Basel truly has it all – a a beautiful historic old town, a thriving art/culture scene, and a strong economic backbone.  The city sits at the intersection of Switzerland, France and Germany – in fact, the Dreilandereck has a dividing pylon where one can cross all three borders.  A joke among Baselers is it is advantageous to work in Basel (high income), live in France (low property taxes), and shop in Germany (low prices and sales tax).  The distinctive, ornate red-and-gold Rathaus (city hall) dates back to the pre-Swiss-Confederation era.  The city is also home to Art Basel, one of the highest-profile art exhibitions in the world, and a is a culturally dense city with 40 museums within 37sqkm.  Situated on the fast-flowing Rhine, Basel is the only major Swiss city with ocean access; its status as a trading hub parlayed into a color-dye industry, which transitioned to pharmaceuticals, including the international headquarters of Novartis and Roche.  The Rhine also provides a cooling float on a hot summer day.  The day of my visit nearly matched the record for hottest day in Basel’s history (!!!); needless to say, every Baseler was enjoying the water.  A common pastime is floating down the Rhine with a Wickelfisch raft-bag; of course, I purchased several to enjoy in the USA (Happy July 4th to me)!

Mittlere Rheinbrucke Greater Basel Mittlere Rheinbrucke Rathaus Rathaus Dreilandereck Munster Heletia auf Reisen Spalentor

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