Schaffhausen The Rhine Falls, the Castle Villa (Schlossvilla) and foodie hotspots

There are plenty of activities along the Rhine and tasty food hotspots for youth hostel guests to enjoy in Schaffhausen. Christina has put the youth hostel and the region through its paces for you.

It’s another hot summer’s day and how lucky I am to be in Schaffhausen. The Rhine flows through the centre of the city and has a welcome cooling effect everywhere. Schaffhausen has much more to offer than just the world-famous river. The handball team regularly wins Swiss championships and there are numerous foodie hotspots.

Welcome to the city at the Rhine Falls. ©Christina

I visited Schaffhausen Youth Hostel privately back in the autumn. This time I’m here to experience a perfect summer’s day. The Schaffhausen Youth Hostel is open from March to October and its high season is in summer. I’ve heard many times from my friend who lives there that Schaffhausen is particularly beautiful during the warmer months. She is going to show me the city and its many virtues. I hope she’ll also give me an insider tip or two.

In Schaffhausen you sleep like a princess in a little castle. ©Christina

Sirko, the hostel manager and a native of Germany, also raves about Schaffhausen. He tells me that the first written recording of the Castle Villa, where youth hostel guests stay, was way back in 1492. Before the Castle Villa became a youth hostel, it was owned by the Sturzenegger family and the famous writer Hermann Hesse. The property was bequeathed to the city with the agreement that it would be turned into something that would provide social benefits. Now travellers from near and far can experience this special youth hostel and use the beautiful garden to enjoy fun and games. I enjoy my breakfast in the garden and relax on one of the wooden loungers in the shade of the trees. Another great plus point of this youth hostel is that you can reach the town centre in about 15 minutes on foot.

Hostel manager Sirko and his team are looking forward to your visit. ©Christina

A short relaxation before heading to the Rhine Falls. ©Christina

The Rhybadi historic river baths, Rhine Falls and a Swiss champion

My friend, who lives in Schaffhausen, takes me under her wing. As I am complaining about the heat, she takes me straight to the Rhybadi historic river baths. The baths are located in the heart of the city and have been created in the traditional bathing style. I really like the pool and you can float about in the river and then climb back onto the platform to sunbathe. And naturally, there is also a snack shop. The Rhybadi is ideal if you want to relax for longer. Another option is to simply walk from Schaffhausen to Germany in your swimwear and head for the water just before the “Büsingen” sign. Please note that you should pay attention to the signs marked “Aussteigen” that show you the best spots to get out beforehand so you don’t miss them. The Rhine currents can quickly become stronger. Swimming to the Rhine Falls would be a very bad idea. It’s best to get there on foot or by boat or train.

Cooling down please! ©Christina

No, you didn’t misread that: You can actually take the train to Schaffhausen and get a spectacular view of the Rhine Falls. I walk from the town centre to the Rhine Falls and buy a ticket at Laufen Castle (Schloss Laufen) to experience the Rhine Falls at close quarters. The deluges of water are gigantic and I am fascinated by its power. I don’t test out the boats – but it’s certainly an adventurous undertaking, as they go right up to the rock formations where the passengers then disembark. The view from this height can only be good – that much is certain.

The largest waterfall in Europe – definitely a must see. ©Christina

More or less by chance I end up at a handball match later in the evening. The teams are fighting to win the Swiss championship title. I’m sitting in a sports hall with 3,000 people, most of them dressed in orange, cheering on the “Kadetten Schaffhausen” team, which on this evening in June 2023 ends up winning the Swiss championship title for the twelfth time.

Well-deserved drink after this great day. ©Christina

3 top foodie tips: Crêpes, burgers and the best ice cream ever

You can rely on my friend from Schaffhausen when it comes to good food. Since I only booked my room at the youth hostel with breakfast, I feast my way through Schaffhausen. A big highlight for me is the Barkada Burger Bar. The restaurant is located in the heart of the city and has only been open for a few years. However, the burger is already being promoted there as one of the best burgers in Switzerland. I love the vegetarian option and highly recommend a visit, especially if you’re feeling very hungry.

Fine burgers for refreshment. ©Christina

Another great place to eat is Lunas Crêpes. It’s ideal for lunch. We drift from the German border to the crêpe stand on the Rhine and fortify ourselves with the “house cheese mix” crêpe. It’s really delicious. Finally, we indulge in an ice cream at El Bertin. I’m lucky, because apparently it’s normal to queue for up to 45 minutes on hot summer days until you get hold of your chosen ice cream. The flavours are unusual – I could have ordered at least six different flavours. Thankfully, I’m sure I’ll be eating an ice cream in Schaffhausen at a future date.

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