Basel is located on the Rhine River. The city is principally located
in Switzerland, but its urban population of just under one million also
includes suburbs in Germany and France. The main languages spoken
are two variations of German. The city is well known for its museums
and theaters. The Old Town is located on the west side of the Rhine
in what is referred to as Grossbasel (Greater Basel). Across the river
is Kleinbasel (Lesser Basel).
Basel is an hour away from the Alps and it's climate is influenced by
the lower elevation of the Rhine Valley. July and August are the height
of summer. Expect average
highs of 77 F (25 C) and average lows of 58 F (14 C).
During the winter months from December - January expect average highs of
41 F (5 C) and
average lows just below freezing. Precipitation levels are slightly higher in the summer.
Snow is possible from November to March.
The EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg serves three cities in three
countries. The airport is located entirely in France even though it is
only a 15 minute cab ride from Old Town Basel. Take Bus 11 to the St
Louis rail station and then take the commuter train to Basel SBB rail
station or take bus #50 directly to Basel SBB.
Due to its location at
the junction of three countries, Basel has a unique set up for rail
transport. There are two major train stations in the city. The Basel Badischer
Bahnhof (Basel Bad) station is operated by the German train line, even though
its located in Switzerland. The Basel SBB station is used by Swiss and
French trains. A Swiss Rail Pass includes the right to transfer by
rail between the two stations at no charge. Trains run frequently
between the two stations and its about a 10 minute ride.
Rhine River Cruise
Trams are the life line of the city. Be careful, as they have right of
way over pedestrians in the crowded Old Town. Tram drivers do not
accept cash or credit. Buy fares from machines at the tram stops. Many
hotels offer free bus passes.
Basel is the upper end of the river cruise circuit on the Rhine and is
navigable all the way to Amsterdam.
Basel Minster (Baseler Münster)
Attractions in Old Town Basel:
Things to see and do:
Basel Minster (Baseler Munster) - located in the Old Town
along the Rhine, this was originally a Catholic church and is now Protestant. Construction was started around 1000. It's
two towers are called Georgsturm and Martinsturm after two
saints. The courtyards surrounding the church are particularly
The Middle Bridge (Mittlere Brucke) - the oldest bridge in Basel,
located adjacent to the Old Town. See the trams traverse it
Town Hall - view the exterior paintings in the open air atrium.
The Town Hall faces the Market Square (Marktplatz).
St Martin's Church and the State Archives with over
1,000 years of history. They are located side by side on
Martinskirchplatz in the Old Town.
Shop and wander through the pedestrian only streets of the Old
Town, such as Freie Street (Freie Strasse).
Ride the Klingental
Ferry (Fähre) "Vogel Gryff" across the Rhine to Kaserne to enjoy
restaurants, free theater and conerts. There are several options
like this to cross the Rhine on inexpensive reactive ferries that use a steel cable suspended over the river instead of using
the power of an engine.