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If you're eager for a break in Switzerland, the city of Basel should be high on your list of destinations. A mix of stunning architecture, museums, river trips, local dining and hot weather in the summer makes Basel a veritable melting pot of activity for travellers looking to be amazed on their trip.
Touching down in Basel
A flight to Basel-Mulhouse Airport will actually fly you to France but don't fear; a land corridor connects the facility to Switzerland and a short bus ride will bring you to the railway station. Of course, renting a hire car means you simply can drive to your selected hotel, giving you more time to soak in the history and culture of the city.
If you're heading to Basel, you may want to have a vested interest in modern building and art collections as the city's harbours some of the best in the world. For example, the Kunstmuseum Basel houses a permanent collection of 19th and 20th century art pieces (including a room full of the works of Picasso). The works of art found in Fondation Beyeler reads like a Who's-Who of the art world since the 19th century. Furthermore. the Antikenmuseum Basel holds some of the largest collection of antiques in Europe including Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Greek art.
If you've had enough of art and fancy enjoying the summer sun, a trip down the Rhine river could be the perfect place. A number of ferries offer trips down the river or a walk down the two mile promenade on the Kleinbasel board is also available. Either way, travellers should check out some of the bridges over the Rhine as they offer some excellent viewpoints to see the river and its bank.
Basel Zoo is the city's biggest tourist attraction as it holds a gargantuan amount of animals, especially for a facility located in the city centre. If you're hunting for hippos, looking for lions or searching for snow leopards, Basel Zoo has them all and more.
On the other side of the coin, football fans may have already earmarked a trip to St. Jakob-Park, the home of FC Basel. The stadium lights up during game time, offering vibrant views of the building, while those inside will also be happy to see the quality of football on offer; after all, FC Basel have won the Swiss League five of the last six times.
Away from the city
Basel borders both France and Germany, offering those in the area the opportunity to visit two other countries during their stay. Those with a hire car may want to drive to Freiburg, Germany - a city The Telegraph calls "Europe's huge secret gem" - or a short drive into France will bring you to Mulhouse, a small city offering a glimpse of France's historic roots.
Further north of Freiburg - and a quick hop over the border - will take you to Strasbourg, a major city in France and home to the Grande Ile, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to UNESCO, Grande Ile is an old quarter that is the perfect example of a medieval city in France. It is also home to a number of churches and cathedrals; some of which are centuries old.
Basel is a fantastic city in its own right but also a great base for exploring the rest of Europe. Even if you only have a small interest in architecture and history, Basel is one of Europe's best cities and an essential visit.