Cheap flights to Basel
World-class food, unforgettable festivals and a capital of culture – Basel is a city that likes to impress. Folklore, medieval customs, world-class museums and a hodgepodge of different cultures best sums up Switzerland’s second largest city, Basel.
Sat on the border with Germany and France, this city used to be an important trade route back in the 14th and 15th centuries. Today it’s a tourist Mecca of medieval buildings, Gothic churches and bucket loads of charm. The old town is the usual Swiss mix of riverside views, leafy courtyards, Romanesque cathedrals and enough chic boutiques to leave your credit card trembling.
Sauna am Rhy, on the old bathing platform just up the river from the city, provides not only a lovely sauna, but two yurts for eating, drinking and relaxing above the river's currents, and a chance to take a dip in the frigid winter Rhine. Reservations recommended. sauna-am-rhy.ch
From 6 October, the renowned Fondation Beyeler in nearby Riehen is showing a retrospective of the German figurative sculptor Thomas Schütte. Schütte's sculptures are often bizarre, and always impressive, whether a tiny plaster cast or an iron structure several metres high (101 Baselstrasse, tel: 061 645 9700, fondationbeyeler.ch/en).
Basel Fasnacht (10-12 March) is three days of fiendish masks, blaring marching bands, ear-splitting piccolos, and more parades, sweets, and crowds than any small city really needs. But the locals won't have it any other way, making the Basel carnival far and away the year's biggest party. Try the free Fasnacht mobile app at kaellerabstieg.ch to find all the secret taverns serving food and drinks.