Favorite thing: Many houses have inscriptions that display the old house name. In former times when there were no addresses in modern sense, these names helped to identify the individual houses. Many of these names have stayed the same since the middle ages.
A quick visit to the tourist information office can be useful. They will answer any questions you might have. Even if you don't have any questions, go in and grab the free maps from the table in the middle of the hall.
There is a sheet with a panoramic map of the old town which comes in a German and an English edition. It has a route for a walking tour of the old town with some explanations in the back.
Then there is a leporello with maps of Schaffhausen, Neuhausen and Stein, including the trails to the Rhine Falls and information about public transport in both languages.
The tourist office is located in Herrenacker by the theatre, in a large old townhouse in the western side of the square.
Finding your way is easy as everything is signposted. Signs for pedestrians/hikers and signs for cyclists are everywhere. All over town you'll also find boards with the map of the town centre. You have to try really hard to get lost.
Oriels are a typical feature of Schaffhausen's old town. Almost every house has one attached to the first floor, the beletage. Some display the owners' family crest, many have an inscription with the house's name .According to the dates that many have inscribed on them, most of them date from the baroque era (or later). The houses behind might be much older, but this addition seems to have been fashionable in the 18th century.
Fondest memory: A fine topic for a photo collection of details.
Simple benches, actually just rectangular boxes with high back and sides, have been put up in many spots in the old town. Each of them has been individually designbed and painted by artists and wannabe-artists. Some have just patterns but most have a theme. They are fun to look at and fun to sit on - yes feel free to use them.
Fondest memory: While other cities have painted animal figures that invade their centres, Schaffhausen has decided to pick something useful instead. These benches allowed people to live their creativity, they add colour to the town, AND they are perfectly fit to sit upon. There ae many of them all over town so you will for sure find an empty one if you need a place to rest.
Schaffhausen is located on the northern border of Switzerland and Germany, about halfway between Basel and the Austrian border. It is part of Canton Schaffhausen, and the nearest major city is likely Zurich to the south, about an hours drive. The city itself is about 5km south of the German border, and total travel time for us from Stuttgart was 1,5 hours at autobahn speeds (120-180km/hour).
You can expect a slight delay at the border, as Switzerland is not a member of the EU, so passage is not guarenteed between countries. You will have to stop for the border guards, however the guard we encountered did not ask for ID, just verified our purpose in entering, and asked where we would be going. He was excited to hear we came to visit Schaffhausen!
During our time at Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen, we noticed many Swiss flags, which have a very simple design. The red flag and white cross are very easily spotted on many buildings and houses.
The flag is actually one of the two soverign nation flags which are square. If you would like to hazard a guess at the other, please leave a comment on this page. Correct answers will be replied to... and others may try as many times as they like.
Wandering around the old town and look for obvious and hidden treasures. It can easily be done in a day trip from Zürich combined with the Rhine Fall to which you can either walk along the Rhine or take bus no. 1 or 6.
Fondest memory: I like the Munot castle a lot which houses some old weapons and in summer there are sometimes concerts or openair cinema on the open space on the top. Behinde the Munot there are some deer living in a pit.
walk around the Rheinfall! Make the way to Schloss Laufen and downstairs to the falls! The views are magnificient and you are right in between the water...it´s scary! I always thought that the water would rise and.....ok it never happened, but it´s really a lot of water above yourself!!!
Favorite thing: catch a glimpse of the thundering Rhine Falls. As I was mentioning earlier, the falls are indeed a spectacular sight: Did you know that even when the river is in (only) medium flow yet around 700 cubic meters of water tumble some 75 feet over the rocks every second, forming a curtain of foam 150 meters wide?? Impressed? Yeah, me too.... as I just realized this fact (when I referred to my brochure).
visit the spectacular waterfalls (the BIGGEST) in the whole of Europe - yes, the Rhein Falls. 3 million visitors (per year) can't be wrong. ;-)
Fondest memory: That's me at the Rhine Falls here in Schaffhausen.
Just walk trought the town, discover every corner, meet new people and catch the spirit of these beautyfull place, I hope to be there again soon.
Fondest memory: My friends in Mexico love this picture, i told them about the beautyfull work of fine painting in each house. I found houses made about 14th century and older. This building has a solar clock in his wall.
Favorite thing: Many of the buildings are themselves works of art, all you need to do is look up. This is a living art museum and it is FREE. This building was covered with drawings.