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Train from Basel

Will be in Basel 3 days in September before River Cruise...any suggestions for train day excursions ...especially into Switzerland?
thanks
Coach

Posted by
33317 posts

coach,

That's a bit of a broad question since you don't give a single clue as to what sort of things you would like to find.

Posted by
27 posts

thanks for your reply and good question....open because we are OPEN for ideas.........not looking for anything other then interesting ride into Switzerland..see another city...the country maybe Alps etc. maybe just a ride to Zurich
thanks!!

Posted by
8889 posts

Are these 3 days your only chance to see Switzerland? I do not know what other places you will be visiting or might already have seen.
Spend at least one day in Basel, there is plenty to see. I was in the centre of Basel earlier today, I spotted at least 3 tourist groups following their guide, one from Viking cruises.
Not Zürich, it may be the biggest city, but it is way down the list of places to see in Switzerland.
One day in Luzern (1 hour from Basel by train). If the weather is nice (which it may or may not be in September) go on a boat trip on the lake.
Or perhaps Bern, that is a nice old city.

If you want an introduction to the Alps, I would recommend the following circular route by train, sort of a poor-man's Glacier Express:
Basel --> Luzern --> Brünig Pass Railway --> Meiringen --> Brienz --> Interlaken --> Bern --> Basel (or vice versa). If you start early enough you can stop off at one of the intermediate locations for an hour.

I don't know what is being included as excursions from your cruise, but if not already included I would recommend Freiburg-im-Breisgau, one hour north of Basel by train.

Posted by
27 posts

Chris....great info thanks. We are there three days then north to Amsterdam on Viking
Is poor man express doable in a day beginning early?
What do you like about Freiburg-im-Breisgau?

Thanks again for your input

Posted by
33317 posts

Yes you can.

Rick speaks about Freiburg im Breisgau in his book. I like the baechle. It is a nice town to walk around, and near the Black Forest.

I very much like Chris F's tour. It is similar to what I might have suggested. Beautiful.

Posted by
8889 posts

coachschue,
Yes, the Brünig pass railway round trip takes a lot less than a day, leaving time to stop off in one of the places en route. As on all Swiss train routes there is one train per hour. You can look up times and prices on www.sbb.ch
Specify Basel to Interlaken Ost via Luzern for the outward leg, and Interlaken Ost to Basel SBB, with no "via" for the return leg. Sample times:

  • Depart Basel SBB 09:17, arrive Luzern 10:30
  • Depart Luzern 11:05, arrive Interlaken Ost 12:55, intermediate stations include: Meiringen 12:16, Brienz 12:33
  • Deparet Interlaken Ost 13:00, arrive Basel SBB 14:59, intermediate stations include: Bern 13:52

As you can see, that leaves plenty of time to get off the train at any of the stations, and get the next train one hour later, or the next-but-one 2 hours later. If you are really keen you can get the 06:17, 07:17 or 08:17 out of Basel SBB. ("poor man's Glacier express" is just my nickname for the route).

Freiburg-im-Breisgau is a pretty German city. A nice place to spend a spare day wandering around.

Posted by
8889 posts

coachschue,
Depends what you are interested in, Museums, an old town, food or what?
Basel has a lot of museums, though the main art museum (Kunstmuseum) is currently closed and has its collection lent out, some to other museums in Basel (click here for details).
Also try the Fondation Beyeler, it is the sort of museum where you turn a corner and say, "I've seen photos of that one".
For details of all museums in Basel click: http://www.museenbasel.ch/en/

But, I prefer Looking at a city from the streets. Basel is a very middle-European looking city. It looks like something you see in a film set before the 2nd world war, with buildings of all ages in central European style, and unlike most other central European cities it escaped bombing (except when the US air-force got lost).
It just begs you to start walking. I just like walking around the old town, past the town hall in the Market place, looking at the Minster (cathedral) from across the river, or from Münsterplatz. Or turning into a narrow lane and asking "what century am I in now".
There are shopping streets as well.

I hope that is enough for you.

Posted by
27 posts

Chris excellent you have been very helpful thanks! You also think like I do....walk and see
Thanks