Another view of the main hall at Basel Bad bf station

Frankfurt to Basel / Bâle by train

How to take the rail journey from Frankfurt (Main) to north-west Switzerland

These swish ICE trains provide an easily managed link between central Germany and the multiple Swiss destinations which can be easily accessed from Basel



From Frankfurt Main Hbf to Basel Bad Bf

Travel Information

Final Destination: Zurich or Chur or Basel or Interlaken

All trains also call at: Freiburg

Arriving in Basel:

After calling at Basel Bad bf (Basel Baden railway station), these trains all go on to call or terminate at Basel SBB, the city's main station, which is located to the south of the central area

So If you're heading to Basel city centre, the quickest journey is usually to leave this train at Basel Bad bf.
There are easy tram connections from Basel Bad bf station to the central area.

Remain on the train until it arrives at Basel SBB if your final destination is to the south of the city centre, or if you will be connecting into trains to other destinations in Switzerland which don't have direct trains from Germany including Biel (easy connection on to Geneve) and Brig and Visp.

However, because DB categorises the journey on to Basel SBB as an international journey, tickets can be more expensive if you book to Basel SBB.
In contrast, despite its location in Switzerland, DB applies the same fare rules for journeys to Basel Bad Bf as it does to other journeys wholly within Germany, so booking to Basel Bad bf is also a cheaper option,

Usual timetable:
1 x train per hour

From Apr 1st to December 9th:
Due to maintenance works on the high-speed route between Kassel and Frankfurt, the timetable is being amended during this period of time, which will alter the pattern of departures.
In even hours there will typically be two departures, but in odd hours there will be no departures, leaving gaps of around 1hr 15mins between trains.


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date

Finding Tickets:

Check that you’re looking at booking info for the direct trains.

On the DB Bahn booking site look for journeys that have:

  • 0 in the Chg. column
  • ICE  (and only ICE) in the Products column.

Use the earlier/later buttons to search for the cheapest ticket prices.

Seat Reservations:

Book 1st class ticket journey tickets on and your seat reservation is included - but they're optional when booking 2nd class tickets, or if you will be travelling with a 1st or 2nd class rail pass.

Opting to reserve is particularly recommended if you will be travelling at business hours and/or during the day on Fridays and Sundays.

A choice of stations in Basel:

These trains call first at Basel Bad Bf station before going on to terminate at Basel SBB station.

If you want to travel to Basel Bad Bf - the city centre station, then select it from the station options in the 'To' Box.
If you want to travel to Basel SBB, select this station in the 'To' box.
Tickets booked to Basel Bad bf are not valid for journeys on to Basel SBB.

Taking the train on to Basel SBB makes this an international journey, so you can save more than €20 by booking to Basel Bad Bf; so definitely select that station if you are heading to Basel city centre.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
DB from €17.90

DB Guide

DB is the national railway operator in Germany, so its website can be used for booking journeys by German express trains; the ICE and IC trains and it doesn't charge booking fees.
It also sells tickets for journeys by direct trains on all international routes from Germany regardless of whether DB is operating the train service.

It also sells an extensive range of end-to-end journeys which involve making connections both within Germany and in neighboring countries, but journeys between Germany and Britain cannot be booked on DB.

A key feature of DB website worth keeping mind is that it offers 1st class ticket purchasers complimentary seat reservations on journeys both within and to/from Germany.

Seat reservations for daytime in both 1st and 2nd class can also be booked separately from tickets.

Omio from €17.90

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Save A Train from €17.90

Save A Train Guide

Happy rail from €17.90

Happy rail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

Trainline from €17.90

Trainline Guide

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