My sister recently moved to Basel after accepting a teaching role in this beautiful Swiss city. Naturally, I was on a bus from Munich to visit her the second weekend after she arrived. I decided to use FlixBus to get there, seeing as this was the most affordable option. I was pretty impressed that it only took 5.5 hours, not that much longer than driving and my bus was actually 15min early! I didn’t think that ever happened with Flixbus…
Aside from catching up and probably spending way too much time in her apartment chatting, we also managed to do some exploring of the city. Here are my 5 top things to do in Basel:
1. Take a FREE walking tour and learn some of Basel’s history
Free walking tours are one of the first things I look for when I am visiting a new city. They are a great way to get your bearings along with some great local advice from your tour guide. These tour guides only work on a tip basis, so they are usually doing this job because it’s something they love to do and they are passionate about their city. Don’t forget to tip them what they deserve!
2. Explore the old town and cute shops
I loved Basel’s old town streets and cute little arty shops. The old town is not huge but it’s nice to spend a couple hours walking around and exploring the area.
3. Find affordable bites to eat at Markthalle
I always knew Switzerland was an expensive place but it was still quite a shock when I first arrived in Basel and saw just how crazy the prices were. However, we were lucky enough to find this cute indoor food hall with cheap international food. It was delicious! I’m pretty sure my sister is now a regular at this place
4. Enjoy a walk along the Rhine River and a drink on the banks
One of the many beautiful things about Basel is the fact that it sits next to the Rhine. You can go for a lovely walk alongside the river (or take a boat on the river) and don’t forget to enjoy a drink in the sun along the way. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t all that sunny when I was there, but I definitely plan to go back in the summertime, so that I can enjoy my drink in the sun overlooking the Rhine.
5. Take a photo at the point where Switzerland, France & Germany meet.
Maybe this shouldn’t have made the top 5 list… but it had to be done! How often can you say that you have been on the border of 3 countries? Ok, maybe this is only exciting for us because we grew up in New Zealand where you can’t even stand on the border of two countries let alone three… If you are on a tight budget this might also be a good time to jump over to Germany and do some grocery shopping, it’s much cheaper over there!
Before I knew it, my weekend in Basel was over. It may have been a quick visit but definitely worthwhile. I’ll be back in the summertime to enjoy a glass of wine in the sun while overlooking the Rhine.
UPDATE: 6. Float down the Rhine River.
I don’t think my sister or I were fully aware of everything the Rhine River had to offer during my weekend visit back in March. Fast forward to summertime in July and Marlene has taken numerous swims down the river. I have been told that you stuff all your belongings into a big waterproof bag, jump into the river and let the current take you. This sounds like the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon, I’ll have to head back that way and give it a go myself sometime soon.