Basel is perhaps served by the most multinational airport in the world! Not only can you arrive in either Switzerland or France (Mulhouse); the airport also markets itself as serving the city of Freiburg in Germany. This makes it tricky to offer advice about whether or not to pick up a hire car, as you might be driving in any one of these three countries.
One city, 3 countries….
Naturally for the city of Basel itself, it goes without saying that as with any other Swiss city, public transport is excellent. However, unlike Geneva or Zürich, there is no direct rail link from Basel airport to the Central Station. The city of Freiburg has a long-standing reputation as being one of Germany’s greenest cities, and again the public transport is excellent. Public transport is also perfectly reasonable in the French city of Mulhouse, although it is less good for exploring the areas around it.
Once outside the cities, what are your best options?
Reasons why you might need to hire a car in Basel
Saving money by visiting Basel without a car?
Where to visit?
If you started with the natural assumption that there would be no point in hiring a car in Basel, then there are plenty of reasons to think again. Whereas it might be clearer that a hire car in either Zürich or Bern is a bad idea, it is much less clear-cut in Basel. Therefore, relative to Swiss expectations, a hire car is certainly worth looking at.
Verdict — yes