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Swiss Francs in Basel

We will be disembarking from a river cruise in Basel, Switzerland, and plan to take a taxi directly to the train station for a trip to Paris. Will we need to have Swiss Francs for the taxi ride? Or is Basel close enough to the French border that they'll accept Euros?

Posted by
16883 posts

We are willing to bet one beer that the Basel cruise terminal will have ATMs for withdrawal of Swiss francs. Many businesses in Switzerland will accept smaller euro bills (and apply their own exchange rate), but not euro coins or large bills.

Posted by
31440 posts

Thomas,

If the driver does accept Euro, the exchange rate likely won't be too favourable. Whether close to the border or not, I found that the McClean WC's in Basel station will NOT accept Euro.

I'm not sure if the Taxis there accept credit cards, but that might be an easier option than getting Swiss Francs just for one transaction.

Posted by
8889 posts

Laura, you owe me a beer.
There are no ATM's at the Basel cruise terminal, which is really just a small building big enough for customs on the river bank in a park.

But, most taxi drivers in Basel do accept Euros, but please ask the driver to double check.
Most shops and restaurants in Basel do accept Euros, but in all cases they accept banknotes only (up to €50 or €100), but give change in Swiss Franks. There are so many commuters and shoppers from France and Germany that they have to accept Euros.

Ken, the 'McCleans' has a coin-operated turnstile to get in, which is why it only accepts Franks.

A taxi to the station (Bahnhof SBB - there are 2 stations in Basel) will cost CHF 30 - 40. But, if you walk across the park (approx 150 metres) you can get a tram to the station, and that will cost just CHF 3.40. The tram ticket machine accepts Euros, including coins.

If you have spare time, Basel is worth a few hours. The tram will go through the city centre (which the taxi has to go round), and you can get off at the "Marktplatz" (= Market Place) and stretch your legs.

Posted by
27509 posts

I think that Chris F is being modest about Basel. It is a terrible shame that you will be in such a fabulous city and half Canton and miss the great art, funny and cute museums - the Basel sense of humour is one I really enjoy - and beautiful city. Even Klein Basel is good fun.

If you decide to walk across the park and take the tram, Basel's trams are good fun - and do a real ballet around the centre. There's free wifi on one type of vehicle. The little ticket machines at the stops are easy to use - I don't remember if they speak English but I think they do or it is so straightforward that it didn't matter.

Posted by
258 posts

Thank you, everyone! These are great suggestions.