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Things to do in Basel


janetcbl
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Would love thoughts on your favorite things to do in Basel. We will be traveling from Amsterdam to Basel (Viking) and are thinking of spending a few days in Basel before going on to Wengen where we rent a flat. We have spent time in the other cities in Switzerland, but never Basel. Some great suggestions of things to see, do and favorite reasonably priced restaurants, please.

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janetcbl ~ I keep hoping someone would answer your post and give you some answers to your questions - but alas it me! feeling very inadquate since we were in Basel only once - loved it but it was in December for the Christmas Markets!! and I'm sure very different than what you're asking about!!

 

I can give you a link: Brochures Basel where we orderd info on walking tours and a map - plus signed up for monthly info on events.

 

We really enjoyed the city - easy transportation via the trams, free with a card from the hotel. Also bus (500 I think) from the airport was free to the train station with a hotel reservation - just showed the driver the e-mail confirmation.

 

But Basel - Switzerland - is expensive - much like our home town of NYC!!! We stayed very near the train station - full of stores, cafes, grocery, wine store, bakeries, etc. We ate bk there every day!

 

We ate in: Zum Braunen Mutz ZumBraunenMutz and had a fabulous fondue in Elsbethenstubli Elsbethenstubli, Basel - Restaurant Reviews - TripAdvisor - that was expensive but manly because of the 2 bottles of wine DH bought!! We made reservations through the hotel we stayed in.

 

The Cathedral area is very nice - great river views - and we ate lunch there one day - I think the place was Museum Bistro. We had great Flammenkuchen - pizza like without the red tomato sauce.

 

We enjoyed the city - but our aim was the Christmas Markets - hope you have a fabulous time!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

We are booked on an Avalon Christmas markets cruise for 12/2015 which ends in Basel. Trying to decide if we should book post cruise nights in Zurich near airport and take the train for 1 day to Lucerne. We have visited Lucerne previously for 1 day but during October ( Beautiful!). For our friends traveling with us, this will be their 1st visit to Switzerland.

 

What can we expect Lucerne to be like in mid-December, other then snowy!

Is it worth the effort? Any Christmas markets in Lucerne?

 

Looking for recommendations for anyone who has been to Zurich or Lucerne mid- December.

 

Thanks!

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  • 3 months later...

No one from the Boards responded to my question I posted last September. So.. We have decided to take the Avalon post-cruise Hotel for 2 nights in Zurich since transport from Basel to Zurich would be included. Otherwise we would have to pay for our transfer to Zurich. Plan to do same as our last time there. Spend disembarkation day in Zurich and take train next day to beautiful Lucerne. Fly out of Zurich subsequent morning. Good luck with your planning.

 

 

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I have stayed in all three cities. All are good, but Lucerne is by far the most interesting. You may find better flight choices home from Zurich. If you get a short tour of Basel with your cruise, that is fine. Then go to either Lucerne or Zurich and spend a couple of days.

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Thanks Jazzbeau. We loved Lucerne our last visit to Switzerland. Would have opted to stay in Hotels in Basel post cruise as I have heard it is very nice....except our Flight departs Zurich. Better flight options from Zurich Imo.😉

 

 

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We ended our river cruise in Basel on December 14, 2014. We flew out of Basel (Mulhouse) the following Monday morning (better access for our TATL flight through CDG) We stayed at an adorable hotel within walking distance of the Old Town area, did 3 of the walking tours Basel has set up (with an information brochure we picked up at the hotel, and following signs set up around town). We went to 2 Christmas Markets, including our favorite of the entire trip, a village of craftspeople with booths set up so children could make things. Like blacksmithing, wood lathes, baking lebkuchen, making natural decorations - it was the most interesting and real Market we saw the entire trip.

 

If we had planned to spend more time, we might have gone to a larger city with more to do (my mom and her husband went to Zurich with Avalon's transfer and flew out of Zurich on Monday morning - my mom met me & my husband at CDG and her husband was able to fly straight from Zurich to Riyadh where he works). But we did enjoy Basel!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are cruising with Avalon out of Basel in September. We are doing a few days pre-cruise in Switzerland, and taking the train from Lucerne to Basel the day of the cruise. Will the ship be available in the a.m. to store our luggage so we can explore Basel?

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We are cruising with Avalon out of Basel in September. We are doing a few days pre-cruise in Switzerland, and taking the train from Lucerne to Basel the day of the cruise. Will the ship be available in the a.m. to store our luggage so we can explore Basel?

 

Probably. But know that the train station in Basel isn't very close to where the river boats often dock. There are three docking locations in Basel and a common one (Dreilandereck) is on the edge of town in an industrial area, a tram ride and a then a decent walk from the train station - which I wouldn't try with luggage, so it's a cab ride IMO. Then once you dump your bags, it's a walk and a tram ride back to town.

 

Wonder if you could store your bags at the Basel train station, then collect them after you explore and go to the ship? The train station is more convenient to the old town than it is to the ship. And they appear to have luggage storage facilities at the train station: Left luggage facility at Basel train station I've not tried this but it might save time - otherwise, you may waste a lot of your exploring time going back and forth to the ship.

 

So: train to Basel, leave your luggage at the station, walk around and explore, come back for luggage, take a cab to the ship.

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they appear to have luggage storage facilities at the train station: Left luggage facility at Basel train station

 

This would work for me (being LEFT handed), but what about DW? :D:D:D [i know, the King's English and all that...]

Edited by Host Jazzbeau
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I may not be very qualified to answer that question because we only spent about 2 hours there. We had enough time to walk on the bridges, enjoy the view of the Rhine, climb the tower of the Munster, see the Rathaus, and a tower or two that were part of the city wall. There is a lot more to do in Basel, including a bunch of interesting-sounding museums, but we didn't have much time here.

 

We flew into Zurich and drove a rental car to Basel on embarkation day. We spent the morning outside of the town proper, seeing the Roman ruins at Augusta Raurica, before returning the car. That was pretty interesting as well, though not terribly well-preserved.

 

If you're arriving by train early enough from Lucerne, you can spend more time than we did, if you wish. It looks like it would be a pain to try to get to Augusta Raurica with public transportation (we looked at that option and didn't try), so I would just concentrate on the town itself. It's about 1km from the train station to the Munster if you walk, or better yet, just get a tram.

 

It looks like you can combine a train ticket with a "city ticket" so that it will include all public transport in your destination city - i.e., one ticket covers the train from Lucerne-->Basel, and your trams, etc, once you arrive in Basel. I just looked on their website and it adds CHF 7 to a one-way ticket. Not a bad deal.

 

Our two hours gave us a brief overview but there was certainly much more to see, and it would have been nicer IMO to have spent another hour or two in town. We used a Fodor's book that had a walking tour as a rough guide - or maybe it was Frommer's... I can't keep those two straight! :p

 

One other thought: if you're docking in one of the locations OTHER THAN Dreilandereck, you may be able to get to the boat to drop off your luggage as you originally wanted to do. The other docks - St. Johannspark and Klybeckquai - look like they are more convenient to the old town, and its tram lines. We used Dreilandereck, so no personal experience with the other locations.

 

Have fun!

Edited by jpalbny
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Thanks Jpalbny! We will be getting a Swiss travel pass, so hopefully the local trams are included. Basel does have a bunch of museums, we'll have to save a couple of hours for one of them! Do you know if you can get info from the cruise line on docks used prior to receiving your final cruise documents?

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You can get the docking information from the cruise line (at least that's been my experience with Uniworld) in advance. But it will always come with the caveat that docking locations can change at the last minute, verify with the ship on the day of embarkation, etc... So you can get an idea of where they think they will dock. But until they arrive and are assigned a dock, there will always be a bit of uncertainty.

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  • 2 years later...

We will be arriving in Basel on a Sunday (the day of our cruise). We will want to do a bit of exploring and we always purchase a Christmas ornament from each town we visit. I have heard shops are closed on Sunday. Is there any shopping on Sunday or should we plan to come in a day early?

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Shops are closed on Sunday except the ones in airports and train stations. The Zurich airport and its directly adjacent train station have many shops, but I don't know about Christmas ornaments. I remember a shop with Swiss souvenir items, maybe they have Christmas ornaments as well. Other train stations tend to have food, drink and reading materials only.

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