April 2015


In the first of our new series, we reveal the one place in the world our featured traveller would happily return to, and why. This month, Viking MD Wendy Atkin-Smith tells us which city she would like to go back to.

I would always go back to Basel in Switzerland

I’ve travelled to Basel many times as our Operations HQ is based there. The first time I got a chance to visit the Old Town I was totally taken by surprise. Due to its small size, the city can easily be explored on foot, and getting there from the ship can be an experience if you walk along the banks of the Rhine. The city’s inhabitants completely embrace the outdoor lifestyle and all along the banks people meet up for a picnic or drinks. There are places to buy food and even communal barbecues. People also row or swim in the river and many commute to work this way with their office clothes in a special waterproof pack which they swim with.

As you stroll through the Old Town of Basel, one of the most intact and beautiful in Europe, you’ll be amazed at its architectural diversity. Each corner features buildings from the 15th century, as well as those designed by contemporary architects, giving it a rather unusual combination of tradition and modernity. The small boutique shops and host of outdoor cafes and restaurants give the city a very cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Basel is also Switzerland's oldest university city. Historic landmarks of the city include the large market square with its richly decorated red sandstone town hall and the late Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, plus it has almost 40 museums.

My top tip, would be to visit the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, one of Europe’s oldest hotels. It exudes charm and old world elegance, and has a lovely terrace where you can enjoy a drink overlooking the Rhine.

Basel is often overlooked, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

You can visit Basel on Viking’s 8-day Rhine Discovery cruise, and explore even more of the city on a 2-night hotel stay after your cruise >


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