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How To Reach Basel
Basel is a tourist hub, a cultural destination, a commercial centre and a historically rich city. It is just a couple of kilometres away from France and Germany and that is just one of the reasons that make this city so unique. It is easily accessible from western Europe via train and road. But the best way to reach Basel, especially from Asia or Eastern parts of the world, is by air via Zurich Airport. There is also a sea route, but that is open only during the summer months.
Basel's airport is located 4km away from the city centre... in France! Yep... that's right! Basel shares its border with France and Germany. So you can either fly to EuroAirport (Basel Mulhouse Freiburg) and then drive into the city or you could take a flight to Zurich and then take the train into Basel which is another 90 minutes.
While travelling from India, the Zurich route is better as there are many flights to Zurich, including a direct one through Swiss Air. But while travelling from other European cities or from further west, flying to EuroAirport is a better idea.
The Basel SBB train station is well connected to Zurich and is located only 1 km south of the city. So if you are thinking of travelling by train, the best route would be to fly to Zurich and then take a train to Basel. The train ride is for 90 minutes and there are 2 trains every hour. The Basel SBB station is also connected directly to Germany and France - so if you are on a euro trip, that's another way you can get in.
There is a second station at Basel known as the Basel Badischer Bahnhof, however, fewer trains depart from there and they are mainly to connect to the southern part of Germany. There are also tram routes available that connect Basel to Saint Louis in France & Weil am Rhein in Germany.
Zurich to Basel by road is about 80 km and will perhaps take you a little over an hour to drive. The highway is smooth and clear and the scenic countryside is a delight for sure.
Since Basel borders France & Germany, you can also drive from these countries into Basel, however, you may need added documentation (toll stickers) since you are crossing borders. There are also long-distance buses that connect Basel to other European countries like Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich, Hamburg, Hanover, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan and Rome.
The sea route is open only during peak tourist season (usually June to September) and connects Basel via the Rhine to countries like Amsterdam, Germany and France. This is usually a 7-11 day cruise and is probably a holiday in itself! So it's definitely not the best way to enter the city, but surely the most exotic!
Basel is not a very large city and most of its tourist spots are huddled up together - so the best way to explore the city is the good old fashioned way - walking! Just be on the lookout for a tram coming your way - especially while crossing! The public transport systems are also systematic and easy to use. Buses and Trams can drop you almost anywhere you need to be and at affordable rates too. Your hotel/hostel may also provide you with a Mobility Pass - which will give you free access to the bus & tram network. You can also explore the city on bicycles, segways and electric bikes. You can also take a ferry boat on river Rhine if you want to go across or down the river.