Pick up your hire car at Basel airport and enjoy a hip, green and cosmopolitan city on the Rhine that's rich in culture and steeped in history.
"We are the city that aesthetes dream about, with the oldest public art collection in the world, cutting-edge architecture and some of the most amazing riverside views in Europe."
Switzerland's second largest city isn't just a pretty face. With over 40 museums, countless theatres and some of Europe's brightest annual carnivals, Basel is buzzing with culture and entertainment.
Located on Switzerland's northern borders with France and Germany, the city has a surprisingly Mediterranean feel, especially in summer. Relax with a drink outside one of Basel's many cafes or restaurants and you could easily be on the French Riviera.
Basel is a university city, so expect to see plenty of youngsters sporting Che Guevara T-shirts wandering about with piles of books under their arms.
During summer Basel enjoys some of the warmest temperatures in the whole of Switzerland, reaching a sweltering 24°C in July. Things get much cooler in winter and heavy snow isn't unusual - great news if you're heading up to the mountains with your skis.
Switzerland is famous for making mouth-watering chocolates and Basel is no exception. You'd need unbelievable willpower to go into one of the city's flamboyant confectionary shops and walk out empty-handed.
Arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, Swiss ace Roger Federer was born in Basel.
Basel's academic institutions have attracted their fair share of boffins over the years - philosopher Nietzsche and theologian John Calvin are just two of the great minds to have studied in Basel.
"Art Basel cannot be beaten. Since 40 years irresistibly on the top: this fair does not falter." - Frankfurt General Newspaper comments on Basel's renowned art fair.
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The beautiful town hall is the focal point of Basel's busy Marktplatz. Dating back to the 16th century, check out its frescoed inner courtyard.
Street parking is available on the roads surrounding Marktplatz. Alternatively, try the 24-hour car park on Fischmarkt.
Once a Catholic cathedral now a reformed Protestant church, it is hard to miss this red sandstone building with its soaring twin towers and colourful roof tiles.
The multi-storey car park on Henric Petri-Strasse costs £
This magnificent 150-year-old building was the first Protestant church to be built in Basel after the Reformation. In recent years, innovative ideas have swelled the congregation - including photography exhibitions and headphones playing fairytales for children.
On-street parking is available along Elisabethenstrasse, or try the car park on Steinentorberg - from 60p an hour.
Basel's art museum hosts one of Switzerland's largest collections of paintings, ranging from the 15th-century to the present day. Highlights include works by Manet, Cezanne, Picasso and Munch.
Try the car park on Henric Petri-Strasse, which costs £
The city's river is a great place to take a dip, although it's advisable to wait until summer before donning your swimming togs - the water is very cold in winter months.
There is a car park on Rebgasse (on the north side of the river) that is close to the waterfront.
Head up the mountains to the historic village of Engelberg and enjoy 51 miles of ski slopes, including an eight-mile trail that starts at Titlis Glacier - home to a snowboarding park in spring and autumn.
Just 80 miles from the city centre, follow the A2 north-west and take exit 33-Stans-Süad towards Engelberg/Dallenwil/Ennetbüargen.
As well as boasting 14 ski slopes the village is known for its thermal waters, perfect for soaking in after a long day on the pistes.
Drive south-east along the A3, passing Zurich. The journey should take roughly two hours.
Switzerland's fourth-largest lake is one of the country's most picturesque spots. Home to the iconic Chapel Bridge and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Lucerne is a feast for the eyes.
Follow the A2/E25/E35 towards Luzern/Gotthard/Arisdorf/Bern and take exit 47 to merge with the A2. Exit 34 towards Buochs takes you to the south-west side of the lake.
Without doubt one of the most breathtakingly beautiful mountain landscapes in Switzerland, if not the world, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Europe's longest glacier and awesome views.
Take the A2 towards Lucerne, turning off at exit 40 and following Route 19/Furkastrasse. The ten-mile-long Furka Tunnel leads to Oberwald and the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn region.
" The first piece of advice I'd give to anyone driving in Basel is to pay attention to the trams - they are one of the main forms of public transport around the city and if you're driving a car, you always have to give way to them. Another tip is to be careful where you park, even if it's only for a couple of minutes - police are very strict when it comes to parking restrictions and fines can be expensive. Pick up a parking permit - a blue disk - from a police station or one of the petrol stations on the outskirts of the city. These allow you to park in a designated 'blue zone'. Finally, if you're driving out of the city and heading up to the mountains, be aware of the narrow roads, especially in winter when they get dangerously icy. "