When (if!) you have enough of bustling city life it is just a quick train ride to Riehen, a "suburb" of Basel in the north of the city. Riehen is located on the right bank of the Rhine river at the foot of the Black Forest mountains. Until the early 20th century it had been a village with a few manors owned by the leading Basel families. Now Riehen is a favourite residential area of Basel, part of the canton Basel-Stadt, but in regards to administration an independent town. It has preserved much of the rural charm, some of the old manors are well preserved and some were turned into museums or other sorts of public buildings (e.g. schools). Almost all of them are surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Riehen is famous for the Fondation Beyeler, a highlight for fans of art (see separate tip). But there is also a nice parish church, a toy-, village- and viticulture museum and then there are the gardens mentioned above. Plenty of reasons to go to Riehen. Take the tram #6, Riehen is included in the Mobility Ticket.
Fondest memory: I enjoyed the Fondation Beyeler very much, no doubt there. But my fondest memories of Riehen are the strolls through the village, gazing at the foliage in Sarasin Park (vis-a-vis the Fondation), the walk around the so called "Kirchenburg" in the centre that goes back more than thousand years, and the visit of the toy-, village- and viticulture museum.
First mentioned in 1434 Mariastein is nowadays the second largest pilgrimage site in Switzerland. As the name "Mariastein" indicates, people go on pilgrimage to "Maria" in the "stone", meaning a grotto in the rock formations high above a valley where the actual chapel with a figure of Maria, the "Black Madonna", is.
In 1648 the Benedictine monks from Beinwil erected the monastery Mariastein. The basilica is built in post-Gothic style and was redecorated in Baroque style in the 18th century (altars, pulpit). In the 1830s the facade was redesigned in classicistic style. The beautiful frescos on the walls and ceilings were created even later, in the 1930s.
You access the chapel/grotto through a door left of the main facade of the basilica. Stairs and a flight of long halls lead you to the chapel. Half way you'll see another chapel, called the chapel of pains.
Check the schedule of masses online prior to your visit. I arrived right in time for Vesper which was interesting, but it meant 50 minutes sitting on the bench and listening and praying. No sightseeing in the basilica during masses (but in the grotto chapel).
Fondest memory: As Mariastein is a place of pilgrimage I thought it was best to walk there. I took the tram #10 from Basel proper to Flüh (runs every 10 minutes, takes about 20 minutes) from where I took the main street of the village UP to Mariastein. It is a quite steep ascent, leads through the residential area first (beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the ruins of castle Landskron), then through the woods and finally over the plateau to the actual village and monastery.
I enjoyed the walk very much even though it was overcast. But the foliage was still very beautiful, the setting is peaceful and scenic. If you're not into walking just take the bus which runs at least hourly.
Advice for folks with Mobility Ticket: Before getting on the tram in Basel purchase a ticket. The Mobility ticket covers the ride as far as Ettingen. So you need either a short ride ticket (Kurzstrecke) from Ettingen to Flüh (4 stops, 2 Sfr.) or a 2 Zonen Ticket from Ettingen to Mariastein (4 Sfr.). To get them you must select "Ettingen" as starting point (not Basel!) and type in the destination village at the ticket machine. Quite confusing, took me a while to figure it out how. And the machines only accept coins!
While this response, won't help you, maybe it helps someone else.
The closest one I can think of, is
In general there are not that many internet cafes in Basel.
This is one operator which is centrally located.
The closest tram station would be Theater or Barfüsserplatz.
It is not that far away, you can also go on foot.
Maybe 15 minutes.
This internet cafe is located at the pedetrian precingt Steinenvorstadt.
I think there is also an internet cafe inside McDonalds.
Also Tram station Barfüsserplatz.
Favorite thing: The photograph here shows the point where Germany, Switzerland and France meet on the Rhine and ships leave the the North Sea. If you look closely you just see the Swiss flag and the French flag on two of the sculpture "wings".
Basel is almost a car-free city.
On your arrival in Basel you can rent bike, which is not only comfortable, but also very favorable. Biking is a great way to become intimate with the city and get excercise at the same time.
Pedestrians and bikers have the right of way! Drivers will stop as soon as you THINK about crossing an intersection!
Every main street has independent bike paths, traffic signals; lane has a median between it and the road. The only thing you have to worry about is the trams, which are awesome by the way.
Fondest memory: Virgin Atlantic Airways has put together a list of the top 11 friendliest cities for bikes in the world.
There is no surprise that Amsterdam leads the list, since bicycles account for 40 percent of all traffic in that city, but Basel is also on the list.
2. Portland, Oregon
8. San Francisco, California
11. Basel, Switzerland
Veloplus bike shop: http://www.veloplus.ch/
Many possibilities. No. one is the public library (Universitätsbibliothek Basel; near Petersplatz and the University), on the first floor; in the first room with computers you'll have 5 or 6 computers where you don't have to pay for surfing and I think you can even print. [Another 6 computers in that room are only open if you're a student of the University - ask at the information desk].
Besides: Thalia Bücher in Freie Strasse; on the 1,5st floor, where they sell travel guides; don't know if you can print but at least surf.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory from my first trip here was at the currency counter in the railway station in February 1997. We had a good idea we were in Switzerland but didnt know for sure. My friend Mike goes to get some money. The teller asks what currency he would like and he says 'ah????, Local.' She replies 'oh then you want Swiss francs?'
Favorite thing: For me this is easily the most beautiful building in Basel. It can be difficult getting a good shot of it during the day because of the market; but persever late into the afternoon. In the mean time go inside it to the courtyard, which is most peaceful.
Favorite thing: The symbolic and actual meeting point of Switzerland, Germany, and France; this is not to be missed. It is a tram-ride from the city centre, and then a ten minute walk by train tracks and the harbour side; but is worth it.
Favorite thing: Basel has many great art museums. But these two, the only one's I visited; really impressed me. Foundation beyeler is a lovely tram ride out in the Basel countryside, from the city centre. It is a tour-de-force of modern art; showing great paintings by all the masters from van Gogh onwards. Small and compact, it offers one a very pleasant time. The Kunstmuseum is much bigger, and some of the old religious art from pre-rennaisance did not appeal to me. But there are still many great modern works to see and appreciate.
Favorite thing: The Munster is probably the most recognisable landmark in Basel. It looks wonderful from afar, walking along the bank of the Rhein; but really has to be seen close up to be appreciated. I hope these photos go some way to showing this.
The Basel card is a way to save money, if you want to see something of Basel and its surroundings, as well as some of the attractions.
More than 80 attractions for free or with a reduction.
There are these:
• Free entrance to 25 museums (regular exhibitions)
• Reductions on special exhibitions
• Free entrance to the Basel Zoo (that alone would be about 12 SFr per adult)
• 30% reduction on car rental (not so necessary in Basel, we have a very good public transport)
• Free city sightseeing tours
• Free ferry boat rides (a definite must!)
• Reductions on theatre tickets
• Free entrance to the garden swimming pools (St. Jakob, Eglisee, Bachgraben ...)
• Reductions at concerts and discotheques
• Reductions at 26 of Basel restaurants
• Discounts at various shops in Basel
• Reductions on boat trips and taxi fares
• Reduction on wellness offers
(Note thatt they don't include the public transport here, but there is an offer including it, or you can buy day cards)
Price for adults (Status Sep 2006): 24 hrs: 20 swiss francs, 48hrs: 27 .-, 72 hrs: 35.-
Price for children: 24 hrs: 10.-, 48hrs: 13.50.-, 72 hrs: 17.50.-
(all info taken from the website of Basel tourismus):
Fondest memory: Where doI get this card?
You can obtain the BaselCard at Basel Tourismus, at the EuroAirport or at some hotels and museums.
In the Stadtcasino, at the Barfüsserplatz
Steinenberg 14, CH-4010 Basel
Mo–Fr 8.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m., Sa 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Sundays and holidays 10.00 a.m. – 4 p.m.
In the SBB train station, CH-4010 Basel
Mo–Fr 8.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m., Sa/Su 9.00 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Closed on holidays
At the EuroAirport Basel, Service Center Floor 2 (arrival)
Mo–Su 5.30 a.m. –12.00 a.m.
For online reservation and information
Basel Tourismus, Incoming Services
Aeschenvorstadt 36, 4010 Basel
Tel. +41 (0)61 268 68 58, Fax +41 (0)61 268 68 70
Favorite thing: My favorite memories of Basel were things like the cleanliness of the city, and in particular the beautiful, colourful buildings, flowers in window boxes, etc. Here was a nice scene near a small market near the centre of Basel
Most of the people just travel THROUGH Basel and very few stay IN Basel. But in my point of view, it is the most pleasant of all larger Swiss cities (Basel is No.3 in population after Zurich and Geneva).
Eating and drinking: Restaurants in Basel are generally TOO expensive: A coffee for CHF 4.00 (or USD 3.50), or two dl of red table wine at CHF 9.00 is a rip-pff, so look around, there are the more honest places. You can also take tram No.6 in 20 mins to Riehen Grenze, and cross the border into the town of Loerrach / Germany with its surrounding wine country and Black Forest hills.
And don't miss a Rhine cruise to Rheinfelden, a 2-hour trip to this historic city, left of the rRhine in Switzerland, the right in Germany.
Basel also has a very pretty old town and many museums that are worth a visit on rainy days.
Fondest memory: The Carneval in February, a Rhine cruis in summer
For all those who are interested in culture, museums, art collections the regional museums pass (Oberrheinischer Museumspass) is a great deal.
The Museums Pass covers more than 150 museums in the region, including Germany, France and Switzerland and such famous museums like the Art Museum in Basel and the Unterlinden museum in Colmar.
I purchased the short-time version, valid four days within one month. It costs 25 Euro.
www.museumspass.com (in German and French only)
Tel. CH: 061-205 00 40
Tel. D: 0761-707 83 82
Tel. F: 03 89 33 96 29