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  • Writer's pictureRosie Dietrich

Fun Day Trips From Basel

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

Where is Basel anyways? Basel is a unique town that is ordered by France and Germany. Although it is in Switzerland, you could just go down the road and find yourself in Germany or France. The location of Basel, in the northwest corner of the country, allows visitors to take fantastic day trips to neighboring countries as well as other parts of Switzerland. Half of the Basel airport is in Switzerland, while the other half is in France, so you must be careful which exit you take as you rather not have to arrive in the wrong country.

Four years ago, I would have never thought to visit Basel, but it's quite a lovely place. Not only it is beautiful, but it's an important location for river cruising. Basel is an embarkation port for many river cruises travelling the Rhine River. Basel makes for a perfect spot to visit and use as a home base for other tourist locations.

River Cruise expert europe christmas market plans
Basel, Switzerland before embarking on a Christmas River Cruise, 2019

There are a number of great possibilities for you to see more than just Basel. Here are some great ways you can expand your trip to Basel by taking a few day trips.


Bern is the capital of Switzerland, and visiting there is like stepping back into Medieval times. You would never think that this is the capital as you meander through the winding streets of the old town as it maintains its antique appeal and tranquility. Bern is just a short train ride from Basel, and it should be on your list of places to go and see while you are in Switzerland.

Europe travel agent Things to do in Basel before a river cruise
Bern, Switzerland

Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg

The location of this French castle offers visitors an incredible view of the Upper Rhine Plains as it sits atop the mountainous terrain that surrounds it. This castle dates as far back as the 12th century, and it is a beautiful way to see this area of Europe. The best part is that it is only about an hour away from Basel, and it allows you to fit a little bit of France into your trip without having to plan a large excursion.

Day trips from Basel Switzerland before a pre- AmaWaterways river cruise
Rotteln Castle

Rotteln Castle

This castle is in a region that sits atop the mountainous terrain. Rotteln Castle is located near Lorrach, Germany, just across the German border. Unlike Koenigsbourg, Rotteln has not been repaired, and it lies in mostly ruin. The tower is still easily accessible, and it gives visitors another excellent way to see this region. It is the perfect place for hiking and soaking in the forested scenery of the European interior.

Before traveling to Basel, do a little bit of research and plan out an itinerary that allows you to maximize your time and your experiences. You do not have to limit your trip to Basel itself as this entire region has so much to offer visitors. The best part about traveling to Europe is that it is effortless to get around from place to place and even country to country. Just because you are going to Basel doesn't mean you can't go to other parts of Switzerland, France, Germany, or even northern Italy.

Had you heard of Basel, Switzerland before today? Would you be interested in doing a pre- or post- visit from your river cruise in Basel? Next time I head off on the Rhine river, I will be spending a few more days in the area.

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