I will tell the story on the review but I flew into Frankfurt and my DH, sister and brother in law flew into Zurich. Either destination is easy to train to Basel. Find the best airfare. Frankfurt has a train station in the airport and it has a non-change train to Basel SBB. About $100USD if you wait last minute but much cheaper if you get your train ticket on-line in advance. They also have a train every hour. Some will change in Mannheim but that is an easy change as we stopped there and I saw how little the train station is to change. But every couple of hours is a non-change train. They will say non-stop but you stop at every train station along the way you just dont get off the train. Easy...easy. I got in 30mins after they did.
We stayed at the Hotel Victoria. Right outside of the Basel SBB and a perfect location. The local tram station is right at the front door. The hotel Schweizerhof was next to us and both hotels look about the same. We booked ahead and was able to get a rate of 120.USD with full cancellation. Some reviews stated that the hotel was noisy because of the train station, but we didn't hear a thing. In fact I have a hard time believing this as we didn't even hear the trains outside the hotel.
When people say Switzerland is expensive, they are telling the truth.
We arrived in Basel around noon. We got a map from the front desk and they told us about the free trams. The trams work off numbers and the maps had the routes in colors. We never did figure out the colors system. We rode around the city getting off and on as we wanted. We would stop and eat as we saw things that looked good. Junk in other words but very tasty junk. Did a little shopping and a lot of looking. We decided that we would eat a small dinner around 7ish since we had been snacking the entire day and headed back to the hotel around 6p. We thought we would look for a pub around the hotel for dinner. Could not find one even though we found many as we were tramming around town but had no idea how to get back to them.
We looked at the restaurant outside the hotel and decided to get a bier there. We were drinking a couple of biers and were looking around at what people were eating. Some had pizza, veal cutlet with fries, etc. So we asked for a menu. The veal with fries was $46.00 which was the cheapest thing on the menu. We decided we would find a pub. (I know there will be many comments about how you spend that for a good meal in the states but I dont necessary think of "chicken fried" veal with fries a great meal.) As we were sitting and watching people come out of the train terminal we noticed that many locals were getting their meal from the train station. Even the person at our front desk got a great looking sandwich from there.
We walked over to the terminal and found all kinds of food to choose from, even a grocery store that had a hot meal section. We picked out a few sandwiches, polish sausage, pretzel, desserts, water, beer and fruit. Walked a block to the park and ate watching the locals with their dogs and enjoying the great weather. It was one of our best meals and the cost was about 30.00 for all four. We fit in with the locals as many were eating in the park also.
The next day we woke up early and took the tram to the river and walked next to the river to the red sandstone cathedral. There are a lot of river cafes that we would have gone to the night before if we knew.
You have to go see the cathedral. The area it is in and the cathedral was great. One of the best cathedrals we saw on the trip.
Took the tram back to the hotel, checked out and went to the boat around 1230p. The taxi was 35chf for four and about a 15-20min ride.
Any questions about Basel, please let me know but we only stayed there 24hrs. We did see a lot in a short time and I am hoping to go back to the area to stay longer.