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Bâle/Basel: Relaxing by the Rhine

STILL ON DAY 3 of 19

We leave Riquewihr and get back on the A35 and head towards Switzerland (about a 45 minute-drive). Approaching the boarder, we scramble to get the passports out and once we reach the “border”, it’s not a real border with booths and customs officers and what-not, but instead, they stop you to make sure you pay the 40 CHF for the highway “vignette”, which is a total rip off, but whatever - we stick the sucker on the windshield and try to find our way to the centre of Basel via a hot mess of confusing streets and traffic signs.

We finally arrive in Basel and park right by the Marketplatz and Rathaus. Our stay in Basel is only about an hour and a bit, but it was enough to walk around and get a decent vibe of the city and have a tiny bite to eat.

Rhine River



In the centre of Basel sits the Marketplatz (Market Square), which is dominated by the iconic red-brick Rathaus (City Hall). Most of it was rebuilt from 1504-1514 and 1606-1608 and the stunning paintings on the façade are the works of Hans Bock (1608). Surrounding the square are many clothing stores, jewellery stores and restaurants, while the interior of the square is the permanent home to a fabulous market that feature fresh local fruits and veggies, and vendors serving up regional specialties.

Marketplatz & Rathaus | Checking out Rolexes


About a 10-minute walk from Marketplatz, we arrive at Münsterplatz (yes, everything is a “platz”!). The first thing we see is a giant movie screen and a ton of seats…it seems every August, Orange Cinema sets up an outdoor movie theatre (would not want to get caught in the rain there!). At the other end of the square is the Basel Münster (Cathedral). Once a catholic, now protestant church, this Gothic-Romanesque structure was built from red sandstone between 1019 and 1500. Climb to the top of one of the twin bell towers for the best views of the city and the Rhine River.

Top: Münsterplatz, Orange Cinema open-air theatre | Bottom: Basel Münster


Nice place to just hang out in the summer, plenty of spots to sit and chill and enjoy the sun, some people even dipped their feet in, and the more adventurous dipped in completely. Not exactly what I would do, since the water doesn’t look too clean and there’s tons of boats ferrying tourist loads up and down the river.

Views of the Rhine | An awesomely inventive musician!


Just a snack here, all we had was wine, beer and coffee. My hubby ordered a meatloaf sandwich in hopes of that it would actually be a meatloaf sandwich, but turned out to be a mock meat something. Not impressed with our first dining experience in Switzerland!

Coffee and beer on the banks of the Rhine River


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