Central location, mild climate
The Canton of Basel-Stadt lies on the Upper Rhine, in the triangle formed by neighbouring France to the west and Germany to the north. Basel is the main city of Switzerland's north-western region, and forms the bridgehead of German-speaking Switzerland into the European Union. Topographically, Basel has the lowest altitude of all Swiss cities north of the Alps. The ‘Dreiländereck’ (the triangle formed by Switzerland, France, and Germany) is 244 metre above sea level. The city covers an area of 37 square kilometres on both sides of the Rhine, embedded in the triangle between the Swiss Jura, the Black Forest (Germany), and the Vosges mountains (France). As it passes through Basel, the Rhine bends sharply northwards and becomes much wider as it flows into the Upper Rhine Plain. Basel is a traditional traffic junction. The city lies at the crossroads of the north-south and east-west rail systems; its EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg provides connections to the European and international airline network.
Its position in the Rhine valley gives Basel an exceptionally mild climate, influenced as it is by Mediterranean air currents that flow up from the Rhone valley through the Belfort Gap. As a result, Basel enjoys an above-average amount of sunshine compared with the Swiss midlands, and only rarely disappears in autumn fog.