I guess you grow more aware of your roots if you live abroad. In my case, I’ve recovered my love for my home town of Basel, and I am very happy that SWISS now brings it even closer to Scandinavia with its new six-times-weekly Basel-Copenhagen flight.
If you ask someone what Basel is famous for, they will probably say its pharmaceuticals industry, its football club and its three crazy days of carnival in late winter. But Basel is much more than that. I see Basel as the “underdog” among Switzerland’s bigger cities.
So to bring Basel closer not only to the Nordics, but also maybe to some of you, here is my personal “Basel ABC”:
The Atlantis restaurant/bar/club, located in the city centre, is an institution. Founded way back in 1947, it’s also known as the “Tis” among locals and visitors alike.
This square is the very heart of Basel. Get yourself an ice cream, sit down and watch the people pass by. Or spread out and discover the nearby shopping streets.
C Cargo Bar
The Cargo Bar is located directly on the Rhine, and is usually packed with Basel’s urban and alternative crowd. The perfect place for a summertime beer.
Like to spend some time in Germany or France? No problem: Basel borders on both countries. So why not stroll over to France for a tasty baguette?
This bar is located in an old factory area. The cocktails are made with love and fresh fruit.
F FC Basel
They say that FC Basel, the local soccer team, had more fans watching their games when they were playing in a lower league (years ago) than many a top-league team attracts today. A home match is well worth seeing, for the atmosphere and the stadium (Switzerland’s biggest) alone.
This street, which leads from Barfüsserplatz to Marktplatz, has nice small shops as well as many places for lunch or a coffee.
Two weeks in autumn when you can feel like a small child again (at least I do). A big funfair all over the city with many attractions and good – but maybe not too healthy – food. My favourite is the classic Ferris Wheel, which lets you see the city from another perspective.
I I love Carnival
“Die drey scheenschte Däg” (the three nicest days) for all inhabitants are the days during Carnival in late winter. Basel is transformed into a madhouse, the mood is unique, and the people celebrate like there is no tomorrow.
J Jä or Jo
There are two different ways of saying YES in Basel. But it is a well-kept secret when which YES has its turn. (I once heard that “Jä” is closing and “Jo” continuative, like “Yes, but…”).
This place has a lot going on for many tastes. You may like to check out the monthly “Antz in the Pantz” party series, with DJs proving their good taste in funk music and a crowd that’s definitely running high.
Basel’s sweet speciality, and an absolute must. You can find their store on Gerbergasse.