Fall is a time like no other in Basel…

The air is brisk, the shops and cafes turn cozy, everything starts to smell like cinnamon, and you get that distinct feeling that Christmas is just around the corner. And in this atmosphere begins the Basler Herbstmesse, the annual fall festival that draws around one million locals and visitors from all over the world. The oldest fun fair in Switzerland, this year’s 544th festival runs from Saturday, 24 October, to Sunday, 8 November—all around the city!

The two-week Herbstmesse (Herbschtmäss) begins with the official ringing in at noon, kicking off a cultural rendezvous that is a combination of tradition, art, and just plain fun. The fair’s unique layout stretches the festivities throughout the city, and there are plenty of stands to explore all kinds of handmade crafts, clothing, toys, and more. You can find rides no matter where you go—spinning, whirling “chairoplanes,” ‘Super Chaos’ at Kasernenareal, or ‘Sky Flyer’ in its first ever appearance at Barfüsserplatz. Or you can celebrate the ‘Super 80s’ at Hallenmesse am Riehenring with ‘Round-Up’ or ‘Break-Dance.’

The giant Ferris wheel at Münsterplatz reaches all the way to the rooftops of Basel’s historical buildings—giving an incredible panoramic view of the city and the Rhein River—and is a Münsterplatz must (at least once!)

Photo by Artandkitchen.wordpress.com

Another major part of any festival in Basel is the cuisine. A few all-time favourites are Magenbrot, a unique Swiss chocolatey gingerbread, and hot Rosekiechli, delicious flower-shaped fried pastries sprinkled with powdered sugar. You’ll also find chocolate-dipped fruit kebabs with all kinds of fresh fruit—pineapple, bananas, strawberries, and more.

jeffreyKeep an eye out for Jeffrey’s schnitzel stand (started by the owner of the very popular Jeffrey’s Thai Restaurant in Riehenring), which sells gourmet sandwiches back where it all began.

More highlights are the Hääfelimäärt at Petersplatz, showcasing beautiful ceramics in unlimited shapes, colours, and sizes; the Basler Weinmesse (24 October to 1 November) at the Messe Basel, featuring around 5000 wines from more than 20 countries all over the world; the Basler Feinmesse (29 October to 1 November) for sweet and savoury treats; and the Herbstwarenmesse (October 24 to 1 November), with special deals on products from household goods to electronics to sports. And as the Herbstmesse changes from year to year, you never know what else you might find.

Wherever you are in Basel, you’ll notice that Herbschtmäss is a magnet for bringing together people of all ages to enjoy, to experience, and to make memories. Bring your friends, make some new ones, or bundle up your kids and take your family out for some fall fun!

Festival Hours

Basler HerbstmesseSunday – Thursday: 12.00 – 22.00
Friday – Saturday: 12.00 – 23.00

Stop by www.visitbasel.ch for more info, or find Basler Herbstmesse on Facebook at facebook.com/baslerherbstmesse.

*As always with fairs, keep your children and other valuables close! Check out Ask Heidi: A Question of Pickpockets.

Feature Photo by eLjeProks via Flickr

Kick off the fall with the Basel Marathon this weekend—
Sunday, 22 September!

IWB is hosting their fourth annual Basel Marathon on Sunday, called Run to the Beat—a sports event that combines the power of music with a passion for athletics.

In past years, music has been played by live bands at different points on the route, but this time, runners are invited to join in on their own Run to the Beat radio station on iPhones and personal radios. Now everyone can enjoy their Sunday morning just the way they like it—with peace and quiet or a dynamic original soundtrack.

Also new to the marathon this year is a brand new 10k run through the city center. Other courses include the Marathon, Half Marathon, Team-Lauf (Team Run) and Youth-Lauf. It all begins on Freie Strasse and is for everyone, beginner to seasoned runner. The day is complete with refreshments along the way, gifts from sponsors, and an Award Ceremony.

Sign up to run, or stop by to cheer someone on! Find out all the information here.

Photo by www.mynextrun.com

Photo by jkf.ch.

Lucky ’13 has been a great year for special events in Basel.

Not only has it brought the annual summer favourites like National Day fireworks and music on the Rhein, it also happens to be the year for Basel’s biggest youth culture festival—the Jugendkulturfestival Basel. Taking place every two years, the JKF is an exhilarating marathon of sights, sounds, and adrenaline. And it all happens this weekend, 30 and 31 August.

Watch Basel come alive in a whole new way as the entire city becomes a stage for music, art, drama, sports, and fashion. There’s a music video showcase and Swiss short film showcase at the Gässli Film Festival; Freestyle and Theater at the Literaturhaus; DJs at Elisabethenkirche and bands in Barfüsserplatz; Taekwando at Münsterplatz; and more than 150 different events from 1700 artists all around town.

Some 60,000 youth turn out for this two-day celebration of everything new and trending—and to set some new trends of their own. It starts Friday afternoon and goes until early Sunday morning, so be sure to catch something! It’s fun for youth and families and seriously cool.

For more info, stop by the JKF website: www.jkf.ch.JKF

Photo © JKF

Photo by Basel.com

Summer is the perfect time to get more involved in the great outdoors. Enjoy the extra days of sun with these one-of-a-kind outdoor sports and family events coming up this month!

Swimmers Unite

What: Official Basler Rheinschwimmen 2013
When: Tuesday, 13 August, 18.00
Where: Kleinbasel, corner of Schaffhauserrheinweg/Stachelrain

Backstroke, butterfly, paddle…whatever you do best, you’re invited to join in this year’s 33rd Annual Rhein Swim Day in Basel! Drawing more than 6,000 attendees last year, the swim along the Rhein is a long-held tradition and a favourite for any age. Swimmers meet a little bit before 18.00 to mark the beginning of the Rhein Swim together at 18.00.

It’s strongly recommended to wear swim shoes to avoid cuts and scrapes. Also, stay close to the Kleinbasel side of the river, and be sure to leave plenty of space between yourself and the pillars as you pass under the bridge.

Can’t make it to the Rheinschwimmen? Don’t worry! Every Tuesday evening through the summer months (weather permitting), the city has set up an accompanied Rhein Swim that gathers at the Solitude Park. You can find more information on both the Annual Rhein Swim and Tuesday Rhein Swims here.

Sport Night!

What: Sportnacht Basel 2013
When: Saturday, 24 August, 16.00 to Midnight
Where: Everywhere!

Now in its 7th year, the Sportnacht Basel is a unique opportunity for everyone to sample an exciting and comprehensive variety of sport and dance: one ticket gets you access to 70 different activities all over the city.

Soccer Ball
Photo by rittyrats // Flickr.com

There’s American football and baseball in Barfüsserplatz, chess at Marktplatz, breakdance at the Schulhaus Leonhard, karate and Scottish dance for kids, and so much more. Easy to strenuous, you’ll find something to challenge you, or simply something to enjoy.

Tickets are CHF 25- for adults, CHF 20- for students, and Family Passes go for CHF 10- per person (special discounts for CSS Insurance holders and Colour-Key pass members). Click here for ticket prices.

For more details, stop by Basel.com or the official Sportnacht website at Sportnachtbasel.ch.

What’s your favourite summer sports event in Basel?