Immortalized in a Sherlock Holmes novel, these falls in Bern are as dramatic and memorable as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ingenious detective.
The famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes faked his death at the top of Reichenbach Falls. Even if you’re not a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, you’ll find these 394-foot-high (120-meter) falls a remarkable sight. Visit Reichenbach Falls, nestled in some of central Switzerland’s most beautiful scenery, in the canton of Bern.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a regular visitor to the area. He chose Reichenbach Falls as the setting for the climactic final scene in The Final Problem. Following a fight on a ledge overlooking the falls, Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Professor Moriarty apparently both plummet to their deaths.
A great way to experience the falls is via the Reichenbachfall funicular. The cable car station is located about a 20-minute walk outside of Meiringen. From here, the funicular takes you up the valley to the lower part of the falls. Get out and make a short hike to the top of the falls.
Look for the ledge that Holmes and Moriarty fell from. From the funicular’s viewing platform, try to spot a star painted on the cliffs marking the ledge. To get closer, hike down the other side of the falls to the marked path. A plaque denotes the fatal spot.
The area is open from May through October. In spring the falls are the most dramatic with strong flow from melting snow from nearby mountains.
The funicular has a fee. Arrive early. Tickets are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and they tend to go quickly in summer.
Reichenbach Falls are 1.5 hours from Bern and 3.5 hours from Geneva by train. If you drive, use the car park at the foot of the falls. After your visit, explore Meiringen. Look for homages to Sherlock Holmes throughout the town, including a small museum and a statue of the detective. This town first became famous as the birthplace of meringues. Sample one of the airy desserts while you’re here.