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Anyone familiar with Basel, Switzerland?

Hi. My husband and I will be going to Basel for a week. Does anyone know the best neighborhood to stay in in Basel? Any recommendations for a nice hotel? Thanks very much for any suggestions.

Posted by
5257 posts

We were in Basel just two nights. Its a beautiful and colorful city. You probably need to define "nice hotel". We stayed at the Motel One (NOT the U.S. chain). It was nice for us. We liked the location, the staff was nice and helpful and the room, fresh and spotless. For Switzerland, it was, I think, a good value. It was in what I'd consider the transit center. It was a great place to be to just walk around. It's by the cathedral. Another nice area might be where the historic town hall is location, which is also where there is a market, daily, I believe.

The Basel Tourist information office is excellent. They have a great website. I sent an email a few months in advance of our trip and they sent all kinds of information including maps for walking tours.

I'm not sure Basel has enough to do for a week, but you should be able do interesting day trips. Bern and Luzern come to mind.

Posted by
3954 posts

Well, first, you posted under Trip Reports. You should get more attention under Switzerland section.
What time of year?
The old town plaza areas of Basel are all very nice, both sides of the Rhine. It depends on what you'll do for the week- do you intend to day trip around this beautiful country? You may want to be closer to the train station, but that's not necessary, as a mobility pass for the trams is usually given to guests by the hotels. It's easy to jump a tram to the nearby train station, and Swiss public transportation is very user- friendly.
Strasbourg / Colmar is an 1+ hr away, as is Luzern and Bern.
Could you share more info regarding your interests? Safe travels!

Posted by
2543 posts

In 2021, I stayed at the Hotel Schweizerhof near the train station and trams. The kindest, most helpful hotel staff I have ever encountered. Hopefully, they are still that way.

I used Basel as a base for day trips, so I won’t be too much help on Basel itself. You can read about my experience in my trip report:

Scroll down to Basel—First Home-Base.

Posted by
884 posts

I agree with Pat. Guests in hotels are provided free transport cards ( which can be used for city trams and buses. Also discounts on some attractions. We were there for a few days after a busy river cruise and sometimes just rode the trams to the end and back. Didn't see any neighborhood that wasn't nice. Depends on what your plans and budget are. The right (north) bank of the river was more business and the left (south) bank is where the historic Town Hall (Rathaus), cathedral, several museums, etc are located. Also lots of shopping. I'd aim for that area if I went again.

FYI, there are 2 different train stations in Basel that service different train lines - the main station SBB which is primarily the swiss train line and Basel Bad BF which are German trains. If you plan day trips by train, be sure you know which one you need.

Posted by
18805 posts

FYI, there are 2 different train stations in Basel that service different train lines - the main station SBB which is primarily the swiss train line and Basel Bad BF which are German trains.

Also add the Basel SBB is also the station for trains to France, with frequent trains to Colmar and Strasbourg. Mainline trains to Germany also go from Basel SBB, but if you use Basel Badischer Bahnhof, you can use a Baden-Wuerttemberg Ticket for trips to Freiburg and the Black Forest using regional trains. Its considered a German train station for ticketing purposes.

Posted by
31 posts

I stayed in Basel for 3 nights in 2018 and stayed at Swissôtel Le Plaza Basel. It was an upscale, very nice hotel. I happened to be there during the tennis tournament and saw several ATP players there as well (it was the players hotel, which was pretty cool). Basel's city center is a little bit of a walk though from the hotel--a nice walk, anyway. I enjoyed Basel very much.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks very much for your replies. One suggestion I got was to stay near the Marktplatz. The suggestions for day trips were excellent. It seems I need to do more research, and will gratefully accept further suggestions. Thank you all again.

Posted by
324 posts

Generally I would recommend staying somewhere between the SBB train station and the river. The suggestions given are good (Motel One, Schweizerhof) but there are plenty of other options depending on your budget and tastes. Marktplatz is nice but there is some construction going on in the square, so you may want to avoid staying there right now. You don't say when your trip is, so might not be an issue by then!

The Swissotel Plaza is now a Marriott, just fyi, and is near the convention center. That side of the river is a little less attractive in my opinion, but good if you plan on lots of day trips to Germany as it's closer to the DB train station. Basel isn't that big though, so there is nowhere really inconvenient as long as you don't mind riding trams etc.

Posted by
2 posts

We are in Basel right now. We are staying at Sorrell Merian Hotel right on the Rhine River. Fantastic view, very close to the old town (directly across the bridge), helpful staff, very clean, and includes a good breakfast buffet