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WIELD A WICKELFISCH: Dive into local life in Basel

Taking a dip in the Rhine is one thing visitors can do to live like a local – and discover what makes the Swiss tick – when visiting Basel during summer

Taking a dip in the Rhine is one thing visitors can do to live like a local – and discover what makes the Swiss tick – when visiting Basel during summer

There are a few items you simply must pack to feel like a local when making a summertime stop in Basel.

Bathers, a beach towel, flip-flops, sunhat, a cool pair of shades, and a Wickelfisch.



You will be needing one of the waterproof and robust bags invented in this Swiss city. The Wickelfisch is an essential item when partaking in the favourite warm-season tradition that is taking a dip in the Rhine.

The legendary waterway, that’s considered to be Basel’s artery “carrying the lifeblood of the city’’, not only inspires architecture and shapes history but provides a place for citizens to cool down during the longs days of a northern-hemisphere summer.




While the metropolis is a tourist-friendly destination – there’s a captivating Old Town as well as castles, cathedrals, museums and art galleries – the best way for travellers to experience this address is like a local and that means scheduling a soak in the Rhine when the sun is shining.

Residents say only those that have immersed in the refreshing water can genuinely understand the soul of this settlement and recommend visitors change into their togs in one of the historic bathing houses still standing on the banks, stroll upriver, then drift back down on the current.

Students and businesspeople descend on the waterway during lunch or after knocking off to pack belongings in their trusty Wickelfisch and float down the Rhine.




Once you’ve finished your Wickelfisch adventure down the Rhine, head into one of Basel’s famous and friendly buvettes. The refreshment stands open in pleasant weather to serve snacks to swimmers and strollers. Be sure to stop off, grab a drink and strike up a conversation with a local.




Taking a cooler in the local river is not unique to Basel, with communities big and small heading to a local waterway when temperatures climb, and the Switzerland Travel Academy is the perfect way for Aussie agents to learn more about enticing quirks like this.

The easy-to-use resource lets those working in the travel trade become “certified Switzerland travel experts’’ with almost 300 professionals completing the online course since April 2017.

So sign up to learn more of these quirky customs and conventions that will help Aussie travellers peek beneath the surface of one of Europe’s most charming locations.

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Written by: Sarah Nicholson, KARRYON contributor

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