The Passage to Basel

By the time we reached Basel, we were looking forward to a cozy room and a luxurious hot shower. 

Not to say our previous nights weren’t up to par, but knowing you have a king-sized bed and a modern room waiting is always something to look forward to in Europe. They may have the food, the culture, the atmosphere, and the ability to travel at their fingertips – but, splitting a double bed can get a little old.

Thankfully, we had a room waiting for us at The Passage, and after a week-solid of travelling, we were needing it.

the passage, basel hotel

We kicked off our shoes, stored our luggage, and opened up (and subsequently devoured) the chocolate bar waiting on the bed as we walked in. Now if free chocolates don’t start your stay off on the right foot – I don’t know what will.

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the passage, basel hotel

shower.jpgLater in the evening, we exited our hotel, hopped down the street and found ourselves smack dab in the main square, excited to see what swiss culture was all about. If there’s one thing I always prioritize in a hotel, it’s location location location – so it always pays off to know I did the proper research, and this time, I gave myself a little pat on the back.

basel switzerland

basel switzerland

basel switzerland

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One thing we had also learned by now was that in the Rhein region, things get pretty foggy, and the second we reached the bridge – things were no different.

basel switzerland

basel switzerland

basel switzerland

basel switzerland

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But boy did Basel end up treating us to a surprise. Any guesses?

basel switzerland

You’re getting closer…

basel switzerland things to do

Somewhere between a few twists and turns, and a cloud or two of fog, we landed smack dab in the middle of a fall festival.

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Carnival rides lit up and spun into the air, trendy pop music blasted into our ears, and the sweet smell of gluewhine filled our nostrils.

basel carnival switzerland

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We debated a ride or two, but what really caught my eye were the giant floating balloons. Sadly, after realizing they wouldn’t last the trip, we headed in search of our favourite thing: food.

basel switzerland things to do, basel carnival
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Walking booth to booth, we ordered whatever smelled the best. Flamkuchen, fried pastries, and some sort of milk chocolate rice crispy type balls filled our stomachs as big silver francs burned holes in our pockets.

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basel switzerland things to do, basel carnival

basel carnival switzerland

basel carnival switzerland

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It was really quite the treat to happen upon, and the best part was that it was a complete and utter surprise. Seeing so many people out and enjoying their Sunday night made Basel seem like such a cool city (and always valued, one that I could live in).

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We walked along the river, where by now you could just make out the lights of river-side homes twinkling through the fog, and let the crowd take us on a journey back through the old town.

basel switzerland things to do, basel carnival

basel switzerland things to do, basel carnival

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We happened upon a bustling beer hall and ducked in for a few drinks and some warm pasta, before calling it an early night – and heading back to that king sized bed calling our names.

Jumping into the crisp sheets, and pulling them up to my nose, it was an early night for me as I swiftly fell asleep the second my head touched down.

The next morning, I woke up and headed down for the breakfast buffet – something I was quickly beginning to appreciate about European hotels. The Mr., however, was enjoying the comforts of our room and decided to spend a little extra time snoozing.

I gorged on pastries, baguettes, cheese (hey, when you’re in Switzerland, right?), and fresh fruit – combining it all with a mandatory warm cup of tea and some OJ.

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Back in the room, we took turns playing tunes through the speaker system, watched a little TV, and each took a lengthy shower with the rainfall shower head (which was seriously life changing), before ditching our bags with the hotel crew and heading back out for a little more exploring.

basel switzerland

basel switzerland

We walked along the river, glanced in the tourist shops, and searched for the best chocolate in town, all while enjoying the beautiful sunny day. Unfortunately, I took us on a bit of a wild goose chase as we looked for the Beschle chocolate shop – finally locating it only to realize tours were only offered for groups.

By this time, it was around time for lunch and we resolved not to skip it yet again. If anything, it was for the sake of making sure we tried as much food as possible. But, as I was still stuffed from breakfast, we took a seat on the patio of the Schmale Wurf restaurant and decided to share a meal.

basel switzerland

basel switzerland

We chatted and planned the next half of our journey, while watching all the activity along the river as groups of pals met for lunch. And in no time, out came our order: a beef broth soup with egg and a spicy pasta loaded with fresh parmesan.

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Both were incredible and I would recommend making the stop for a lunch-time or dinner bite. The ingredients were fresh, the food was flavourful, and the atmosphere was relaxing. Perhaps it was the week away from work, but at this moment, I was feeling filled with joy and calm as can be.

I highly recommend putting Basel on your list of travels. So, book yourself a room at The Passage (click here for reservations), pack a bag, and get going! Basel my dear, you were a gem!

My stay in Basel was sponsored by The Passage, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. The location and room prices are right on point for exploring the town, and the sleek, yet comfortable rooms are the perfect place to relax you tired feet. 

Share your thoughts below.