2 min read

Walking in Basel with Christoph Hess

Walking on Rheingasse, discovering the Müller Palermo bookshop, naming streets after newborns, and moving to Taipei.
Walking in Basel with Christoph Hess
Photo by Claudio Schwarz

I met Christoph Hess online but I never had the opportunity to meet him in person. This will change in two months when he will join me and other flâneurs in The Hague for The Walk & Talk weekend getaway. I was always curious about his favourite places in Basel and around the world, so I am very happy to share his answers below.

Please tell us a bit about yourself, where do you live now, where have you lived before, and about any creative projects that you are currently working on.

I live in Basel now, after growing up in Zürich. I also lived in Bern and Lucerne. During my studies I spent time abroad in London and Nairobi.

A creative project I work on every day is cooking – maybe because my mother is from the Ticino region where I believe food has a higher priority than elsewhere in Switzerland.

architectural photography of bridge
Photo by Vincent Ghilione

What is your favourite street / area in Basel and why?

Rheingasse on the Kleinbasel side: it's a historic, multicultural street located right next to the Rhine.

What café and restaurant have you visited the most often in your city?

Bodega zum Strauss.

Please share a serendipitous moment from a walk.

When I discovered a bookshop called Müller Palermo in Kleinbasel (run by a lady called Iris Müller) – right after planning a trip to Palermo.

What city brings you joy whilst walking?


Is there a city that you terribly miss?

San Sebastian.

What places do you crave when you're visiting a new city?

I always have Arthur Miller's quote in mind:

"A good newspaper is a nation talking to itself."

So I like to spend time where newspapers are sold and read (ideally in languages that I understand) to dive into the current joys and challenges of a city.

three newspapers
Photo by Juliana Malta

What is your personal definition of the flâneur / flâneuse?

A person who aligns a moving body with thoughts that are on the move as well.

What part of Basel would you like to re-enchant and why?

There might be parts of the city below today's surface which date back to the earthquake in 1356.

If you could name a street, what name would you choose?

There are too many streets with names of men in Basel. Here is an idea: Let's name a street after a baby girl who will be born on January 1st, 2025 and make this street a place for debates about the future.

If you could move to another city tomorrow (and have every expense covered, job security, a new home), what city would you choose?

Taipei because it might soon face the same sad destiny as Hong Hong when China moves forward with its plans.

Anything else to share?

See you soon in The Hague! 😄

Thank you, Christoph! So happy that you will join us in The Hague this summer!