Schaffhausen is the capital of the Swiss canton of the same name and the northernmost city of the confederation. Despite the small size of watches, chocolate and cheese even by the standards of the country, tourists are actively coming here. Of course, the vast majority of them do this for one reason – the famous Rhine Falls are located nearby. But Schaffhausen is worth staying at least for a couple of days. Cozy quarters of merchant houses, idyllic narrow streets ideal for leisurely strolls, discreet chic – this traditional Swiss urban landscape is diluted exclusively with local “chips”.
How to get to Schaffhausen
The closest airports to Schaffhausen are in Zürich, Frankfurt and Munich. All these cities have direct flights from Moscow and are all connected to Schaffhausen by rail (trains leave directly from the airport). The nearest airport to Schaffhausen is Zurich Airport: 40 minutes by train.
Public transport is represented by buses, trolleybuses and S-Bahn (city trains). The ticket is also valid for S-Bahn trains going to the Rhine Falls (journey time from the main railway station – 3 minutes.) The fare depends on the number of zones crossed. The largest bike rental stations in Schaffhausen are to the left of the train station and at Fronwagplatz in the Old Town.
Despite its small size, there are no problems with housing in Schaffhausen. Most accommodation options are apartments. A night in a fully equipped apartment in the city center will cost 100-120 CHF. More expensive hotels – about 150 CHF for a double room in a 3 * hotel. A relatively economical option is a bed in a hostel for 30 CHF per day.
Since the city is located on the border with Germany, it is possible to book accommodation in the nearest German towns, for example, Jestetten or Lotstetten. Hotels here cost around 50 EUR, and Schaffhausen can be reached by train in just 5-10 minutes.
Cafes and restaurants
Almost all cafes and restaurants in Schaffhausen specialize in Swiss cuisine, although there are a couple of Italian and French establishments. But the heaviness of traditional meat and potato dishes is balanced by delicious local wine – there are many vineyards around. As elsewhere in Switzerland, prices bite. Soup with chicken hearts costs 10 CHF, a salad of farm vegetables – 15 CHF, hot dishes like “reshti” – from 20 CHF. Thrifty travelers will be helped out by supermarket food courts. In the local chains Coop or Migros, you can have a good lunch for 10 CHF per person without alcohol. A sausage bought on the street with a side dish of french fries will cost 5-7 CHF. Life hack: picturesque fountains are scattered throughout the city, the water from which you can drink.
Attractions in Schaffhausen
The main feature of Schaffhausen is houses with painted facades. The most famous are “At the Knight” of the 16th century depicting the virtues of a person, “At the Big Cage” with scenes of the capture of Sultan Bayazet by Tamerlane, “At the Golden Bull”. Bay windows are considered another highlight of the city – there are more than 170 of them. And these are not banal balconies, but real works of art with many forged elements, sculptures and other decorations. All this beauty is located in the Old City. It is completely pedestrian and explored in 40 minutes. The monastery of All Saints, founded in 1049, is also located here. It was closed during the Reformation, and all the buildings became municipal property. Today, the ancient walls house one of the largest museums in Switzerland – Allerheiligen (Museum zu Allerheiligen) with an exposition dedicated to the culture and history of the north of the country.CHF 15 for adults and CHF 10 for students and pensioners.
Another symbol of Schaffhausen is the Muno fortress, built at the end of the 16th century in accordance with the plan of the famous artist Albrecht Dürer. He argued that circular fortifications are considered the most impregnable, since a round castle allows you to effectively defend yourself and successfully resist the enemy’s advance from all sides. The fortress honestly performed this task for two centuries, falling only once – under the onslaught of the French in 1799. A few years later, it lost its significance and began to collapse. Today, the fortress has been restored and is available for viewing to everyone – its battlements offer a picturesque view of the surroundings. Like centuries ago, every day at 21:00, the guard rings the bell – a signal that the city gates and inns should be closed.
You can take a break from walking around the ancient city in the Freizeitpark. On its territory there are several outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a volleyball court, and restaurants. The park is open all year round until 21:00. It is especially crowded here in summer. A 1-day ticket costs CHF 30 for adults and CHF 27 for children 6-16 years old.
According to BRIDGAT.COM, the best time to visit Schaffhausen is June. It is at the beginning of summer that the Rhine Falls demonstrate their greatest power, and the weather is very comfortable. However, you can safely come here in May or September: there are few tourists, and the days are as warm as in summer.