Getting Out of Basel for a Weekend
While Basel is a beautiful place to live and work, you’ll probably want to go somewhere else on occasion! It’s likely that you’ll do this in one of three ways, by car, by train or by plane.
If you don’t have a car in Basel, but have a valid driver’s license, you might want to rent a car to get out of the city for a few day. The process for this is the same as it is most places in the world. You’ll need to bring reserve online, or by telephone, be sure to bring your license when you pick up the vehicle.
Also, if you work for one of the larger companies in the city, bring your work ID, as it might get you a discount at some of the rental agencies. You can ask at work if such a discount exists, to help you chose a car rental agency. Once you are done with the vehicle, be sure to bring it back in the same shape as you took it out, and refill the fuel tank before you return it.
There are several international car rental agencies available in the city:
If you have a car its easy to plan a roadtrip. Again, its wise to consider membership to the autoclub TCS if you have a car of your own and are travelling within Switzerland. You might also consider investing in a GPS unit!
The Swiss also have an extensive and extremely reliable train system that reaches most Swiss cities, towns and villages as well as providing access to many other major European city centers. High-speed trains go direct from Basel to Frankfurt, Paris and Milan in under 4 hours. Basel has two major train stations, the Basel SBB (Swiss Rail) and the Basel Badischer Bahnhof, which is operated by the German Rail (Deutsch Bahnhof-DB). Train connections from other countries are often less reliable than Swiss trains, a factor that should be taken into account when travelling. Furthermore, inclement weather, fallen trees or occasional accidents on the train lines can disrupt service. This is much more common in the winter months.
Basel’s airport is close to the city center and remarkably easy to reach by either public transportation or driving. Due to the size of the airport, going through security is generally quite fast, and the airport restaurant/ business lounge facilities are excellent. Low-cost carriers fly out of Basel airport, providing economical connections to much of Europe, but be sure to book early to get the best prices! Flights out of Basel are somewhat limited, as the airport is small, but Zurich Airport, which is much larger, is about 1.5 hours away by train.
There are numerous airlines you can travel, some are listed below:
There are also online booking services, like ebooker.com that can help you find the best prices. You can use these sites to book flights, car rental and hotel (or any combination of these) in English.
If you don’t already have a destination or activity in mind for your trip, you have your work cut out for you deciding. Why not check out the rest of Switzerland? There is a company, MyDays, that has great ideas for trips in Switzerland, and other locations in Europe.