half Fare 
Basel – Zurich – Schaffhausen (SBB)CHF 51.00CHF 25.50
Basel EuroAirport – Basel – Zurich – Schaffhausen (SBB)CHF 57.60CHF 28.80
Basel (SBB) – Basel Bad
Basel Bad (Deutsche Bahn) – Schaffhausen
CHF 4.20
+ EUR 16,50
CHF 2.90
+ EUR 16,50

Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

No, there is no need to reserve a spot on the train. But you can always add this option if that is your wish.


Related Posts: Schaffhausen

Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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