Hiring a car in Basel

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Hiring a car in Basel

Pick up your hire car at Basel airport and enjoy a hip, green and cosmopolitan city on the Rhine that's rich in culture and steeped in history.

60-second guide to Basel

in its own head

"We are the city that aesthetes dream about, with the oldest public art collection in the world, cutting-edge architecture and some of the most amazing riverside views in Europe."

but more realistically

Switzerland's second largest city isn't just a pretty face. With over 40 museums, countless theatres and some of Europe's brightest annual carnivals, Basel is buzzing with culture and entertainment.

the vibe

Located on Switzerland's northern borders with France and Germany, the city has a surprisingly Mediterranean feel, especially in summer. Relax with a drink outside one of Basel's many cafes or restaurants and you could easily be on the French Riviera.

the natives

Basel is a university city, so expect to see plenty of youngsters sporting Che Guevara T-shirts wandering about with piles of books under their arms.

the weather

During summer Basel enjoys some of the warmest temperatures in the whole of Switzerland, reaching a sweltering 24°C in July. Things get much cooler in winter and heavy snow isn't unusual - great news if you're heading up to the mountains with your skis.

the local speciality

Switzerland is famous for making mouth-watering chocolates and Basel is no exception. You'd need unbelievable willpower to go into one of the city's flamboyant confectionary shops and walk out empty-handed.

the celebrity

Arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, Swiss ace Roger Federer was born in Basel.

did you know?

Basel's academic institutions have attracted their fair share of boffins over the years - philosopher Nietzsche and theologian John Calvin are just two of the great minds to have studied in Basel.

they say

"Art Basel cannot be beaten. Since 40 years irresistibly on the top: this fair does not falter." - Frankfurt General Newspaper comments on Basel's renowned art fair.

5 to see in town...

1. Rathaus

The beautiful town hall is the focal point of Basel's busy Marktplatz. Dating back to the 16th century, check out its frescoed inner courtyard.

where to park?

Street parking is available on the roads surrounding Marktplatz. Alternatively, try the 24-hour car park on Fischmarkt.

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2. Basel Munster

Once a Catholic cathedral now a reformed Protestant church, it is hard to miss this red sandstone building with its soaring twin towers and colourful roof tiles.

where to park?

The multi-storey car park on Henric Petri-Strasse costs £

3. Church of St Elizabeth

This magnificent 150-year-old building was the first Protestant church to be built in Basel after the Reformation. In recent years, innovative ideas have swelled the congregation - including photography exhibitions and headphones playing fairytales for children.

where to park?

On-street parking is available along Elisabethenstrasse, or try the car park on Steinentorberg - from 60p an hour.

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4. Kunstmuseum

Basel's art museum hosts one of Switzerland's largest collections of paintings, ranging from the 15th-century to the present day. Highlights include works by Manet, Cezanne, Picasso and Munch.

where to park?

Try the car park on Henric Petri-Strasse, which costs £

5. Rhine

The city's river is a great place to take a dip, although it's advisable to wait until summer before donning your swimming togs - the water is very cold in winter months.

where to park?

There is a car park on Rebgasse (on the north side of the river) that is close to the waterfront.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Engelberg Ski Resort

Head up the mountains to the historic village of Engelberg and enjoy 51 miles of ski slopes, including an eight-mile trail that starts at Titlis Glacier - home to a snowboarding park in spring and autumn.

how to get there?

Just 80 miles from the city centre, follow the A2 north-west and take exit 33-Stans-Süad towards Engelberg/Dallenwil/Ennetbüargen.

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2. Bad Ragaz

As well as boasting 14 ski slopes the village is known for its thermal waters, perfect for soaking in after a long day on the pistes.

how to get there?

Drive south-east along the A3, passing Zurich. The journey should take roughly two hours.

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3. Lake Lucerne

Switzerland's fourth-largest lake is one of the country's most picturesque spots. Home to the iconic Chapel Bridge and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Lucerne is a feast for the eyes.

how to get there?

Follow the A2/E25/E35 towards Luzern/Gotthard/Arisdorf/Bern and take exit 47 to merge with the A2. Exit 34 towards Buochs takes you to the south-west side of the lake.

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4. Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn

Without doubt one of the most breathtakingly beautiful mountain landscapes in Switzerland, if not the world, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Europe's longest glacier and awesome views.

how to get there?

Take the A2 towards Lucerne, turning off at exit 40 and following Route 19/Furkastrasse. The ten-mile-long Furka Tunnel leads to Oberwald and the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn region.

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