Ever wish you knew the inside scoop before visiting a new destination? Now you can! We’ve reached out to our favorite locals and tour guides from all over the world for their insider tips. In the City Insider Q&A, they’ll let you in on the spots that should be on your must-see and -do list!
Name: Madeleine Umbricht
Occupation: Tour Guide/Employee/Information Desk
City: Basel, Switzerland
How the locals pronounce the name of the city: Basel (German/English), Bâle (French), Basilea (Italian).
Short bio: Grüezi, my name is Madeleine. Since six-years I have had the privilege to welcome guests to Basel, either working at the information desk or as a tour guide. Travelling has been my passion throughout my life. I was on the road for seven months and circled the world. That was a perfect way to learn about the individual needs of travelers.
My hometown Basel is a fabulous city full of cultural highlights. Its history goes back 2,000 years and the city has a unique atmosphere, situated right on the border of France and Germany. I love to go hiking and Switzerland—with its fantastic public transport system—offers the ideal platform. For me, there is hardly anything more beautiful than standing on top of a mountain and having a beautiful panoramic view. Peace of mind at its best.
Come and see the beauty of Switzerland and the culture of Basel!
Best way to get to/from airport: The 50 bus takes you to the center and railway station in 15-20 minutes.
Best way to get to/from train station: Several tram and bus lines run to and from the railway station.
Favorite 5-star hotel: Hotel Les Trois Rois at Blumenrain.
Favorite budget hotel: Youth hostel at St. Alban-Kirchrain.
5 places visitors must see:
- Münster Cathedral
- Rathaus/city hall
- Tinguely Fountain
- Spalentor (city gate)
- Kunstmuseum (fine art museum)
Best local newspaper/recommended reading (for finding out what’s going on about town): Programmzeitung.
Favorite fine dining restaurant: Restaurant Stucki at Bruderholz or Restaurant Rubino at Luftgässlein.
Favorite casual restaurant: Restaurant Bodega at Barfüsserplatz or Restaurant Fischerstube at Rheingasse.
Best place to get a coffee: Caffè Zum Kuss at Elisabethenstrasse or 1777 Kaffee at Schmiedenhof.
Favorite bar/lounge: Bar & Kaffee Zum Teufel at Leonhardsgraben.
Best music venue/place to see live music: The Bird’s Eye jazz club at Kohlenberg.
Favorite museum: Fondation Beyeler in Riehen.
Best sports venue(s): Swiss Indoors tennis complex.
Most popular local food: Mehlsuppe (flour soup) at carnival.
Best “locals-only” spot: Coffeehouse Mitte.
To live like a local, you must have this experience: Swim in Rhine River in summer or carnival in winter.
Local/native fruit or dish to try: Basler läckerli (hard spice biscuit).
Most popular local drink: Uelibier (locally brewed beer).
Movies/TV shows filmed in your city: Pokémon video.
Best souvenirs to buy/goods to bring home: Handmade goodies from Gilgen Bakery at Spalenberg.
Best place to volunteer: Trade fair: Baselworld or ART Basel.
Biggest tourist trap/places to avoid and when: Hotel rates can be expensive during international trade fairs.
Best travel tip: Use your personal BaselCard presented to you at check-in at your hotel (newly handed out free of charge to all overnight guests from January 1, 2018). With your BaselCard, you will travel free on public transport, be able to use a free guest Wi-Fi, and get 50% discounts on several culture and leisure activities (museums, zoo, guided tours etc.). Euros accepted.
Anything else to add? Take the small ferryboat across the river.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.