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10 waterfalls you have to visit in Switzerland

As well as gorgeous rivers and lakes, Switzerland is home to impressive waterfalls. Here are 10 that you should check out.

10 waterfalls you have to visit in Switzerland
The Rhine Falls in Switzerland. Photo: Pfüderi/Pixabay

One thing that Switzerland is well known for across the globe is its stunning scenery.  And when it comes to waterfalls, this small country does not disappoint. 

Whether out hiking or on a boat tour, you should keep an eye out for these amazing natural wonders. 

We’ve compiled some of the most beautiful across the country. 

Rhine Falls

Europe’s largest waterfall, with a width of 150 meters, is located in Schaffhausen, near the German border. This tourist attraction can be seen close up on a boat tour where you can get to the large rock that stands in the middle of the Rhine Falls. You can also get to the castles of Laufen and Wörth by boat.

Saut du Doubs

The Doubs River forms a 27-meter-high waterfall in the canton of Neuchâtel, making the romantic riverside landscape look even more picturesque. The Saut du Doubs, as it is called, is located on the border of Switzerland and France. This waterfall can also be seen at close range on boat trips on the Lac de Brenets.

Saut du Doubs.

Saut du Doubs. Photo by Anthony Rosset on Unsplash

Staubbach Falls

With a height of 297 meters, the Staubbach Falls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, which has numerous waterfalls to offer, is a breathtaking natural beauty, and the third highest waterfall in Switzerland.

The word “Staub” in German translates to dust. The name is inspired by the way the droplets of water spray out in all directions in the wind during the summer months. 

In 1779, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is said to have been inspired by the scenery to write his “Gesang der Geister über den Wassern” (Song of the Spirits above the Waters).

Giessbach Falls

If you want to take a look at the world-famous Giessbach Falls in the Bernese Oberland, which are more than 400 meters high, you can walk along an adventurous hiking trail. 

The fairytale Grandhotel Giessbach also offers views of the waterfall. Europe’s oldest funicular railroad has been there since 1879 and still carries tourists from Lake Brienz to the Grandhotel.

READ ALSO: Secret places to visit in Switzerland you didn’t know existed

Trümmelbach Falls

The Trümmelbach Falls are the largest underground waterfalls in Europe, located, like so many, in the Lauterbrunnen Valley of Bern. The water disappears loudly and foaming inside the mountain, making it a spectacular site. Moreover, they are included in the Swiss Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments of National Importance as well as the Unesco World Heritage List.

A tunnel lift allows you to reach the 10 glacial waterfalls of the Trümmelbach Falls, which thunder 140 meters into the depths. Depending on the weather, they are accessible from April to November.

Reichenbach Falls

The Reichenbach Falls consists of a waterfall cascade of seven steps on the Rychenbach stream in the Bernese Oberland region. This destination is known across the world thanks to the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. At this waterfall he had his legendary character Sherlock Holmes stage his death in the battle against Moriarty. The 300-meter-high cascade of the Reichenbach impresses hikers, particularly from May to October, when it carries a lot of water.

You can also take a cable car up to three viewing platforms that give you a different perspective of the Reichenbach Falls.

The Reichenbach Falls.

The Reichenbach Falls. Photo by Ilia Bronskiy on Unsplash

Ducan waterfall

The Ducan waterfall in Davos is ideal for a family outing because you can hike from Sertig Dörfli and reach the waterfall in around half an hour. The route is also suitable for strollers. In the midst of meadows and Alps you walk along the Sertig stream. On the way you can enjoy the Swiss nature in all its splendor with the view of the Ducan waterfall.

READ ALSO: 5 spectacular Swiss tourist sites hit by overcrowding


Between Urnerboden and Linthal in the canton of Glarus, you can observe three waterfalls from the Fätschbach stream at once. The middle one is over 40 meters high and called Berglistüber. And it is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Switzerland.

You can stand (if you feel up to it) directly behind the falling deluge of water. The path to Berglistüber has recently been upgraded.

Seerenbach Falls

For another spectacular outing, check out the Seerenbach Falls near Betlis on Lake Walen in St. Gallen. From 585 meters, the water speeds down the gorge walls in three stages. The second stage of this waterfall is 305 meters, which makes it one of the highest in Switzerland. The water then continues to flow down and springs from a steep rock face at the Rin Spring as the last of the three stages.

In the slopes behind the spring there is a huge cave system. About three kilometers have been explored by cave divers so far.

Foroglio waterfall

The Foroglio waterfall in Val Bavona, a typical glacial valley in Ticino, adds a special charm to the panorama of the landscape. The water from the Val Calnègia plummets down the rock face 108 meters into the valley, looking almost like a fairy tale. Equally enchanting are the old stone houses and the 15th century church in Foroglio.

From Sonlerto you can hike to the famous spectacle in about an hour. 

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What makes Switzerland’s Alpine pasture season worthy of global recognition?

Switzerland's Alpine pasture season has been included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. But what makes it so special?

What makes Switzerland’s Alpine pasture season worthy of global recognition?

Why are Swiss Alpine pastures in the news?

On Wednesday, UNESCO announced it had inscribed 45 elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its annual session held in Kasane (Republic of Botswana).

The list comprises cultural “practices and expressions [that] help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance.” 

Among this year’s new elements were two Swiss entries, one of which is the country’s popular Alpine pasture season.

What is Switzerland’s Alpine pasture season?

As an exemplary tradition of the Swiss mountain areas, the Alpine pasture season combines traditional skills, customs and rituals related to Alpine farming in Switzerland.

The Alpine pasture season takes place from around May to October in Switzerland when various cattle, sheep and goats are relocated to high-altitude pastures (between 600 metres and 2900 metres) to graze on fresh forage and herbs that thrive in the summer months.

The Alpine farmers, or Alpacists, then look after the livestock and their surroundings, produce different dairy products, and even invite visitors to observe the animals and farming practices.

“The practice contributes to the preservation of natural landscapes and creates economic and social ties between the local populations and the Alpine farmers. It has given rise to the knowledge and skills needed to maintain the sites, as well as to a variety of social and religious practices such as rituals, prayers and blessings, traditional clothing, livestock competitions and local festivities,” UNESCO writes.

Some of these practices also include “traditional clothing, livestock competitions and local festivals” like the Alpine cattle ascent (inalpe) and the Alpine cattle descent (désalpe) where – depending on the region – the most beautiful cow of the herd is crowned.

Festivals to celebrate the herd animals heading to their summer pastures play a vital role for farmers and locals as they highlight craft practices that are otherwise rarely observed in Switzerland.

“The knowledge, skills, and customs of the Alpine pasture season, including farming and cheesemaking, are often transmitted informally, within families and their seasonal employees or among members of Alpine societies and cooperatives. They are also transmitted through regional training centres, cultural events and tourism,” UNESCO says.

READ MORE: Why are cows so important in Switzerland?

UNESCO also recognises Swiss irrigation technology

Switzerland’s cattle weren’t the only ones to join UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity this year.

Its centuries-old irrigation technology from Bern and Lucerne also made the cut.

The multinational agricultural technology was proposed for inclusion on the UNESCO list by Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Germany, zentralplus reported.

According to UNESCO, traditional irrigation involves temporarily digging small ditches and channels to distribute water from as springs, rivers, streams, and glaciers to meadows.

This sustainable form of water supply, which serves to cultivate dry areas, also has a positive effect on biodiversity.

In Switzerland, this technology is celebrated with various social gatherings and other festivities to mark the start and ending of the water season.

UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity also includes six other Swiss entries.

These include the Craftsmanship of mechanical watchmaking and art mechanics (2020), the Holy Week processions in Mendrisio (2019), Alpinism (2019), the Avalanche risk management (2018), Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques (2018), the Basel Carnival (2017), and the Winegrowers’ Festival in Vevey (2016).

Since 2020, the craft techniques and customary practices of cathedral workshops, or Bauhütten, in Europe, know-how, transmission, development of knowledge and innovation – which include Switzerland – also joined UNESCO’s Register of Good Safeguarding Practices and falls within the agency’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.

READ MORE: The 13 world heritage sites in Switzerland you need to see