Tips for a stay in Basel, Switzerland

Basel

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The St. Elisabeth church in Basel.

About Basel

Modern city with a historical town center and many interesting museums. In French, the city is called Bâle.

WHAT TO DO

What to do and see.

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HOTELS

These are the hotels we suggest for your stay.

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RENTALS

Rent an apartment or holiday home in or around Basel.

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HOW TO TRAVEL

Find out how to get around.

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FORUM

Any questions left about Basel? Feel free to post to the forum!

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Facts about Basel

This is what Basel has to offer

Basel is the entry point to Switzerland for many travelers coming from France or Germany. It's the first stop in Switzerland of many international trains, and the EuroAirport in France is very close. Basel is where the river Rhine leaves Switzerland to continue its way to Germany and The Netherlands. The cruises from Amsterdam to Basel are quite popular.

The landscape is hilly, and the Jura mountains are not that far away. The Swiss Alps aren't near: 1 to 2 hours away by train.

The view from the highway or from the train doesn't do justice to the city of Basel. Once you begin to explore it, it is actually very attractive: the historical town center and its many museums are absolutely worth a visit.

Reasons to stay in Basel

If you are planning a long vacation in Switzerland (e.g. two weeks or more), you can start with a day or two in Basel if you're interested in culture, museums and city visits in general. Then proceed to the Alps to see the mountains.

If you have booked a late flight to Basel or an early flight from Basel, it makes sense to stay the night and explore the city for a couple of hours. You can find airport hotels here.

Reasons to skip Basel

Basel is situated in the north-western corner of Switzerland. Therefore, it's not ideal to explore Switzerland from here. Most of the country is too far away to realistically visit during a day trip. Basel can best be visited en route to Paris or Germany, or if you depart/arrive from Basel airport.

If you have limited time to see Switzerland, we recommend to go straight to the Alps: e.g. to Lucerne or the Bernese Oberland.

What not to miss in Basel

If you plan to stay for a while, then you may want to get a BaselCard for free and discounted attractions. Also check the features of your rail pass, as it may get you discounts as well.

Below are some suggestions for sightseeing in Basel. Visit the Basel Tourism website for more tips.

More tips

Off the tourist trail

Here are some additional suggestions that won't attract masses of tourists.

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