Basel Weather

26°C

Local time Basel

Currency

SFr

Getting around Basel

Public transport

It's easy to see Basel's main attractions on foot, particularly around the Old Town. However, like most Swiss cities, Basel has an excellent public transport network that operates frequent and reliable services throughout the urban and suburban areas. Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB) (tel: +41 61 685 1414; www.bvb.ch) operates the city's many green trams and buses, most of which operate every few minutes during the day and every 15 minutes late in the evening (although some lines only operate at rush hour). You can buy single tickets and multi-trip tickets. Day cards and two-, three-, four- and seven-day tickets are also available.

As a supplement to the public transport network there are four ferries crossing the Rhine between the city's bridges. They are operated by the Basel Ferry Association (www.faehri.ch), and they travel across the river without a motor, propelled only by the force of the current.

Taxis

There are several taxi companies in Basel, and it is never hard to get hold of a taxi. Companies include Taxi Zentrale AG (tel: +41 61 222 2222; www.taxi-zentrale.ch/), 33er taxi AG (tel: +41 61 333 3333; www.33ertaxi.ch/) and Taxiphon-Genossenschaft Basel (tel: +41 61 444 4444; www.taxiphon.ch).

Driving

Driving in Basel is not recommended, as inner-city streets can be confusing and are shared with trams, which have the right of way. Parking in the old city is relatively expensive and scarce. However, there is a network of clean, safe (and payable) public garages on the outskirts of the city centre, generally open 24 hours.

Car hire

Car hire is available from Avis (tel: +41 61 325 2840; www.avis.ch), Europcar (tel: +41 61 205 9090; www.europcar.ch/en), Hertz (tel: +41 61 325 2780;www.hertz.ch), Alamo (tel: +41 61 325 2903; www.alamo.ch), Sunny Cars (tel: +41 848 19 96 00; www.sunnycars.ch) and Sixt (tel: +41 61 683 5989; www.sixt.ch).

Bicycle hire

Basel is a bicycle-friendly city, with many well-marked bicycle lanes and even traffic signals and left-hand turn lanes for bikes. Helmets are not required (although recommended), but lights and bells are. You can hire bicycles from Rent A Bike (tel: +41 61 272 0910; www.rentabike.ch) at the SSB railway station.

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Featured Hotels

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Swissotel Le Plaza

The Swissotel Le Plaza, graded as four-star superior, is a stylish option a few minutes' walk from the Rhine and the Old Town. The hotel has 238 rooms and offers 24-hour room service, as well as a gym with a sauna and steam room. Its Grill25 restaurant serves up the classics in smart surroundings.

Hotel Rheinfelderhof

A few minutes' walk from the city centre (and even closer to the Messe Basel trade fair venue), this is a well-priced hotel with almost 50 rooms. It's nothing fancy but has all the basics covered, from free wifi to satellite TV. There's a traditional restaurant on site.

Spalentor

Located near the Spalentor city gate in the Old Town, this friendly four-star hotel has 40 comfortable, modern rooms, internet access, fitness equipment, toys and games for kids, DVD rental, a bar and a garden. Another perk: the hotel offers free bike rental for guests.

Pullman Basel Europe Hotel

An upscale chain hotel with a convenient location for the Old Town. It's a sizeable property – there are 141 rooms – and it's popular with business groups thanks to its half-dozen meeting rooms. Other selling points include a fitness lounge and the gourmet Les Quatre Saisons restaurant.

Les Trois Rois

One of the oldest city hotels in Europe, Les Trois Rois is Basel's grandest residence. Over the years, its luxurious rooms and suites on the banks of the Rhine in the Old Town have accommodated such luminaries as Napoleon, Charles Dickens, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Mann and Queen Elizabeth II. It also has a fitness centre and various top-notch restaurants and bars.

Courtyard Basel

Part of the Marriott Group – and consequently a reliable if rather vanilla option for an overnight stay – the Courtyard Basel Hotel is set on the southern outskirts of the city and has 175 rooms and suites with the usual amenities and plenty of meeting space.