Switzerland is known for its expensive tastes, a country famous for its high standards and luxury lifestyle. This may put some people off travelling there, however, travelling to Switzerland doesn’t need to break the bank. This post will tell you some ways to explore Basel, Switzerland on a budget.
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Quality is important in Switzerland, as such it treats its guests very well. As a visitor to the country, you are required to pay a tourist tax (around 6-8 CHF a night) which is often dealt with directly through your accommodation so you don’t even need to think about it but it is worth knowing about. The tourist tax gives you access to a number of perks. As I was staying in Basel, I received a Basel Card when I arrived at my accommodation which gives you free access to all the public transport, free entry into a number of museums and galleries, and discounted entry into other attractions, such as the zoo. The Basel Card comes free with the tourist tax, which is mandatory, so it’s really worth using as it’s already included in your budget. If your accommodation doesn’t provide the physical card, you can go to the tourist office, with proof of a reservation, and they’ll be able to provide you with your copy.
You can pick up some other helpful bits and pieces for free at the tourist information office as well. They have all kinds of leaflets on the various attractions and events going on around the city as well as self-guided walking tours. The city is certainly worth a look around and walking allows you to absorb more of your surroundings than on a tour bus. The architecture of the buildings on simple side streets is phenomenal, not to mention the big sites known for their architecture. Walking is also free to do so fits perfectly into seeing Basel on a budget.
Another must whilst in Basel, is to see the city by water. This may sound like it would be expensive however it is the exact opposite, it is perfectly free. Of course, there are river cruises which cost, however, there are much more intimate ways of seeing the city by its famous Rhine without spending a single penny. How about diving straight in and taking a swim in the river? During the summer months, the river is filled with people cooling off by taking a swim in the river. You can even pick up a cool waterproof fish bag to carry all your things with you at the tourist office! If that’s not really your style, or you’re visiting in the colder months then dotted along the river are small ferries which go from one side to the other. These boats are completely engineless, pulled by the current and steered by a zip wire across the river, and free to use so you can enjoy a peaceful meander across the river for absolutely nothing!
The final thing to think about is food, which is often one of the most expensive parts of a holiday, or mine anyway! There are plenty of amazing restaurants for all types of budgets and tastes but one thing Switzerland is also home to is budget supermarkets. Buying food in supermarkets is always a good way to save money when travelling on a budget and Basel is no different. Aldi is a relatively well-known supermarket in England and is considered one of the cheapest options, it is no different in Switzerland, except as with everything Swiss, it is of a much higher quality. Picking up a few items of food for picnicking or if your accommodation has cooking facilities means that you’re not spending money on eating out for every meal so you can use your money for maybe a fancier dinner one night, rather than budget meals every time you need to eat. Supermarket food also generally comes in larger portions for less money, and more food is always good in my books!
I hope this helps you consider Basel, Switzerland as a place to travel even on a budget, it’s a beautiful country and definitely worth a visit. If this post has got you thinking about visiting Basel, compare flight prices now by using Skyscanner which allows you to compare different airlines, airports and dates to get you the best deals! Or if you’re thinking about visiting other countries in Europe check out our post on how to visit Aarhus, Denmark on a budget.
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