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Lodging Recommendations in Basel


500+ Posts
We have booked a Christmas Market River Cruise for Dec 2017.
Flights taken care of, but we are planning to arrive in Basel a few days early to acclimate and visit a new place. Looking for recommendations for lodging and things we should check out while we are there.
Plan on walking or using public transport while in Basel. Thanks in advance. :)


500+ Posts

Let me ask this question - Anyone been to Basel?


500+ Posts
Well I guess when we go, I will have photos that no one will ever know in the photo fun game.
Please post about your Basel experience after you go. I may have an overnight there on the way to France and woukd live to hear what you thought of the town.


500+ Posts
Will do, but unfortunately the trip is not until December. :depressed: :arghh:
LOL, since this thread is older than my participation, I didn't respond or read it till now Colo. Sorry to see you have had so little input.

Yes, someone has been to Basel. I have been many times (I used to be married to a 'Baslerin'. Nuff said about that). However, that also means I did not stay in hotels when there but in a family home. So that's another reason I didn't respond, I don't have any experience with hotels there. I do like the city though and have been there during Xmas a couple of times.

Basel has a good Xmas market as does nearby Strasbourg which you could easily day trip to from Basel if you have the time. I would say it would definitely be a shame to miss Strasbourg if you are in to Xmas markets. It is the oldest Xmas market in Europe. With both Basel and Strasbourg, most of what interests first time visitors is found within walking distance of the main square. Obviously, it is not difficult to Google for the main attractions in both, so I don't see any need to list places of interest to me that may or may not be of interest to you.

One though on the Xmas market aspect however. A big part of that is the lights which means being there at night. You might even want to consider spending a night in Strasbourg because of that. A hotel within walking distance of the Cathedral would be best. I do have a personal suggestion for a hotel I have stayed in there. http://www.hotel-cathedrale.fr/home/ Quite possibly the best location in the city.

In keeping with our shared penchant for stories though Colo, here's one about Basel. On a visit in 1991, I became interested in a Swiss artist named Jean Tinguely after seeing his mechanical sculptural creations in the Tinguely Fountain in Basel. So I visited places in Basel associated with him. One of those was a gallery that sold his works. I couldn't afford any of them but I could afford a t-shirt with one shown on it. So I bought a t-shirt.

That evening, my Brother-in-law admired my new t-shirt and so the next morning, I went back to buy a second t-shirt to give him as a present. Well, unbeknownst to me, Tinguely had died the previous evening. When I got to the gallery, the door was open but the lights were off and when I went in the gallery owner and his assistant were busy removing all price tags from all the Tinguely items. Getting the picture Colo?

I approached the owner and explained that I wanted to buy another t-shirt for my Brother-in-law. The owner told me that Tinguely had died the previous evening and they were not really open, they planned to be closed for the day, 'out of respect'. I said I could 'see' the indication of their 'respect' but as I was a visitor to the city and would be leaving, I hoped he would agree to letting my buy another t-shirt. He agreed with ill grace and I got the t-shirt.

It always remember that and how quickly after an artist dies, prices for their work increases dramatically. I have no doubt that even the t-shirt prices went up several hundred percent when the gallery re-opened the next day. So much for 'respect'. It's all about the money.


500+ Posts
Stories, chance discoveries, and the social history of place one visits is what I do enjoy the most. And of course pictures!

So did you frame the T-Shirt so you could have Tinguely displayed in your home? Love art - any way it is displayed.

The trip is a big jump for us. We have never done something like this and I am not sure we are old enough yet, but it is a river cruise on Ama Waterways that starts in Basel and ends in Amsterdam. There are now 5 couples, who we have traveled with before (individually or in a group) and we decided to do a Christmas Market cruise. We get together every year for a 5 course Christmas dinner for years. A few years ago one couple in the group retired and move to St John for a year so we all went and got a villa and did our dinner there. This year we decided to do Christmas Markets and they had an amazing early booking fare so we jumped on it. I signed up because of the Strasbourg stop. My family history began there with my great-grandfather leaving in the late 1870s for America. I am hoping to find his home and parents resting place.

So we will cruise slowly up the Rhine eating good food and drinking wine with stops at different places to enjoy Christmas markets with friends. Which by the way, after enjoying the markets in Vienna a few years ago ( Virtually Visiting Vienna ) my sweetie determined that Christmas Market in German translates to: "a good reason to drink outdoors" All the stops are places I have not been except the final one in Amsterdam, which is a city I truly love. We will have 2.5 days in Basel, 7 days on the Rhine, and 2.5 days in Amsterdam. A quick trip, but it is Christmas time and we have grand children coming to see us!

I think we have settled on a hotel in Basel, and here again because of friends. One of our neighbors last name is Merian, and the Hotel Merian located in old town on the river was started by a great uncle... so we said why not good location and it has a story ;)
I think I've had lunch on their restaurant patio Colo.

The hotel is on the Kleinbasel side of the river. In the past (but not now) Kleinbasel was looked on disparagingly compared to Grossbasel. Kind of the 'wrong side of the tracks' as we say in N. America. You might find it interesting to do some Googling on Kleinbasel and Grossbasel.

Nice little write up here: https://www.annaselundberg.com/travel-writing/more-gross-than-klein-three-weekends-in-basel/

Before your cruise, you might enjoy a trip across the river on the little ferries. No engine! Powered by the river current. It's a short walk over the bridge from your hotel to Marktplatz, so an ideal location overall for a hotel.

So you have a Strasbourg connection. Well, I guess I have to suggest you have lunch in a restaurant that if your great grandfather was able to afford it, he would probably have eaten in. It is the Maison Kammerzell, right on a corner in the main Cathedral square. Choucroute is a must unless you don't like sauerkraut. I am not a fish fan so I go for the Choucroute Strasbourgeoise. But the restaurant's specialty is Choucroute aux Trois poissons. Watch the first part of this video to see the restaurant and the dish. (From minute 1.45)
View: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x23fogz_luke-nguyen-s-france-s01e03-strasbourg-alsace_travel

Here are photos of it at Christmas. https://www.google.ca/search?q=mais...Gurs_UAhVE0oMKHSCqDT4QsAQIJw&biw=1366&bih=662


500+ Posts
Thanks for all the links and neighborhood history. Colo has homework to review :D

Where did you end up staying in Basel? My husband and I, along with another couple, are doing a Viking river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel in April 2020. I want to spend a night post-cruse in Basel before moving on to other areas of Switzerland (7-8 days total). Thanks.



500+ Posts
We stayed at the Hotel Merian. The hotel was very nice, great breakfast, and had great views of the river. A big plus was it was in walking distance of the river cruise dock. I would stay there again no problem.

Here is a link from the blog which will show views from the Hotel.
Spend the extra bucks for a river view.


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