Before we reached Basel, we were prepared to pay an absolute packet. Switzerland has a reputation for being one of the more expensive destinations in Europe, and we’d readied ourselves for a steep hike in prices. With this in mind, I found ridiculously cheap travel (£9 return..!) and very affordable accommodation via Air BnB. As it turned out, the holiday ended up being one of the cheapest I’ve taken in a long time.
We actually found prices to be on a par, if not cheaper, than what we were used to. London is so ridiculously expensive now that I’m not sure where would seem pricey in comparison. (Possibly Scandinavia, although we had a similar experience in Helsinki last year). Coffees were the equivalent of £2.50 (so, the same), and beer maybe £4 a pint (so, cheaper). Museum entry and various attractions were all far cheaper than their London counterparts – and most of the things on our “visit” list were free.
Additionally, Basel is on the smaller side, so we walked everywhere – but even if we hadn’t, free transport cards are issued to most tourists via a tourism initiative. Even though we weren’t in a hotel we received a free travel card, which we used literally once when leaving. Plus, there’s the hospitality of the Swiss – we were constantly given tip-offs for cheap cafes and restaurants who were eager for us to enjoy our stay. Basel is an incredible place to go if you’re looking for an affordable trip away. Honestly, it is such a beautiful city that I could have happily wandered the streets for five days without paying a penny…! I’ve compiled my favourite free things below!
1. Admire the architecture of the Basler Munster, aka, Basel Cathedral. My pictures don’t do the stunning roof justice.
2. Count the bikes around the beautiful University of Basel grounds. Can you say Insta-perfect?
3. Wander through the Botanical Gardens on a sunny afternoon.
4. See the historic town hall, painted in beautiful red and situated in Basel Marketplace. The gold pillars sparkle in the light.
5. Head up to the top of the city and look out over the Rhine. You can see Germany and France up there!
6. Look for the oldest door in the beautifully painted old town. 1375! 1200!
7. Join the locals, and hang out on the banks of the Rhine. We clinked bottles of beer, chatted to some students with a barbecue, and listened to a series of buskers whilst the sun went down. Bliss.
8. Walk through the spray of the Tinguely Fountain.
9. Follow the River Eastwards, and visit the Spalentor, (city gate at St Albans Tor).
10. Get lost in the charming winding streets of the main town.
Have you been to Basel? Let me know what you got up to!
P.S. Please pin the below, thanks peeps X