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Basel and/or Gimmelwald in early April?

We are leaving from Basel on April 7 for a river cruise. Will it still be too snowy to spend a day or two in the Alps first? We’d like to hike a bit but are unsure of the conditions of trails that early. Where would people suggest going before Basel that early in the spring? My husband has fond memories of Interlaken 50 years ago but from reading other forums, it sounds like there may be better places to go - again not sure what the weather will be in early April. Thanks!

Posted by
16941 posts

It will still be ski season in the Berner Oberland, albeit late season. How about Luzern instead? It will be spring there, and you can see how the weather is for any mountain top excursions while there. Pilatus, Rigi, or Titlis.
Closer to Basel as well.

Posted by
4370 posts

Have you been to Basel? I was there for a couple days prior to a river cruise as well. I had always heard rather lukewarm opinions of Basel, and was very pleasantly surprised. It's a colorful city. The rathuis was incredible and the marketplatz is right in front of it. There was enough there to keep us happy for a day and a half. That said, Luzern is absolutely marvelous. I was there for three days in January and we had all sorts of weather from clear skies to wet/slushy snow. It seemed even in January, if they got snow, it melts soon. I would expect conditions in Luzern in early April to be pretty nice. It also is a place where you can modify activity based on the weather and sky conditions. You can wander around the lovely river, lake and bridges. If its clear you can take the boat cruise on the lake and then the cog train up to the top of Mt. Rigi. There are several nice museums. Probably the reason I've heard lukewarm opinions on Basel is that Switzerland has many wonderful cities/regions.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks. Luzern sounds like a nice option to see some of the mountains if it is clear. I was hoping Basel would have some interesting sites but since the cruise doesn’t spend any time there I was concerned it would be rather boring.

Great suggestions!

Posted by
4370 posts

Our cruise did a tour of Basel the first afternoon before it departed. On our own we had crossed the bridge by the art museum and noticed that some of the pictures we'd be seeing in publications were from the bridge. We walked along the river on the other side until we got to a bridge closer to the rathuis where we crossed and headed back. Absolutely enjoy Luzern but perhaps save a bit of time for Basel.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you. It’s nice to hear that Basel will be a nice place to explore, too. Sounds like the river area is the best place to see.

Posted by
8889 posts

Kathy, I live in Basel, but I didn't jump in at first because you were asking about places to go from Basel, but now you've asked . . . .
There is lots of info about Basel on the official tourist website: https://www.basel.com/en/Basel-is-an-inspiration/Best-of-Basel

It is a city for wandering around, discovering new cityscapes and thinking "WTF century am I in". The city centre is car free. The main street through the middle has trams, the rest just people.
You can start by walking along the river, past the Minster (cathedral). Photo: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Rhine_Rhein_Basel_2006_871.JPG/1024px-Rhine_Rhein_Basel_2006_871.JPG

Take a (pedestrian) ferry across to the Minster and visit Minster square. Photo: https://db-service.toubiz.de/var/plain_site/storage/images/orte/basel-zentrum/wifi-hot-spot-muensterplatz/muensterplatz2/2544352-1-ger-DE/muensterplatz2_front_large.jpg

And then plunge into the narrow lanes and get lost (photo): https://db-service.toubiz.de/var/plain_site/storage/images/orte/basel-zentrum/basler-altstadt/basler_altstadt_03/2116295-1-ger-DE/Basler_Altstadt_03_front_large.jpg

another photo: https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/old-central-european-architecture-at-basel-bear-nadelberg-picture-id847629984

And finally to the Market Square with the Town Hall: http://pher.ch/photos/landscapes.ch/switzerland/Basel,%20Marktplatz.jpg

There are also lots of museums listed in the first link above.

Posted by
4 posts

Wow! What a great response. Thanks for all the links to Basel. You’ve got us thinking we need another day before the cruise to see Basel. So appreciate all your links.