As soon as I left Zürich last year, I was itching to go back almost immediately. 13 months later I managed to squeeze another trip between my teaching weeks and I absolutely loved it! P.S. If you’re in a rush and want a quick summary of my trip, it’s at the bottom of the page 😉
Unfortunately, the trip started badly. I had my purse stolen at Gatwick airport with £160 inside, and my purse was a beautiful design from Fossil.
I don’t think I have ever publicly cried so hard in my life. I didn’t know what to do and no one had handed my purse in or even seen it. I knew it was gone. No one was going to bring that back to me and the security guys said that if I wanted to not board my flight I’d have to ask the airline staff to approve it. I had 15 minutes until I was due to board and didn’t have a single penny on me.
I called my friend in Zürich and asked if he’d be able to lend me some money when I arrived and thankfully he said yes. I’m not sure why I was so surprised. I’d do the same for a friend but I think it’s more to the point that I’d never have enough spare cash to lend someone money anyway.
When I arrived in Basel I had a two hour wait for my coach to Zürich but the journey was worth the wait. The greenery, the mountains, the sun trying to break through the clouds – it was all beautiful!
P.S. Need cheap travel across Europe? FLIXBUS is amazing. Great prices and loads of destinations – even the app is pretty easy to use.
My friend came into the city to meet me and as soon as I saw him I instantly felt better. I couldn’t believe that I’d been able to come on holiday because he was willing to lend me some money.
I headed to my hostel so I could put my bags down and have a quick nap. I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the amazing Bahnhofstrasse – I love that place! Flags everywhere, fancy shops, cute cafes, and of course, coffee shops!
I stopped by just coffee and had the most delicious filter (sadly I cannot remember which one and I’ve lost the written details).
The first thing I do whenever I reach Germany or Switzerland is grab an apfel schorle and pretzel, and after arriving at 10:30 I was absolutely desperate by 4:30! I sat by the river and watched the world go by for a bit before realizing I needed to shower and change in time for dinner.
We went to this lovely Italian restaurant for dinner – the staff were lovely, the food was great and there was a decent wine list too! The prices were reasonable, which in Switzerland is always a bonus. I paid CHF 20 for my pasta and CHF 8 for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
DON LEONE – Bäckerstasse 31 which is a 5 minute walk from the Stauffacher tram stop, on line 14.
After dinner we met up with two of my friend’s friends for cocktails and before I knew it we were receiving polite hints that it was closing time, around 11pm. It was such a fantastic evening and it just flew by – so much laughter and brilliant cocktails. The staff were lovely and the atmosphere was super.
Henrici – Niederdorfstrasse 1
Unfortunately the hostel was noisy, but when aren’t they? The girls I had a room with were asleep when I got back but one lady woke us up at 1am when she came in and turned all of the lights on, then she woke us up at 2:30 by taking a phone call and refusing to go outside, then again at 4:30 when she decided to pack all of her things up and leave. By 6am I was out walking along the lake and back through the winding lanes of the old town. It truly is a beautiful city and the only disappointment was that the weather was grey and drizzly.
I had breakfast back at the hostel, met a really nice Malaysian guy who’d just quit his job and decided to travel around Europe – great idea!
I headed off to find a coffee and sit at the lookout point. One of my favourite parts of the city and even better when the sun is shining.
I wandered up past the bus station and over the little river, back to the train station for pretzels and then jumped on the 11am bus to Basel. I definitely didn’t want to leave Zürich.
Once I met my friend at Basel airport we paid CHF 4.70 for the bus into the city, checked into our EasyHotel and changed into our summer clothes, because the sun had finally made an appearance it IT WAS WARM!! We had drinks by the river, found vegan ice cream and eventually had a lovely dinner in Vapianos.
I wasn’t entirely impressed by Basel at first, but by the time we left on Sunday afternoon I felt differently. It was beautiful, quirky, interesting and full of amazing architecture.
There were lovely coffee shops, interesting doorways and arches and the Münster and Elizabethenkirche are breathtaking! Unfortunately the good places were all closed on Sunday and I didn’t get the chance to try them all out.
What I did find, however, was the most wonderful little cafe / coffee shop called frühling – Klybeckstrasse 69
Which served about 10 different coffees, afternoon tea-style breakfasts and lunches, brownies, pastries and more! It has comfy chairs and all of the tables have beautiful floral displays on them. It was perfect!
You should definitely take the little ferry boat across the river, as it’s pulled across by a wire and the current of the water. It’s so sweet and a great way to see the city from a different angle.
The zoo was okay. If I had paid full price (CHF 21) I would have been annoyed and disappointed. The animals didn’t have enough space, we even saw a dead bird in one of the bird cages! It was quite upsetting, but I guess you could put that down to natural causes. The flamingos were BEAUTIFUL and there was a section of farm animals which was lovely for families as the children could pet them, but overall I wasn’t impressed.
However, one great thing about Basel is that all tourists receive a ‘Basel card’ which entitles you to free transport and 50% off the museums and zoo. It’s a fantastic idea and certainly helps you save money!
Basel is fantastic for a day-trip or a weekend break, but I don’t think I’d stay any longer, I much prefer Zürich!
P.S. When I went to Zürich last year I crammed in as much as possible – museums, cafes, walks, etc and this time I wanted to relax and just wander around aimlessly.
Basel was new for me and I wanted to explore a little:
Friday was catching up, Saturday we went to frühling, the zoo, the Dreiländereck (the place were France, Germany and Switzerland meet) then to the old town, the Rathaus, O’Reilly’s pub, Vapianos and then back to the hotel.
Sunday we went to frühling again, took the little ferry across to the Munster, had lunch in an Italian in the old town, had ice cream at a little cafe and then headed to the airport.