3 in 1: Visit 3 beautiful Countries in 1 DAY by FOOT!
Have you heard about Basel?
If you live in the UK or any other European countries for a quite long time, there must be a moment when you’re feeling super bored at the city where you live, and you just feel like to go somewhere else for a short break, but you didn’t have any plans or idea, then you start searching on Skyscanner.com from your city to “Can’t decide” destination. I did that few times, and interestingly, the application has shown me Basel for quite often with a very good tickets price (return tickets less than £30 from London), so of course, why not we go there?
It was mid-June 2018 when we decided to explore this city. It turned out to be one of the most interesting travel experience I have ever had!
Basel is a small city in Switzerland, located just at the border of France and Germany. It was really funny because you literally can just walk-by crossing from one country to another country. It’s like I could be in another country within the next second. For people from the archipelago country of Indonesia, this is something very new and exciting!
Although, Basel is a city inside Switzerland, Basel Airport located in the city of Saint-Louis, France. I don’t know how that is possible, but it is. And the Airport is serving 3 nations; Swiss, French, and German.
As like many other people, before visiting a new city, we looked up the map first. The map shows that the Airport located not too far from the city not like any other most Airports. Because our traveling goal that time was to walk around 3 countries in 1 day, so we decided to walk from the Airport to the city. A good advice to you, NEVER EVER DO IT EVER!!! 😀
It is true that from the map it seems the Airport is located just around the city, but when you exit the Airport, there is no other way for you to go other than following the ring road. Unless you wanted to get arrested by climbing fences. 😀 So, we had to walk about 1,5 hours to reach the nearest city from the Airport, which surprisingly not Basel, but Saint-Louis, France. My suggestion, it’s better to get a bus from and to the Airport. 😀
On our trip to Basel, we also visited 3 other cities in 2 other countries. Saint-Louis in France (where we stayed), Mulhouse in France, and Rhein in Germany. However, in my opinion, Basel, Saint-Louis, and Mulhouse are very beautiful cities that you definitely have to visit at least once in your lifetime. But Rhein, on the other hand, was not my preference. This post will only include Basel and Saint-Louise. Mulhouse will be available in a different post because you need to take a train to go there from Saint-Louis. 🙂
Saint Louise is a tiny city near the border of Switzerland and Germany. Even though it’s a very small city, but it is very beautiful. Maybe because it’s just in France. Every little thing always has to be beautiful there. 😀
There is not much to do in Saint-Louise, but it is the perfect place to stay when you’re visiting Basel because the Bed and Breakfast (B&B) prices in Saint-Louise are much cheaper than in Basel. Note only the B&Bs, the food and supermarkets are also much cheaper than in Basel. Moreover, in France, you can’t get wrong with the tasty wine! 😉 Furthermore, Basel is only about 15 minutes away by tram from Saint-Louise. So, it’s a win-win solution. 😉
Basel is within walking distance from Saint-Louis, about 45 minutes’ walk from the city centre of Saint-Louis to the city centre of Basel. The better way to go to Basel from Saint-Louis is by tram. We took one-way tram because we’re planning to walk through Rhein on our back to Saint-Louis from Basel.
The tram station has no officer at all, so you have to buy your tickets from the weird ticketing machine. I said it’s weird because of the complex and confusing menu and weird English translation. Moreover, one piece of tram ticket has 2 languages, but those languages were not English at all. It was in German and French. Of course! Luckily, we met an American couple whose traveling around the world, and had stayed in Basel for a week now, so they helped us in buying our tram tickets, also showed us where to go and what to see in Basel. One-way tram ticket from Saint-Louis to Basel costs 2.80€.
The city centre of Basel is very beautiful. It is a very relaxing city with a river. Since it’s part of Switzerland, so the prices in Basel are quite expensive. That’s also the reason why we chose to stay in Saint-Louis instead.
The tram will stop just at the heart of Basel, where the important government buildings located. There is a local market that opens during the day just in front of the city hall. You can get plenty of fresh veggies and fruit from this market with goo price. Don’t forget to prepare cash for the local market as they don’t accept card payment.
While walking around the city, it is good for you to bring water bottle because there are many cute drinking fountain every where in the city. This was one of them.
After finished spoiling your belly with fresh fruit from the local market, now it’s time to make your way to the river of Rhein, where you can sit and relaxed by the river while watching the local people using the city’s very unique transportation mode, the River! No, it’s not by a boat on the river, but it’s the river! They just jumped inside the river with their waterproof bags, then let the current take them to the destination. You can try it if you wanted, but just so you know, when we were there it was extreme hot on the surface, but the water was still freezing!!!
From Basel, we walked through the border to Rhine, Germany. Nothing much to see here as the city looks nothing but a border city. However, the pries in this city is cheaper than in Saint-Louise and Basel. If you’re fancy to buy some snacks, then Rhine is the perfect place for shopping, then bring it all back to your B&B. 😀
We didn’t stay long in Rhine. From there, we continued walking back to Saint-Louise, France. Just after we left the border, we can directly feel drastic atmosphere difference from Germany to France. Somehow, everything in France just much more artistic and beautiful.