We are arriving in Basel ( our home base) 4 days before we head out on our river cruise. Any suggestions for day trips? Rent a car? Train? Earlier there was a question that was similar but took place in a colder season, which may have led to different suggestions . Thank you!
Colmar (France) is gorgeous, but in a half-timbered way reminiscent of some German architecture, so you might prefer a different pre-cruise destination.
I am also doing a river cruise in late October, my 6th actually with AMA Waterways (Enchanting Rhine ending in Amsterdam) and know all of them go basically the same route. The Swiss train system is very efficient and I am considering on staying in Luzern for one to two nights. It appears it is a 2 hour train from Basel.
I would second a visit to Colmar as I stayed last year for 5 nights in Strasbough and used the train to visit. I even considered staying in Colmar since the lodging is more affordable than Basel but you may have found a nice hotel or B&B in Basel.
Any tips on your home base lodging would be great help if you want to share or send me a private message.
In Luzern, I am looking at Hotel Des Alpes or Hotel Alpina Luzern and just awaiting their email reply. I am happy to help with Colmar as well but it is a small version of Strasbough and just lovely. We are visiting Freiburg in the heart of the Black Forest on the river cruise or I would have visited there.
Kate, I would allow at least one day to look around Basel. Lovely city to wander around, old town, cathedral and lots of museums.
Luzern is a good choice, two trains per hour and it takes between 1h 5 and 1 h 20, depending on train.
Colmar is a good day trip (train).
Freiburg im Breisgau (the one in Germany, not the one in Switzerland) is a good day trip (train).
Where are you coming from?. If the answer is Zürich airport, an option is to go direct to Luzern and do 1-2 nights there, and then the rest in Basel.
The weather here is currently bouncing around, with a few days at 20-25C, followed by a few days at 30C. Expect similar.
Your cruise probably stops at Strasbourg anyway, right? I'd head further into Switzerland since you won't be seeing any of it on the cruise other than Basel, which is not in the mountains.
I'm on the same page with you - arriving in Basel 4 days early to join an AmaWaterways river cruise. I agree with the other comments about some of Rick's favorite places, particularly Lucerne. As suggested, if you're coming from Zurich, you can take the train to Lucerne for a day or two before heading to Basel.
We're planning on enjoying Basel at a leisurely pace. Swiss National Day is August 1st, and Basel celebrates on July 31st, and it looks like it's going to be a stellar time! I ran across a fun city guide at ArrivalGuides which is a new site to me. I've also started following AFAR and am enjoying that site.
Maybe I'll see you on the boat? :)