Monday, 11 December 2017

72 hours in Basel, Switzerland

I don't know about you, but I'm obsessed with booking my next trip. You will find me on Skyscanner, looking for all the cheap flights, regardless of where they're heading. Last year I booked us a random trip away to Lithuania for the weekend, and that turned out to be really great.

This year, even though we had a big trip planned to America, I still had the itch to book a little European break. After deciding EasyJet's flight to Oslo, was in fact nowhere near Oslo, I stumbled across flights to Basel for £130 for two, early December with EasyJet. After a little search online, I was sold on a Christmas weekend away in Switzerland.

The flights gave us from Friday evening until Monday afternoon to wander around this land-locked city, eat all the Swiss chocolate and drink all the mulled wine. A month or so before we were booked to fly I decided I couldn't put off booking a hotel any longer. I chose the Motel One which turned out to be a fantastic hotel in a great local at a very reasonable price.

Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break

Basel is beautiful. It's buildings are all pastel colours with windows that are all stunning in their own right, topped with deep red and brown tiled roofs. Everywhere you look makes you feel like you're in a fairytale land, especially at Christmas time when they go big on the twinkly lights. We did a lot of walking around the city as there aren't many major attractions, but the the main sights we took in whilst we were there were:

  • The Basel Minster. Taking a very narrow trip nearly all the way to the top (we're chickens), the Minster offered fantastic views of the area and was a perfect introduction to this sleepy city.
  • The Gate of Spalen. One of the last remaining gates from the city walls. Although not a very time-consuming activity, it's definitely worth a wander to see.
  • Tinguely Fountain. Not the best thing to see when its cold out, but this fountain has a lot of moving parts to look at.
  • The City Hall. This is such a stunning building that is perfectly kept and seriously made me wish I lived there.
Other attractions that we didn't visit included taking a trip over the river Rhine and lots of museums and art galleries.

Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break

Of course being a food blogger, I couldn't go to Basel and not look for some nice places to eat. I was very excited when I arrived and realised that Switzerland was the home of Raclette, a cheese lovers dream. However over the weekend I didn't manage to try any. Although I was disappointed about this I did have some lovely meals and drank lots of Baileys hot chocolates. If you were going to Basel, I'd recommend these places for a meal:
  • Markthalle. This is a huge dome shaped building filled with lots of different street food stalls and plenty of seating to accompany it. Here you can literally travel the world without leaving the market, they have everything from Vietnamese, to Caribbean, Lebanese to Japanese. It may be the environmentalist inside me saying this but I love that here you can sit with a real plate and cutlery to enjoy your meal rather than disposables.
  • Latini. An fancy Italian restaurant a short walk from our hotel which served lovely pasta and risotto. 
  • El Mexicano. A lively Mexican restaurant set on a strip of shops and restaurants near the main Christmas market. Had some really nice food here on our first night which I'd recommend for a lazy tea.
  • Creperie Am Kohlenberg. This is a super cute little cafe that serves lots of different types of crepes. For a midday pick-me-up we both had a cup of tea and a Nutella crepe.
Of course whilst we were in Basel, the Christmas markets were on. They appear every year from 23rd November to the 23rd December. If you're going for the markets, you should definitely stay at Motel One as you literally step out of the hotel doors into the market. 

Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market
Basel Switzerland Travel Guide 72 Hours European City Break Christmas Market



There are two Christmas markets in Basel, one in near the hotel, the other is a five minute walk away near the Minister. Both are full of traditional nick-nacks, candles, Christmas decorations, clothing and of courses there are food and drink stalls. The most common treats you could indulge in were mulled wine (literally you could smell it everywhere), Raclette and German sausages. 

There was plenty of chocolate, meats and bread to eat around the market so you defintely won't go hungry. Just a note on the market near the Minister, there is a fantastic little area dedicated to young people where they can try different trades and crafts, and this is where there are fantastic fires to sit around with your hot drinks.

Our trip was very quaint and relaxing. Basel is definitely not a busy bustling city, so don't plan a trip here if that is what you're expecting. If you're happy to wander the streets, sit in cafes and drink lots of mulled wine, this is certainly somewhere you will enjoy.

Where is the best European city you've visited for Christmas?

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2 comments

  1. Can't wait to read all about your trip to New Orleans too!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Basel is likewise one of a kind in view of its closeness to both the German and French outskirts.https://loparemovals.com/switzerland-removals/

    ReplyDelete

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