fun things to do with kids in northeast switzerland   Travel for Kids

Northeast Switzerland

  Schaffhausen – Schaffhausen is a beautifully preserved medieval town along the Rhine River. The town prospered by providing land transportation for goods traveling down the river (getting around the Rhine Falls nearby), as well as trade in salt and grain from Germany. Wealthy merchants decorated their fancy townhouses with colorful frescoes during the Renaissance. After times of unrest, Munot castle was built on a hill above the town to guard Schaffhausen and the river beyond.
      Tip: Before starting out, pick up a detailed free map of Schaffhausen at the tourist office on Herrenacker plaza.
      Explore the old city (Altstadt) – Start your explorations at Fronwagplatz, site of medieval marketplace – there are still weekly markets today. Look up at the the Fronwagturm, a tower with an astronomical clock that shows the hours, days of the week, seasons, positions of the sun and moon.
      Walk north up the street, passing by the "Moor" fountain, a figure of Kaspar, one of the three kings, holding at golden goblet and shield. Further down the street (which is now Vorstadt), stop to look at the Golden Ox House (Haus Zum Goldenen Ochsen) – you can't miss it, there's a large yellow ox fresco on the facade, plus figures from ancient Greece, and a beautifully decorated bay window.
William Tell fountain
    Continue walking down the street to the stone tower, Schwabentor, a 14th century gate to the city (restrooms in the tower). Retrace your steps, walking back up Vorstadt two blocks, then turn left on Karstgasse into the square (Platz) with a fountain. Continue walking more or less straight through two narrow streets, to Vordergasse. Turn left, taking a look at the Zum Ritter house on the right side of the street. Further down the street is a fountain of William Tell, looking very confident and holding his crossbow.
      At the fountain, turn left at the little street, Brunnergasse, left on Ampelngasse, and you'll see a pedestrian walkway over the Bachstrasse. This is the walkway (Munothaldenweg) to Munot castle.
      After you've visited the castle, exit out of the tower, walk down the hill through the vineyards, head over to the 12th century Romanesque cathedral, Munster zu Allerheilegn, with a lovely church tower. From the Munsterplatz, walk up Beckenstube to the wide open Herrenacker plaza, turn right, and you're back at the Fronwagplatz, where you started.
      Munot castle – Walk the Munothaldenweg up the hill to the castle, turning right on the bridge over the deep moat. Look down to see deer grazing down below in the deer park.
      When you enter the castle, it's a dark, cavernous space where you can see the massive columns that support the fortress above. Take the cobblestone walkway that goes round and round to ascend the tower. From the top of the wide round keep are spectacular views of the old city below and Rhine River.
Rhine Falls
  Rhine Falls (Rheinfall) – The Rhine Falls are the largest waterfall in Europe, and just a short distance from Schaffhausen.
    Boat trip to the falls – Your best bet is to take a 20 minute cruise to the rock island in the middle of the falls, (you get out and climb up to viewing platform on top of the rock), or a loop cruise that goes close to the cataract and around the Rhine Falls basin. (Plan on getting wet, feels good on a summer day.) Both rides leave from Schossli Worth, on the north side of the Rhine River, below the falls. April to October.
      Schloss Laufen – On the south side of the river, from Schloss Laufen, follow the Belvedere Trail down to the falls, to a viewing platform right next to the roaring falls, or ride the glass panoramic elevator. Next to the restaurant is a children's playground, with climbing structures, bouncy things, and sand play area.
      Tip: To get from one side of the river to the other, there's a pedestrian bridge (Rheinfallweg) next to Schloss Laufen.
      Adventure Park (Neuhausen am Rheinfall) – Adventure rope course for kids, where kids can ride on zip lines through the forest canopy and cross all kinds of tricky bridges. Two courses for younger kids (ages 4 -7), beginners course for kids 8 and up. Instructors are on hand and everyone wears a safety harness. April to October.
      Rhyfall Express – During the summer months, ride the cute little tram that goes between the Parkplatz Burgunwiese (parking lot) in Neuhausen and the Rhine Falls. Daily June to August, on Sundays April to June, and September to October.
travel for kids | switzerland | northeast switzerland
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