Updated: Apr 14
I first traveled to Switzerland as a child when my father was stationed in Germany. I fell in love with the mountains, the chalets, and the quaint towns. Switzerland is a central European country that is bordered by France, Germany, and Italy. Basel is located in the northwest corner of the country allowing visitors to take fantastic day trips to neighboring countries as well as other parts of Switzerland. Here are some great ways you can expand your trip to Basel by taking a few day trips.
Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg
This medieval French castle offers visitors an incredible view of the Upper Rhine Plains as it sits atop the mountainous terrain that surrounds it. The castle dates back to 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. If you have time, stop in the nearby town of Colmar.
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.
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. Make sure to its world-famous rose garden. 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.
Lucerne is one of my favorite places. As a child, I was fascinated by the Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, that crosses Lake Lucerne. Located at the base of Mount Pilatus, Lucerne is the fairytale town that you imagine when you think of Switzerland. The town is an easy train ride or drive from Basel.
The biggest waterfall in Europe, the Rhine Falls drops 75 feet along a 450-foot expanse. The best way to experience the falls is by boat but there are viewing platforms along the river.
This village is arguably the most charming in Switzerland. The beautiful Swiss architecture, mountains, and waterfalls are captured in many of the photographs you have probably seen of Switzerland. There are numerous hiking trails, skiing opportunities, and plenty of opportunities to try local Swiss cuisine.
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.
I would love to help you plan your trip to Switzerland. Contact me so we can begin crafting your itinerary.