Switzerland is probably one of the best countries in the world to visit for me. Basel would probably not be my top city to visit but as I had to go there for work I thought I would stay longer to explore it. I had heard of how the Rhine river runs so fast through the city, many boats don't require any propulsion except for the river movement and it was great to witness that. The city has a lovely mix of medieval and modern architecture and some great places to eat!
Basel the City
Basel sits on the border with both Germany and France. In fact, if you arrive at the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, you actually land in France and walk through the airport into Switzerland.
Basel is well known for its many museums as well as being a centre for culture and art in Switzerland. We didn't have much time to visit the museums but some of them certainly had very interesting architecture.
Overall, the city is compact, warm with beautiful narrow medieval streets. The local are very friendly and approachable. It feels like a safe and well organised city (but that's no surprise as it is Switzerland!). The city or at least main town centre is a walkable within a day (including photo stops etc).
The cobbled streets of the old town feature beautiful buildings, medieval churches and a maze of narrow alley ways to explore. The frescoed exteriors are especially worth seeing.
The Passage Hotel
The room we stayed in was lovely and clean. The bathroom was a decent size and again very clean. . The double bed was really relaxing. The hotel has minimalistic décor and the staff are very courteous and helpful. I was disappointed that it had no room service as I expect any 4 star hotel to have room service in Switzerland. However, it is really close to the town centre so you can walk to restaurants. Overall, it was a good stay.
Basel Munster Cathedral
Visiting this cathedral was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. This red sandstone brick cathedral is one of the major landmarks of the city. The gothic architecture is simply breath-taking. The stained glass windows are a true marvel of innovation.
There was a Christmas autumn fair on the cobbled medieval square in which the cathedral sits so the atmosphere was very jovial and festive.
Town Hall and Marktplaz
The town hall is a bright red and highly detailed building that really does stand out in Basel. It is a 500 year old sandstone building, which still houses the local council and features frescos by Hans Bock dating back to 1610! It is truly an architecture marvel!
Marktplaz is outside the town hall, where stalls sell fruit, vegetables, cooked food, flowers and crafts. Again, there was a Christmas fair when we went in the area so the atmosphere was really nice and buzzing.
Food & Drink
Virtually all the food that we tried in Basel was excellent - but I always remember the wonderful quality of food in Switzerland.
There are numerous chocolate cafes where you can grab much needed and delicious hot chocolate
Restaurant Zum Braunen Mutz
We were recommended this restaurant for sausages and sauerkraut by the hotel and it didn't disappoint.
The service was good. The waiter (Abdou) was very helpful in explaining and suggesting dishes. The sausage and sauerkraut dish was excellent. Probably one of the best sausages we ever had.
I highly recommend it!
Crêperie am kohlenberg, Basel
This is such a lovely creperie tucked away in a pretty little street. My husband had the savoury spinach crepe with cheese, ham and tomato and I had the nutella with banana. Both were simply out of this world delicious. Definitely worth a visit.
I wouldn't exactly say Basel is a shopping destination. They have the usual high street and Designer shops but nothing outstanding.
|Louis Vuitton, Basel
I really liked an antique miniatures shop in the town centre though and would highly recommend you go to at least have a look at the pretty pieces.
It is also worthwhile to look at the Christmas markets (4 or 5 around town) where you can find some yummy Swiss treats!!
Basel Style Edit
As we went in November my wardrobe mainly consisted of knits and my Burberry coat!
I did take my travel Balenciaga bag and the Dionysus Gucci bag for walking around town. So overall a capsule wardrobe for winter which suited me really well!
|Balenciaga backpack; Gucci bag
|Burberry Coat; Gucci Bag
|Miss Selfridge knit; J Brand jeans; Balenciaga backpack and Primark Boots
|Sweater: Fatface; Jeans: J Brand; Bag: Gucci; Boots: Primark