My name is Vicky and I blog over at www.beingtillysmummy.co.uk, you can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In the Summer I decided to take my little girl, who is 7 to Europe. We flew with a budget airline and we managed to get return flights for £60 for both of us. I have traveled to Basel, Switzerland before and had only flown there to travel down to Interlaken. When we got to Basel, we had no idea what to do when we were there. So we have decided to share our 5 things to do in Basel to make your trip more enjoyable.
The River Rhine
You can walk along it and the water is crystal clear, I live by the seaside, but I have never seen water this clear before. The water flows quite fast so you need to be quite a good swimmer to go in the water but a number of people swimming in there really amazed me. They have a bag that is called a Wickelfisch and you pop your belongings in there and roll it up, it then becomes a float and you pop it around your body and float down the river with it. When you get out at the other end of the river, you get out and take your belongings out of the wickelfisch and they are bone dry. As I said you need to be a strong swimmer because the water flows fast and you need to be able to get out of the water before the last ‘stop’ otherwise the river starts getting dangerous. The water is so clear and I had no problems letting my daughter go in there because it looked so clean and fresh. You can do river boat trips to Germany on certain days and there are plenty of bridges to get from one side of the river as well as boats that go across all the time.
This sounds like it might be a trek but in fact, you just need to jump on the number 8 tram and ride through the town and over to the other side of the river where it takes you over the border to Weil Am Rhein, the first German town. This is quite a popular town with the Swiss because they pop over there to do their shopping because Switzerland is soooooo expensive. There is a huge shopping center there with plenty of shops and places to eat. You do need different currency because Germany uses Euro’s and Switzerland has Swiss Francs.
You can wander through the streets and go to the main town center where the street is lined with a selection of cafe’s and you can sit out side and watch the world go by. It is easy to cross the border and we didn’t need to show our passports, but I would carry them with you – just in case you get stopped. The Tram stops outside the shopping center and then carries on to the train station and town center.
Again this is so easy from Basel. You can get to it by using the number 8 tram again and getting off at Weil Am Rhein and then crossing over the Rhine by using the bridge. It takes about 10 minutes to get from the shopping center at Weil Am Rhein to a little french village in St Louis. There is a beautiful town square with a church and some shops. There is a town hall and in the middle of the square is a fountain that had dozens of local children playing in there.
Another way of getting to St Louis is to jump on the number 11 tram, which leaves from the train station and it drops you off just before the border. We didn’t need our passport again, but we still carried it, just in case. Once you cross the border you simply jump on a bus and it carries on taking you through the town and it connects to the train station. There wasn’t really much to do in St Louis apart from the shopping main street and the area around the train station was beautiful. We didn’t stay there for long and getting back to Switzerland was so easy and took about 15 minutes.
Basel Tri Point
Have you ever seen a tripoint? I didn’t even know what they were until I went to Basel. A tripoint is where three countries meet and because Switzerland meets with Germany and France, there is a tripoint monument to mark the place. The official Tripoint is in the middle of the River Rhine, but the closest they could get it to was on the river front in Basel. We did have a bit of a problem finding it and we seemed to walk for ever to get to the tripoint, but it was worth all the walking. To get to the Tripoint, you need to take tram number 8 to Kleinhuningen, get off the tram and walk a little way to the river front, It isn’t in a picturesque area of the river and it is where all of the industrial boats are. but to be at the point of three countries was a bit surreal. It makes for amazing photos down at the tripoint and it wasn’t too busy down there, which makes it a lovely place to go and visit and you can relax as you watch the world go buy.
Museums In Basel
There are a few museums to visit in Basel, The Basel Paper Mill Museum is a Great interactive museum about how paper is made and how printed materials were made in the early ages. You get to interact a lot in the museum and you can make your own paper or you can print an old phrase with an old printing machine. The Kunstmuseum is where you will find all of the fine arts, it is home to one of the largest and oldest public museum collections in Europe and some of the art goes right back to 1400’s. It is open daily from 10 -1800 hrs. Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel is a cute toy museum to take children too. You will find toys from dolls, dollhouses, Teddy bears, carousels and miniatures from all over the world. With over 2500 toys in the museum, there is so much for an adult as well as children to enjoy and it is a Teddy Bears lovers dream!
There is so much more to do in Basel from the spending days on the river bank to walking miles and discovering statues and beautiful scenery. We went for the weekend but if you go for longer, you would still find so much more to do. There are good connections to travel through out the whole of Switzerland and you can be in the mountains within an hour or two. It is a lovely place to visit and we really recommend it.