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Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast Episode 39 Transcript – Visiting Basel: 1 city, 3 countries

January 7, 2022 Last Updated on May 10, 2024

You can see the full show notes and listen to the episode > here

[00:00:00] Are you dreaming of visiting Switzerland? Planning a trip to Switzerland is very exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. How do you choose which of the many scenic cities, towns, and villages to visit? Which mountain top excursions should you take? And what’s the best way to get around Switzerland? And of course, how much of the country can you realistically see within your timeframe?

[00:00:29] If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions, this is the podcast for you. This is the Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast and in each episode, your host, Carolyn Schonafinger chats with Swiss travel experts to answer your most commonly asked questions, provide practical tips and take you on a virtual visit to the most popular destinations – and of course, some hidden gems, to help you plan your dream trip to Switzerland. And you’ll hear plenty of conversations about Swiss cheese and chocolate too. 

[00:01:00] Are you ready to plan your trip to Switzerland? Well let’s get started? 

[00:01:05] Carolyn: Welcome to the Holiday to Switzerland Travel Podcast. You’re listening to episode 39. 

[00:01:11] Basel may be Switzerland’s third largest city, but it is often overlooked by visitors who head straight for the more well-known tourist destinations of Zurich, Lucerne Zermatt and the Jungfrau Region.

[00:01:24] I, too, am guilty of bypassing Basel on my many visits to Switzerland. Sure, I’ve passed through Basel on many occasions on my way to, or from other destinations, but I’ve never actually stopped in the city to explore. I’m sure today’s guest is going to ensure I rectify that pretty soon. 

[00:01:45] I’ve read a lot about Basel and I know there are some really incredible sights and some very unique things to do in the city, so I’m really excited to learn more. 

[00:01:55] You may remember my guest, Natasha Martin from the Christmas markets episode. I loved chatting with Natasha in that episode. I could really get a sense of her passion for her city so I had no hesitation in inviting her back to tell us more about Basel. 

[00:02:11] I hope you enjoy what Natasha has to share with us today and will be packing your bags and your camera soon for a visit to Basel. If you need the perfect shot you need Switzerland. So why not make Basel a part of your trip? Thanks again to Switzerland tourism for sponsoring the podcast they website, myswitzerland.com is packed with practical information and ideas to help you plan your trip to Switzerland.

[00:02:41] Hi, Natasha. Thank you very much for joining me today. And for coming back onto the podcast. 

[00:02:51] Natascha: Hello, Carolyn. So thank you very much for the invite. I’m happy to be here with you . 

[00:02:56] Carolyn: Wonderful. Now you were recently on the podcast , a guest on episode 34, where we chatted about Christmas in Switzerland and you shared lots of wonderful things to do in Basel at Christmas time, but just so that we can all get to know you a little bit better, can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your role with Basel Tourism? 

[00:03:20] Natascha: Yes, of course it would be a pleasure, but actually I think my story would need an extra episode, but I’m trying, I’ll try to keep it short just to give you a little picture. So I’m German actually, but half Spanish because I mostly grew up in Spain.

[00:03:38] But then, um, yeah, to make it short. After my studies, I, in Germany, I studied geography and tourism. I decided to move to Switzerland for work. Um, uh, time flies. I’ve been with Basel Tourism for almost 14 years now. So yeah, it’s incredible. And with Basel Tourism, which I joined eight years ago, I started as a sales manager and, uh, actually now I’m also responsible for marketing and PR activities for the North American market, but also for other important sources. 

[00:04:09] Carolyn: Oh, wonderful, so you’ve had a, uh, a lot of experience in a few different countries. 

[00:04:15] Natascha: Yeah, it’s true. But internationally and moved around, but that’s typical. I think for us people working in the tourism industry, isn’t it?

[00:04:21] Carolyn: Yes. For sure.. So for those listeners who aren’t familiar with Basel, what are the important things that we should know about it?

[00:04:31] Natascha: Okay, so Basel in a nutshell, Basel, it’s the third largest city in Switzerland, and it’s located at the river Rhine and the north Western part of Switzerland and actually the inhabitants it’s 200,000.

[00:04:45] But even though it’s the third largest city in Switzerland, we also call it boutique town because maybe if you think of a city, you think of million inhabitants, Switzerland has only 8 million. So when it comes to Basel, 200,000, inhabitants. And it’s located actually at the border with France and Germany.

[00:05:04] That’s why we call it the three countries corner. So it’s in Switzerland, you’re in one spot, but you’re in three countries basically at the same time. And Basel is really in the heart of Europe and it can be reached very easily by train by car, by plane and even by river cruise ships. And I think we will touch on this topic later on.

[00:05:24] So for example, Paris Frankfurt, only three hours away from Basel and are connected by high speed trains. Like the, the TGV Lyria or the ICE. And other Swiss cities like Zurich, maybe most of you knows Zurich or have been to the airport. So Zurich, Lucerne, or Bern can be reached within one hour as well as international airport.

[00:05:46] Carolyn: It’s well located to reach all other parts of Switzerland and, and the neighboring countries. 

[00:05:54] Natascha: Exactly. 

[00:05:55] Carolyn: Yeah. Now you mentioned that, um, Basel is on the borders with France and Germany. So I guess it’s quite a multilingual city. So what languages are spoken in Basel? 

[00:06:07] Natascha: That’s a good question, Carolyn, so officially, the official language spoken in Basel is the German because it belongs to the German speaking part of Switzerland, but thanks to its geographical location and all the international headquarters of big companies, French and English also spoken very often too. So you basically hear all the languages, also lots of Spanish. 

[00:06:31] Carolyn: Okay. So anyone who’s visiting Basel that only speaks English, they’ll be able to understand and, and, get along quite fine, fine without that, knowing another one. 

[00:06:41] Natascha: Yes, definitely. They’ll find a way and then they’ll be able to speak with the people here. Yeah. 

[00:06:46] Carolyn: Good. So now, because, um, you just mentioned that the city is located on the Rhine. I think many international visitors come to Basel at either the start or the end of, of a river cruise, but why would you encourage them to spend a couple of days in the city rather than just using it as a departure or arrival point after their cruise?

[00:07:08] Natascha: Well, yes. I definitely have to say that, um, river cruising guests who are missing out this hidden gem, they, uh, if they decide to skip Basel, they’re missing out something.

[00:07:21] So definitely they have to put Basel on the map, not just for the stop or the ending point and discover Basel because really Basel’s beauty can really only be discovered when you are staying in the city. So when you’re staying in Basel and many people don’t know because they just arrive with the river cruising terminal, maybe it’s the, at the one at the port, then they just need to head off to the airport.

[00:07:42] So they don’t see it. Really the beauty of Basel. Basel boasts a medieval and very well preserved old town with historic buildings dating back to the 15th century and has charming cobbled streets and alleys. So it’s really a gem and in terms of art and architecture, uh, Basel is one of the hotspots in Europe.

[00:08:02] So it has world-class museums, galleries and outstanding examples of modern architectural masterpieces. So that’s a very nice contrast with the medieval old town and a modern architecture, and also one other reason to stay in Basel in any accommodation is that all visitors staying in Basel overnight, they will receive a Basel Card and this guest card is for free and it allows all tourists to travel around easily and freely with a public transportation.

[00:08:31] They can also use the internet for free and they can benefit from 50% reduction on cultural and leisure attractions. 

[00:08:39] Carolyn: Okay. That’s a great bonus. And is there a particular area in Basel that you recommend that visitors should stay? 

[00:08:48] Natascha: So Basel is a very compact city, for sure. The picturesque old town and the location at the River Rhine invites visitors to experience the essence of Basel. So if you stay there, it’s beautiful. You’ll discover in a very own way. But overseas tourists who are traveling Europe by train, for example, they will also find a good selection of accommodations around the train station. 

[00:09:09] Carolyn: Okay. So there’s something to suit everyone.

[00:09:14] Now I’ll have to admit here that I’m one of those naughty people that have not actually been into Basel. I’ve driven through a number of times. I haven’t been on a river cruise, but I have driven through a number of times, but I never have actually stopped in Basel. So I’m very sorry about that. I’ll have to, to change that, but can you just tell us some of the top things that we should do when, when we do go to Basel?

[00:09:41] Natascha: Yeah, that would be a pleasure for me because so many people drive through and don’t even know what they missed out. So I’m happy to explain a bit to what are the top things to do in Basel? Sometimes Basel is overlooked, right? That’s all not well-known. So we have to change that and you’re invited to come to Basel, Carolyn, 

[00:10:00] Carolyn: Thank you. 

[00:10:00] Natascha: And the listeners, also, please contact me. We have to change that and make Basel more known because it’s really beautiful. So what to do and what to see in Basel. Definitely take enough time to explore the charming old town with its pretty alleys and squares. So for example, the Basel minster is a Romanesque Gothic style cathedral with a long history.

[00:10:21] So over a thousand years, you have to see that and it offers a panoramic views of the Rhine below. So well-deserved reward after climbing the winding cobblestone streets, it’s on a little hill and you have the beautiful view. You can discover the Black Forest and also you can see France. So that’s a great viewing point.

[00:10:40] And another historic landmark of the city is the richly decorated red sandstone town hall. I think it’s the most beautiful building in Basel. And it dates back to 1501. So I think that’s quite a remarkable date and it’s located at the market square. Okay. And then another top thing to see is the unique Spalenberg that’s a little shopping street shopping road, and it offers small boutiques, antique book shops, but also shops of modern designers. And this street is really unique in Switzerland. So you have to come and see it, no comparison to Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich. That’s definitely another character and other types of shops too.

[00:11:23] And this Spalenberg, this little alley leads to ah, the Spalentor and the Spalentor is one of the three remaining city gates with, which is also a top thing to see. So dating back to the medieval times, the Spalentor is really impressive. And then you have to say that Basel’s also known for the museum.

[00:11:44] So it’s home to 40 museums. It’s the city of culture for connoisseurs and has the highest concentration of museums in the country. I think even in, in Europe, And, um, so one of the, those 40 museums is also a must-see in Basel and then last but not least experience the Rhine river with all its facets. So the Rhine river is the lifeblood in Basel and is also of course, a very important ancient trading route.

[00:12:13] And it connects Basel with the Northern Sea and to the world and it’s, well, it’s the place to be. Uh, so when you come in Basel, you have to discover the Rhine, not only from the river cruise ship, but maybe dive in or take a ferry. We’ll we’ll talk about that in a moment. 

[00:12:31] Carolyn: I’m looking forward to that. You said that, um, the Basel is quite a compact city so if someone wanted to wander around the old town and go and visit those places that you’ve mentioned, how long would, would they need to do that properly? 

[00:12:48] Natascha: Well, One day, you, if you can do it in one day, but I definitely would encourage guests to stay for two days or three days to discover also the surroundings, because I mean, as I said, you can go to France, to Germany, uh, discover also the countryside of Basel, but to walk around the Basel city center, I think one day is a must.

[00:13:10] Carolyn: Okay. Yeah, definitely. 

[00:13:12] All right. Now you did mention there that you’ve got to do something with related to the river. Uh, and I know that there’s actually quite a few pretty unique, uh, experiences that you can enjoy in Basel. So would you like to tell us about some of those. 

[00:13:29] Natascha: Yeah, I’d love to talk about that because I also love to do that in summer. The Rhine, as I said, is the lifeblood so I’m desperate, I’m desperately waiting for the temperatures to rise because swimming in the Rhine is Basel’s most popular sport in summer. Well, the summer season, it might go from May to September, but definitely July and August are the main, main months. So do as the local’s do and what do they do? They are so crazy they swim in the Rhine, or they let themselves float down the Rhine because actually with the current, you don’t really have to swim. So that’s a really special, unique experience, very sustainable. People do it and also tourists more and more. They dare to do it to the tourists and what they locals. And, um, what do you have to do?

[00:14:17] So. You have to get your Wickelfisch. That’s very important. So that’s the swimming bag that has a shape of a fish. It was invented in Basel, there are all kinds of colors. So you can have your Wickelfisch in blue and pink, whatever, and then you put your clothes in, your belongings, to wrap it up so they don’t get wet.

[00:14:36] And then you jump into the Rhine. And let yourself float. It might take up to 45 minutes. You can do it for 20 minutes too, if you want to, half an hour. And then you get off the water, you go out and then you get changed. There are even showers in some spots and you can walk back and go in the river again.

[00:14:55] So that’s really an activity which is seen very often. It’s quite bizarre, but I think it’s unique and people are looking for unique experiences. The good thing about it, it’s for free. You don’t have to make any reservations. You can do it at any day time. Um, you’re not alone. You’ll be with people there and, um, just watch out for the river cruise ships. Actually there’s a designated area so you won’t get, you won’t get lost there. So this is definitely one of the things to do 

[00:15:25] Is the, the Wickelfisch like a, uh, an inflatable sort of bag. So like a buoyancy kind of flotation device? 

[00:15:37] Natascha: Exactly. It looks like one of those, but actually you don’t put any air in, but by putting your clothes and then wrapping it up, it will get filled with air automatically. Right. So it looks like a buoy and then you wrap it up. You close it that it’s uh, yeah, it gets fixed and it stays dry. 

[00:15:54] Carolyn: And what else can we do on the Rhine?

[00:15:56] Natascha: Yes. And then you should definitely take the ferry. So the ferry ride is unique to Basel too. That’s also, you can only do it in Basel and then you cross the Rhine and there are four of those ferries, which you can take. They are motor-less.. So it’s also very sustainable, very relaxing decelerating, and it’s really a fun way to get to the other side of, of Basel because Basel is divided by the Rhine and it’s just the using by using a wire and the powerful current of the river Rhine.

[00:16:26] So I think it’s quite amazing to experience that. 

[00:16:29] Carolyn: Okay. Crossing the river without any motor. 

[00:16:34] Natascha: Exactly. And there are even people, Basel people commuting with the ferries from Kleine Basel to big Basel. 

[00:16:42] Carolyn: So how long does it take to cross the river? 

[00:16:46] Natascha: Well, like 10 minutes, depending a bit on the current, but not more than 10 minutes.

[00:16:52] Carolyn: That’s a very, very relaxing commute then to work everyday. 

[00:16:56] Natascha: Yeah, it is. 

[00:16:58] Carolyn: And what other sustainable things can we, um, can we do when we go to Basel 

[00:17:04] Natascha: What we also suggest, if you want to be a bit more active is to discover Basel by bike. And, uh, we also offer e-bikes. So for example, with the Basel Card, you can rent an e-bike for only 20 francs a day.

[00:17:17] Uh, you can rent them at a rental bike at the train station at the main train station and off you go. So you can discover Basel, the city of Basel. You can go to the Foundation Beyeler, which is the most visited art museum. It’s a bit in the outsides of Basel and the outskirts. And then you can head to the Rehberger-Weg, which is like a type of hiking, biking trail and head to Germany. So actually you cross the borders. 

[00:17:46] Carolyn: Okay. 

[00:17:47] Natascha: Then you can visit also the Vitra Design Museum, which is a very important museum or area in terms of architecture and design. And then from the Vitra Design Museum , you can cross the Rhine again and head off to France, you can cross the Dreiländerbrücke, which is the three countries bridge, actually, it’s the largest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in the world.

[00:18:12] So you cross to France, you can have your croissant there, and then you can return to Switzerland, either passing by Novartis Campus or returning to the port of Basel. Maybe you’ll see a river cruise ship. And then the port area is very interesting and you can return to Basel city into city center and return your bike by the port area.

[00:18:33] Carolyn: Oh, what a lot of fun. So that, that would be bragging rights for people, especially like myself from Australia or someone from America to tell their friends, they rode a bike to three different countries in one day. 

[00:18:47] Natascha: Yeah, definitely. I think you can put that on your list to exactly take your passport with you.

[00:18:53] Get it stamped. 

[00:18:56] Carolyn: Sounds like fun. Now in the Christmas episode of the podcast, we talked about all the different and wonderful things to do in Basel during the festive season, but for people that are coming in other times of the year, are there other festivals or events that they can visit as well? 

[00:19:16] Natascha: Oh, yes, there are many, many events.

[00:19:18] So Basel is also an events city. And besides the popular Christmas market, which you named and which we had a podcast on, um, the episode 34, Basel hosts, many major events as the carnival, the carnival and Basel, which is coming up now. And the carnival is part of the city’s identity, culturally speaking.

[00:19:38] And it represents three days, 72 hours, three days when the city goes wild and offer ongoing to this uniqueness and quality and the largest carnival of Switzerland has become a UNESCO, intangible cultural heritage. We’re very proud of that. So it’s the largest carnival in Switzerland. It’s um, World UNESCO cultural heritage.

[00:20:01] It’s always after the other carnivals in the world. So it starts on Monday after Ash Wednesday, which is very peculiar. So with all this traditions and speciality is Basel is really unique, the Basel Carnival. 

[00:20:14] Carolyn: And for those that aren’t familiar with, with the carnival, , what is the history behind that or the purpose, I guess, of the carnival?

[00:20:24] Natascha: Well, actually there are several backgrounds or purposes. One of them of course, is, uh, you know, uh, the winter is long and hard so you have to chase the, the winter away and the demons from the devil from the winter. So this is one of the historic backgrounds, but then also, um, there’s also a military background because people in former days, they, uh, they prepared their weapons. Uh, one special season and then cleaned that up and they gathered, uh, and, and played music or did marches. So that’s also one of the backgrounds of the Fasnacht, the Basel Carnival, 

[00:21:03] Carolyn: Okay, and what sort of activities take place, um, whilst the Carnival’s on in Basel? 

[00:21:11] Natascha: There are several activities. And actually one of the most important highlights is definitely the Morgenstraich, uh, which is, uh, the official start of the carnival, which is ah, as I said on Monday after Ash Wednesday at 4:00 AM, 4:00 AM. So people get up to experience this moment, and what’s so special about this moment? So at 4:00 AM, all the lights in the city are turned off. And you have to imagine that all the restaurants, all the houses they have, um, like sealed their windows. So it’s, it’s, everything is dark. You don’t see any lights in the houses. Also the streets like the street lights are turned off. So this moment of darkness is very special. And then imagine the goosebumps which come up when at 4:00 AM, all the musicians, the cliques, the associations, they start playing music all at the same time with the same march, the same music, and then also the lanterns they did, so they prepare throughout the year, they are also lit on in that moment. So I think that’s a magic moment. And I know that very well-travelled people, they, when they come to Basel,they say this is really unique and something you have to experience.

[00:22:28] So this is the Morgenstraich at 4:00 AM. Then there are several marches throughout the day where they play different music, um, marches through the city at night. Uh, we’ve got these Basel dialect sketches where they make fun of political happenings, events, people. Um, yeah, there are also some concerts. Then on Tuesday, it’s the day of the children.

[00:22:54] So this one, when the children, they do the marches and they get dressed up, uh, at night, you’ll have some different type of concerts. It’s from the brass companies, the brass associations, they do, they play rather bit more modern music. And then this goes on. Wednesday, they’re also caught this, the marches.

[00:23:16] So, I mean, I said 72 hours of, uh, festivities. Exactly. And, um, yeah. And then there’s also something you should see. It’s the expositions of the lanterns. So they are very big lanterns, which are carried on carriages, too, and they’re, they’re shown at the Cathedral Square where you can also have a look at them quietly and walk around.

[00:23:41] It’s like an open air museum. 

[00:23:45] Carolyn: Very nice Sounds like, definitely like something that you need to experience once.

[00:23:52] Natascha: At least once. Yeah. And then there’s another event. Maybe you’ve heard of that, uh, to more familiar people from the US, Art Basel, Art Basel Miami may ring the bell. So Art Basel is also a very important event in Basel. Actually. It’s the world’s leading fair for contemporary art. And it’s, um, around 250 selected galleries from around the world who present their modern, contemporary artworks of high quality. Um, and it’s really the most important fair, and it makes Basel the most important temporary museum too. So one museum more. And, um, as I said, it has expanded to Miami more than 10 years ago and also to Hong Kong. So this is really a label or a brand, which Basel is very famous for. And the origin, the mother fair, is Art Basel in Basel and it takes place in June.

[00:24:46] Okay. And then there’s another event – I can go on for hours. If you want to be among the crowd with Roger Federer. I know the Australians like him and the center court. Uh, you can experience Switzerland’s biggest sporting event in person when you come to the Swiss Indoors. So it’s an indoor tournament every year.

[00:25:12] The tennis tournament is among the top events of the ATP tour 500. And I’m sure you know, that Roger’s Swiss, everyone knows it and he’s a really nice Swiss guy.

[00:25:23] Carolyn: And he’s from Basel.

[00:25:24] Natascha: And he’s from Basel, yes! So I can’t

[00:25:28] repeat that enough times. We are so proud. And also Roger has his own plaque, star or plaque and the star at the walk of fame in Basel. So at the Spalenberg, and recently he has also his own street cars, the Federer Express. So you can travel with Roger here in Basel. 

[00:25:48] Carolyn: And if, and if we come to Basel, are we likely to see him out shopping?

[00:25:54] Natascha: You want to see him shopping? 

[00:25:55] Carolyn: Yeah. 

[00:25:56] Does he do his grocery shopping in 

[00:25:58] Basel? 

[00:25:59] Natascha: Yeah.

[00:26:03] After his tournament, he does some shopping in Basel at the Spalenberg. 

[00:26:11] Carolyn: Are there any local specialties that we should try? Uh, when we visit Basel. Is there any, um, any particular food associated with the Fasnacht, for instance, or, or other, uh, foods that are available year round?

[00:26:25] Natascha: Yes. Well, related to the Fasnacht, the Basel Carnival, there’s definitely the flour soup, the so-called mehrsuppe, which you should try. At the, yeah, it’s a specialty, a seasonal specialty. So you’ll probably only get it there. I mean, you can buy it in supermarkets, but that’s really a temporary seasonal, um, speciality, which you eat throughout the Fasnacht.

[00:26:48] So during the 72 hours to get warm again, after marching around, uh, you have the flour soup. But then talking generally, you can’t leave Basel without having tried the Basler Leckerly. So what’s leckerly? It’s our speciality, it’s not Swiss chocolate. We do have Swiss chocolate, but we are very proud to have the leckerly biscuits.

[00:27:10] So this biscuit is a type of gingerbreads, but, um, in contrast to the normal gingerbread, which is typical for the Christmas time, we eat the Basel leckerly 365 days a year. So you’ll eat it throughout the day throughout the year. And it’s very traditional, very typical. It’s perfect to go with coffee or tea and it’s actually so traditional, it has been already been baked during the medieval time, so in the Middle Ages. And, uh, the thing about the recipe is also a great mystery because the original Basel leckerly no one knows the exact recipe. Top secret. And, uh, but w what would we do know the recipe um, it includes the best ingredients like honey, hazelnut, almonds, candied orange, lemon peel, and of course finest spices, but, uh, to be exact, no one knows, you know, everyone does it in its own way.

[00:28:08] And it’s a bit of a top secret. 

[00:28:11] Carolyn: Okay. 

[00:28:12] Natascha: We have the oldest biscuit factory in Switzerland, which is called Jakob’s Basler Leckerly. So you can visit the factory. You can also learn how to do him and or at the Leckerly house, which is another brand of the leckerly, you’ll find also a large selection of the, of the speciality.

[00:28:31] So there are ones with covered with chocolate or with apple or with your name it, different types of leckerly variations.

[00:28:38] Carolyn: Something for every taste. 

[00:28:41] Natascha: Yep. 

[00:28:42] Carolyn: Excellent. 

[00:28:43] So if you were to show a first-time visitor around Basel in just one day, where would you take them? 

[00:28:51] Natascha: One stop would be the Tinguely Fountain.

[00:28:54] So the Tinguely Fountain is next to the Theater of Basel, right in the heart of Basel, let’s say. And this Swiss artists, Jean Tinguely, he created this fountain. So it’s a shallow fountain and it has 10 sculptural machines. So you have to imagine like 10 sculptures moving all the time synetic and changing all the time also.

[00:29:17] And there are, they go with their, in their own rhythm. Everyone has its own rhythm. So it’s really a play to follow. And it has been created over 40 years ago in a spot where in former times the artists of the future of Basel were dancing or performing because in former times it was a spot where the Theatre of Basel was before, and then they constructed a new one and there were the former theatre is you can find the fountain. So I think the history behind, um, the spot is interesting and. Um, I mean like, uh, the parallelism or the imitation, like the sculptures are imitating the artist in former days. So I think that’s a, yeah, a nice place. It’s refreshing with the fountain sometimes depending on the winds to get also, yeah, you get refreshed by the fountain. So that’s really one of the great places to be, to hang around. And also, I think you can get a feel of Basel. You feel that it’s always in flux, that it’s always reshaping itself. It’s full of contrast and you can see and breathe out in that spot. So it’s at a public space where I think you really get a good impression of Basel.

[00:30:35] Then to get a quick sneak peak to Basel’s rich offer in art and culture, I would recommend a short visit in the Museum of Art in Basel. That’s the Kunstmuseum Basel , which is really, in the city center and it holds the oldest public art collection in the world. So I think if you have one day, two days, I think you should go to that museum and just visit some Picassos and get to know, yeah, the art and cultural offer Basel has. So I think it’s quite spectacular for the city of Basel. 

[00:31:10] And then I would take my guests to see the cathedral and enjoy the view from the platform which we have been talking before of. And then I would make them discover the three countries. So, this is a really a great convening point.

[00:31:24] I would take the ferry, the lion ferry and cross the Rhine. And then after a walk along the Rhine on the sunny side in Kleine Basel, I would invite my guests to have a drink at one of the Buvettes, which are like pop-up drinking stalls in summer, mingle with the locals and round off the day in the cultural capital of Switzerland.

[00:31:46] Carolyn: Well, I think you’ve just, you just missed one thing there. They need to finish the day with some Basler leckerly. 

[00:31:53] Natascha: Oh yes, of course. That would be my giveaway, my souvenir.

[00:32:01] Carolyn: Wonderful. Well you’ve certainly, made me realize that I definitely do need to visit Basel because there’s such a contrast there, as you mentioned with the history and the tradition in the old town and the old architecture, and then the modern side of it as well. So it certainly, sounds like a place that everyone should include in their itinerary.

[00:32:23] Natascha: Yeah. You got it, Carolyn. I think Basel’s really unique and it’s Swiss, but it’s different. So I think this is quite interesting. And you should discover what, what is behind that? 

[00:32:33] Carolyn: Absolutely. Thank you very much, Natasha, for sharing all that with us today, 

[00:32:39] Natascha: It was a pleasure, Carolyn. Hope to have another episode with you.

[00:32:44] Carolyn: I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely adding Basel to my Swiss bucket list. With an intriguing mix of old and new, there is definitely something to appeal to everyone, whether that be sightseeing in the old town, visiting the many museums, trying one of the many unique experiences or a combination. Natascha’s one day itinerary sounds like the perfect way to introduce yourself to the city. 

[00:33:10] Now, if you missed Natascha chatting about the wonderful things to do in Basel at Christmas time, make sure you listen to episode 34. Basel’s Christmas market has been voted as the prettiest in Switzerland so it’s definitely one to check out.

[00:33:25] If you’d like more information from today’s episode, you can find the show notes at holidaystoswitzerland.com/episode 39. There are links to the Basel Tourism website, a list of all the places and activities that Natasha has mentioned today, and other useful resources to help you plan your visit to Basel.

[00:33:47] Thanks for joining me today. Next time I’ll be back chatting all about Swiss drinks and sharing where you can taste the best wine, beer and spirits in Switzerland. Until then take care. Tschuss!. 

[00:34:02] If you’d like more great resources to help you plan your dream trip to Switzerland, there are lots of ways to connect with us.

[00:34:08] Visit our website holidaystoswitzerland.com, sign up for our monthly newsletter or join our friendly, helpful community of past and future travelers in our Switzerland travel planning group. You’ll also find the links to connect with us in the show notes for this episode. Show notes and the list of all previous episodes are available at holidaystoswitzerland.com/podcast.

[00:34:32] Don’t miss out on your fortnightly dose of Swiss travel inspo. Hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. And if you enjoyed the show, please leave a rating. [00:34:44] That’s all for this edition of the Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast. Thanks for joining us and happy travels.

You can see the full show notes and listen to the episode > here