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Waterfalls in Switzerland

Updated: Apr 6

Switzerland is one of those countries that is full of wonder. One of the most gorgeous natural elements of the country are its waterfalls. Listed below, we highlight some of the waterfalls we believe are worth a visit!


If you would prefer to listen to this information, please listen to Holidays to Switzerland podcast episode 95.


Tips before starting your waterfall adventure:

  • View forecasts, webcams, snow levels, anticipated precipitation for the areas in which you plan to visit, especially if you are hiking/exploring.

  • We don’t recommend hiking in poor weather conditions!

  • Check weather forecasts and impending rain showers/storms via webcams, in the area you plan to visit.

  • Hiking season in the Alps depends on snow levels, weather and elevation!

  • Typically, hiking season in the Alps is late June through September, but that truly varies depending on the season, and snow levels.

  • Hiking is possible year round at lower (below 800m) elevations, also depending on the weather and snow levels. Though, snow levels are changing drastically these days.


Be Prepared - What to bring for waterfall visits:

  • A well-stocked backpack with: food and plenty of water, especially in the summer months.

  • A rain jacket, sunglasses, hat, fleece, sun protection.

  • Always wear hiking boots with good tread!

  • A well stocked first aid kit with any and all medications you may need for your trip.

  • Cellphone and charger

 

Note on Strollers:

In general, pushing a child in a stroller/pram to or near waterfalls is NEVER a good idea. Bring children that are old enough to walk and navigate trails with ease.



1) Lauterbrunnen - Valley of Waterfalls

Trümmelbach Falls

  • Known as Europe’s largest underground waterfalls

  • Must be accessed by an elevator underground

  • According to myswitzerland.com, the water of these falls are fueled by the glaciers in the area and pump an astounding 20,000 liters of water per second. It is incredible to witness and hear the power of these subterranean falls.

  • This area is rich with valleys, waterfalls and of course, Trümmelbach Falls.

  • Please be respectful of the local residents who reside in the area.



Trümmelbach Falls - Good to Know

  • Children under four years of age are not allowed for safety reasons

  • Dogs are not permitted

  • This is an outdoor experience, so dress appropriately with good hiking boots and layers. It can be cold!

  • Opening Times: Depends on weather and the conditions of the falls. Always check in advance.

  • Normally: April through November 09:00 – 17:00

  • July through August 08:30 – 18:00

  • There is a fee to access the falls (chf 14 adults and chf 6 for children)

  • There is a small kiosk for snacks food and drinks onsite.

  • There are stairs to navigate at the falls. Use caution!

 

Tips:

  • Lauterbrunnen is the ideal valley for a picnic lunch in a shady spot.

  • Claustrophobic? This may not be your best option, due to the small elevator.

  • More information can be found here.



2) Rhine Falls - "Europe's largest waterfall"



Hike: Many options in the area

Best Time to Visit: April through November Technically accessible 365 days of the year.

To have a remarkable experience, consider a boat ride in the area. There is also a brunch boat trip, which is sure to impress.


Tips:

  • The falls are at their prime in July/August when the water is at its highest level.

  • There is an adventure par at Rheinfall for families with children aged four and older.

  • If you are looking to combine this visit with a lovely hike, including through the old town, we profile all of the details in our first book!




3) Engstligen Falls

  • 600 meters long – the falls have been protected since 1948

  • Ranked as the 2nd longest waterfall in all of Switzerland

  • Absolutely beautiful area. Worthy of an overnight.

  • If you do not want to walk far or hike down, from the bottom lift station, there is a walk to the lower falls that is just under 1 km.



Hike: Downhill – poles, hiking boots with good tread, rain jacket are all advised.

Level: Moderate to Difficult (depending on fitness level and hiking experience)

 

Engstligenalp: An Oasis of Calm!

Once at the top, take the time to explore the area. The region is located at 2,000 m and is a plateau where cows graze in the summer months. With alpine huts, and theme trails, the area is worth a visit. If traveling with children, the Globi Theme trail is fabulous and if you are a bouldering enthusiast, the area has lots of bouldering rocks for use. For more details, click here.




4) Reichenbach Falls - Meiringen

This waterfall is 110 meters high and the location has become famous for the story of Sherlock Holmes duelling to the death with Professor Moriarty in the book The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The book was printed in 1893. There is a plaque at the falls commemorating this famous event.

 

Access:

If arriving by car, parking is limited at the base of the Reichenbachfall-Bahn. A parking lot is located within a 5-10 minute walk from the Bahn located at Alpach, Meiringen.



The Reichenbachfallbahn was built in 1899. Cost is chf 8.00 adults, chf 6.00 children and discounts for Gästerkarte Haslital, Berner Oberland Pass *Prices may be subject to change, check here.


Hike 2.5 km down from the falls or simply take the funicular down the mountain. Wear proper hiking boots and hiking poles may be helpful! There are gradual descents with some steep sections – area that passes below the falls, keep children close! You must climb stairs in the beginning of the hike.

At the base of the hike, you will be walking on a road. Please uses caution!


*If you visit the falls without a hike down the mountain, it is a relatively short journey.

Best time to Visit: Accessible May through the beginning of October – reason – the falls typically do not have water during the winter months.


Tips:

  • There are steps to navigate.

  • Not stroller - friendly.

  • There are combined tickets available for purchase for both the Reichenbachfall – Bahn and the Sherlock Holmes Museum or the Reichenbach Fall and Aare Gorge

  • For Sherlock Holmes fans, there is a Sherlock Holmes Museum located in Meiringen.


Listen

Details regarding Swiss waterfalls can also be heard on the Holidays to Switzerland podcast episode 95. When you listen, you will hear a bonus (5th) recommendation!


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