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Review: Basel



Beautiful Basel & Scenic Switzerland

  • By SilverTraveller zenanattriss

    41 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon

  • Jul 2013
  • Husband

125 people found this review helpful

We stayed 5 nights at the Ibis Bahnhof Hotel in Basel, Switzerland. We chose it for its proximity to the Mainline train station and for its reasonable price. We were extremely happy with the hotel – it is modern, clean, has good air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi and the most helpful Reception staff we have ever encountered! And 2 tram routes stopped virtually outside the hotel, with trams every 7 minutes! Swiss city hotels provide guests with a free city bus and tram pass for the whole of their stay – which was a great bonus and even covered the journey back to the airport for our flight home. We had bought, before we left the UK, a 4 day Swiss Pass as we planned to go on a trip each day by train. This also gave us a 50% discount on some cablecars.

Day 1: we went to Interlaken, then to top of the Schilthorn Mountain (as did James Bond/George Lazenby) via train, bus and cablecar. The journey was great, especially the cablecar, however because of cloud we did not get a good view from the top.

Day 2: we went to Geneva then took a boat on Lake Geneva to Nyon, then train via Lausanne to Bern where we had a meal before returning to Basel by double-decker train.

Day 3: we went to Lucerne – a beautiful city then took a boat to Vitznau. From there we took the old steep cog railway to the top of Mount Rigi, then a different cog railway down to Arth-Goldau and then back to Basel via Zurich.

Day 4: we went to the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen – a spectacular waterfall and apparently the No.1 tourist attraction in Switzerland. We returned via Zurich again, stopping off there to see its beautiful Old Town.

We were surprised by how expensive Switzerland was for eating out, cold drinks etc. An assistant in a Tourist Information office explained that they earn more per hour than we do. A bottle of coke in a self-service restaurant was typically about £4….. Just the main course in Mr.Wong, a sefl-service Chinese chain restaurant cost over £12 each. Higher earnings may explain why every long distance train had 3 or 4 first-class carriages with lots of people using them. There were no ticket barriers at any of the stations we went to – instead friendly ticket inspectors were on every train (keeping unemployment figures and anti-social behaviour down). The whole public transport system was wonderful, with an abundance of punctual trams, buses, ferries & trains, all timed to connect with each other. Switzerland's reputation as a clean, beautiful country eluded me in some of the areas we visited. Mainly because of the graffiti that was everywhere, from near the stations (as at home) to bridge supports in the 'middle of nowhere'.

We saw and did a lot during our short stay. Once back from our day trips, we spent a few evenings 'riding the trams' with our free tram pass and this way saw a lot more than just the centre of Basel. The city centre was very picturesque – the Rathaus (Town Hall) was one of the finest we have come across, The Tinguley Fountain was amusing and the pedestrianised streets charming. We very much enjoyed our Swiss sojourn.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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