The Basel Herbstmesse is an annual two-and-a-half week festival that also happens to be the largest and oldest amusement fair in Switzerland. This year, it ran from October 27th – November 11th. This celebration of the fall season goes back 500+ years and is an event that the locals, and even people coming from nearby Germany, look forward to every year. It’s suitable for people of all ages, kids especially love it! Since I’m in Switzerland this year, might as well see what it’s like right? So on the first Friday of this month, I took the train to Basel after work and stayed over at Amrutha’s place so we could explore the city for the whole day on Saturday.

The city centre fair is huuuge! I was really impressed. The festival is organized into eight “sections” – Kasernenareal, Messeplatz, Rosentalanlage, Messehalle, Münsterplatz, Petersplatz, Barfüsserplatz, and Claraplatz. All the locations are accessible by tram, but since the festival is PACKED, at times we found exploring by foot a lot more convenient. Anyway, there’s lots to do, buy and soo much to eat!! Honestly if you plan on going, go with an empty stomach cuz there are so many traditional Swiss snacks to try. A bit expensive, but it’s Switzerland..

This was the first section we visited

There were lots of stalls selling handicrafts…

…and toys, decor, jewelry, anything you can imagine

This was my first time trying kartoffelpuffer – German potato pancake. Deep fried to perfection… mmm

Sooo delicious!! Ahh!! Looks a bit like fish and chips right? Well, the fish part lol

Raclette (melted cheese that is scraped onto a plate to eat with potatoes) with pickles and onions. So delicious also

Walking from site to site.. this is one of Basel’s many bridges to cross over the Rhine

Amrutha’s husband, Prashanth, joined us later in the afternoon

I was surprised at the number of rides at the festival

Also a lot of games to play.. but pretty expensive dammit. 5 chf/try usually

Light painting!

Something else I wanted to try but was so full by the end of the night. I’ll have to ask Amrutha what it’s called again, but it’s basically a super thin pizza

I wish I had my tripod.. could have taken some nice long exposure shots

Basel at night

Overall, Herbstmesse was so much fun! If you happen to be in Switzerland at that time of the year, you should definitely give it a visit. The only thing I didn’t like though was the excessive smoking. 95% of the festival is outdoors yeah, but it’s a family event and I think people should respect that. There were so many people smoking that I had a headache and dry eyes by the end of the night.. Ehh.. But I guess if you’re in Europe you’d be hard pressed to find lots of smoke-free areas anyway. I mean, at the end of the day it’s not a big deal, just a big pet peeve of mine. If I’m in Switzerland next year, I’m definitely going again.. the food was amaazing and (relatively) cheap :D

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