So why a page on Basel? Well, for many years I lived there and traveled from the city to the slopes. So I know a thing or two about using it as a base for winter sports, or a winter holiday or short vacation.
Basel really is the gateway to the Swiss Alps. If you fly to Switzerland to ski or snowboard, Basel and Zurich are the best airports to use – Geneva works for a handful of reports but in general is better for the French Alps. If you go by train you will almost certainly go via Basel, perhaps through to Zurich but Basel is better for the Alpine resorts in Valais and the Bernese Oberland as well as some other areas. The nearest ski resorts to Basel in the Alps include the major ski areas in the Jungfrau (Grindelwald, Murren and Wengen), Engelberg and family-friendly Meiringen, but there are others within a couple of hours or so by car or train. Travel times to get to resorts from Basel are listed at my Swiss Winter Sports website. Of course, Swiss public transport is not only good it is superb, so you can be sure of links that not only get you to the slopes reliably, but enjoyably too – and every ski resort in Switzerland has public transport connecting to the base stations.
Basel is also a good place to stay. It is a lively city with good restaurants, fabulous galleries, world class architecture, banging nightlife, a great Christmas Market and even some respectable skiing nearby, at Feldberg in the Black Forest, the closest resort to Basel. it is also a do-able base for day trips to a number of resorts. Apart from the Baselworld Watch Fair, there is usually a range of reasonably priced places to stay near the station, the YMCA being our favourite for trips back to Basel. Here are more details on places to stay in Basel.
Basel is a good stopover for a weekend ski trip from the UK or other starting points in Northern Europe. You can fly in on a Friday evening, ski a couple of resorts on Saturday and Sunday and fly out early on Monday morning and be in the office in London by 9am – I know, I’ve done it!
Another option is to stay intervening nights somewhere else. Fly in to Basel then, say, take the morning train to Chur, leave the stuff you don’t need for skiing in a station locker, ski the day in Graubünden then come back to Chur for the night before heading off somewhere else the next day. On the last day, get the train back to Basel after a day on the piste and fly out early the next morning. Simples!