A number of quaint houses line Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square) and Hauptstrasse (Main Street). Many have oriel windows, rich frescoes, timberwork, and fountains.
The Historische Sammlung (Historical Museum) is in one of the rooms of the town hall, on Rathausplatz (tel. 052/741-21-42). The collection includes weapons, banners, and stained glass. Admission is 4F. The exhibit keeps no set hours; you have to call and arrange for an appointment to view it.
A Benedictine abbey was built near Rathausplatz during the 11th century; it was abandoned during the Protestant Reformation in 1524. Today it's the Kloster-museum St. Georgen (St. George's Abbey Museum; tel. 052/741-21-42), devoted to local history and art. The rooms, because of their rich ceilings, paneling, and 16th-century murals by Thomas Schmid and Ambrosius Holbein, are often more interesting than the exhibits. Admission to the museum is 4F for adults, 2F for children. The museum is open April to October, Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. The restored Convent Church of St. George, a Romanesque basilica built by the Catholics and later transformed into a Protestant church, has sections dating from the 12th century.
Wohnmuseum Lindwurm, Understadt 18 (tel. 052/741-25-12; www.museum-lindwurm.ch), lies in an old, 19th-century bürgerhaus (community center). With exhibits and artifacts, it re-creates life here in that century. You learn how the townspeople and their servants lived, and something about their farming methods. It's open March to October daily from 10am to 5pm, charging 5F for adults and 3F for children.
If riding a bike appeals to you, consider renting one from the kiosk within the railway station, and then heading off for a 20km (13-mile) westbound excursion to Schaffhausen, or a 29km (18-mile) eastbound excursion to Kreuzlingen. The cost is about 28F per day. The edges of both the Rhine and the Bodensee are flanked with "velo-routes" (bicycle paths) that are clearly marked with red-and-white signs that display a bicycle.
Ecologically and panoramically, the area where the Rhine widens into a lake is particularly interesting for sightseeing and cruising. If you're in Stein-am-Rhein, you'll find yourself midway along the route of a series of cruises that depart from Schaffhausen, to the west, and meander their way into the Untersee, the lake just to the west of the Bodensee. The terminus of the cruise is in the Swiss town of Kreuzlingen, just across the water from the German city of Konstanz. If you opt for a full round-trip excursion from Schaffhausen to Kreuzlingen, a travel time of 4 hours each way, you'll spend a full day in some of the most appealing waterways of central Europe. The cost is 94F round-trip. There are between three and four departures per day from both Schaffhausen and Kreuzlingen, but only between April and early October. For reservations and more information, contact Schiffahrtsgesellschaft Untersee und Rhein, Freierplatz 8, 8200 Schaffhausen (tel. 052/634-08-88; www.urh.ch).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.