How to spend a day in Basel, Switzerland!

View from the Wettsteinbrucke.

Jason and I went to Basel as a last quick day trip before kicking off the new academic year. We expected good weather, but when we landed there around 8 in the morning the temperature had already broken the 25 degrees, so it was pretty warm. Basel is a small city, so the day trip was more than enough to see the things we wanted to see. Basel mostly speaks German, but don’t be surprised to hear French, or even Italian. Here are some other things you should know before you go.

Getting into the city

You will most likely be flying in to Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport. This airport serves three cities, in three countries. France, Switzerland and Germany. For this reason, the airport serving Basel is actually located just over the French border.

After landing, you will go trough Swiss customs, because Switzerland is not participating in the Schengen agreement.

After the customs, head to the bus stop right outside the terminal, and buy your ticket to basel at one of the machines right by the stop. There should be a train running into the city as well, but Jason and I couldn’t find it. Probably because it was 8 in the morning and we woke up at 5. Not our brightest moment 😉

Further transportation in the city is totally unnecessary, as this city is small enough to walk from east to west in an hour. Or, you could walk from Germany to France via Switzerland in 40 minutes.

Things to do

Basel is a city known for art. Don’t be surprised to see art galleries and museums all over the city. We would recommend going into at least one museum, as its such a big part of Basel, but we decided to stay outside and soak in the weather.

The cathedral

Apart from the Baseler art-scene, there are a few things that should make your to do and see list. The main one here is Altstadt Grossbasel, translating to oldtown greater basel. In short, this is where you will find the pictureesque buildings, and cute streets. You should take your time here, and just explore the streets. You will find the red-painted city hall and the cathedral without directions.

Other than the old town, we basically chilled along the river, as the temperatures came close to 30 in a city where the low twenties are considered a maximum. The River in basel is basically surrounded by green space and benches, so if you find yourself in similar situation to ours, just find a bench or a restaurant with outdoor seating, and enjoy the weather.

Food & Drink

While we suggested you find a restaurant with outdoor seating, you might wan’t to reconsider doing that. We arrived in Basel without giving much thought to the fact that Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. We wanted to sit down for a few beers, but after seeing a single beer being priced at about 9 Francs, the swiss equivalent of 8 euro’s, we decided to get water from a supermarket, and sit on a park bench instead. For lunch, we just bought some croissants and pastries at a bakery, and enjoyed these on the central market square of Basel. Dinner was composed of a collection of Chicken Nuggets, more pastries, and airport food.

Even though we didn’t do much, and didn’t experience Swiss food as much as we wanted to, we still enjoyed Basel. We wouldn’t place it on top of a bucket list, but since we saw the flight for about €30,- we decided to go. A good experience, mostly because of good company and the great weather.

If you went to Basel, we would love to hear your opinions. Also, let us know what you think of our first few blogs, we would love to hear what you are interested in! For more pictures, find us on instagram.

Happy Travels!

Joël

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