Basler Herbstmesse — Opening Day
The Basler Herbstmesse, now in its 552nd year, is the oldest and largest fair in the region, attracting over 1 million visitors each year from all over Switzerland and neighboring countries. For a two-week period each fall, visitors come to enjoy more than 100 rides, taste traditional foods, and buy unique wares. Baslers young and old wait with anticipation for these two weeks, and after you experience it once, you will certainly understand why!
The fair officially opens at noon on this day, which is signaled by the ringing of the bells of the Martinskirche, the church located on the hill between the Rathaus (city hall) and the Rhein. All rides are free for the first hour of the fair, so why not get out there early and line up for a free ride or two?
The rides range from traditional carousels and similar entertainments for the youngest visitors, through attractions for everyone, such as the Ferris wheel and the swing rides, to stomach-turning rides with such names as “Super Chaos,” “Speed,” and “Swing Up.” In short, there is something for everyone!
Another memorable aspect of the Herbstmesse is the typical foods, many of which can only be found on this occasion. Moreover, you can enjoy typical Swiss specialties, such as grilled sausages, raclette, cheese fondue, sticks of fruit dipped in chocolate, and so much more.
In addition to the rides and food, the Herbstmesse offers a large selection of artisan and craft stalls, which are located on Petersplatz, including the so-called “Häfelimärt” (dish market). Here you can find dish wares of all types, but also candles, hats, jewelry, pottery, soaps, spices, wooden toys and utensils, and many other types of hand-made crafts.
Like every year, the Herbstmesse is spread out across several squares throughout town, each with slightly different attractions and opening hours. The rides and stalls are open 7 days a week, but opening hours vary depending on the location and the day of the week. On this day, opening hours are 12:00-23:00 at Barfüsserplatz, Münsterplatz, Kasernenareal, Messeplatz, Rosentalanlage, and Halle 1 at Messe Basel (Super 80s), and 12:00-20:00 at Petersplatz.
For more information, go to the official Herbstmesse website.