Rhine Falls, known as Europe’s biggest waterfall, is a breathtaking natural wonder located in Switzerland, and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. This article discusses how to get from Zurich to Rhine Falls.
Rhine Falls are located in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, near the city of Schaffhausen on the Rhine River. These waterfalls are the largest in Europe, measuring approximately 150 meters wide by 23 meters high. Rhine Falls is surrounded by thundering waters, lush forests, rocky cliffs, and a picturesque castle.
It is inevitable that logistical concerns will arise. Those who wish to travel by train in Switzerland need to know several specifics before doing so. In this article, we will explore the train journey between Zurich and Rhine Falls.
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.
Getting tickets from RailEurope is a convenient option if you’re 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 Zurich to Rhine Falls
There are several ways to get to Rhine Falls, be it by train, car, boat, bicycle, or even walking. It is a breathtaking natural attraction that is easily accessible due to its location.
Parking is available near the falls, and a train station in Neuhausen am Rheinfall provides easy access by public transportation. While there, you can also take a boat tour to enjoy a unique view of the falls from the water.
1. How to Get from Zurich to Rhine Falls By Train
Three train stations are located near Rhine Falls: Neuhausen Rheinfall, Neuhausen Bad Bahnhof, and Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall.
I recommend coming through the Neuhausen Rheinfall train stop which is at the northern river bank since it is the nearest stop to Rhine Falls. To get from Zurich to Neuhausen Rheinfall, you will need to take the S9 train to Schaffhausen. You can get off at Neuhausen Rheinfall stop after 50 minutes of travel time.
Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall is at the southern river bank. To get from Zurich to Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall, you will need to take the S12 train to Schaffhausen. You can get off at Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall stop after 50 minutes of travel time.
Coming from Zurich, there is no reason for you to use Neuhausen Bad Bahnof since you will have to change either your train in Schaffhausen or Neuhausen Rheinfall anyway.
|Train from Zurich
|Distance to Rhine Falls
|S9 (Direction: Schaffhausen)
|Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall
|S12 (Direction: Schaffhausen)
|Neuhausen Bad Bahnhof
2. How to Get from Zurich to Rhine Falls By Car
You can get from Zurich to Rhine Falls by car via the A4 motorway in the direction of Schaffhausen.
There are parking spots in both the northern (near Schlössli Worth) and southern banks (Laufen Castle) of Rhine Falls. Both parking lots have parking fees of CHF 5.- for up to 1 hour, and CHF 2.- for each additional hour. Parking lots are open 365 days a year around the clock.
|Schlössli Worth Parking Lot (North)
8212 Neuhausen am Rheinfall
Parking P1 to P4
|Laufen Castle Parking Lot (South)
|Areal Schloss Laufen
Parking P5 to P6
3. How to Get Zurich to Rhine Falls By Boat
There is no direct boat ride from Zurich to Rhine Falls. To get to Rhine Falls by boat, you will have to take go via Schaffhausen.
- Take the train from Zurich to Schaffhausen.
- In Schaffhausen, take the bus to Schaffhausen, Buchthalen (Bus 6) and get off at the Schaffhausen, Schifflände bus stop.
- Alternatively, you could also walk from Schaffhausen train station to the Schifflände Ferry Terminal (15 minutes).
- From the Schifflände Ferry Terminal, you can ride the boat to Rhine Falls with the Rhyfall Express.
The Rhyfall Express boat makes several stops starting from Schifflände: Münster, Herrenacker, Flurlingen, and Rhyality, before finally arriving at Rhine Falls.
You can check out Rhyfall Express for more details: https://rhyfall-express.ch/.
Boat Trips around Rhine Falls
Visitors to Rhine Falls can take a boat trip to experience the waterfall up close. The boats depart from various points near Schlössli Worth and take passengers either near the middle of the waterfalls or to the rock in the middle of the falls. The boat ride is a thrilling (if somewhat wet) experience. Passengers can feel the forceful power of Rhine Falls as the water crashes around them.
Here is an overview of the boat trips around Rhine Falls:
|Boat Ride Duration
|Boat Ride Description
|30 minutes total, including 20 minutes on the rock
|The boat ride goes to the rock in the middle of the waterfalls. Visitors can stay for 20 minutes on the rock before the boat fetches them again.
|The 3-minute boat ride connects the river’s north and south banks.
|The 30-minute boat ride until Badi Dachsen Bachdelle. It is only available when the water temperature is 20 degrees or warmer.
|The 30-minute boat ride cruises until Rheinau Kraftwerk.
|The 15-minute boat ride around Rhine Falls departs every 12 minutes.
|The 30-minute boat ride with an audio guide departs once per hour. Audio guide languages are German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, and more.
If you’re considering booking a boat ride, you have another convenient option available. You can also book it via GetYourGuide, and the best part is that it costs the same. If you’re interested, you can easily secure your booking by clicking here – Neuhausen am Rheinfall: 30-Minute Rhine Falls Boat Tour.
How Long Does the Train From Zurich to Rhine Falls Take?
The following table shows the train ride duration from Zurich to Rhine Falls and the other way around (updated December 2023):
|Zurich – Neuhausen Rheinfall
|Zurich – Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall
|Neuhausen Rheinfall – Zurich
|Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall – Zurich
Is the Train From Zurich to Rhine Falls Scenic?
Unfortunately, the Interregio train from Zurich to Rhine Falls is not the most scenic train route. It runs through the residential areas around Zurich and Winterthur, through farmlands before reaching Rhine Falls.
Nonetheless, the journey is still beautiful. In the grand scheme of things, however, it is still not the most scenic train route.
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 Line, the Glacier Express, and the Bernina Express. Another interesting train is the Historical Train that goes from Davos to Filisur.
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. 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 definitely 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 Zurich to Rhine Falls Cost?
Here are the train ticket prices from Zurich to Rhine Falls (updated December 2023):
|Full Fare (CHF)
|Half Fare (CHF)
|Zurich – Neuhausen Rheinfall
|Zurich – Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall
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.
Am I allowed to travel from Zurich to Rhine Falls?
Yes, Rhine Falls is currently open to visitors. There are no restrictions.
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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.