8th January 2018

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

First post of 2018 here we come! Happy New Year 🙂

Quickly thrown back into reality with no more lie-ins and late nights I’m writing this whilst still in holiday mode having only just got back from Basel. Yep, I’m also being super organised by writing this post whilst everything is still fresh in my mind. And… drum roll… I VLOGGED!!! It’s not fab, I most certainly have a lot to learn, mainly that I need to stop covering the microphone  with my thumb and how to hold the damn thing straight.. but you know, I VLOGGED! Watch it here…Part Two is currently taking over my life. Editing tips always welcome.

It would of course would be totes amazing if you subscribed. I will be doing similar content to here and I will include baking and cake related vlogs too.

How exciting!

Back to Basel

Pretty much every Christmas my boyfriend and I choose to pay for an experience or holiday as opposed to buying each other gifts. We’ve spent Christmas in Brussels and Oslo and we always try to do something Christmassy whilst there. It’s especially nice when we are there for New Year and we usually get to experience different traditions and watch amazing firework displays.

I have to admit, I didn’t know too much about Basel before arriving. I was so busy in the run-up to Christmas I didn’t even really research what was around either. We were going in completely unaware of what to expect.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

The architecture in Basel really surprised me, the food was tastier than I thought it would be and shock horror…I didn’t actually eat any chocolate. In fact, I hardly saw any at all. There were however plenty of delicious roasted chestnut stands, lots and lots of cheese and plenty of snacky street food vendors too. Perfect.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

City Facts

Basel itself spreads over a bend in the river Rhine with industrial and more modern buildings to the north and most of the old city on the west bank. Strangely we commented quite often that you’d find a beautiful Swiss home with ornate windows and doors then directly across the road they’d be a really ugly worn down building. It’s quite strange and I found it quite peculiar.

Another interesting fact is that the city unusually straddles the borders of three countries, though there is little to indicate when you are moving between France, Germany or Switzerland. When you land at the airport you have to make sure you take the right exit too!

Where We Stayed

We’d chosen to stay at The Passage hotel which is a small boutique hotel situated about 10 minutes walking distance from the centre. We arrived way early before check in thinking we’d have to store our bags before we explored but they let us straight into our room. No fuss whatsoever. Handing over some free travel cards, which all hotel guests in Basel get and giving us a quick talk about the usual type of hotel things you may need to know… breakfast times, how to use the lift… even what the hotel dog was called!

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

There’s a gym (I stayed well clear) and a sauna which was totally quiet and surprisingly I don’t think many people take advantage of it. If you watch my video (nudge, nudge) I have a little clip where we discover the open shower in our room…perfect for all you exhibitionists out there.


Armed with my warmest coat, it was freezing, we then wandered on down through the town. The historic heart is the ‘Marktplatz’ dominated by the red sandstone town hall which dates back to the 1500s. The colourful painted front dominates the main square and when you look closely the details are incredible. I loved the diamond roof in particular. On weekends it turns into an open air farmer’s market and on our particular visit there was this delightful chap blowing giant bubbles all around the place. We gawped at all the cheese, tried to decipher the language (there were no English translations) and hung around to people watch.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

We then wandered around back streets, up hills, over the bridges and constantly commented to each other about how the city wasn’t how we expected it to be at all. I drank glühwein (mulled wine), nibbled on Swiss cakes and treats, and marvelled at the endless pretty windows and doors.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

Super soft warm jumper - Oasis | Bumble Bee Necklace - Alex Monroe | Jamie Jeans -Topshop

We soon ended up walking up the steepest of streets and arrived at Basel Munster, the city’s Gothic Romanesque cathedral.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

Lots of students gather in areas to sing and dance, its actually really refreshing and quite sweet to watch. No embarrassment, no cares given if they didn’t hit the notes. Just genuine fun. I liked it.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

We discovered that if you walk to the back of the Munster there is a lovely tree-shaded terrace which I’ve now learnt is known as the Pfalz, which offers magnificent views over the Rhine and the rest of the City. We originally were going to watch the NYE fireworks from here but it ended up being a little bit crazy on the evening.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

Another nifty thing about Basel are their river boats. The current on the Rhine is really strong so there’s a fixed line that carries the boats, and tourists, across to the other side.  These boats have no motor, and are completely carried by the current.  The boat is attached to this wire (so it stays on course) and once the boat pushes off, it sails across the river until it reaches the other side.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

Getting Around

Without a doubt though, the best way to see the city is on foot. We covered so much in our weekend there and didn’t jump in a taxi once. So skip the trams if you can and stretch your legs to explore. It’s worth it.

Art fanatics will love Basel. This city is home to over 30 museums and in our time there we chose to visit the Kuntzmuseam which houses both old masters and modern art. Now neither Steve or I are big on Art but we totally appreciate it and this museum kind of surprised us both with how much we enjoyed walking around. First of all, it’s huge and second of all seeing some of the most famous paintings in real is quite surreal. I studied Art at A-Level and two of my favourite artists were Kandinsky and Dali.  When I came across their pieces I was actually a little bit blown away. Other works included are from Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Cezanne, and 20th-century works by Picasso (a whole room full), Braque, Leger, several German Expressionists, and Andy Warhol. At 26 francs a ticket its definitely worth it for the experience.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

Basel comes alive at dusk as the sun sets over the water and the city lights begin to twinkle. Cosy pubs, pretty lights, and a chill in the air that makes wandering the streets of the Old Town even more magical.

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland

New Years is spent on the bridge watching the amazing fireworks display which lasted a whole 30 minutes! The Swiss really take their fireworks seriously. You’ll find people gathered around their own mini displays often letting off fireworks a few metres away from you. A little scary at first, but you soon get used to it.

A long weekend in Basel, Switzerland

Have you ever been to Basel or anywhere else in Switzerland? What did you think? What was your favourite part?

Oh…and lastly. Since writing this post I have also now finished Part Two of the vlog which I think is a tad better than Part One. All tips and advice welcome 🙂 Let me know if you enjoyed watching too.

30 responses to “A Long Weekend in Basel, Switzerland”

  1. Amanda says:

    Ok, first of all your pictures are stunning! I never realized Switzerland was so beautiful! I love how they put so much into New Years. It looks like a fabulous trip!

  2. Wiola says:

    Nice pictures and I also watched few minutes of the 1st vlog video. Lovely time! I’ve been to Switzerland, but only to the Matternhorn area in Zermatt. Was very expensive but also amazingly beautiful. I am sure I will come back to Switzerland. Oh the fireworks looked gorgeous. Well, your picture is stunning. Was it a long-exposure shot?

    • hellocuppies says:

      Ahh thank you Wiola, that’s very kind of you! Vlogging is so tough!! It was very expensive for us too, we really had to re-think on the types of places we’d usually eat at! X

  3. Your photos alone make me want to go to there! Thank you for the suggestions on where to stay and what to see.

  4. Cindy says:

    I love that you and your boyfriend exchange a trip filled with memories instead of gifts. How fun! Basel sounds like it was amazing and you took some great photos!

  5. acraftymix says:

    Ahhhhh this brought back so many incredible memories Natalie. Switzerland is an amazing country although I have been there since the late 90’s (oops showing my age there 😉 ) I can still vividly remember how clean it was and all the beautiful architecture. I’d love to go back again some day soon

  6. Samantha says:

    I love the idea of traveling somewhere for Christmas instead of giving each other gifts! It would be cool to experience the holidays in other countries and see their traditions. I’m not familiar with Basel, but it sounds really nice. You have great photos!

  7. Maria says:

    Basel looks amazing – such a lively place! and the streets where you guys filmed are so cute 🙂

  8. Preet says:

    Basel is so beautiful, I loved watching the vlog, you both did a great job. You are so pretty, I really like the idea of travelling somewhere for Christmas.

  9. Joanna Davis says:

    I think it’s brilliant that the hotel took so much time to show you around and even tell you about their dog. The free travel card was a nice plus. I haven’t been to Basel yet but that’s only because Switzerland is so expensive. I usually choose to go somewhere warm for Christmas, so I admire you going to a cold place and sightseeing so much on foot.

  10. Kesha says:

    What a beautiful place. My husbands father lives in Switzerland. Basel looks like a wonderful place to visit. Your vlog provided a great perspective too.

  11. kym says:

    Wow you looked like you had a wonderful time.

  12. Chelsee says:

    Your photos are amazing! What a beautiful place to visit. I am so jealous!

  13. Congratulations on your first Vlog!! What a lovely idea to go away and make memories together, I think that is a beautiful idea! I’ve never been to Switzerland but it looks like a truly beautiful place and its been on my wishlist for quite some time 🙂

  14. Corinne and Kirsty says:

    Basel looks fantastic! So so pretty! I have heard so much of that city and seeing your photos, I really want to visit too!

  15. Kym says:

    Basel is absolutely beautiful. I’ve never heard of the city before but would love to visit and experience the culture

  16. Shubhada Bhide says:

    Basel seems like a great place to visit. I love to travel so much because I believe that it is a cure and feed to soul. And Switzerland is one of my favourite places too. I love your photos by the way.

  17. Karlee says:

    It’s so cool getting to watch your adventures, it feels like I’m right there experiencing them with you! I love the idea of making memories rather than buying gifts for each other for Christmas!!

  18. I always wanted to visit Switzerland someday and to visit my friend there. My dad visited this place this past 3 months and he really loves the ambiance. I really want to go too.

  19. The pictures are so beautiful…i would love to visit Switzerland some day but i think it would be too cold for me to enjoy!

  20. nbosken says:

    I still have to get to Switzerland. It’s definitely on my list of places to see. That’s awesome it’s kind of in between three countries.

  21. karriefrost says:

    What a glorious and fun filled weekend. I much prefer experiences to physical gifts. The pictures and memories will last longer than just about anything you would have received. Love the photos.

    • hellocuppies says:

      Me too Karrie, me too 🙂 Not that I don’t love a piece of jewellery every now and again but I’d choose a holiday as my present any day!

  22. I like the picture where you were standing in front of a door looking up. Is that mistletoe? It reminds me of the Harry Potter moment between Harry and Cho!

    • hellocuppies says:

      Hi Tiffany, yep – the biggest bunch of mistletoe I’ve ever seen! Ahh.. do you mean the kissing scene? Just trying to think back to it now.

  23. Ellie Plummer says:

    This sounds like such a fun weekend away. I have always wanted to visit Switzerland and it looks so beautiful.

  24. It sounds like you had an amazing time and I can’t believe how stunning everything looks! Your pictures are idyllic x

  25. sophiehannahxo says:

    Your photos are great! Would love to visit xx

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