A few weeks ago, Chris and I spent a long weekend in the border region of Germany, France and Switzerland. From Freiburg we visited some places in Alsace and also wanted to get to know Basel in Switzerland. Basel is located at the river Rhine. It´s a famous city of art and culture, above all because of the international art fair Art Basel, which now also has branches on other continents. Traditionally, Basel’s wealthy citizens use to donate to the cultural sector. During this stay, however, we did not visit the museums but strolled through the streets to get an idea of the city. We like visiting art museums, but we can do this in winter and the city of Basel itself offers a lot of sights and beautiful views. When I looked through the photos from our walks after the trip, it was clear to me: Basel deserves its own “My Camera Loves” article.
Colourful Basel Town Hall and chocolate
First we went to the representative town hall in Grossbasel. The Building with its red sandstone, colorful oriels and ornaments is a real eye-catcher and architectural highlight. After I had photographed this in detail and devotedly, I managed to buy some dark, vegan chocolate in the fine confectionery opposite. Whenever I’m in Switzerland, I buy a little chocolate. It´s a personal tradition I enjoy a lot. Afterwards we crossed the Mittlere Brücke over the Rhine to Kleinbasel.
Picturesque scenes at the river
The River Rhine is the natural recreation area of Basel. When the weather is fine, you can meet at the large river not only in beach bars, but also for swimming – typical for Switzerland. Seen from Kleinbasel, the Rhine offers a beautiful backdrop that seems to have been made for photos. The quarter was originally considered as the place of the less wealthy people. Walking along the river bank and admiring the picturesque overgrown houses, it’s hard to believe this. Today, the banks of the Rhine are certainly a sought-after residential area. At least I would like living there very much, also because it is cosmopolitan, multicultural and cheerful. Not only the houses on the shore are a great photo scene, but also the views to the other side of the Rhine with its high situated cathedral and the old town.
Crossing the Rhine by Ferry
After visiting Kleinbasel and enjoying a river walk, we took the ferry back to the opposite side, the old town. The river ferry, a small wooden boat looked norstalgic and the driver was very friendly. By the way, compared to Swiss prices, the crossing is a real bargain which offers fun and a unique travel experience. In fact, the Rhine ferries can look back on a long history: a ferry connection between Kleinbasel and Grossbasel (means: big Basel) exists since the middle of the 19th century. We sat on board with another travelling couple from Germany and laughed a lot. Arriving at the left bank of the Rhine we had to walk steeply to get to the cathedral. This was quite exhausting during pregnancy. But it was very green and idyllic. You simply have to see the cathedral “Basel Minster” and its surroundings.
The Final: Basel Minster and the Old Town
Of course it is also worth visiting the late Romanesque cathedral with Gothic elements from the inside. If you want to relax in green surroundings from the long walk through Basel, which is often connected with climbs, the place in front of the cathedral (Münsterplatz) is the place to stay. Not far away you will find beautiful rows of houses with colourful window shutters. They say that Basel has one of the most beautiful old towns in Europe. And yes, it is really very picturesque and also very big. Basel offers enchanting old houses with shutters in the old town for long stretches. Often you have to walk up and down while exploring the old town. I particularly liked the sections around the cathedral and the Spalentor. In between there are a lot of attractive houses and boutiques along the winding alleys. The small shops can also be found around the Spalentor. The Spalentor was once a city gate. It is considered one of the most beautiful of its kind in the whole Switzerland.
Trip from Basel to Mulhouse
We are avid collectors of Starbucks mugs and despite having been several times to France together we still lacked the France mug. As Basel is directly located at the French border, we drove even further into the nearby Mulhouse. The city is located in Alsace, but unlike other major cities of the region such as Strasbourg or Colmar, it is usually not on the tourist radar. This may be due to the fact that Mulhouse is a former industrial town and, unlike the popular cities of Alsace, has no fairytale colourful half-timbered houses. Nevertheless, the old town of Mulhouse with its old buildings and an atmospheric very French carousel in vintage style is also pretty to look at. I particularly liked the façade painting of the town hall and the St. Stephen’s Church opposite, which looks like a typically French cathedral. In fact, Mulhouse used to belong to the Swiss cantons as an independent republic. Nowhere else have I experienced country hopping as easy as in this region.
If you like my blog post, you might be also interested in my article about the romantic town Stein am Rhein, Switzerland.
Transparency: The naming of destinations is based on my voluntary decision. We paid for the costs of our trip completely ourselves.
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20 thoughts on “My Camera Loves: Basel, Switzerland”
Basel looks beautiful place of Switzerland.I loved the walk through old town so much.your captures are so lovely..You have covered so much details.
Hi Mayuri, Many thanks for your lovely feedback. Very happy about this…
I didn’t know Mulhouse was an old city! I’ve driven past it many times, but never visited the city. Basel is a city I would love to visit soon as well, it looks very picturesque.
Basel is truly picturesque but Mulhouse also is nice to visit in the center. Hope you will like Basel as much as I did…Cheers, Ricarda
I wanted to book a flight to Basel so I can travel through Alsace, France, but now I know I need to spend a day or two in Basel itself!
Yes, I really recommend to spend some time in Basel. It would be a pity just to fligh in and go…
It’s beautiful! I also can’t imagine that the area by the river used to be a not-so-posh place. How can the wealthy during those days turn their back away on a magnificent river view? 🙂 It’s actually the same here in London, some of the posh areas now used to be slums and I guess because during that time when there was no sewage system, living by the river can be a bit smelly. 🙂
Thank you very much, Noemi. This is an interesting aspect…I definitely would love to live with river views like these.
Wow Basel looks really nice and a quaint lil town with really nice architecture. Your photos are gorgeous with nice guide. Great post.
Thank you so much. It’s not so small actually but some parts really feel like a picturesque village.
Basel looks like such a charming town! Your capture it so well in your photos, I can’t wait to visit myself 🙂
Thank you for the lovely feedback, Rachel. Have fun seeing the city with your own eyes! 🙂
Wow such beautiful architecture and the perfect photography site! Amazing to think its so close to my home of London and i STILL am yet to visit
It’s even closer to my home city, Munich and I have not managed before this year. 🙂 I really enjoyed taking photos there…
Haven’t been to Switzerland yet but I’d love to visit. Just saw some cheap tickets to Basel and maybe I should buy them. Seems like a cute place for a short vacation.
Yes, it’s brilliant for a short trip, Eve, but of course there are so many choices and great places to see in Switzerland. In any case I highly recommend to visit this country.
Hearing the name makes me Nostalgic, I was in Switzerland on my first solo trip. Your camera does like Basel and me too. I’ve never heard of Mulhouse, and despite not being touristy, it seems like a nice short trip. Thanks for sharing.
Oh yes, the first solo trip is something you will never forget. I can identify…Mulhouse is in any case good for a short visit.
Would love to go to Basel! Looks so beautiful. I’ve only been to Zurich but this is on my list!
Great I could inspire you a bit. 🙂 I think both cities are nice but personally I liked the old parts of Basel a bit more than those of Zurich.