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Basel isn’t the most popular place in the world to visit, it’s a bit off the beaten track, but it’s more than worth visiting. It’s a beautiful city with so much to offer.
But as it’s not a mainstream tourist destination like Zurich or Geneva, it can be a bit less simple to get there.
One thing that’s confusing from the off is the Basel airports, how many there are and where they actually are.
It’s not like other cities where there’s an airport named Basel International Airport, unfortunately.
Luckily for you, I’ve spent a lot of time in Basel and Switzerland, and have flown in and out of Basel airports many a time. So I’ve created the perfect guide to figuring out the complex nature of the airport situation in Basel.
Without further ado, let’s fly into it!
🇨🇭 When planning a trip to Basel, I recommend using:
✈️ Flights: Skyscanner
🏨 Hotels: Booking.com
💵 Hostels: Hostelworld
🗺 Tours & Activities: Viator and GetYourGuide
🚗 Car Rental: Discover Cars
🚌 Transport: Flixbus
🏥 Travel Insurance: Safetywing
💻 VPN: Surfshark
When Googling this question, you will find that the answer isn’t consistent across the board. Some people say there are three Basel airports, some will say two and some will say one.
The three which some people include are:
- EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
- Mulhouse/Basel EuroAirport French FR
- Zurich Airport
Now, you might notice something immediately off the get-go, and that’s that one of them is in Zurich, so that’s not Basel. But sometimes people consider it as an option to get to Basel as it’s a much more well-connected airport. It is an option, but not the easiest option.
The first two also have very similar names, and that’s because they’re pretty much the same airport. The difference is pretty much what door you walk in and out of. To summarise, the airport serves both France and Switzerland, so one door is for France and one is for Switzerland. Of course, we want to choose the Swiss door.
So in my opinion, there is only really one “Basel airport” but it’s up for interpretation whether you include airports that can get you to Basel or whether it’s the best airport to get to Basel. It’s not like London where there are 6 airports for one city, let’s put it that way.
To make it clear, the airport you want to fly into for Basel is EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. I’ll now go into a deep dive into each of the three Basel airports to provide more information about them.
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
This is the airport you want to fly into when flying to Basel. It’s sometimes known as Basel Airport, but the official name is EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg.
The reason is, as I said, because the airport serves those three places: Basel, Mulhouse and Freiburg. EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg is technically in France, but don’t worry, you will make it to Basel. Don’t freak out when your phone provider texts you “Welcome to France”.
When you land and make it through immigration, you will get a stamp on your passport for “Basel”. And then you will be greeted with a choice of which country you want to enter.
You want to walk out the doors to Switzerland in order to make it to Basel, and from there, it’s a 20-minute bus journey into the centre of Basel. It’s super easy and the buses are really frequent.
Mulhouse/Basel EuroAirport French FR
This is essentially just the French side of the EuroAirport. The only difference is that you walk out the doors to France. If you are going to Basel and somehow accidentally walk out the wrong doors, don’t worry, you can walk back in and then find the doors to Switzerland.
You could also just make your own way from France to Basel as it’s really close to the border but it’s not worth the hassle. Just walk back through the airport.
But yeah, the airport is technically two airports but in essence and in practice, it’s just one airport. The difference lies in what door you walk out.
But this is one of the things which makes Basel so unique to visit. It’s incredibly close to the French and German border of Switzerland. Many people forget Switzerland is one of the countries which borders Germany. Dreiländereck is a monument marking the point where the three borders meet so you can be in three countries at once!
There’s also a really nice town on the other side of the French border not too far from Dreiländereck if you have a spare few hours in Basel to explore it.
But in terms of airports, make sure you go out the door to Switzerland and not the one to France.
The last of the three Basel airports supposedly is Zurich Airport, but in my opinion, you can’t really consider it a Basel airport.
Sure, it’s not too far away. It’s just over an hour from Zurich Central Station to Basel SBB and the journey is pretty nice too, it’s a journey I’ve done myself multiple times. But that doesn’t make it a Basel airport.
It’s like saying Liverpool Airport is an airport for Manchester because the two cities aren’t too far apart.
That being said, you may need to fly into Zurich if you are flying from somewhere further afield, as EuroAirport only really has flights from select destinations in Europe.
Which is the best airport to fly into for Basel?
Since Basel isn’t the most popular place to visit in the world – it definitely deserves to be more popular – some research is required in advance. Take this article for example, or another one of mine on how to pronounce Basel. These are all things to look into before visiting.
The best airport to fly into for Basel is the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. It’s a multinational airport meaning you can leave to go to either Switzerland or France, so make sure you exit using the doors to Switzerland.
From EuroAirport, it’s only 20 minutes from the centre of Basel. So it’s by far the best option for flying into the stunning Swiss city.
How to get from EuroAirport Basel to Basel City Centre
The best way to get from EuroAirport to Basel’s centre is by taking a bus. The bus line 50 runs buses from the airport to Basel SBB really frequently, and the journey takes less than 20 minutes.
It’s also completely free, all public transport in Basel is for tourists (up to 30 days) with the Basel Card, but to get from the airport, your accommodation booking will suffice.
Free public transport is just an example of how the standard of living in Switzerland is so high – the quality of life is one of the main reasons Switzerland is so expensive.
On a random note, expect your phone to not realise you are in Switzerland until you’re in the centre of Basel. Mine thought I was still in France until I arrived at Basel SBB as I was so close to the border.
But regardless, the bus is the most convenient way to get into Basel, and it’s completely free too!
Basel Airports: FAQ
Below are some common questions related to Basel airports along with my answers.
You fly into EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg which is technically in France, but is only a 20-minute bus journey from the centre of Basel.
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg is in France, but incredibly close to the border with Switzerland and the bus journey takes less than 20 minutes.
Technically speaking, Basel does not have its own airport, as EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg is in France, but it is the airport you fly into for Basel and it’s only 20 minutes away on a bus.
No, EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg does not have a train station. The best way to get from Basel airport to Basel is by getting the bus which is free for tourists and takes less than 20 minutes.
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg has a Swiss exit and a French exit, but it’s basically one airport in practice. You might see them named EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg and Mulhouse/Basel EuroAirport French FR but the only difference is which door you walk out of after immigration.
Final Thoughts: Basel Airports
And there you have it, a complete guide to Basel airports.
Whether you think there are three airports for Basel or one, hopefully, this post has helped you understand the airport situation for the city.
Remember, the best airport to fly into is EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, and it only takes 20 minutes to get from there to the centre of Basel on a free(!) shuttle bus.
Enjoy your trip to Basel, it’s a really really nice city 🙂