Basel is the second Swiss city, after Zürich, to have a specialty shop devoted entirely to condoms.
Well, not entirely, since they also sell other contraceptive devices such as diaphragms, the pill and spirals.
Their website includes a lot of good advice (unfortunately only in German), for instance they recommend trying out various sorts of condoms because each kind is different, not only in size and form, but also in elasticity and material. "Every condom producer has his own latex mixture, which produces a different kind of condom. Imagine a strawberry yogurt: under the same name 'strawberry yogurt' there are different consistencies and flavors, some of which you will like more than others." (My translation.)
The shop is open Monday - Friday from 12 noon to 6:30 pm, and Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm.
Ok, I confess, I am a junky for jelly bears or "Gummibärchen" as they are called in german.
This is the shop where I get my "fix". The shop has everything in jelly, not only bears. It has fruit shaped, animal shaped, phantasy shaped ones. It has variations with natural fruit juice, without sugar, without gelatine, for people with zoeliakie and diabetes.
There are hot ones with ginger, sour ones, sweet ones ...
What to buy: Like it hot? go for the Ingwerteufel "ginger devils" - you will not be disappointed.
What to pay: between 5 - 10 swiss francs for 500g
Basel has two good local beers.
One is the "Ueli Bier", made by the Brewerie Fischerstube at the Rheingasse in the smaller Basel
The other is the "Unser Bier" (translated: our beer) made in the bigger Basel at the Laufenstrasse.
Both are going more for quality than quantity. Together they only produce around 7000 hl per year.
The Ueli beer was created in 1974 by a doctor to help the Restaurant Fisherstube survive. It was the first Guesthouse Brewerie in Switzerland and he was succesful.
The logo of the beer comes from the "Vogel Gryff" event and a special beer (a bock or boog) with numerated beer - lids is made for this event only.
Beside that they today have several variations on the list.
For the Tut Ench Amun Exhibition they also created a special Tut Ench Ueli Beer which is made by a recipie from then .... but quite good, too.
"Unser Bier" (our Beer) exists only since 1997 but is quite successfull, too. Founded by some beer-lovers they had soon to change to bigger production units.
They also make beer for special occasions, like (translated) Our Christmas Beer, Our Carniveal Beer, Our Master Beer (when the local footballclub FCB became swiss masters), etc.
Also this Brewerie is famous for its events. So you can not only have a look at how they do it, but also try to make beer yourself! The newest thing is that they are also brewing Whisky - and give courses, too.
What to buy: Beer, of course (what were we talking about?) in different varieties.
You can have bottles (in shops also), glasses and - if you want to make a party - whole barrels.
Ueli beer comes sometimes in special big bottles which can be refilled at several shops.
Located as it is at the heart of a geographically compact region - albeit divided by frontiers - Basel offers a wealth of shops of every kind. Daily needs are mainly catered for by two major distributors which cover the whole area. One is Migros, the other is Coop the latter with its headquarters in Basel.
Normal opening hours for urban locations of these stores are 8.30 to 18.30 Mondays to Fridays, until 20.00 hours on Thursdays in the centre of town. On Saturdays, shops on the outskirts close at noon while larger stores and those in the centre of town stay open until 17 hours. These major suppliers are supplemented by a host of local and village shops which are sometimes open until 22.00 hours seven days a week, thanks to a recent loosening up of commercial regulations.
The Swiss love to eat well and their grocery stores reflect this. Though small by some foreign standards, food stops are generally well-stocked with fresh produce and whatever else you need to create a good meal, simple or complex. Even the smallest urban stores often have sections of exotic or imported goods as well as frozen, micro-wave, heat-and-serve and take-out foods. The latter are making an impact on how shelves are stocked as Swiss shoppers reflect the increasing numbers of working singles, couples and families with limited time for traditionally prepared meals. Along with this trend, a growing range of biologically grown or processed foods has been developed to meet concerns about unhealthy or overly modified diets. In addition to the major chain stores, there are a growing number of specialty food shops to be found in the larger department stores or in neighborhoods with a distinct ethnic character, particularly Oriental, American-style, Italian, Spanish or French in nature.
What to buy: Furniture and Decorations
In the home interiors sector there are small joinery businesses and interior decorators as well as high-quality furniture specialists, quite apart from major outlets such as Ikea and Interio, both located by the Pratteln motorway exit just outside town. When it comes to entertainment electronics and computers, individual retailers; local, national and international chains all vie with one another for the customer's favour.
They cover the entire range from specialised high-end shops to aggressive discount stores with unbeatable special offers. Basel enjoys an excellent reputation in the case of music CDs: well-informed sources claim that these are cheaper here than anywhere else in Europe because many direct importers are based in Basel. There is also a proliferation of pharmacies, with at least one that stays open round-the-clock.
Some parts of town and some country areas still retain an old tradition: the milk truck and the vegetable wagon bring fresh farm produce and milk to your front door, together with cream, cheese and soft drinks. The Coop also has a home delivery service for beverages. It goes without saying that Basel is also present on the internet in a culinary sense. Popular (non-virtual) meeting places include the markets - either that for fresh produce on Marktplatz in the heart of town, or the popular flea markets on Barfüsserplatz and Petersplatz. Nor is Basel lacking in banks: it is here and at the post office that cash can be withdrawn. Credit card shopping has still to take Switzerland by storm.
What to pay: Switzerland is expensive, but you have very reliable services.
I discovered that small designer furniture shop when passing by by bus. I immediately had to get out at the next stop and have a look at the cool stuff in there. And couldn't resist buying a few things (at sales prices luckily). I have been there several times now and temptation to buy something is always great. You get excellent advice from the shop owner as well and can take your time to have a look around and "touch and try" everything.
What to buy: Depends on what you are ready and able to spend. There are plenty of nice things, from very pricey sofas looking like stones to colourful kitchen linen.
What to pay: Things are mostly rather expensive. Well-known names created the stuff, so it's obvious. Still, you can get smaller special items for affordable prices. And watch out for the sales - you can get things considerably cheaper then.
Nice, little shop with a lot of belts and bags made out of old newspapers and maps. Additionally a good assortement of gifts.
What to buy: Newsbelts
What to pay: as much as you want to :-)
MANOR is found in all Swiss cities. The main thing that strikes me is the lack of choice, high prices, and the utter boredom of the place.
What to buy: The supermarkt is always located downstairs. It is also boring and expensive.......but hey, it is what they have in Switzerland.
Besides cheese and chocolate, I cross the border to buy food in France.
What to pay: High prices, no competition. Shop elsewhere. There isn't anything here that you can't find anywhere else.
Go to the tram station,
look at the train station : it is on your left.
What to buy: Food store open:
- from monday to friday (6am-10pm)
- on saturday and sunday (7.30am- 10pm)
What to pay: Migros has many products for reasonable Swiss price
Good Thai Food :
RAAN THAI PRODUKTE
Untere Rebgasse, 5
Tel 061 681 2238
Tel 061 685 4699
MIGROS is just in front of MANOR
061 686 7676
just in front of the Market, at Marketplatz
What to buy: Food and wine
What to pay: Migros is the cheapest to Globus the most expensive.
"Laeckerli" or Leckerli means something small and sweet in swiss german. Huus = House.
What to buy: So this is the house where you can buy the lokal speciality, the Laekkerlies.
They are a swiss (actually Basel) invention. A biscuit taht has been manufactured in Basel since the 14th century and is still made according to the original recipe.
In it are: almonds, hazelnut, honey, candied lemon and orange peel, as well as kirsch and fine spices.
There are newer variants covered in chocolate.
They are quite durable and make good souvenirs.
What to buy:
I already mentioned the famous Swiss chocolate, but on my tour through Basel I "discovered" a shop with more than just chocolate, they had all different sorts of sweets nicely decorated.
It looked sooooooo good!!!
Swiss chocolate is sooooooo delicious! Don't forget to buy any - a perfect souvenir!
What to buy: I won't give any recommendations on what to buy - there are so many brands and so many flavours, I guess, you just have to start with something and taste your way through the shops!!!
This shop isn't strictly in Basel, it is just over the boarder into Germany. Buying your food and drink here will easily halve your weekly grocery bill, more money to spend on traveling!
What to pay: Less than in Switzerland!
There are a few antique shops in the center of Basel. It seems that some are only open Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons! Still it is worth to just peek through the windows - beautiful stuff inside!
What to buy: Swiss chocolate is known to be excellent - and that is for a good reason! My favourite brands are Frigor, Toblerone and Rayon, but you will have to find out yourself!!!