A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Bern vs. Basel for Attractions, Old Town, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Bern or Basel?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Bern or Basel? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Bern

Bern is a historic, charming, and beautiful city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Basel

Basel is a beautiful, vibrant, and historic city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Bern and Basel: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


How is Bern different from Basel?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Basel and Bern. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Bern or Basel better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Bern and Basel have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Bern offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and Bern Cathedral.

Many visitors head to Basel specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city is filled with history. Head to Minster Hill to see the beautiful historic church and M├╝nsterplatz. There are also several unique museums around town including Jean Tinguely Museum, the Paper Mill Museum, the Historical Museum, and the Museum of Art.

Bern
Basel


Is Bern or Basel better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Bern and Basel.

Bern offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Basel has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Food around town can be expensive, but there are some outdoor markets where you can buy fruit and a bratwurst for a reasonable price. The city is known for its breads, soups, and pastries, which are all delicious.

Bern
Basel

Is Bern or Basel better for Nightlife?

Both Bern and Basel are comparable when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Basel. The city's nightlife comes alive as the sun sets. There are bars, pubs, and dance clubs that stay active until the early morning hours.

Bern
Basel

Is Bern or Basel better for its Old Town?

It's fun to wander around the old towns in both Bern and Basel.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Basel. The charming old town is fun to explore on foot with its quaint streets and meandering alleys. The beautiful architecture and ornate fountains give the area a unique personality. On the hottest days you may even see locals swimming in some of the fountains.

Bern
Basel

Is Bern or Basel better for Shopping?

Both Bern and Basel are good shopping destinations.

Bern is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

Basel is well-known for its shopping. The old town is filled with shops that you can wander through as you explore. Popular shopping streets include Freie Strasse and the area around Marktplatz, where you'll find boutique shops and interesting trinkets. You can also head to the city's oldest department store - Manor.

Bern
Basel


Is Bern or Basel better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Bern or Basel.

Bern is a very family-friendly place to visit. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Basel is very family-friendly. The city has an impressive zoo, a really unique toy museum, as well as Aquabasilea with its pools and slides. It's also compact enough that little legs can explore and enjoy everything that it has to offer.

Bern
Basel

Is Bern or Basel better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Bern and Basel make for a good place to visit.

Bern is a very popular place to visit for couples. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Basel makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Nice restaurants, interesting museums, and several great spas make this a nice place for a romantic trip.

Bern
Basel

Is Bern or Basel better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Bern and Basel are popular destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Bern. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

Plenty of backpackers visit Basel. There are a few hostels and a really useful City Pass that make this city an option for backpackers and budget travelers. It's also a major transit center so accessibility is convenient.

Bern
Basel

Is Bern or Basel better for Public Transit?

Both Bern and Basel offer public transit options.

Visitors to Bern can move around easily with public transportation. There are trams and buses that run around town.

The public transit in Basel can get you around easily. Trams and buses make it easy to get around town.

Bern
Basel


Is Bern or Basel a more walkable city?

Bern and Basel both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Bern is very walkable. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Basel. The old town and most of the major attractions are easily accessible on foot.

Bern
Basel

Should I spend more time in Basel or Bern?

How long in Bern or Basel?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Bern and Basel. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Bern is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Basel is 1-3 days.


  • How many days in Bern or Basel? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bern 1-3 
    Basel 1-3

One day in Bern or Basel?

In Bern, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this beautiful destination offers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Basel. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One day is usually enough time for a trip here.

A weekend in Bern or Basel?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Bern. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Basel is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is often enough time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

Five days in Bern or Basel?

Bern is a fun place to experience. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the easily accessible destination of Basel. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Bern or Basel?

You'll find food and shopping around the historic destination of Bern. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

The vibrant city of Basel offers nightlife and food. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Which city is cheaper, Basel or Bern?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Bern is $186, while the average daily cost in Basel is $176. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bern and Basel in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bern $120
    Basel $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bern $240
    Basel $212
Compare Hotels in Bern and Basel

Looking for a hotel in Bern or Basel? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Bern


Hotels in Basel


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bern $25
    Basel $34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Bern City - One Way: $105
  • Premium Private 1-Way Transfer to/from Interlaken: $250
  • Geneva: Premium 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Bern: $277
  • Private Transfer from Bern City Center to Zurich City Center: $318
  • Private transfer from Bern City to Zurich Airport: $416
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Basel City - One Way: $586
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Zurich City - One Way: $661

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Basel

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Basel:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Basel to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (BSL): $40
  • Basel to Basel Airport - Departure Private Car Transfer: $50
  • Lazerfun included Transfer: $65
  • Private Transfer: Basel Airport to Basel Hotels: $86
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Business Car: $95
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Luxury Van: $98
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Luxury Van: $98
  • Departure Private Transfer from Basel City to Basel Airport BSL by Business Car: $98
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Business Car: $100
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Business Car: $100
  • Departure Private Transfers from Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Business Car: $100
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Basel Mulhouse Freiburg to Basel City - One Way: $103

Is it cheaper to fly into Bern or Basel?

Prices for flights to both Basel and Bern change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Bern $45
    Basel $45

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Basel

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Basel.

  • Self-Guided Food Tour: $36
  • Taste My Swiss City Self Guided Food Tour: $38

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bern $25
    Basel $28

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • Tour with iPod Audio Guide: $20
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45
  • 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour: $72
  • Tirano to St. Moritz: Bernina Red Train Return Day-Ticket: $79
  • Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide: $83
  • Instagram Highlights Tour: $83
  • Bern Capital City Small Group Tour: $90
  • Best Introduction Tour of Bern with a Local: $91
  • 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour: $162
  • Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Bern: $179
  • GAILY TOUR in BERN - Gay & Lesbian Tour: $187
  • Bern Capital City Private Tour: $194

Tours and Activities in Basel

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Basel are as follows:

  • City tour Basel: $21
  • Basel City Sightseeing Bus Tour: $28
  • Basel Adventure Tour - The city quiz: $38
  • 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour: $72
  • Basel Selfie Tour 7 Attractions in 90min: $85
  • Basel Zoo Entrance Ticket with Hotel Pick and Drop Off Included: $98
  • Adventure Pool with 7 slides Entrance 4 hour Ticket with Hotel PickUp & DropOff: $105
  • Mount Rigi with Lake Cruise Small Group Tour from Basel: $132
  • Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Basel: $179
  • Luzern City Tour with Lake Cruise Small Group Tour from Basel: $190
  • From Basel to Freiburg:The full day tour to the Black Forest!: $194
  • Basel City Center Private Tour: $204

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bern $20
    Basel $24


When comparing the travel costs between Bern and Basel, we can see that Bern is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Bern or Basel?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Bern or Basel in the Summer?

Both Basel and Bern are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Bern for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Basel in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Bern is around the same temperature as Basel. Typically, the summer temperatures in Bern in July are around 21°C (70°F), and Basel is about 21°C (70°F).

It's quite sunny in Basel. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Bern. Bern usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Basel during summer. At this time of the year, Bern gets 250 hours of sunny skies, while Basel receives 241 hours of full sun.

In July, Bern usually receives less rain than Basel. At this time of the year, Bern gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Basel receives 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bern 21°C (70°F) 
    Basel 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Bern or Basel in the Autumn?

Both Basel and Bern during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Bern in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Basel for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Bern is generally around the same temperature as Basel. Temperatures in Bern average around 13°C (55°F), and Basel stays around 13°C (56°F).

In the autumn, Bern often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Basel. Bern gets 126 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Basel receives 120 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets less rain in October than Basel. Bern gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Basel receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bern 13°C (55°F) 
    Basel 13°C (56°F)

Should I visit Bern or Basel in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Bern and Basel. Most visitors come to Bern for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Basel because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Basel can be very cold. Bern can be very cold during winter. Bern is cooler than Basel in the winter. The temperature in Bern is usually 3°C (37°F) in January, and Basel stays around 3°C (37°F).

Bern usually receives more sunshine than Basel during winter. At this time of the year, Bern gets 65 hours of sunny skies, while Basel receives 55 hours of full sun.

In January, Bern usually receives less rain than Basel. At this time of the year, Bern gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Basel receives 77 mm (3 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bern 3°C (37°F) 
    Basel 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Bern or Basel in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Bern as well as Basel. The spring months attract visitors to Bern because of the natural beauty. Additionally, the natural beauty are the main draw to Basel this time of year.

In the spring, Bern is around the same temperature as Basel. Typically, the spring temperatures in Bern in April are around 11°C (52°F), and Basel is about 12°C (53°F).

In the spring, Bern often gets more sunshine than Basel. Bern gets 164 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Basel receives 150 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets less rain in April than Basel. Bern gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Basel receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bern 11°C (52°F) 
    Basel 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Basel and Bern

Bern Basel
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Feb 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in) 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in) 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in) 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in)
Jun 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Aug 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Dec 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)


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Bern vs. Basel Travel Comparison

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