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Car rental in Basel

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Basel photo

Basel is the second largest city in Switzerland, located on the River Rhine. Bordering Germany and France, Basel has incorporated the cultural features of these countries. The city is famous for its museums and the oldest university, founded in the distant 1459. Walking around Basel, you will feel the atmosphere of a medieval city, where each street is a work of art. However, Basel is not only museums and medieval architecture, Basel is also a city of fun and carefree. Every year the city hosts a carnival, in terms of scope and beauty not inferior to the Venetian. And if you rent a car, you can see the picturesque surroundings of the city: ancient ruins, quiet villages and delightful alpine meadows.

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Car hire at Basel Airport

Basel International Airport SchemeBasel-Mulhouse-Freiburg International Airport ( Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Airport or EuroAirport ) - download the scheme
IATA code: BSL
Location: 6 km from Basel and 22 km from Mulhouse (France)
Official website: www.euroairport.com
Information: +41 61 325 25 11

Renting a car at Basel Airport is the best solution if you intend to travel around the city and its environs. Large car rental companies at the airport offer car rental services: Avis, Dollar, Europcar, Enterprise, Alamo, Hertz and Sixt. You can also use the services of local companies Citer and Edel & Stark. As for parking, there are 6 short-term and 7 long-term parking lots at the airport, where you can leave your rented car.

What to see in Basel: interesting sights of the city


Rittergasse 3

Cathedral photo

The main attraction of the city, topping the must see list of every tourist who comes to Basel. There used to be wooden churches on the site of the cathedral, but now there is a magnificent monument of late Roman architecture with Gothic elements, built in the 11th century. Inside the cathedral there is a crypt with the graves of the early bishops of Basel, and two towers offer a wonderful panorama of the city. In the evening, the cathedral is highlighted and looks like from the pages of old fairy tales - do not miss such a wonderful view.

City Hall

Marktplatz 9

City Hall photo

You will notice the Basel Town Hall immediately: a red building with painted balconies and a colored roof stands out against the background of beige-gray buildings. The entrance to the town hall is decorated with the coat of arms of the city and the image of the god of victory, surrounded by children. Entering the courtyard, you will see a statue of the consul Lucius Munatsio Planck - the founder of Basel. Now the Big Council (legislative body) is sitting in the town hall, meetings of the State Council (executive branch) are being held, and the city hall is also located here. Pay attention to the wall paintings in the courtyard: the images are very similar to the illustrations for fairy tales. In the morning, there is a market in the square in front of the town hall where you can buy pastries and fresh fruits, as well as feel the spirit of old Basel.

Art Museum

St. Alban-Graben 16 www.kunstmuseumbasel.ch

Art Museum Photo

For art lovers, the Basel Museum of Art will be a real treasure. It houses the world's largest collection of works by the Holbein dynasty. In addition to the works of old masters, the museum also presents paintings by the Impressionists and the works of Cubists, Expressionists, Constructivists, Dadaists and Surrealists. The ticket price includes inspection of both permanent and temporary exposure. On the territory of the museum there is a souvenir shop and a small cozy cafe, where you can talk about high things with a cup of coffee.

Museum of Paper and Book Publishing

St Alban-Tal 37 www.papiermuseum.ch

Museum of Paper and Book Publishing Photos

An interactive museum dedicated to the history of paper and printing. Instead of the monotonous speech of the guide - the opportunity to make a sheet of paper and print letters or images on it. The museum is located in the restored building of the former paper mill, supplying paper to almost all of medieval Europe. The spirit of antiquity is conveyed here thanks to the restored historical premises of the factory, as well as valuable exhibits telling about ancient printing techniques. Feeling like Guttenberg is easy, just visit this museum and plunge into the atmosphere of medieval Basel.

University of Basel Pharmaceutical History Museum

Totengasslein 3 www.pharmaziemuseum.ch

University of Basel Pharmaceutical History Museum photo

Basel is the center of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, so it is not surprising that this is where the museum dedicated to the history of the pharmacy is located. The museum has one of the largest pharmaceutical collections in the world, consisting of ancient pharmaceutical glassware, medicines of different eras, medical books and first-aid kits used by old doctors. During the tour you will see installations of a medieval laboratory and a pharmacy of the 19th century. Of course, the museum’s employees will not share the recipe for the elixir of eternal youth, and they won’t help you find the philosopher’s stone, but they will tell you in detail about the traditions of medieval medicine and show valuable exhibits of the collection.

Near Basel: the best car routes

Augusta Raurica

Augusta Raurica photo

In a rented car, you will reach August Rauriki, an island of antiquity east of Bern, in a few minutes. This place is known as the oldest Roman colony on the Rhine; it was founded around 44 BC. on the territory of the Gallic tribe of Rauriks. In the first centuries of our era, August Raurika was a prosperous settlement, but by 260 AD the city was completely destroyed by the Alleman tribe. At the site of the city ruins, archaeologists found taverns, baths, a forum and even a Roman theater with 10,000 seats. Now Augusta Raurika is an open-air museum where every stone preserves the history of the ancient city.


Lucerne photo

The city, located on the lake and surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery. Lucerne is like a fabulous city, consisting of low buildings in the style of gingerbread houses. You should come to Lucerne for the “Chapel Bridge” - the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe, which is a symbol of the city. Lovers of religious buildings are advised to visit the Jesuit Church of the 17th century - this is the first church in Switzerland, made in the Baroque style. And of course, do not forget about the sculpture of a dying lion carved in the rock, dedicated to the Swiss guards who heroically defended the Tuileries Palace in 1792. A walk along the promenade of Lake Lucerne and dinner in a cozy restaurant will be a pleasant end to your walk.


Bern photo

The city you fall in love with at once: ornate streets, ancient fountains, a view of the Aare river from high bridges and the unique Old Town, which is under UNESCO protection - Bern is imbued with the spirit of the Middle Ages and charming antiquity. Be sure to look into the house and museum of Albert Einstein and visit the Center of Paul Klee - one of the leading avant-garde artists. We also advise you to go to the Bear Park to watch how the animals that are important for Berne frolic (the bear is depicted on the coat of arms of the city). And if you suddenly find yourself in Bern on the fourth Monday of November, then you will get to the traditional Swiss festival - Onion Market. On this day, you can buy farm vegetables, large bundles of onions and garlic, ceramic dishes and souvenirs in all markets of the city, and onion soup becomes the dish of the day in restaurants in restaurants.


Linden photo

Overlooking the real alpine meadows and the cows grazing on them, we advise you to go by car to the village of Linden. We assure you that you will be delighted with the sight of this nice and neat village at the foot of the mountains. Small wooden houses, ducks running right in front of you, clean mountain air and the ringing of bells hanging on the neck of cows, are so cozy and warm in Linden that you will want to stay here for a few days. There are two hotels in the village, offering modest but comfortable rooms with views of the picturesque surroundings. If you want to change the atmosphere and be alone with your thoughts, then you can not find a better place - paradise in Switzerland looks that way.


Tun photo

This wonderful place is worth renting a car and driving a distance of 122 kilometers. Thun is located on the shores of the lake of the same name in the valley between the Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau mountains. The main attraction of the city is a beautiful medieval castle (Schloss Thun), in which a historical museum is now open. In the largest tower of the castle you can find the knight's hall, decorated with tapestries of the time of Karl the Bold. The highlight of the city is Obere Hauptgasse, on which the protruding terraces of the houses serve as sidewalks. Be sure to walk along it, you will not find anything like it anywhere. Thun is located not far from ski resorts such as Adelboden, Grindelwald, Gstaad and Kandersteg, so if you drive a rented car in the direction of these resorts, we advise you to stop in Thun for a short while.

Food: atmospheric restaurants, cafes and bars

Mrs burger

Meret Oppenheim-Platz www.mrsburger.ch

Mrs Burger photo

When you see the red car on Meret Oppenheim-Platz, immediately drop everything and go try the best burgers in Basel. A smiling guy and a girl in red caps will cook a big juicy burger for you and decorate it with a small Swiss flag on a skewer - you are guaranteed a stylish Instagram photo. There are four appetizing “Mrs” on the menu: cheese, vegetarian, with cheese and with the addition of bacon. Near the trailer there are two wooden tables with small lanterns, and on each chair there is a warm blanket - all so that your gastronomic meeting with Mrs Burger is cozy and romantic.

Volkshaus basel


Volkshaus Basel photo

If you want to try real Swiss cuisine, then Volkshaus Basel is better than you can imagine. The restaurant is large, with several rooms, but we advise you to choose a table in the courtyard, surrounded by greenery. It is especially cozy here in the evening: the lights light up on the trees, calm music sounds, and the delicious aroma of steaks soars in the air. Do not forget to order a glass of wine, which will be a good addition to your dinner. You will recall Volkshaus as a place you should definitely return to once again plunge into the atmosphere of peace and harmony.

1777 Kaffee Restaurant Bar

Im Schmiedenhof 10 www.1777.ch

1777 Kaffee Restaurant Bar photo

1777 Kaffee Restaurant Bar became famous for two dishes: a pastrami sandwich (smoked beef) and a 1777 burger. The restaurant is located in the very center of the Old Town and is ideal for lunch as well as for a light dinner with a glass of local wine. Unobtrusive design (white walls, large windows, dark wooden floors, frayed tabletops) and relaxing music create a pleasant background for communication with friends, and the candles that light here in the evening add romance to a delicious dinner. Outside the restaurant there are several tables that you should choose in good weather to enjoy the view of the beautiful square.


Stanzlergasse 4 www.tibits.ch

Tibits photo

The history of Tibits restaurant is the story of three Frey brothers and their cherished dream - to open a vegetarian buffet, where you can quickly and tasty have a snack in a cozy atmosphere. In 2000, their dream came true: together with the owners of the legendary vegetarian restaurant Haus Hiltl, the brothers opened their first Tibits (eight restaurants of the chain now operate around the world). The concept of this place is simple: you compose your dish yourself, choose the right ingredients on the buffet counter and, in the end, pay for the weight of the dish. Tibits cooks from organic products and uses seasonal fruits and vegetables, which affects the quality of the food: it is healthy, fresh and light. The restaurant serves delicious breakfasts, so do not be too lazy to come here in the morning and try, for example, granola with fruits or pancakes with honey.

Che, que lomo!

Muenchensteinerstrasse 81 www.chequelomo.ch

Che, que lomo photo

Having rented a car, first go to Che, que lomo! This restaurant is the best thing that can happen to lovers of juicy grilled meat. Steaks, ribs, sausages, baked potatoes, fresh vegetables - the food here is so delicious that you will want to go back to the restaurant more than once to remember the taste of real meat with smoke. Interior in ¡Che, que lomo! very simple without any design refinements, but they are here and to nothing: the main thing that you need to pay attention to is meat, and the restaurant is dedicated to it.  

Where to live: comfortable hotels in Basel

Hotel rochat

Petersgraben 23
+41 61 261 81 40 www.hotelrochat.ch double room - from CHF 105

Hotel Rochat photo

If you do not plan to stay in Basel for a long time and do not want to spend much on housing, we recommend that you stay in Rochat. The hotel is housed in a historic building and is located in a quiet and peaceful area near the city center. The rooms have everything you need to comfortably spend several nights. On Saturdays, there is a flea market nearby, where you can buy a nice little thing to remember about a trip to Basel.

Der Teufelhof Basel

Leonhardsgraben 49
+810 41 61 588 01 69 www.teufelhof.com double room - from CHF 158

Der Teufelhof Basel photo

Hotel with an original concept: you can choose either a standard room or a room representing a real art object. The hotel periodically hosts exhibitions, even has its own theater. Outside the hotel looks charming: a three-story white building, wooden shutters, dormer-windows, and in some places ivy winds on the walls. Inside there is a wooden spiral staircase, which makes Der Teufelhof Basel look like an old country mansion of some aristocratic family.

Hotel krafft

Rheingasse 12
+41 61 690 91 30 www.krafftbasel.ch double room - from CHF 215

Hotel Krafft photo

Boutique hotel with great views of the Rhine. It was here, in room 4.1, that Hermann Hesse worked on his famous novel, The Steppe Wolf. The design of the rooms is simple and concise, each floor has a soft sofa and a bookcase. Dark parquet and a large wooden staircase give this hotel an aristocratic chic. Entering Krafft, you will find yourself in a typical expensive hotel of the early 20th century and feel the special spirit of antiquity.

The passage

Steinengraben 51
+810 41 61 588 01 85 www.thepassage.ch double room - from CHF 250

The Passage photo

Modern hotel near the historic center of Basel. Spacious rooms, lots of glass and light, pastel shades in the decor - nothing will distract you from relaxing after a busy day of walking. The rooms have capsule coffee machines, so you don't have to go far for a cup of invigorating coffee. The hotel also has a gym and sauna.

Hotel St. Gotthard basel

Centralbahnstrasse 13
+41 61 225 13 13 www.st-gotthard.ch double room - from CHF 293

Hotel St.  Gotthard Basel photo

“Come as a guest, stay as a friend” - with such words they greet tourists in St. Gotthard Basel, founded in 1882. In addition to its convenient location (500 meters to the historic center of Basel), the hotel has another advantage: every three months there is an exhibition of works by local artists. The rooms in the hotel delight with their comfort and coziness; upon check-in, guests are given a free card for trips around the city. By the way, breakfast is included in the price, which is especially convenient for those who do not want to spend the whole morning looking for a good cafe for a delicious breakfast.

Where to park a rented car in Basel

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©  Ellina Rudenko, 2015

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