Last month, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Basel, Switzerland and it was a lot of fun! It was my first time visiting Switzerland, and I was glad that I chose a smaller, unique city to visit. If you’re planning a trip here, you’re sure to have a great time — no matter what you choose to do. To give you some travel inspiration, take a look at the below 10 reasons to love Basel.
The Food is Delicious
Trying new foods is one of my favorite things about travel. Luckily, there’s a lot of delicious food to love in Basel. The best part about visiting here is that it’s a mix of Swiss, French, and German culture and influence — meaning a variety of food. Some of the most popular dishes include fondue, raclette, pork sausage, and pan-fried potatoes. No matter what you choose to eat, you’ll likely be planning a trip back before even leaving — because the food is that good.
A Great Place to Shop
Basel also offers a lot of shopping opportunities. You’ll find a variety of boutiques that offer clothing, accessories, home decor, and furniture. There’s also a few high quality jewelry stores in the city. Many people choose to also shop at the main department store, Globus. Whether you’re in search of a unique souvenir or a brand new outfit — you can find it in Basel.
It’s Own Unique Event — Carnival or “Fasnacht”
If you’re planning a trip to Basel, you may want to visit during Carnival, also known as Fasnacht. Each year, at 4:00am on the Monday after Ash Wednesday, the event begins and then lasts for three days. At the start time, all of the city lights are turned off, bright lanterns are displayed, and a march begins. Carnival participants practice all year long in order to prepare for this event. There’s musicians, dancers, and other performers. Schnitzelbank performers are also a big hit — as they focus on performing satirical verses while acting out events from the previous year — with themes such as sports and politics. This is a huge, memorable event for both visitors and residents alike! (You can learn more about the history of Carnival.)
Learn and Grow at 30+ Museums
Another thing to love about Basel is the fact that the city is home to over 30 museums. With so many museums to choose from, there’s something for everyone. You can learn about the paper industry at the Basel Paper Mill Museum, see a variety of dolls and teddy bears at the Barfüsserplatz Tyo Museum, and learn all about Basel at the Basel Historical Museum. Here’s a look at the variety of museums available. If you’re visiting on the first Sunday of the month, many museums offer free entrance.
A Mix of Old and New
Basel has a lot of history and has also evolved a lot over the years. When walking around the city, I really enjoyed the mix of old and new architecture. There’s an area known as the Old Town, which has gorgeous buildings with architecture from the past. There’s even gorgeous entrance gates that are still present from when the city used to be walled and separated. There’s also gorgeous modern architecture that can be enjoyed. One of the most impressive modern features is the Basler Messeturm, which is the second tallest building in the city. Bar Rouge is located on the top floor, and offers impressive views.
Unique Market Experience
Another reason Basel is so special is because of its unique market experience. Throughout the city, you can purchase goods at the different markets. Near the famous City Hall, you’ll find the city market which is home to sellers who offer fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, and other goodies. If you’re more into flea markets, you’ll find second-hand goods being sold in different spots on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There’s also a new goods market where you can buy jewelry and other handmade items. If you’re a fan or markets, you’ll really enjoy the variety found in Basel.
There’s a Christmas House All Year Long
If you love Christmas, you’ll enjoy the Johann Wanner Christmas House. Here you can take in all of the beauty of the trees and other festive christmas decor. You can also shop a huge selection of handmade ornaments. Since 1969, this shop has been bringing holiday cheer to Basel. You can even enjoy a coffee and treat at the Christmas Parlour.
Enjoy the Rhine River
Due to its location in Basel, both residents and guests get to enjoy the Rhine. You can enjoy the views from afar, spend a day out on a boat, or go for a swim during the warmer months. There’s a famous big event held in the summer, called the Basel Rhine Swim. On this special day, swims or floats together along the Rhine while also taking part in the festivities. There’s also outdoor restaurants and bars set up during the summertime.
Make Your Own Chocolate Bar
Switzerland is known for its amazing chocolate — and you can find chocolate shops in the city of Basel. With a visit to Beschle, you can take part in one of their chocolate workshops. Here, you can make your own chocolate bar as well as take part in a chocolate tasting. This is a unique and delicious experience. There are also other workshops available depending on your interests.
Offers a Great Location
Basel is in a great location! In Northwestern Switzerland, it sits on the edge of Germany and France. If you’re looking to explore other areas in Switzerland, the Swiss Travel pass allows you to travel by road, rail, and boat. You can choose how many days you want to take advantage of this pass. Since Basel is bordered by Germany and France, you also have easy train access to nearby cities if you want to take a quick day trip out of the country!
As you can see, there’s a lot to love about this city. These are just 10 reasons to love Basel — but I’m sure you can find many more during your own adventure! If you’re interested in planning a trip here, I recommend learning more through Basel Tourism.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Basel through a partnership with Basel Tourism. As always, all views are my own.