Basel. A major hub for France, Germany and Switzerland… I think this is one of the coolest airports in Europe because of its reach. One end takes you within an hour of Paris and the other takes you a bus ride into Switzerland and the middle bit takes you forty-five minutes into Freiburg pretty fascinating. And on a day when you feel like you need to skip town for a bit to clear your head, book a cheap plane ticket with easy jet for Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg and hop on a bus to Basel; its a compact enough town easily seen in a day… the sights that is, as I would imagine there to be more than just the old town. You can also catch a train from there to the little cute towns of the Alsace region of France like Colmar.
With a few hours to spend in Basel there are three musts to do when in town.
Visit the Old town:
Walk around the old town and be enamoured by simple architecture that takes you back in time. I love the charm of an old town, it’s history etched in every crevice, face young and old tell the stories of time gone by and the present day. Old towns are soft and charming, quiet and wholesome. No matter how pretty a place is, no matter how much advanced in technology it has become, the truth about a place is often discovered in the old town. So walk this one in Basel, it has a lot to tell.
Stop by the town hall and be utterly blown away by it.
The townhall of Basel is incredible and I hazard a guess it is the most visited place in the town, on sight its easy to know why. Visit the splendid town hall building in the main square, spend some time here and imbibe the details of the building itself.
Go to the paper museum and geek the hell out at the history on display.
I am a huge stationery person, pen to paper over computer screens and this was the main draw for hopping on a plane on a whim, when I learnt Basel housed a paper museum it was an obsession to visit. It is as cool as one can imagine with a substantial history of paper and also you get to make your own paper. It does not get cooler than that.
Walk the cloisters of the munster, actually spend some time in the munster its such a dominating part of the town it’ll be a shame to miss it.
Also, do stroll along the Rhine it brings the city to life in a particular way.