Travellers lucky enough to be in Basel the Monday after Ash Wednesday are in for a treat. Fasnacht, Switzerland’s biggest carnival, unleashes 18,000 masked and costumed Fasnächtler onto the city for exactly 72 hours of merrymaking. Visitors should prepare to be ankle-deep in confetti—locals insist the tradition of throwing tiny pieces of coloured paper during celebrations started here.
For a glimpse of what Basel might have looked like once upon a time, tourists head to the medieval town of Alstadt. With Gothic spires and narrow streets lined with impeccably maintained, centuries-old houses, much of this area has hardly changed since the 1600s.