Yes, April still remains April after all. Last week it was almost summer but now the weather has become wintery again. Great! The reason? Icy polar air headed in our direction.
It’s horrid. The sun is shining, but we are chilled to the bone. Only a week ago, there was sun and warmth at the Rhine. Not that we are normally entitled to such comfortable conditions in April.
Our ancestors knew fine: good weather is not guaranteed in April. It is also neither the fault of the Ice Saints of St Pancras, St Servatius and St Mamertus, whose dates fall on 11, 12 and 13 May, nor that of the usual cold spells around 11th June.
Such phenomena are caused by meteorological singularities – they result in different temperatures than what is normally expected in certain months. So much for the technical terms. However, the most accurate weather forecast of the region can be found here on barfi.ch.
For now, it is simply cold – typical for April. But we don’t mind, because we know where to go to flee the freezing temperatures, and there are plenty of places to find warmth in Basel:
1. Sweat in Dampfbad St. Johann
Even though it opened years ago, the Dampfbad is still something of an insider tip for those who do not live in the St. Johann quarter. In this steam bath, you can warm yourself up and enjoy the heated humid air. There is hammam (Turkish bath), you can treat yourself to a massage, and of course there are steam baths embedded in beautiful architecture and with direct public transport connections to the city.
The Dampfbad St. Johann is open daily, details are available on its website. The entry fee is set rather high at 32 Swiss francs, but hey: it is wonderfully warm!
2. Party hard at Nordstern
Sure thing: What can heat you up more than partying hard? And why not do it at Nordstern, which has found a new home on Das Schiff. So dress up, grab your friends, and go for the hustle in the club with the most exclusive booking in Switzerland. The party starts every Thursday at Westquaistrasse.
3. Go up the wall (indoors, naturally)!
Real climbers are not afraid to tackle rock faces outside even in this April weather. For everyone else, there is the Kletterhalle 7 in Gundeli: A perfect alternation to lifting weights or fitness centres. There are regular beginners’ and intermediate courses, and a small but nice boulder area for those with more delicate needs.
The Kletterhalle 7 is on Gundeldinger Feld, behind the Werk 8 restaurant. The course programme is available on its website.
4. Where the wild things are
Basel’s zoo not only offers an intriguing outside area but also has various inner qualities. Many animals dislike the cold as much as we do, for example those in the birds’ house or in the vivarium: these areas are both sheltered from the wind and also offer moderate temperatures. Once you have warmed yourself up inside, you can still go out into the cold again. Or even pack your swimsuits and go for a few lengths in the nearby indoor swimming pool Rhialto.
Basel’s zoo recently opened its new “Tembea” elephant area. Although this novelty is outside, you can warm up first and then go have a look at it anyway.
5. If nothing else helps: Bikram Yoga
This method of Hatha-Yoga is also known as “Hot Yoga”. This is because you complete 26 Yoga exercises in a rather hot room. The body is supposed to release toxins through sweating, and the warmth is also good for the joints and muscles. Therefore, despite the cold: Get rid of your clothes, roll out your Yoga mat, and get your circulation going.
Bikram Yoga in Basel is available at Pfluggässlein 1 in the city centre, for example. Details available on the website.