Northwestern Switzerland is a region in Switzerland. It contains the cantons of Basel (Basel-City and Basel-Country) and parts of the cantons of Aargau and Solothurn.
|Basel-Stadt (1 Basel)|
By land area, this is Switzerland's smallest canton and is located at tripoint of Switzerland, Germany and France. The city of Basel is located here.
|Basel-Landschaft (2 Liestal, 3 Augusta Raurica)|
The more rural part of the Basel region, with the capital of Liestal.
The two northernmost districts of the canton of Solothurn, which are north of the Jura mountains. The southern part is in Berne Region.
|Fricktal (4 Laufenburg, 5 Rheinfelden)|
This region is part of the canton of Aargau, with the rest of the canton being part of the Zurich region. This region is the location of two cities, Laufenburg and Rheinfelden, that straddle the Rhine river so that the border between Germany and Switzerland goes through the middle of each town.
Dornach - Goetheanum - Center of Antroposphische Gesellschaft by Rudolf Steiner
Augusta Raurica - an ancient Roman town - museum and archeological site.
This region is strongly dominated by Basel. The historical canton of Basel was split up into two half cantons in the 1830s after conflicts due to the privileges the inhabitants of the city of Basel had over those living on the countryside. The canton of Basel-Stadt (Basel-City) encompasses Basel and two adjacent municipalities. The rest of the territory is in the much larger Basel-Landschaft (Basel-Country).
Baseldytsch, a German dialect, is the main language of this region. German is the official language, though, and nearly everyone speaks it.
Because the border to France is only a few kilometres away, most people also understand French. It is also no problem to find somebody that understands English.
Public holidays vary by canton. These are the public holidays in addition to those observed in the whole of Switzerland:
- St. Berchtold (2 January, observed in Aargau)
- St Joseph's Day (19 March, observed in parts of Solothurn)
- Labour Day (1 May, observed in Aargau, both Basel and as a half day in Solothurn)
- Corpus Christi (60 days after Easter, observed in Aargau and most parts of Soloturn)
- Assumption (15 August, observed in Aargau and most parts of Soloturn)
- All Saints Day (1 November, observed in Aargau and most parts of Soloturn)
- Immaculate Conception (8 December, observed in Aargau)
In the canton of Solothurn many towns have their own local holiday on the day of their saint patron.
Using public transportation is very convenient in Basel and Switzerland. You can use the train, bus, and tram to get around.
SBB Basel railway station - SBB - Swiss Railway & French Railway -
Badischer Bahnhof railway station - DB - German Railway
- Zoo A somewhat dated zoo that is undergoing renovations. You will see all the standard zoo fare, plus a fairly extensive terrarium and gardens. There are two eating establishments in the park offering a wide range of cafeteria style and pre-made foods, ice cream, and so on. From the main Basel train station, follow the footpath signs for a less than ten-minute walk to the zoo.
- Munster Cathedral overlooking the Rhine. Free admission, wonderful views of Basel, beautiful old church. From the Munster Platz outside, go down the stairs to the river, where you can take a ferry across the Rhine for only Fr. 3.20.
- Ferry - Crossing the Rhine in a traditional way
- Tripoint Basel - Border of Switzerland/France/Germany
- Fondation Beyeler - International Art Gallery
Traditional and international food, from simple food corner and fast food to world-class haute cuisine.
Eating out is quite expensive even for Swiss people - spaghetti or pizza start at about Fr. 20 in a restaurant. Coffee or 0,3l beer is Fr. 4-5!
But you can buy "cheaper" food and drinks in small and big food stores all over, even in the city centre.
There are a lot of nice restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs in the city centre and in Kleinbasel. Some are unique, multicultural and international. Some are very old and traditional.
Drinking alcohol in public is not prohibited in Switzerland - so in summer every evening there is a big crowd of people sitting peacefully along the river Rhine, having BBQ, music and drinks.
Gempen - Gempenplateau - Gempenturm - Most wonderful natural spot to overview Basel, Black Forest, Vogesen and sometimes see the Swiss Alps. About 20 km away.