A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Geneva vs. Basel for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Families

Should you visit Geneva or Basel?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Geneva and Basel. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Geneva

Geneva is a diverse, international, and professional city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. 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 shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Geneva and Basel: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


How is Geneva different from Basel?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Geneva or Basel?

Geneva
Basel

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

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Geneva. Famous sights and landmarks include the spectacular Water Jet, St Pierre Cathedral, and the Palais des Nations. There are also impressive art and history museums in the city.

Basel offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.


Is the Food Better in Geneva or Basel? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Geneva
Basel

Dining out at restaurants in both Geneva and Basel can be an enjoyable experience.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Geneva makes for a great culinary experience. The city has an amazing mix of traditional Swiss restaurants as well as diverse ethnic options. Traditional dishes include fondue and raclette, both of which involve the decadent Swiss cheese.

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.

Is Geneva or Basel Better for Nightlife?

Geneva
Basel

It's hard to distinguish whether Geneva or Basel has a better nightlife scene.

Geneva has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. During the day the city is all business, but at night the professionals, interns, students, and NGO workers all come together to enjoy a drink at a bar or dance at one of the city's diverse clubs.

If you're looking for night time activities Basel has a few options to choose from. 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.

Is Geneva or Basel Better for its Old Town?

Geneva
Basel

Visitors enjoy the old town areas in both Geneva and Basel.

Many visitors go to Geneva to see the historical old town. The Old Town offers a number of charming streets where you can wander as well as historical buildings including St. Pierre Cathedral.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting 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.

Is the Shopping Better in Geneva or Basel?

Geneva
Basel

Shopping is a popular activity in both Basel and Geneva.

Geneva is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Famous for its posh shops and luxury brands, this city is a popular shopping destination. From chic boutiques to deluxe toy stores, you'll find something for everyone. In particular, the city is known for its Swiss watches, Swiss Army knives, chocolate, and wine.

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.


Is Geneva or Basel Better for Families?

Geneva
Basel

Both Geneva and Basel are family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Geneva. This diverse city has a number of chocolate shops, toy stores, and parks where kids can play. They'll be impressed by the Water Jet and there are few places where you can swim in the lake when the weather is warm.

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. If the weather's warm, head for the river to cool off.

Is Geneva or Basel Better for Couples?

Geneva
Basel

Geneva and Basel both fun destinations for a couple.

Geneva is a nice destination for couples. Wandering Old Town, sampling Swiss chocolate, and enjoying one of the many ethnic restaurants around town all make for great date activities. Fondue in a traditional restaurant is also a not to be missed experience.

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.

Is Geneva or Basel Better for Students?

Geneva
Basel

Geneva and Basel are comparable places to visit for students.

Many students visit Geneva. The University of Geneva attracts many international students and the city is quite diverse. It feels like a mixing bowl of cultures, so students will feel very welcomed and comfortable here.

Basel is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. The University of Basel brings in international students from around the world. The city makes a nice base for exploring Europe, but it's also a bit expensive which can be challenging on a student income.

Is Geneva or Basel Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Geneva
Basel

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Geneva and Basel.

Visitors in Geneva can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The very comprehensive system includes trams, buses, and boats.

Public transit in Basel can get you to some places easily. Trams and buses make it easy to get around town.


Is Geneva or Basel a more walkable city?

Geneva
Basel

Geneva and Basel both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Geneva is very walkable. Most areas where visitors spend their time can be easily explored on foot.

Basel is a very easy city to get around on foot. The old town and most of the major attractions are easily accessible on foot.

Should I spend more time in Basel or Geneva?

How long in Geneva or Basel?

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

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


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

One day in Geneva or Basel?

Each neighborhood in Geneva has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Lots of people come for the shopping. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Basel. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

A weekend in Geneva or Basel?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Geneva. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. 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 great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Geneva or Basel?

Geneva is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the big city destination of Geneva. Lots of people come for the shopping. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Basel. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Geneva or Basel?

You'll find food and shopping around the classy big city of Geneva. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the shopping. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the vibrant destination of Basel. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which place is cheaper, Basel or Geneva?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Geneva is $211, while the average daily cost in Basel is $237. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Geneva and Basel in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Geneva $145
    Basel $144
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Geneva $290
    Basel $288
Compare Hotels in Geneva and Basel

Looking for a hotel in Geneva 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 Geneva


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Geneva Hotel Prices and Basel Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Geneva $9.43
    Basel $46

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Geneva

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Geneva:

  • Private Departure Transfer: Geneva Hotel to Geneva Airport: $37
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Geneva to Geneva International Airport (GVA): $39
  • Geneva to Geneva Airport (GVA) - Departure Private Van Transfer: $41
  • Superior Private Transfer from Geneva Hotels to Geneva Airport: $47
  • Geneva to Geneva Airport (GVA) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $68
  • Geneva Airport (GVA) to Geneva - Arrival Private Car Transfer: $68
  • Geneva to Geneva Airport (GVA)- Departure Private Car Transfer: $68
  • VIP Transfer: $74
  • Departure Private Transfer Business Car Geneva City to Geneva airport GVA: $93
  • Geneva Departure Private Transfers from Geneva City to Geneva Airport GVA: $95
  • Geneva Airport Transfers : Geneva City to Geneva Airport GVA in Business Car: $100
  • Private Transfer from Geneva City to Geneva Airport: $100

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Basel

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Basel:

  • Arrival Private Transfers from Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Business Car: $100
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Luxury Van: $103
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Business Car: $100
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Luxury Car: $142
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Luxury Van: $98
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Business Car: $95
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Luxury Car: $149
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Luxury Van: $98
  • Basel to Basel Airport - Departure Private Car Transfer: $50
  • Premium 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Bern: $194
  • Departure Private Transfer from Basel City to Basel Airport BSL by Business Car: $98
  • Departure Private Transfer from Basel City to Basel Airport BSL by Luxury Car: $108

Is it cheaper to fly into Geneva or Basel?

Prices for flights to both Basel and Geneva 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
    Geneva $53
    Basel $61

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Geneva

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

  • Old Geneva food tour: $268

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.
    Geneva $30
    Basel $37

Tours and Activities in Geneva

Here are a few actual costs in Geneva for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1-Hour Lake Geneva Cruise: $9.83
  • International & Panoramic Tours Geneva: $27
  • 2-Hour Tour of International Quarters and Old Town: $60
  • Geneva City Tour: $64
  • Annecy Half-Day Tour from Geneva: $80
  • Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise: $82
  • Independent Chamonix and Mont Blanc Tour from Geneva: $90
  • E-Bike Tour of United Nations Square and Lake: $96
  • Photogenic City Photography Tour: $103
  • Chocolate Flavors Walking Tour of Geneva: $108
  • Riviera Montreux, Lavaux UNESCO & Optional Cruise: $118
  • Glacier 3000 Experience and Montreux: $119

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
    Geneva $22
    Basel $33

Sample the Local Flavors in Geneva

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Geneva:

  • Seneca Lake Wine Tasting & Tour: $167
  • Farms, Flights: Finger Lakes Brewery Tour: $180
  • Lavaux Panoramic Wine Tour from Geneva: $289
  • Winter ski tour: Wine tasting tour in Rhine region: $746
  • Swiss Wine Tasting at Lavaux Vineyards: Private Trip From Geneva: $1,097


When comparing the travel costs between Geneva and Basel, we can see that Basel 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 Geneva 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 Geneva or Basel in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Geneva and Basel. Many visitors come to Geneva in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, most visitors come to Basel for the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Geneva is around the same temperature as Basel. Typically, the summer temperatures in Geneva in July are around 22°C (71°F), and Basel is about 21°C (70°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Basel this time of the year. In Geneva, it's very sunny this time of the year. Geneva usually receives more sunshine than Basel during summer. Geneva gets 285 hours of sunny skies, while Basel receives 241 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Geneva usually receives less rain than Basel. Geneva gets 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Basel receives 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Geneva 22°C (71°F) 
    Basel 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Geneva or Basel in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Geneva as well as Basel. Most visitors come to Geneva for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Additionally, the autumn months attract visitors to Basel because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Geneva is generally around the same temperature as Basel. Temperatures in Geneva average around 14°C (56°F), and Basel stays around 13°C (56°F).

In the autumn, Geneva often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Basel. Geneva gets 127 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Basel receives 120 hours of full sun.

Geneva usually gets more rain in October than Basel. Geneva gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Basel receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Geneva 14°C (56°F) 
    Basel 13°C (56°F)

Should I visit Geneva or Basel in the Winter?

Both Basel and Geneva are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Geneva because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Basel this time of year.

It's quite cold in Basel in the winter. The weather in Geneva can be very cold. Geneva is a little warmer than Basel in the winter. The temperature in Geneva is usually 4°C (39°F) in January, and Basel stays around 3°C (37°F).

Geneva usually receives more sunshine than Basel during winter. Geneva gets 62 hours of sunny skies, while Basel receives 55 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Geneva usually receives less rain than Basel. Geneva gets 55 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Basel receives 77 mm (3 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Geneva 4°C (39°F) 
    Basel 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Geneva or Basel in the Spring?

Both Basel and Geneva during the spring are popular places to visit. The activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Geneva this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Basel for the natural beauty.

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

In the spring, Geneva often gets more sunshine than Basel. Geneva gets 174 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Basel receives 150 hours of full sun.

Geneva usually gets less rain in April than Basel. Geneva gets 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Basel receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Typical Weather for Basel and Geneva

Geneva Basel
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (39°F) 55 mm (2.1 in) 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Feb 6°C (42°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Apr 11°C (53°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 85 mm (3.4 in) 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 75 mm (3 in) 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
Jul 22°C (71°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Aug 21°C (70°F) 75 mm (3 in) 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Sep 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in) 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 14°C (56°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 8°C (46°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Dec 4°C (40°F) 57 mm (2.3 in) 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)


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Geneva vs. Basel Travel Comparison

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