Have you ever been on smooth ferry journey across a major European river? Discover the most adventurous way to and from Basel’s number one church: the minster ferry Leu.

  » Downtown highlight
  » One of four ferries
  » Long tradition
  » Prices, times, and additional info
Quick Buzz
WhereMinster terrace / Pfalz ~Oberer Rheinweg 91
Hourssummer-time 9am-8pm July+August  9pm-10pm
Great combination when visiting the Minster
Experience the feeling of riding the waves across the Rhine river with one of the oldest forms of public transportation in Basel. The minster ferry Leu connects the two Basel parts and is one of the most popular downtown tourist attractions. It is hooked on a cable and is pushed across the Rhine only by the water current. It is named after one of the three main Klein-Basel guilds: the lion (Basel Swiss German: Leu). The ferry ride combines well before or after a Basel minster visit. Stepping into the Leu ferry in Klein-Basel, you will feel similar to Harry Potter going to Hogwarts while floating across the waves of the Rhine towards the impressive walls of the minster hill, and then climbing up the steep steps towards the minster. On the hand, if you just visited the minster (i.e. climbing the minster towers), the Leu ferry provides another mini adventure highlight on your trip through Basel.
One of four historical Basel ferries The Leu ferry is one of four historical Basel ferries. Along the length of the Rhine in Basel, you will find a total of four ferries. They are in order of the Rhine river flow:
St.Alban Wild Maa – by the paper museum       Minster Leu – by the minster balcony/Pfalz  
Klingental Vogel Gryff – by Kaserne/Trois Rois St. Johann Ueli – towards Novartis
The oldest remaining ferry is the Vogel Gryff being installed in 1862 a few years before the Wettsteinbrüke was built. Due to the efficiency of the first ferry crossing the Rhine, three more were installed. The Leu in 1877, the Wild Maa in 1894, and Ueli in 1895. Ueli was originally located at Dreirosen, but was taken out of service in 1934. When demand was back up towards 1989, it was re-installed at St Johann – making it the newest Basel ferry and the last one before the Rhine leaves Switzerland. All four ferries have varying timetables. Find out the times here. To note is: times written on that webpage are not set in stone.
Long tradition (history) The ferries started as a mode of transport in the late 1800’s as there was only one bridge that served as a transport route between Grossbasel and Kleinbasel. To help the demand of transport, these four ferries were installed and have been transporting people and goods ever since. Now they are solely used for people, but are still in high demand.These ferries have been kept running because of the amount of people that go and visit them. Although they are over 100 years old, the Ferry Association Basel (Fähri Verein Basel) have preserved the boats. The preservation of the boats is due to the demand from locals and tourists who want to go back to the roots of public transport in Basel.
Times, prices & additional information Times The Leu ferry has two general timetables: winter and summer. Besides these official times tables, it may be open longer. When it’s raining, the Leu might close earlier and in case of high Rhine water levels, it remains closed for safety reasons.
 General 11.00 – 05.00pm
 Fasnacht (carnival) special times
 During Herbstmesse 11.00am – 10.00pm
 October 09.00am – 07.00pm
 General 09.00am – 08.00pm
 July & August 09.00am – 10.00pm
 by rain closing at 8:00 pm
 ‘Chill am Rhy’ cancelled
 Adults 1.60 CHF
 Children 0.80 CHF
 Stroller/pram, bikes, dogs 0.60 CHF
 20-rides ticket 30.00 CHF
 First hour 150 CHF
 Every following hour 100 CHF
Ticket prices (see table to the right) have to be paid in cash (best in exact amount with coins). Credit and debit cards are not accepted.
The minster ferry Leu is available for private hire – ouside of regular operating hours. It will then float 30 meters from the Klein-Basel shore. Fondue or any other catered or brought onboard dining is possible. Inside the ferry is space for max. 12 guests on a table and outside max. 20 people can be seated. The total legal maximum load-factor are 34 adults. For the rental of the whole ferry, Basel ferry association members receive a 20% discount.
Additional information
The Leu ferry is only partial wheelchair accessable and will only work well in combination of a minster visit if you can climb stairs. The ferry can only be accessed with a wheelchair at the Klein-Basel side. There, is a ramp that goes down to the dock. Getting into the Leu ferry requires to cross three steps.
On the minster side of the Rhine, steep stair climbing is required. The dock is immediately followed by steep stairs leading to a closed-off small park. From there, another three sets of stairs lead to the minster balcony/terrace. In case any person in your company has a hard time climbing stairs, Basel Buzz recomends a) go from the minster towards Klein-Basel (down the stairs), b) ride the Leu from and back to the Klein-Basel side, or c) use another ferry to cross the Rhine.
Final Buzz The closest public transportation station is Wettsteinplatz (buses: 31, 34, 38 & 42 / trams: 1, 2 & 15). The Wettsteinplatz and Rheingasse stations are the best starting points for crossing the Rhine on the Leu ferry towards the Basel minster. If you visit the minster first, the closest station is Kunstmuseum (trams 1, 2 & 15), however, you can take any tram or bus that goes to Bankverein, Marktplatz, or Schifflände in combination with Basel downtown visit.
Public Transport
» There’s no direct access, several stations are possible: Wettsteinplatz, Kunstmuseum, Rheingasse & Barfüsserplatz
Fähribödeli 4051 Basel, Switzerland Tel: +41 77 400 65 41 leufaehri@gmail.com

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All pictures in this article by Basel Buzz©. Text & pictures all rights reserved©




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