Once you have landed in Basel and discovered the old town of Basel, Kunstmuseum, Tinguely Museum along with other charming places and museums (Basel is the city of museums in Switzerland), it is time to do awesome day trips from Basel. No matter if you’re traveling alone or with a family, there is something for every taste. Keep reading as I’m going to share my favorite day trips from Basel, how to get there, and what to do in these beautiful places.
Basel is an awesome hub for exploring Switzerland. Once you’re in Basel, everything is well-connected. For example, you can reach Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux, or St. Moritz in less than 3 hours.
One very important note as well, Basel sits on the border with France and Germany, so it’s a great getaway city for visiting beautiful places in neighboring countries. I would like to offer: Strasbourg (amazingly beautiful old town), Schwarzwald (the Black Forest with many charming villages and mountains), Parc naturel régional des Ballons des Vosges (French mountains with villages) – these places are really worth visiting as well.
Anyway, here’s the list of places you shouldn’t miss once you’re in Basel.
Solothurn (1 hour, 70 kilometers)
Solothurn is a very nice small city just 70 kilometers away from Basel which is as well capital of Solothurn canton.
The city lies in a flat part of Switzerland, but some nice peaks are not that far from the city, it is surrounded as well by beautiful nature all around. Solothurn has a very charming old town and the walk by the river is really beautiful.
I have visited Solothurn myself quite a few times and I really like the calm pace of the city and having a slow cup of coffee there is one of my favorite things to do.
Things to do in Solothurn
For me personally that would be an old town tour. They have a very nice charming historical old town with museums, gates, churches, towers, and many other Swiss architectural details. I would suggest to park close to Baseltor (gates of Basel) and just jump into the old town, stroll around, maybe get into a museum or two, visit churches and have a cup of coffee outside in the old town OR by the river.
I have as well written an article on the best things to do in Solothurn: What to do in Solothurn.
Naturpark Thal (1 hour, 43 kilometers)
Nature park Thal is the closest one to Basel which has some nice hills, villages, farms, castles, and hikes. If the mountain is just 1000 meters it is considered a small hill in Switzerland:) So Nature Park Thal is full of these. It is very close to Basel, so that is why it makes it into 7 Day trips from Basel.
If you are lucky, you can as well see some wildlife such as beavers, reindeer, many birds, and many other animals.
Things to do in Naturpark Thal
Without a doubt, it is hiking. There are many very well maintained hiking paths that lead through beautiful meadows, small villages, and hills.
I would suggest to hike up to or around Vogelberg – it is one of the highest peaks in Thal Nature Park. There you will find amazing views of all surrounding nature, hills, and if you are lucky – to the Swiss Alps. As well there is a nice restaurant to get some delicious Swiss food. Do not forget the Swiss fondue.
Naturpark Gantrisch (1h 30 minutes, 120 kilometers)
Gantrisch nature park is one of my favorite places to hike and snowshoe in Switzerland. It is a stunning location for nature lovers with mountains over 2000 meters. It is very well maintained and loved places with hiking trails, lakes, huts, restaurants, cows, goats, and hotels. I personally love that place.
Although it is pretty close to the capital city of Bern, in Gantrisch you can feel pretty isolated and can find some nature spots where no one is around. I did hiking, snowshoeing, swimming, running – all things I love. As well there are some small places to ski, do off-road snowboarding and even paragliding.
Things to do in Naturpark Gantrisch
Hiking to Gantrisch peak. It is a peak standing at 2,175 meters and gives you fantastic views to hundreds of other peaks far away.
The hike itself is short, up to 2 hours to the top, but gets quite steep in some places so you must pace yourself. On the way to it, I met hundreds of friendly goats and cows, it is full of live nature there. If you decide to do this hike, start from Untere Gantrischhütte, park there and go up 🙂 You are really going to love nature and the hiking trail as well. Do not forget to have plenty of water as summers are very hot up there.
Jura Mountains (1h 20 minutes, 106 kilometers)
If you think that Switzerland is lucky to have the Alps, you will think that Switzerland is even luckier now as it has the second mountain range called the Jura mountains. Yes, in this small mid-Europe country they have not one, but two mountain ranges. How amazing is that?
Jura mountains are not as big as the Alps, but still, there are many places to check out and you can definitely get great views. In Jura mountains mostly spoken language is French.
Things to do in the Jura mountains
I have once written an article about the best things in Jura: Best things to do in Jura mountains. But I think the best one is to visit the Chasseral. It is one of the highest peaks in the Jura mountains with a huge (I would say even iconic) radio tower on the top. You can get very close by car to the top or you can hike there if you wish.
When I was in Chasseral, there were dozens of Swiss cows on the way there, so if you see them, do not be afraid. Swiss cows are quite often on official hiking trails and paths.
The views are amazing and as it is on the edge of the Jura mountains, you can see far far away in the flat part of Switzerland. If you are hungry: no worries, there is a big restaurant on the top.
Bern (1 hour, 110 kilometers)
Quite many people mistake Zürich to be the capital of Switzerland as it is the biggest city in Switzerland, but No, the capital is beautiful and charming Bern. It is always a very cool experience to visit the capital city and put it into your list of visited places.
Things to do in Bern
Bern is full of museums (great museums), restaurants, parks, and other places, but in my opinion the best thing there is simply to stroll through the old town. I know that I am maybe biased, but I really adore and appreciate old towns. And if it is a beautiful one, why not spend time there?
In the old town, you will find dozens of churches, old architecture, parliament, Swiss national bank, squares, and many other attractions. If you are in Bern in summer, go to the main square as there is a very nice fountain which jumps from underneath the ground.
Zytglogge is a must in Bern. It is a very famous city watch in the middle of the old town and you are going to love the tour of it: Zytglogge tour.
You should definitely enjoy a walking tour of Bern old town where you are going to learn a lot about the history of Swiss capital: Bern walking tour.
As well, in the old town, you can find a very nice viewpoint where you can see all those beautiful old roofs. Do you want to get the best possible pictures of Bern and surprise your followers and friends? Then jump into the Bern Instagram tour.
And if you have more time, you can stroll through Bern with a private guide: Bern city tour.
One other thing you can do: swim in the river. It is very popular in Switzerland to swim in the rivers.
If you’re lacking the ideas for awesome activities in Bern, check out my article that will give you the needed inspiration.
Lucerne (1 hour, 97 kilometers)
If one would have to choose the most beautiful city in Switzerland, Lucerne will definitely make it into the top 3 on anyone’s list. It is in a pretty fascinating location: lake and mountains in one place. Can anyone ask for anything better? Lucerne is one of the best day trips from Basel.
The architecture of Lucerne is as well very uplifting and exciting, so everyone will love the old town of Lucerne as well.
Lucerne is full of boat tours to other villages and mountains, full of expensive watch shops, full of amazing ice cream, full of swans in a crystal clear lake, and many other things.
Things to do in Lucerne
One place you must go to Lucerne is the old Harry Potter world looking bridges. In summer they are full of people and you can even get into the traffic jams made of tourists, but you will love it. These bridges are really really old and charming at the same time.
You should visit both bridges and while doing so you will do a very nice tour of the old town as well.
Visit Mount Pilatus – it is one of the most beautiful peaks in Switzerland with wide views with hotels and restaurants on the top. You are not going to regret a trip up there. Check the best tours here: Mount Pilatus tour.
Lake Lucerne is on of the most beautiful lakes in Europe and it is crystal clear, great to swim and as well enjoy a cruise tour. Why not? Jump onto the cruise and enjoy dinner with your friends or family – Lucerne cruise tour.
And you may find many other activities and tours from paragliding to historical tours right here: Lucerne guided tours.
Lauterbrunnen (2 hours, 163 kilometers)
If Lucerne is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen definitely makes it into the most charming village’s list. Top 3. For sure. That is why Lauterbrunnen makes it into top 7 day trips from Basel.
If you have ever seen the iconic view on Instagram of beautiful old Swiss buildings, mountains all around and the waterfall pouring water down in a gracious line – that is probably Lauterbrunnen.
All the surroundings of Lauterbrunnen and the village itself are one big fairy tale place. It would be hard for anyone to not fall in love with this place.
It has it all: dozens of hiking trails, skiing, old Swiss architecture, Swiss food, cows, meadows, valleys, amazing neighborhood of other charming villages, and so on.
Things to do in Lauterbrunnen
That is a hard one, but recently I skied in the Jungfrau region and used a train just for a little bit over 6 CHF which takes you up the mountain from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen. In my opinion, it is one of the best train rides in Switzerland which has a great price/experience ratio, because all other spectacular train rides in Switzerland are pricey.
So just for 6 CHF, you get to see all the valley of Lauterbrunnen, the waterfall, the mountains, and in the end, you get to charming Wengen. From there I highly recommend hiking back to Lauterbrunnen, so you will have a great nature experience as well.
Lauterbrunnen is very close to the most amazing mountain top in Switzerland – Jungfraujoch. It is a mountain base at 3463 meters altitude with shops, restaurants and many other activities. Once you are in Lauterbrunnen, jump onto the train and visit this place where winter is all year long: Jungfraujoch trip. I have done it myself few years ago and it is still the best place I have eaten fondue in my life.
Want to jump into the James Bond world? Visit one of the places James Bond visited in Switzerland: Schilthorn. It is an iconic mountain peak in Switzerland with great history: Schilthorn tour from Basel.
Do you love hiking? Why not to try the best hiking paths in Lauterbrunnen – hiking in Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen is one of most favorite places of mine to hike.
Don’t forget to share your favorite day trips from Basel below.
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