A Guide to the Swiss City of Basel with Diverse Cuisine & Great Public Transportation
It’s not unusual for business travelers to visit the same cities on multiple visits, and once there, stick to the confines of a conference room – thus encountering the mundane instead of what should be an invigorating encounter with the new. However, sometimes it is because we don’t really know the city around us, and need a push to explore. Anyone headed over to Switzerland should bear in mind that Europe is filled with picturesque cities, but Switzerland’s beauty is unparalleled. So next time you are in that country for work – and specifically, in Basel, the city that sits on the river Rhine at the Swiss-German-French border — be sure to get out of your hotel, and use the guide below to ensure a great trip!
Basel, the Beautiful City on the River
Basel is home to many companies and a frequent hub of business travel, and offers international cuisine, a diverse population and plenty of ways to get around. This combination makes it a perfect destination for business travelers who have customers or offices in the region.
There is something here for every type of interest. For travelers who want to relax and enjoy the view, Bar Rouge is a rooftop bar with a great view of Basel. It is located on the top floor of the Ramada Plaza Hotel and a nice, quiet spot before dinner (and after dinner, it becomes a busy dance spot!). For travelers looking to shop and explore, Marketplatz is the beautiful city center of the old town with a striking red Town Hall building. Here travelers can try delicious cuisine and shop for (of course!) chocolate souvenirs.
For the traveler who loves architecture, Muenster is a large church that looks out on the serene Rhine River – and travelers often climb its stairs to the top to get the best view. Also, for travelers who enjoy art, Basel is well known for its annual art festival and many museums. The Tinguely Fountain and museum, dedicated to Jean Tinguely, a Swiss artist who was known for his sculptures and kinetic designs, is one of the more quirky and interesting museums in Basel. If you want to see Picassos and Van Goghs, Kunstmuseum is the place to go. And of course, don’t miss the world-famous Art Basel event, held every June, that draws international art-lovers from around the world. Lastly, for a mix of beautiful art in a modern building, take a tram to the Beyeler Foundation.
Multiple, Easy Modes of Travel
Exploring in a new city is always tempting, but Basel makes it particularly easy through convenient public transportation and proximity to other cities. Many companies are located across the river from the main downtown area, but there’s no problem, since the network of trolleys reaches both sides of the river. Some hotels provide a free daily trolley pass; however, purchasing a pass from the bus stop is also easy to do. There are many direct lines from the outskirts of downtown, and, of course, it is also possible to transfer between trolley lines. Note: The maps are simple to understand, but be sure to keep a printed copy with you to find your stops!
Basel is also close to other Swiss cities like Zurich, plus cities in France and Germany, so jumping on a train for a day trip is an exciting option. You can of course drive as well, but beware of speeding cameras and sharing the road with the trolleys!
Great Choices for Gourmands
The best part about food in Basel is the diversity of cuisines that can be found in every corner of the city. Business travelers can leave their catered “meeting foods” in the conference room and explore the city for traditional Swiss food — plus pretty much any other type of fare they crave! Travelers should not leave Basel without trying:
- Walisser Kanne – Traditional Swiss cuisine is a must-eat on your trip, especially the Swiss fondue
- Jay’s – Indian food with a modern twist
- Filini – Traditional Italian food
- Café zum Roten Engel – Don’t start your morning without a cappuccino and pastry at this eatery
- Creperie Am Kohlenberg – Delicious crepes galore
- Laderach – Munch on artisanal chocolates in the main square
So, with lovely architecture, great meals, an international airport and easy access to other cities, Basel is a must-visit city for business travelers. Many of the locals speak French, German and English, which makes it easy to communicate as you explore this city with a cathedral dating back to the twelfth century, yet a sophisticated, contemporary slew of restaurants. There is something for everyone!7