visit in base


Can I Visit a Military Base?

Can I Visit a Military Base?

How to Get a Military Base Pass

How to Get a Military Base Pass

If you have a sponsor you’re riding with.

If You’re Visiting Base in Your Own Vehicle

If You’re Visiting Base in Your Own Vehicle

If you don’t have a sponsor.

  • Vehicle Registration (to be presented to Visitor’s Center for vehicle base registration)
  • Proof of Insurance (to be presented to Visitor’s Center for vehicle base registration)
  • If you have been forcibly removed from a military base in the past and asked not to return.
  • If you are a convicted felon currently on parole.
  • If you attempt to enter a base without proper authorization.
  • If you have a history of gang affiliation.
  • If you are a registered sex offender.
  • If you have been barred from another U.S. Military base.



  • ID must have your full legal name.
  • ID must have your date of birth.
  • ID must have your gender.
  • ID must have an identifiable number (i.e. driver’s license number).
  • ID must include a photo of you.
  • ID must include your primary residence.
  • ID must include your signature.
  • ID must have “physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes.”
  • ID must be machine-readable.

Hosting Guests Where You Live on Base

Hosting Guests Where You Live on Base

  • This may include you gathering information from them such as their date of birth, driver’s license number, birth city, and social security number.

each individual person

  • Don’t assume you will get approval just because you requested a pass. If they try to get on base without authorization, they could be barred.
  • Each person should have their own pass.
  • Escort your guests to the Visitor’s Center to register their vehicle (if applicable) and fill out any outstanding paperwork .

Looking for things to do at home while you’re hosting guests on-base?

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Guide to U.S. Military Base Tours

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U.S. military bases are a flurry of daily activity due to varying missions, trainings, events and visitors. While some events are open to the public, a visit requires advanced planning. Follow these steps to start planning your visit. 

An airman checks an ID at a military base gate.

The Visitors Center

Many bases have a “visitor information” section on their website. If not, call the general phone number and ask for the visitors center. It is a great place to start. There are often several base entrances, and visitors are only allowed through a few of them, if not just one. So don’t just pop the base into your GPS, that can sometimes take you to an entrance that you can’t access.

Be Prepared

A yellow traffic sign reads "be prepared to stop".

Think of this visit like you would a trip to the airport. All vehicles are inspected once a driver is issued a visitors pass. If you are uncertain about anything you may bring on base, just make sure you let authorities know ahead of time to ensure an easy and convenient entry.

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A military base can feel like a whole new world as soon as you pass through the base gate. But first you have to get through the gate. Here’s what you need to know the first time you visit a military base.

My first military friend was a girl I met in high school. I was a civilian who had spent zero time thinking about the military for my first 16 years of life. When a new girl joined our class, I was fascinated to learn that she lived at a nearby military base. She invited me to visit her house, but told me I would have to stop at the gate so she could meet me and escort me onto the base.

She drove with us past brick buildings and houses that all looked the same. She said funny things like, “there’s the PX, I love shopping there. And that’s the Commissary.” I didn’t know what she was talking about, so it was a bewildering experience!

Now I can laugh at my teenage confusion. I have spent the past ten years living on military bases . Before that, we lived off-base in two other states. Base buildings and resources no longer confuse me and I have learned enough lingo to find my way around. Now my family and friends are the ones who are confused when they visit a military base!

When you first visit a military base, it may be when you attend a Homecoming ceremony to meet your service member after deployment. Or it could be when your military boyfriend lives in the barracks or your girlfriend invites you to visit her on base. Either way, there are some unique things you should know before your first visit to a military base.

Here are the rules to visit a military base.

How to visit a military base as a civilian

Most military bases have multiple gates, and each one has armed guards. To enter a military base, you must show your dependent ID card (if you are a military spouse) or have a military sponsor (your service member.) A service member can sponsor non-military guests on base. But they will need to either fill out a sponsorship form in advance or meet you in person at the gate.

  • If you are the passenger in their car, you simply need a driver’s license. A military service member or spouse can sponsor one guest in their own vehicle, as long as that person has valid photo ID.
  • To bring your own car on base, the service member will need to request a base pass, which should be done at least a week before you visit. They will need your full legal name, driver’s license number, address on driver’s license, and your birthday. The base Security department will do a background check. A pass is temporary and can only be used during the dates listed. When you arrive at the gate, you will have to show your driver’s license, which the guards will scan to see if you have a pass listed in the system. Be prepared to also show car registration and up-to-date insurance, since they are allowed to ask for that too. If you are driving a rental car, you may show the rental car paperwork.
  • Your sponsor will need to be with you most of the time you are on base. You aren’t able to do much when you visit a military base without a sponsor or ID card.
  • For additional questions, like visiting a base as a veteran or former military kid, who no longer has a military ID card, simply call the base Visitor Center in advance. They can give you up-to-date info on the current restrictions, what paperwork is required, and how to visit the base.

There is more encouraging and supportive advice for anyone new to military life in my book,  Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses. This book contains short chapters you can “open when” you’re facing a specific challenge of military life–whether it’s your first time dating a service member, your first deployment, a military ball, or you are planning a military wedding! You can find the book on Amazon , purchase it directly from the publisher , or order an autographed copy here.

Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses book

Here's what you need to know when you visit a military base for the first time: - how to get through the gate - rules about dress code and flag etiquette - what is the Exchange? Click To Tweet

Things to know when you first visit a military base:

  • Dress code : Yes, there are dress code expectations when you visit a military base, even for visitors and guests. These are posted at the public buildings and offices. Generally: flip flops, belly shirts, workout attire, and baseball hats should not be worn inside. Some bases enforce the rules more than others, but it’s best to not wear anything too revealing if you will visit any base buildings.
  • Flag ceremonies: Each morning on base, flags are raised at a short ceremony called Reveille (French for ‘wake up.’) If you are outside and hear bugle music, you should stop walking and face the nearest flag pole. Once the flag is raised, there is a quick bugle blast, then everyone is free to move again. The flags are all taken down at sunset, at a similar quick ceremony called Taps or Retreat. The same rules of respect apply.
  • Exchange: The Army and Marines call it a PX (Post Exchange), the Air Force calls it a BX (Base Exchange), and the Navy calls it an NEX (Navy Exchange). But it’s all the same–a department store located on base. This is similar to a Kohl’s or Target. You can find home goods, furniture, décor, clothing, shoes, gifts, etc. To purchase anything, you or your service member must show a military ID.
  • Base Housing: On some bases, housing areas are segregated by rank or number of children. The housing is for service members who are married. Many of the houses will look similar because they were all built at the same time. Some neighborhoods look like apartments, while others have single family homes.
  • Gas Stations: All military bases have at least one gas station. The prices there are always slightly lower than they are off base because the military negotiates unique prices with its vendors. You typically need to show a military ID card to pay.
  • Commissary : The Commissary is the base grocery store. Commissaries sell food tax-free, so it is usually a little cheaper than stores off base (depending where you live.) You need to wait in one long line to check out, and you must show a military ID card when you pay.
  • Gyms : Military bases have excellent gyms which are available to all service members and their families. There is usually at least one main gym with great equipment and amenities, then there are smaller gyms located throughout base housing. Access is free, but you will need an ID card or your sponsor with you.
  • Movie Theatre : Each base has its own movie theatre, and it is WAY cheaper than theatres off base! Tickets are often $3 or $4, and the movies are new releases that are selected for their popularity in the young military community. Before each movie, the National Anthem plays.
  • Bowling Alley : Bases usually have a bowling alley too. There are bowling leagues, Family Nights, birthday parties, and teen nights. It’s a fun place to gather with friends on a weekend.
  • Chapels : The base chapel can be used for multiple religious services, and there are usually chaplains from several different religious backgrounds. Typical services include Catholic, Protestant, Gospel, Orthodox, Jewish, Latter-day Saints, and sometimes Muslim. A chaplain is also trained as a counsellor, so you can talk to them about all kinds of topics–marriage and divorce, anxiety, mental health, or abuse.
  • Hospital or Clinic: A base hospital serves all military families. Tricare health insurance covers visits to the base hospital for service members and ID card holders. If you do not have an ID, go off-base to an Urgent Care center or Emergency Room for any medical emergencies.
  • ITT Office : ITT stands for Information, Tickets, and Tours. They provide tickets to local attractions and events at a discounted rate for military members and families. If you are going to any show or amusement park, you can save money by getting tickets through them.
  • Bank : If you need an ATM, you can find some on base for local banks or for military banks like the Navy Federal Credit Union.
  • Family Center/ Community Activities : The military has an amazing amount of programs to support families . And most of them are completely free! There are classes to help you before, during, or after deployments. Community Services offers annual events to celebrate holidays, and they sometimes host guest concerts on base. You can find these events advertised on the base website.


Rachel A Hill

I just found your blog and hope you may be able to help me. My husband’s job just got contract for erosion control at the Little Rock Air Force Base, but we are unsure if he will be able to enter the base. He is a convicted felon, currently on parole. His company isn’t even sure if he can get the clearance to work there (non-violent, no current warrants). If you have any tips, I would greatly appreciate any advice. Thank you so much.


I’m sorry, but the base gate guards require a background check before letting anyone on base, and a felon on parole would not be allowed access to the base. In some cases, an exception would be made if a sponsor with a valid military ID completed the paperwork for him and escorted him onto base as their guest. But he would not be allowed to drive through the gate on his own, even with a work contract. His company should probably contact the specific base for more details.


Does the soldier have to pay when requesting a pass for their girlfriend ??

No, there is no fee to request a base pass.

Harold Foster

Me and my family are coming to Virginia beach on 8-14-20 through 8-18-20.i want to bring them to the base,i was stationed on the USS IOWA BB61 for 6 years then I went to sima Norfolk for 4 more years.would love to be able to show them around what do I need to do to get a pass or whatever I need. thank you.

Amparo de Jesús

My boyfriend asked me for the license, he says to scan that is true, he needs to do that before I go to the base and he also got me a teas with the name ID. Please tell me if everything is true

I’m not sure I understand your question. Yes, if he is getting you a visitor pass, it’s true he will need your driver’s license number in advance because the base does a background check. But they don’t need a scan of the license, and you won’t be able to get a dependent ID card until you are legally married. Until then, a guest pass will get you on and off base.

Christian osorio

Can you enter with a mexico passaport ?

I don’t think so. But I think you can use a Mexican passport as your photo ID from the pass/visitor center to get a temporary visitor pass– if permitted at the base you are visiting.


Do. I have to pay a fee to visit a boyfriend on his military base. Or am I being scammed.please advise.

No, there should not be a fee to visit a military base or request a visitor pass. It is a paperwork process, but I’m not aware of any place that charges people to visit. Definitely pay attention and get more information, because that could be a scam.


I’m a 6 year Navy veteran 1980-1986 did my duty on 32nd Street navel base San Diego and long Beach. I’m also a 30 year retired police officer. My wife and I will be celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary February 20th in San Diego. I would love to take my wife onto the navel base would that be possible???

Nykole lachenmaier

My boyfriend is doing the same did you find out about this

Jose Filho

Hi I just want to know how can I get a sponsor membership on base so I can be able to go on the gym on base?? How do I get a form?

Hi Jose, I’m not sure I understand your request. Typically, the gyms on base are only for active duty members and dependents who have ID cards. During the pandemic, many locations restricted dependents or family members, and only allowed active duty to access the gyms. If you requested a visitor pass to access the base, you would still need someone with a valid ID card to go with you the gym, and then you would only be allowed to enter if their current guest policies permit this. (You would have to check with the gym on your local base for those details. Just call them.) I’m not aware of any visitor pass that would specifically allow gym access without your sponsor present.

Sure, here is the Norfolk page, with instructions on how to apply for a day pass or to visit the base without a military ID:

I called base pass ID they told me I could get on base with my va med card but to get my family with me I would need a sponsor.also recommended the tour bus.there are a couple places I would like to go and spend a little time at the USS Iowa Iowa point I dont no any one down there have not been there since 1997.


My boyfriend is stationed at Fort Lee. He says I have to pay to visit him for the day. Is this true or am I being scammed?

That is false, there’s no charge for a visitor pass on base. So unless he means you need to pay for gas and such, then there is something else happening there.

Kaitlyn Slightle

are hotels on lackland air force base open everyday?

I don’t know at the moment. You could call the base hotel for details.


Asking for a friend… Her bf lives on base but wants to get her a temporary pass. She has a felony for a non violent/drug crime and was convicted 7 years ago. Will they allow her on the base?

Probably not. They do a background check for the pass, and a felony is a flag that typically prevents getting a pass. He could ask the gate guards about it, and if there is any time limit to the crimes popping up in the system. But my guess is that they would deny her a pass.


Hi, how are you, please? I’m talking to a military man for almost a year. I don’t know him from a photo and he wants me to go to the base but he says I have to do a self-registration and Id me to register. Please tell me if it’s true.


If someone I know that isnt a US Citizen is visiting could I sign them in on base

I think that is allowed, but you should contact the base Pass and ID center for the specific base to get the regulations.

Rebecca D Ponder

My husband was a 100% disabled veteran due to combat in Vietnam. While traveling, we have visited several bases over the years for shopping, sickness, lodging etc, but our home base is NAS. JAX in Jacksonville FL. We’ve always been together to renew our IDs, but he passed away on Sept 12, 2020, and I need to know how to get my I’D renewed (what forms I need to bring) and since decals aren’t needed anymore at NAS how do I get my car registered. What forms do I need to bring!! THANKS so much for your help. I STILL shop at exchange and commissary and get some meds at the pharmacy!! 🙏🇺🇸

Hi Rebecca, I’m sorry to hear of your husband’s passing last year. You should still qualify for those benefits, but I recommend you contact the NAS JAX Pass and ID office to determine what paperwork they would need now. You should be able to call them ahead of time: 904-542-3633. I’m not sure what they would request in this case.


Hi! My boyfriend is leaving for a 9 month deployment and I would like to be there when he gets back. I don’t know if his family is going or not. Would he be able to sponsor me this far in advance for his homecoming? Thank you!

You don’t need to worry about sponsorship now for the return date. The unit will request that info and give him an opportunity to put your name on the list much closer to the date. Wishing you strength and luck through the deployment!

Kaitlyn Sightle

Can my boyfriend stay with me at an on base hotel during the week even if he has school?

It depends on the rules of his particular school, so that’s a question he would have to run by his chain of command.

anakin skywalker

if someone at the base require a tow service what documents need the tow technician to access? as far as I know the person who require the service need to be at the front gate to scort the technician to the vehicle

Yes, delivery services like tow trucks, furniture or appliance delivery, moving trucks, etc can be allowed on base without a pass, but the service member must meet them at the gate and escort them. The service member is responsible for them the entire time they are on base.


My friend and I are 17. She is a military dependent with an ID not living on base. We want to go to the Tim Hortons on base. She doesn’t drive so we would have my car. Can she get me on base?

That depends on the gate guards. Be sure you have your car registration and insurance paperwork with you and up to date. They may ask you to stop by the visitor center and register before continuing on to the base.


Hey there!! I am flying 15 hours to the base that my hubby and kids will have to complete, so I was wondering what is the Sponsorship form number At the bottom left of the paper? My brother in law will be traveling with me because I have two kids, and my husbands higher ups don’t know what form this is without a number!


Hey, I’ve visiting a friend you works as a marine in Cali and i’m visiting him in a few weeks. I was wondering if i’d be able to stay on base with him and how ?

Hi, thanks for reading! You can’t stay with him in the barracks, but if he lives in base housing you can. He would sponsor you as a guest. You should provide him your driver’s license number and address, and then he can go to the Pass and ID office in advance to get you a pass.


Hello, I want to go to see my boyfriend, I have to pay for a gate fee to see a boyfriend inside base?

No, there’s no fee! You just have to bring your driver’s license or valid ID. He can also meet you at the gate and escort you on.


Hello! Due to the coronavirus going on now, is it possible that me as a Marine could go onto a Army base? My girlfriend is on one (Fort Lee) and wanted to visit her if possible, would they let me in?

Yes, they would let you on with military ID. In most places, they are doing Coronavirus screenings to enter buildings, but not at the base gate. Once you are there, you should follow base policy about wearing masks, etc.

Edelmira Ibarrientos

Hi, I would like to visit my son for a week during the week of Christmas. He has a housing on base. Would my husband and I be allowed to enter the base to stay with him?

Yes, you can usually visit base housing up to 30 days without a pass. To get through the gate, there are 2 options. 1. He can contact the base visitor center a few weeks in advance and request a guest pass from his chain of command. He will need your driver’s license number for the paperwork. This would let you drive through the gate without him during your stay. 2. No pass, he can meet you at the gate and escort you through each time, or be in the vehicle with you. He will show his military ID and the Guards will let you both through, even if your vehicle is following his.

Charlene Oestreich

I don’t drive, and my AF ID expires next month. My husband, retired AF, is in assisted living memory care. How do I get on base (Offutt) to renew my ID? Can my friend (non military) drive me on base?

Yes, if you are in the car with a valid ID, the driver does not need to have a military ID. You are essentially escorting them onto base, even though they are driving you. Then you can access the ID center to update your ID card.

Patrick Myles Cameron

If an officer sponsors me on base, do I get in/out privileges without him? I want to explore the city while he attends a conference in base. We are staying in a hotel on base.

Yes, as long as he goes to the visitor center and gets you a pass. This will include your name and driver’s license number, and the specific dates of your visit. He can do it before you arrive, or just go with you when you first get there. Once you have a pass, you can go through the gate on your own. Otherwise, you need to be in the vehicle with him and get in with his ID card.


I have a guest that has a valid Mexican Consulate ID I just wanted to know if he is eligible to go in to the base for one day as a guest inside the military?

I’m not sure about that particular situation. I would recommend asking a gate guard or calling that base Pass and ID office to check.

Lisa Mason

Hi! Omg thank you for this post. My boyfriend is doing his AIT training at Fort Rucker and wants me to come visit and book a hotel on base. They were told they can’t leave base due to the neighboring cities having a rise in cases. Would that be possible? If so what would I need? I checked and they mentioned something about a visitor access card. I’m so confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I have a houseguest pass. My bff is having a baby at tripler and im supposed to bring her mother in law to visit. Does she have to get a day pass or will my pass cover her.

Hmm, if she is the passenger and has a valid ID (driver’s license) she should be ok on your pass. But it would be best to check with the gate guards ahead of time.


If you don’t want someone visiting you while you live on base can you or their spouse deny the person a pass? Long story short my husband just joined the Army and we dont get along with some of his family and we dont want certain people to visit.

Yes, I suppose you can do that. I mean, civilians can’t get on base without a sponsor. But I would recommend he talk to them about it first and use that as a last resort.

Pamela Nagy

Met an army guy says he needs money for gate fee in order to leave bsse to come visit me, true or scammer ?

That’s a scam. There’s no gate fee, and it doesn’t cost service members anything to leave base.


My bf is transferring to a base in the state I live in. He says I need to give him a picture of front and if my ID and social security card, to make sure I’m me.

That is not true. To get a base visitor pass they do need identification, but a driver’s license number will work fine for the paperwork. They could also request your Social Security number, but should not need to photocopy the card. Have you met him in person before? Or is it possible he is an online scammer who may be trying to steal your identity?


Hello! I was convicted to pay fines. Will they still allow me access?

I don’t know. That probably depends on the Security office policy, and how your conviction appears in your records. If you’re concerned, contact the base in advance and ask what paperwork you can present.

Matika Baker

I am attending a graduation for my brother in law in the Army on a base in South Carolina. But I am a felon. Would I be able to attend? Or would I be told to leave?

You wouldn’t be told to leave the event. The only issue would be getting through the gate onto base in the first place. They generally do a background check to approve visitors, based on your driver’s license or other ID. You could call the Visitor Center in advance to ask about the procedures for visiting for that particular event. Sometimes, students submit names of family members in advance, and the names on that list are allowed at the ceremony. But I’m not sure if they still do a background check on those names.

Taylor Fox

Hi I want to visit my boyfriend at A School and the only hotels are on base how would I go about making him, my sponsor?

If he is not able to apply for your pass ahead of time (he would need your address and driver’s license number and to complete paperwork at the Pass/ID Office), then he could always meet you at the base gate and use his military ID to escort you onto base. Military ID holders are allowed to bring 1 guest onto the base. You don’t need a pass then, but you should be prepared to show your driver’s license if the gate guard requests it.

Does he have to stay with me at the hotel?

He doesn’t have to, no. He may need to be there to check you in initially, but it is up to the unit leadership when he gets time off and where he is allowed to stay during that time.

Vikki Smith

I lost my new I’d and can’t get an earlier appointment at DMV but I have a cleaning job at a base in DC. I have all paperwork and an old expired id.Can I use it with birth certificate and social security card?

It will honestly depend on the gate guards and the current security levels at that base. Typically, they would ask you to pull into the visitor lane and go into the visitor center to show your paperwork. But with Coronavirus, I’m not sure if all visitor centers are operating full time. So you will just have to try and see what they say at the gate.


Hey! I am a military dependent (parents are in Military) and I was wondering if I can bring my friend onto base. I am driving my friend so all my friend has to do is show her drivers license, correct?

Yes as long as you have your dependent ID you should be fine to escort 1 friend on base in your own car.

Edelmira Loleng Ibarrientos

Hi Is the base open for visitors to go in?

Hi, I’m not sure which base you mean. But yes, most military bases are open and have procedures for visitors, as described in the article. However, COVID restrictions mean that some bases have increased security right now. So it’s best to call the base Visitor Center or visit their website before planning to visit.


Hello, I have visited the Hale Koa Resort in Hawaii with a military friend at the time. Can civilians be sponsored by a military service man and stay at military installation without the service man being present?

That hotel is a DoD resort, not a military installation. Yes, the service member needs to make the reservation and sign you in, because rooms are for military members and guests only. But once they sign you in I believe you can stay there without them.

Amanda Howe

Hi I’m not sure whether rules change for US Military serving in the UK or not or whether the rules are different if it regards MP’s but I have never dated anyone in the military before and I am looking for some help with regards to visiting the barracks he is currently stationed at.

He is an MP stationed at barracks in the UK currently, and I wondered whether I can visit him using the same rules re sponsors etc in your blog or whether things would be different. He has mentioned me talking to his Commanding Officer though.

Any help would be gratefully received.

Rules can vary for different countries, depending on the local agreement with the American government. It would be best to follow your boyfriend’s directions and speak to the CO or the gate guards at that particular base. Also, getting on base is one thing. Visiting the barracks is an entirely different set of rules and restrictions. So follow the directions they give you so you don’t get him in trouble.


I’m going to pick my son up for leave. I know I need my ID and car info (insurance/registration) but do I need any paperwork my 2yr old daughter?

No, you should not need any extra paperwork for a young child. They are covered under your pass.

Hello, please, I have a question, I am talking to someone, he says that he is in Turkey at the military base and that he is a detective from the CIA and that in order to return he needs money because his boss does not pay you for the return flight, please I want to see if that’s true. that he can’t use his money until he doesn’t use it Only when he is usa 🇺🇸


Do people with dependent military id’s still go through the same background checks to get on base?

Well, people applying for a dependent ID turn in all the paperwork you would usually need to get a pass on base, plus extra. So the background check is done when they initially apply for the ID. Then it doesn’t need to occur each time they go through the gate

Ralph telles

I am a retired army 1sg and I want to take my daughter and husband on to Camp Pendleton in my car. Will I be able to, also I will coming from New Mexico. Do I still get a pass 1 week ahead of time. Years ago it wasn’t that hard to get on base, why so hard now?

If you still have a retired military ID card, it should be no problem to just drive on. Without an ID card it would be wise to request a pass ahead of time. Your daughter would just need a legal form of ID like a driver’s license. Sometimes they ask for it, but not always. I just give people the background for days of security check so they won’t be turned away or caught by surprise.

Ralph Telles

I have my ID, What about the daughter’s husband going in too. Can I take my small dog in also who is ceritfy as a emotional support animal fo PTSD reasons (he also has a ID) Thanks

The dog should be fine. You would only need the service animal paperwork to get into certain buildings on base. Anyone in the car should have a valid form of ID (like a driver’s license). That is usually all that is needed if you have your retired military ID card.


If my dad is a retired MP, can he sponsor me to visit my son at 29 Palms? My son is at MOS school and I didn’t even get to see him graduate 😢

Sure, as long as he still has a valid form of military ID, the veteran version is fine. Congrats to your son!

Thanks alot it will ease my mind.

Shaunita bensin

Hi I have a boyfriend who is in the military and I need a pass to go see him. Where should I go to obtain one and how long does it take to get it? What information is needed? How long is the pass good for?

Jeanmarie Andradez

I’ve a friend in the Army. He’s stationed in Florida. He wants me to come and visit him. As I was getting ready to call the airline to make arrangements for my flight, he texted me that they’re asking him to pay 300.00 dollar’s so I can stay with him on base. Is this true? It just doesn’t seem right. This just sounds fishy.

Have you ever met him before or seen him in video calls? Or is it possible he is part of the internet scam where people pose as service members and ask for money? Because no, there is no fee to stay with someone, and visitors are not allowed in the barracks at all. There is an Inn or Lodge type of motel on most military bases, and civilians can stay there if a service member makes the reservations. They are slightly cheaper than a regular hotel. But then you would need to go through the gate by yourself, so people usually make their guests reservations off base. So yeah, it sounds fishy and I would definitely ask more before doing anything!


Hi. I’m looking to visit my boyfriend in Japan. Am I able to make the reservation to stay at the hotel on camp fuji with him?


My wife and I have a friend whose husband is on deployment and she lives on base with her three children. It sounds like his deployment is going to last much longer than first expected and she is not coping well. Is their a way for local civilians to get a pass to check on them or help them out when needed, or does she just have to meet us at the gate every time?

Yes, you can stop by the Visitor Center near the gate and request a temporary pass. They may ask for her information to be on it the first time, but it can have a time limit that extends for several months before it needs to be renewed. After receiving the pass, you can go through the gate without her.

Thank you for your advise. Had no problem going onto Camp Pendelton with just showing my Retired I.D. did not ask my daughter for I.D. They also showed me respect due my Rank.

Wonderful, glad you had a good visit!

Carson S

Im trying to get my family on base to stay at the navy lodge in lemoore. Can i escort my father, mother and brother on base? With no questions asked? Or do i need to submit for sponsorship since there is more than 1? I hopefully want to be able to just drive them on. Any help would be nice

You should be able to escort them all. However, the base guards will most likely ask for ID for the other passengers in the vehicle. Doesn’t have to be a military ID, but they all should have their driver’s license with them.


I have newly got my spouse id card but i was wondering if i can use it to visit any base or does it have to be the one my husband is stationed at? We are currently in different countries and i haven’t used it to access the base here yet. Maybe i need someone to sign me in the first time?

The dependent ID card is good anywhere! It doesn’t have the base listed on it, so it works for all bases, Commissaries, PX stores, etc.


Hi I am currently dating a guy in the Air Force. We have been together all through high school and left after graduation for boot camp. Now that he is at a base I want to visit. I am 17 will it be an issue to visit him without an adult?

Age shouldn’t be a problem. Just have your driver’s license or other valid ID, and follow the instructions in the article. He can escort you on as his guest too.

What do I need to have a pass to visit a friend that I am meeting online and I want to know how I can really register for a pass because he is asking me to take a selfie and register in Id want to see if it is ok please


First time visiting our son. He is single and lives in a dorm. Are parents allowed to sleep in their dorm for a 4 days visit? If so, what does he needs to do and how long it takes to process the approval? Can we go in and out of base without him?

Is he at a military academy? No, parents can’t stay in those dorms. If he is on a regular base they are called barracks. Visitors are not allowed overnight in the barracks either. There will be a military Inn or Lodge on base where he can make you a reservation at a discount rate. Or you can stay off base at a regular hotel or motel.

Stephanie Ortiz

If my mom has a card for base and she wants to bring me as her plus one can we bring my children too the are 11, 4 and 2? For do we need to get a visitors pass for the kids?

Minors should be able to accompany without any additional ID. So yes, kids are fine!


My boyfriend stationed in Stuttgard Germany he wants me to visit him,what do I need to get on the base? I don’t know if it’s the same rules in Germany and here in the states. Thank you in advance

There will be additional requirements in Germany–they may want your passport number, for example. He should be able to learn the requirements for hosting a visitor from the security office before your visit so you can both make the right arrangements.


I’m 17 and my friend who’s in the marines wants me to visit him on base. Would I be able to get on base to see him?

You can be his guest, but he will need to be with you at the gate. He can either meet you there or drive your car.


Are minors allowed to visit military bases with ID and someone meeting you at the gate?

Yes, I believe so. Anyone with a military ID can escort guests on, even a military teen with dependent ID.

Diane Corso

I want to visit and stay 1 month with a close friend and his children on the army base in Lawton, Oklahoma . I would like to know the procedure that is required of me to be approved of this request .

That’s Fort Sill, right? Call the Fort Sill visitor center and ask them what the current requirements are to get a visitor pass. The service member on base will be your sponsor, and you will probably need to fill out an application and show photo ID.

Annika Souvandy

I’m 17 and is wanting to go visit my boyfriend on base. What do I need to bring? If I’m driving my brothers car with his insurance, can I get it into base? I don’t have a car yet, so I’m driving my brothers just to use to go there. Will there be any problems if I don’t have insurance, but my brother does on the car?

Well, you’ll definitely want your drivers license. Is your name on the vehicle insurance? If not, that might be a problem. Another option is for you to park outside the gate, your boyfriend meet you there, and then he can ride with you and show his military ID.

My name is sadly not on the vehicle insurance ): Does that mean I can’t bring the vehicle into base?

Lizann Lightfoot

Without a pass or ID, it would be a problem. If your service member meets you and drives the vehicle on base with his ID, it would probably be better.


Hi, I plan a visit to a military base and I had my pass approved, however my driver license is being replaced and I have a temporary license, do you think the guards at the gate would take it? I would have the temporary license and another form of valid identification at hand.

That sounds right as long as you have a form of photo ID.

I don’t know what to do, he has all my information, he got my social security and he says that he gets everything at the military base, he has everything from me and since I don’t want to do what he wants, he sent me all my information, as he can do anything.

Alexandria Simpson

My husband is at tech school at Lackland AFB, I just received my spouse Military ID today. I’m I able to go visit him this weekend with my new ID card?

Check with your husband first, since some schools have restrictions on weekend leave, and he may not be able to have visitors. But otherwise, yes! Your ID will get you onto base!


Can 21 year old or 17 year old with dependent card go on base without military parent? If so, can he bring a guest? Can he reserve lodging without primary military parent? Thanks!

Hi, thanks for reading this article! If they both have a dependent ID card, they should be able to go on base without problems. That is the same sage as many military spouses who go through the gate with a dependent ID card. I believe the 21-year-old could reserve lodging on base, but perhaps not the 17 year old since they are a minor. You can call the base lodging building ahead of time to ask and make reservations over the phone. They will just need to see an ID card at check-in.


If I’m coming from out of state, can the base member drive my car on base with me inside to get me in? We are wanting to do a surprise visit and are having her meet another friend from nearby at a local restaurant and we will be there but we are wanting to stay at the base members house for 3 days.

What a fun idea! Out of state tags are not a problem, and as long as she has her military ID it is fine. Just make sure the vehicle registration and insurance are up to date before trying to drive on. It isn’t always something they check, but if your tags are expired you could risk being held up at the gate.


How does someone get packages then from people other than usps? I’m talking food delivery and even idk maybe a Walmart or target box etc.

Many food delivery companies will meet you at the base gate, but they can’t deliver to housing unless they have a staff member with a military ID. In a military town though, it’s common to have someone on staff with base access–either a spouse or older dependent. Amazon and FedEx drivers usually have clearance to get on base and do their delivery route.


Hi , want to visit my daughter she live in a army base in Texas want to know if I could bring my dogs

Sure, just check with her first if dogs are allowed in her base housing. Some neighborhoods allow it, and others don’t.

Barbara Martin

Hi, I’m was thinking about moving on base . I’m a Federal employee but my sister is not and we are roommates. Would she have to be an employee/military as well

It might depend on the specific base and the housing area, so it’s worth asking the Housing office that question. But in order to get a long-term pass, yes, she would need to be on the military orders and/or have a dependent ID card.

Paula Loop

Hello, I’m getting ready to work DOD as a civilian. Is there a way to get my boyfriend a pass so he can eat lunch with me periodically? Or how would this work?

Good question! DoD will get a pass, but it is different from a military ID. I’m not sure whether the DoD civilian employees can bring guests on base. The best way to find out is to stop by the Visitors Center at the gate, or to call or visit their website. They should list the specific details for your base there.


My boyfriend (Navy) would like to also have my son visit with me on base. My son is 11. Do minors need a form of ID in this situation since my boyfriend is the only one with a military ID? Thank you.

Minors do not typically have a legal form of ID, so you can bring him, and it is expected that you are responsible for him during the visit. Enjoy!


no, I’m married, we don’t talk on the phone and tex still don’t know him, I sent him my license in front and back and later today I receive a text with a company called that needs me to send it a selfish phone

If you have not met him in person, then please be careful. There are many scams to get information where people pretend to be a service member and ask for information like this. The site is sometimes used to verify a service member’s status so they can get a military discount at a store. But I don’t think it has anything to do with getting a pass to visit base. Do not send any more information. You can google the number for the base Pass and ID office, or their visitor center. Call them and speak to them directly about the rules.

thanks I feel the same I think he’s doing something else


Hi, I plan to have a group of friends over and I do live on a military base. My question is, is there a limit to how many people I can bring on base? I’ll be bringing 5 non military affiliated friends and we’ll all be in the same car. Also is there a cut off time to when you can sponsor people on base? I heard we’re only allowed to sponsor during working hours, but I don’t know what specific times those are.

Hi there, it’s best to check with your base visitor center and chain of command for those details. Usually, you can sponsor anyone in your car, and if you live in base housing there are not limited visiting hours. Guests can stay in base housing up to 30 days without a special pass. However, security levels can change on base and that may restrict guest rules. When we lived overseas, we could only sponsor 2 visitors per military ID. But I haven’t heard the working hours restriction before.


Hello, I will be getting married to a Sailor who lives in Marine base housing. If he applies for a pass for me (and my daughter), how long does it last? Would I be able to move in with him beforehand using that pass? Thanks!

If you aren’t married yet, a base visitor pass is good for 30 days in base housing. After that you will need to get it renewed. He would have to check with the local housing office for details. Marines E5 and below usually do not receive BAH or quality for base housing if they aren’t married, so if he falls in that category, then you wouldn’t be able to live together on base without the marriage certificate.

thank you for the guidance!


Thank you for this article, I found it very helpful! Question for you – when my boyfriend is assigned his first PDS I plan on moving to that area, if I will be visiting him on base regularly will he have to meet me at the gate every single time or is there some easier/faster way to go about it? Additionally, would it make sense/be at all helpful to register my car under his name as well? Thanks in advance!

Hi Kristin, glad this helped! Unfortunately, yes, you will always need a pass or to be escorted until you get a military dependent ID (after marriage). There are 2 options: either he can meet you and escort you each time, or he can request a visitor’s pass for you and renew it every 30 days. The visitor’s pass would let you travel through on your own. Changing the car registration won’t have much impact at the gate. That is more of a financial decision, and you can choose which state you want it to be registered in. Some states have more flexibility for registrations for a service member, so you may benefit from having his name on your registration, but there are too many factors for me to discuss here.

Got it, thank you! I so appreciate you taking the time to give advice for us newbies to the military lifestyle (: Have a wonderful week!


You’re welcome! You too!


hi my boyfriend is a marine and i was wondering if you know if i can stay in one of the hotels on base of i need to find a hotel off base

It’s best to get a hotel off base. Only he can make the reservation on base, and he would have to be there in person to check you on and out, I believe. He would also have to escort you from the gate, and anywhere else you went on base. If it’s for a weekend and he has libbo to leave base, most Marines prefer to stay at a hotel on town.


Hi, my boyfriend and I are planning for me to go to visit him during my spring break, but I have my doubts if I am able to go since I’m 17 barely turning 18 this summer. Last time I went to see him at his base I went with his family, so there was no problem with me being underage since they didn’t ask for any identification or anything like that. Do you think it would be a problem if I went alone?


Your comment is awaiting moderation. Hey my boyfriend is stationed in Germany … I live in Atlanta I never been outside of the country .. I don’t even have a passport 😏 I was wondering what do I do … I really wanna go see him … he there for 4 years he only been there for 6 months thought … he live on base with a roommate… will I be able to stay there I will only be visiting for 3 days … do I have to get a hotel … I heard the hotels are far from the base sooo how will I get there … PLSSSS HELP

So yes, you will need a passport, and he would have to meet you to escort you onto the base. There is probably a military inn (motel) on the base, but the service member has to make the reservation and check you in. If there are no rooms available there, you will have to stay off base at a regular hotel and use a taxi to get around.

So the taxi can drive on base or will we have to wait at the gate ? And if there is no hotel on base will he be able to leave to go with me to a hotel

Taxis cannot go on base unless the driver has permission. In foreign countries, it is likely the taxi could only pick you up or drop off at the gate. Whether the service member can meet you in town or stay off base depends on his particular unit. So he would know those answers better than I would.

And I’m planning on renting a car could it go on base as well

The rental car isn’t a problem, but someone with the car needs to have a military ID. So your service member would need to drive with you or meet you at the gate to escort you on base.

What if I’m just picking them up

Amy Miller

Hi. My question is on appearance, my plate tags appear to be expired. However, it’s because the were sent to my old address accidentally. I have paid for them so they are up to date. Now I’ve went to apply for a copy of my new registration and I’m being told there’s a hold for nonpayment of tolls. Will this create an issue with me getting on base? I was going to Fort Leonard Wood, MO. They’ve been paid for and I can prove it. It shows that they are paid up until 2022. Thank you much!!

If you have paperwork that the car is registered, then you should be okay. But they may possibly stop you and ask questions. So print out everything you can and keep documents in the car, so you can hand them over immediately.


for basic training graduation/family day. do i need anything as a girlfriend when staying on base? i reserved a hotel on base but im not sure if we need to be married for me to actually stay on base

It depends on the base or hotel policy. Most hotels actually located on base can only be reserved by someone with a military ID (Service member or spouse.) If they didn’t ask for yours during registration, he may need to show his when you try to check in. It’s best to call and check ahead of time on the check in policy, so you’ll have the right documents or be able to wait for him if necessary.


I’m currently on TDY orders in Gulfport. Can my girlfriend stay with me in the Navy Lodge for 2 weeks if I get her a guest pass? Does the guest pass work for access to fitness facilities?

The guest pass is typically just for the gate. Other facilities on base would require your ID to escort her on. I believe the gym and pool check ID for everyone who comes in. If you already have a room in the Lodge, I believe she could join you, but I’m not sure about their official policy.


hey i live in atl and supposed to be visiting my bf who is stationed in Germany berlin i was wonderin is it best to get a hotel off base or stay on base with him? i was planning on renting a car so i wont be as lost lol is that i good idea … will they let me on base with a renter ? and i know i will have to have a covid test dne before i come back to georgia… i just dont want to be on the bus or train up there

Kimberly lafrance

Hello! If I’m riding in the car with both of my Military ID cardholder parents, do they run a background check on me? It would be for a graduation. Thanks!

They would ask for some type of ID (doesn’t have to be military). Background check probably wouldn’t be done since they have military ID and are escorting you on as their guest.


I need some information, Im suppose to be picking up my brother wife from the military neighborhood, Do I need ID to get into the gates? Im just picking up. Or does she need to show ID to get out of the base if I wait outside the gate, If I do wait outside will they ask why?

Yes, you would need ID to get on, but she does not need to show ID to leave the base. So it is probably easiest for her to meet you outside the gate. You cannot park right by the gate because it would usually block traffic and the guards may ask you to move. It’s best to wait in the Visitor Center parking lot, which is located near the main gate. You do not need an ID to wait there, because it is just before entering the base. Some bases have a separate line for “Visitors” marked at the gate entrance, and that goes to the parking lot instead of through the gate.


Thank you so much for all the information provided. My boyfriend is in the Navy and living in the Barracks in Gulfport. We aren’t planning on getting married just yet. I wanted to see if you have any advice as far as options for when I visit him. Is staying at the Navy Lodge or at a hotel off base the only option? Trying to find something a little more cost-effective. However, the Navy Lodge is decently priced. I was also looking into monthly rentals. I work from home so I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule. Appreciate ANYTHING you can share. It can be so confusing looking for this information when you aren’t married.

Thank you!!

I understand it can be frustrating. If he has friends who live off base, you could stay with them for a while. There is also an Extended Stay hotel in Gulfport, a few miles from base. If you are visiting for a week or more, they have discounted packages compared to a regular hotel.

Mandy P

My sister is moving into Mayport base housing with her husband and my three nephews. They are living there for about a year while their off base home is being remodeled. I live in the area and am wondering how I might get to their house to babysit and help my sister without her having to come to the gate to get me? Her husband is often at work when I’d be going there and she can’t leave her special needs son to come get me. Getting him in and out of the car is also difficult. Can she meet me at the visitors center or does it have to be her husband/the active military member? Can we get a sponsored pass that will last for the year? How long does the process of getting a pass usually take? Thanks so much!!

These are all questions for the Pass/ID office at Mayport, because they can give you the most specific answers. In general, I don’t think you can get a year-long pass. A temporary pass lasts about 30 days, then needs to be renewed. To get the temp pass, ask the Pass/ID office for an application, and have photo ID like your driver’s license. They will do a background check on you. If approved, you would be able to go through the gate driving your own vehicle and showing that pass. The service member would be your sponsor, but does not need to meet you at the gate. That would work best for your family– if the base is issuing those passes now.


I would like to enter a US base as a US citizen in Germany, I have no criminal background but I have no one to sponsor me into the base. My father is a Veteran in the US Army but he’s not in Germany and cannot sponsor me. However, is there any way I can enter the base regardless?

I’ve had questions like this before, so I think it is a somewhat common occurrence for the U.S. military bases in Germany. I recommend you look up info for the specific base Visitor Center or military Pass/ID office, so they can give you the best details. The procedures change sometimes for COVID restrictions or depending what type of documentation and paperwork you can provide. The Visitor Center should have the most up-to-date information.

Where can I find the website and contact information for the Visitor Center? (Specifically Shipton Kaserne). Thank you for the quick reply!

Here is the info from the installation access office at Shipron Kaserne:

Thank you for the info!


Hi I am 17 turning 18 in march and I have a boyfriend in the navy who is 19 turning 20 in march. He graduates from basic sometime in Feb 2022 and goes to school at the Pensacola base. When I go to visit him, am I aloud to stay for the weekend when he doesn’t have school? Is there a max days I can stay if we aren’t married? Or can I not stay the night with him on base at all? If I got a hotel room would he be able to stay with me off base? Can he leave base on the weekends?

Hi Erica, those decisions are all up to his chain of command. If he is given “leave” in between basic and school, he’s allowed to leave bade, stay in a hotel, and do what he wants. If he doesn’t have leave, he may be allowed to leave base during the day, but would have to check back in and sleep in the barracks, not off base. You’ll have to ask him about the specific rules he has to follow before you make any plans.


I have met someone online and they say you need a fee to get a sponsorship form? So I can come visit him on base. Is this true??

I have met someone online and they say they is a fee to get a sponsorship form?? To visit on base, is this true?? Thank you.

Not sure about the UK, but in the US that is false. There is no fee to get a visitor form. Just some paperwork to fill out.


Hey I think I’m pregnant but me and my boyfriend isn’t married will my child still be his dependent nd will they help pay for day care if we in the us nd they oversees

Hi, the answer is most likely no. There are cases where the service member can claim a baby as a dependent when they aren’t married, but that is only for healthcare (Tricare) benefits. If you aren’t married, you won’t have access to the base or base services, including the CDC, so you won’t be able to enroll the child until you are married and both you and the baby are dependents. Also, childcare on base is not free. You still pay an hourly rate, it is just usually a little more affordable than private care off base. But it can be difficult to get a spot, because priority goes to couples who are dual-military or both already employed full-time.


Will My child get free daycare even if we not married

See my reply to your other comment above. No one gets free childcare, not even dual military couples. We all pay an hourly rate to use the CDC on base, and the available spaces are given out through a priority system, so no one is guaranteed daycare.


Hello so I am planning on moving with my bf in the army and I was wondering what do I all need to move I’m coming from ga and he is in Germany … I have a passport .. do I have to be vaccinated… and when moving do I just bring myself and forget everything behind … I have a car that is not payed for yet how does that work

Hi Brittany, it depends a little on where he is going TO. Is he moving to a base in Germany or in the States? Because you are not married yet, the military will not do anything to move you, they will only pay and help move the service member. So if you want to move yourself, you have to pay out of pocket. And if he has overseas orders, you have to research being unaccompanied or not having command sponsorship.

We do plan on getting married before I move in the US … he’s stationed in Germany for about 2 years now but he been in for 6 years …once we are married what is the next step he said he will be off base if I live with him … so wen married and able to move do I just pack my stuff and leave stuff behind .. will I be able to work I don’t know German …. But I do have. Car but it’s not payed off yet

OK, so you’re moving to Germany after marriage. The good news is you will have command sponsorship and access to the base. But if he is already there and does not have orders to do a PCS move, then you may be moving yourself. He should ask his chain of command about that. He may be able to request that your things get packed up and put in Long Term Storage, covered by the govt, but again this depends on him actually having PCS orders.

It is difficult to get a job while stationed overseas, but not impossible. There are laws under the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) that limit the jobs available to Americans. There are english-speaking jobs available on base. Mostly working retail at the PX or childcare at the CDC.

If he has orders, they may include shipping one car overseas, so it is possible to have the govt ship your car, even if it isn’t completely paid off yet. But he should check with his Transportation Office for those details and to see if yours can be covered.

So Germany is his pcs change but he moved there 2 years ago so they won’t pay for me to come up there after marriage … okay got it thanks .. and and how often can you pcs !?

How often they PCS depends on a lot of things: his branch, specific job, rank, where the Army needs him, etc. But if he has already been there 2 years, he may be due to PCS soon!


I was recently awarded a 100% service connected disability rating through the VA. I have never used the rating to access any military base. However, I will be visiting my daughter near Mcguire AFB and thought I would go check out their commissary and PX. Will I be able to bring my daughter on to the base? She is a civiian with no military background

Thank you for all your sacrifices and years of service. I don’t think the VA rating has anything to do with base access. They are looking for a military ID or retiree ID card. With that ID, you can sometimes escort a non-military guest on base, as long as that person has valid ID like a driver’s license. But it depends on the individual base security levels. Commissary access should be open to retired military, but again you’ll need military ID at checkout. Best bet is probably to call the Mcguire Visitor Center in advance and check on their current rules.

Estelle Binstead

My son is looking at either going to the navy or military after school. Are we able to visit a base prior to him making the c=decision so that he can see more or less what it will be like?


Hey it’s me again , I am actually planning on going to visit my boyfriend in Germany possibly by October.. I offered to get my ticket, buy me a hotel , and also rent me a car. My boyfriend just suggested that I just get my ticket and he will handle the rest . I am a worried person and hate last min things and being left in the dark . Should I just get my hotel, and car to be on the safe side but then again I don’t want to waste all most 2k for everything. My worries are if I just get my ticket where will I stay . How will I get from the airport , or even get around to explore Germany . I’m from Georgia and I only speak English never been out the country in my life . I do have a passport book but will I need a visa to stay in Germany i will only be stay for A WEEK OR TWO , do we have to be married , is it smart to rent a car in the first place ughh HELPPPPP

Vicki Stock

I am an adult of an 83 year old Veteran Widow who lives about 60 miles to the nearest base in Florida. She is on a fixed income and finds getting prescriptions off base at a local pharmacy or on-line puts her in a hardship, so she drives to the base to get those scripts filled. She can no longer drive to the base and I usually take her and assist her with any shopping she wants to do there as well. Recently she became ill with COVID an couldn’t come with me to pick up her prescriptions and she was running out. We are currently hoping for a negative test so she can go. But it started me thinking about her future ability to come with me as she ages. I saw that Veterans can sponsor their adult children but wonder how long does the sponsorship last, what does it include and does the sponsor need to be with the person sponsored while they are on base? Is sponsorship the best option if she can’t make the trip in the future?

Hi Vicki, a few things to consider. First, even though she is seen on base for care, she doesn’t have to go in-person to the base pharmacy to get a refill. Some base pharmacies now have a delivery option, so definitely ask about that. If she has to use an off-base pharmacy and pay co-pays, there are some types of supplemental insurance and low-cost options that will help cover those prescription prices at regular pharmacies. Third, you asked about the possibility of sponsorship. The veteran can always escort/sponsor a guest in their own vehicle, if the veteran is in the vehicle and has their ID car. Since this may not always be possible for her, you could contact the local VA center to ask what they recommend. They might be able to help pick up prescriptions or to fulfill prescriptions through their pharmacies. Finally, your mom could request a sponsorship form from the base Visitor Center that would allow you to get on base unaccompanied. These passes are only good for a short amount of time, need to be requested several weeks in advance, and require a background check using your driver’s license. Call the base visitor center to get the exact details, since every base has a slightly different procedure for this, especially when it is veterans.

Faith Ruggles

As a dependent can I get my civilian family into any base. My brother is graduating from basic and I wanted to be able to get the passes a little earlier to miss all the traffic. But I didn’t know if as a dependent if I could get on any military base and sponsor someone.

Elaine T Gervasi

My husband served at Camp Lejeune 1954-1956. In March and April 1956 hid mother, 2 aunts and I visited him there. Initially we stayed at the Hostess House but ultimately left to stay with his gunnery Sargent, his wife and two boys. As he died as a result of the water contamination and was 100% disabled at that time, an attorney suggested I, too, should see if I could be included in the lawsuit. As it was 66 years ago any everyone who could prove we were there is dead and my recollection is no longer clear as to whether I could prove 30 days of residency to qualify, I am asking if you could direct me to whomever would have records of my presence on the base for the required proof of residency. I have photos dated March 1956 and April 1956 taken on the base but no day is imprinted on them, as apparently that was the case in the ‘50s. I’d appreciate any assistance you could give my to locate the dates of my residency on the base.

Elaine, I’m so sorry to hear that the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune effected you and your family. You would have applied for a pass to get on base at that time, but Camp Lejeune’s archives only keep written recordsback to the 1970s aparently. If you have any tax records, billing history, or something mailed to you on base at that time, that would prove your residency. If you don’t have the paperwork, perhaps a company like your credit card, bank, or magazine subscriptions from that time would have the records in their computer.

Karen Lenamond

I used to live on Hickam AFB in Hawaii with my father in 1973-1977. Now I would like to take my daughter there to show her where I used to live and to visit the islands. Will it be possible for me to get on base with my daughter to show her where I used to live? I can see on Google maps that the street is still there, they have just built new houses there. How do I get a pass to get on base? All I want to do is go to that street and then maybe go to my old Elementary school to show her and then leave. My father is still alive and he seems to think I will be able to do this. Thank you very much. Sincerely, Karen Lenamond

I think this is a pretty common request. I don’t know the official answer, but if you contact the base Visitor Center in advance, they should be able to tell you their policies and what paperwork you would need for a temporary pass. Their phone number should be listed on the base website, usually in the Security section. If you get that all answered before you travel, it should be a smooth trip. I hope you enjoy your visit!

Michelle L Eaglin

How can I get clearance to go onto military base to pickup a load for freight trucking

Katherine Ross

Can a normal sibling civilian of a active duty soldier get into a commissary and shop there weekly for groceries?

No, only an ID card holder can shop at the Commissary and make purchases at checkout. They will check ID. Sonetimes, if a family member is with the ID card holder, they can run their own credit card instead, but someone still needs to have a military ID for the transaction.


Hello, My husband reenlisted in the army and is in Fort Jackson at basic training currently. He was told he gets a 36 hr leave between graduation and going to officer training school. Due to limited communication during basic training it is sometimes difficult to find out information in a timely manner. I have attempted to book a hotel room for the time he will have so that I’m able to sleep next to my husband and make the most of those 36 hours. However all hotels on base are booked. I’m absolutely devastated at the thought of not being able to stay overnight w him after not seeing him for several weeks and knowing he will be gone for another several weeks after. Do you know if there are additional resources or accommodations available for this type of scenario? As far as I’m concerned I’m willing to sleep in car with him on base if that’s the only way to go about it.

Hi, congrats on making it to graduation! I can understand your frustration. Will he be allowed to leave base during the 36 hours? Typically, they are granted liberty to go off base during that time. So a hotel off base in the local town would work. Good luck!

To my understanding he is not allowed off base during this time

Ohhhh, that is very frustrating then. Someone didn’t think that through.

Well, then you have to get a little creative. Many bases have an RV campground where you can rent space for a tent or RV. You could park your car and set up a tent there. Sometime MWR or Outdoor Rec will have tents for rent as well. Look through the MWR page or the base visitor website to make a reservation.

You could also hop on the Spouse Facebook page for that base and ask if any families living in base housing have a guest room where you could stay for the one night. Not ideal, I understand, but it doesn’t hurt to ask and see if anyone already living there could help you out or has another solution to suggest.

Thank you so much for the help with information and responding so quickly. My emotional state has been that of a high school girl after her first break up since he’s been gone lol. I rationally know that I’m being irrationally emotional but can’t help it.


Hello, My wife was hired as a civilian DOD engineer at NAS JRB in Fort Worth and we moved our family here recently. We have a young daughter who hasn’t started school yet and we only have one car. The building she works in is just inside the gate so we haven’t had too much trouble but I was wondering if there is a process for a DOD spouse to gain access so I can drop her off. I am listed as her dependent spouse and I have passed a federal background check before and can still do so. She doesn’t want to ask but I don’t like her walking all the time.

I’m not sure about the process for DOD civilian dependents. It may vary from base to base, so check with the Security Office or Pass and ID office at NAS JRB Fort Worth and see what their policies are. You can probably fill out most of the paperwork yourself, but may need her signature or her physical presence when you apply for your pass.

Linda Pinnick

Hi! I recently attended an air show at JBLM. Going through the front gate my husband and I both showed our ID to the Military Police officer. No additional questions or comments, we were sent through. Upon entering the air field entrance, we again showed our ID. This is what happened next. The Military Police officer scanned my WA state driver license. He gave it back to me and then asked to see the front of the license. After looking at the front of my license, he asked me to input my SSN on a keypad he had which was attached to the scanning device. I was getting a little freaked out and asked him if there was a problem. I have no issues which would cause any concern. He told me, “i have to get you into our system.” After a few minutes he said thank you, we said thank you and went on our way. Do you have any knowledge what this was about? I am still a little concerned about what the reason was. Thank you! LP

I’m not sure. For an air show, there are many visitors from iff-base, so they may have developed a portable way of scanning ID and verifying visitors with 2 forms of ID (driver’s license and SS number.) That would be the fastest way to process visitors without advance paperwork.


Hello, hoping u can help me with my ?. I am a felon and on supervision for 7more months for a non violent crime. My boyfriend is a retired marine sgt and has chemotherapy appts twice a week at the hospital on base and is probably going to be having brain surgery in a military hospital several states away. my ? Is there any way I can accompany him to his appts and the surgery? Sponsors are only active duty so he couldn’t ‘escort’ me either is that correct? I have no desire to wander about on the base unattended, I only want to see him to his appts for support in case he gets sick or needs emergency care- he had a stroke a few weeks ago which left him unable to speak and disoriented during his chemo appointment. I knew nothing til he was finally able to call me 2 days later. Seriously terrifying. The hospital he gets his treatments is located on lewis-McCord.

That’s a very specific situation, so I recommend contacting the Lewis-McChord hospital and the base security office to ask about their policies. Since you aren’t married, you may have to request a guest pass instead of any ID card. I imagine there are specific policies in place for someone who is driving or escorting a disabled veteran for treatment, but those rules might be different on each base. Start by asking the hospital first, then follow their procedures to get through the gate.

Alrighty 😊. I really think they have some way since it’s crucial treatment and I’m really no threat.. I’ll start with the hospital.



What a thoughtful idea! For an event like that, it would be best to contact the base directly. First, find out how many of your interested club members are Veterans who have an ID card. Then, contact the base Pass and ID center, and also reach out to the USO or Family Center, and they may be able to help you set this up.

Jason Little

I would like to take my girlfriend to NAS Jacksonville to show her where I was stationed. Is it possible to get a visitor pass here? Thanks.

Contact the base Visitor Center or Visitor Office to ask them the requirements for getting a visitor pass.

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visit in base

Submarine Force Library & Association Logo

USS NAUTILUS IS OPEN FOR TOURS Submarine Force Museum Open 9:00 to 4:00 Wednesday thru Monday (Closed on Tuesday)

Navy future scholar program, guided tours.

The Museum Offers Various Scavenger Hunts And Self-Guided Tours.

Scavenger Hunts

You’ll Find Out Why When You Visit The Nation’s Finest Displays And Collections Of America’s Submarine Heritage.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics


Our Hours Of Operation

CLOSED on ALL Tuesdays

May 1 st – October 31 st

Open Monday – Wednesday – Thursday- Friday – Saturday and Sunday 9am – 5pm

November 1 st – April 30th

Open Monday – Wednesday – Thursday- Friday – Saturday and Sunday 9am – 4pm



The Submarine Force Library & Museum are CLOSED on all Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.


If you have a submarine reunion coming up, the Submarine Force Museum & Library can be of help to you.

Submarines have fascinated people from Alexander the Great to the Beatles, from Jules Verne to John Holland. You’ll find out why when you visit the nation’s finest displays and collections of America’s submarine heritage.


Theater schedule.

Museum Theater: A Century of Silent Service: Part I 45-minute film covers the early history of the Submarine Force through WWII. Begins at the top of each hour.

Mini-Theater: Forty-One for Freedom 20 minute film covers the design, construction, and purpose of the Navy’s earliest ballistic submarines during the Cold War. Continuous.

DATES: Year-Round TIMES: Continuous LOCATION: Museum Theater & Mini- Theater

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Starlink Group 6-52 | Falcon 9 Block 5

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How To Visit Starbase

visit in base

Perhaps the most watched place in the space industry, Starbase, is the home of SpaceX’s Starship development and testing. Ten of thousands have made the trek to the southern tip of Texas with one goal: seeing SpaceX’s massive Starship rocket in person from just a few feet away. However, even more have spent hours and days watching live-streams and looking at photos of Starbase dreaming of what it may be like there.

The purpose of this article, in companion to Everyday Astronaut’s video on YouTube, is to provide the most comprehensive rundown of Starbase; the “dos and don’ts”, the things that must be done, and tips and tricks on how to navigate Starbase safely and effectively. Here you will find all the information, but for those who prefer to read. It can also act as a quick reference when you arrive at Starbase one day.

Where And What Is Starbase?

Starbase, located very near to Boca Chica, can be found in the southern most part of the state of Texas, United States. Texas, which borders Mexico, is also home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, but that is much further north.

Starbase is where SpaceX has done the development, testing, tweaking, and blowing up of their next rocket, Starship, the worlds largest and most powerful rocket. The town where Starbase is located was originally called Kennedy Shores. After a hurricane it was renamed Kopernik Shores, and most recently known as Boca Chica. Brownsville is the nearest city to Starbase at about 32 km (20 miles). Compared to the 187,000 people in Brownsville, only a few homes remain in Boca Chica on the barren wildlife refuge.

Boca Chica village, drone shot

South Padre Island and Port Isabel are the closest inhabitable areas, but it would take nearly twice as long to get there than to Brownsville. This is because they are on barrier islands with limited access.

In 2014, SpaceX began purchasing land in the area for what was originally Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy testing. Despite some ground work, the next four years remained fairly uneventful. In 2018, a stainless steel water tower, or so people thought, emerged on the flat landscape. This water tower came to be Starhopper, a Raptor engine testing vehicle.

Since the first high altitude flights in late-2020 to mid-2021 which began with SN8, SpaceX has put an increased focus on booster and orbital ship development. Because of the increased cadence, more infrastructure such as bays and tents have seen the site grow exponentially.

The location and ease of access to the Starbase surrounding area has enabled close watch of nearly every move SpaceX makes as they develop Starship. While SpaceX does not want to block access to Boca Chica Beach, there’s no guarantee how long the largely open and public access will last in light of safety concerns related to launches and landings. It’s safe to say that waiting might not be the best option.

boca chica beach, starbase, spacex, launch pad

Tour Of Starbase

There are three main locations around Starbase where the activity happens; the production site, the launch site, and the structural test site (formerly Massey’s Gun Range). The production site is where both the ship and booster are manufactured and produced. The launch site, as the name implies, is where rockets are launched in addition to where engine tests and some other tests are performed. The structural test site is where other testing occurs, however there is not much to see at the structural test site from the available viewing areas.

Production Site

As of publication, the production site has three distinguishable buildings that rise high above the rest. The Midbay, High Bay, and Mega Bay (Wide Bay), act as rocket houses. The High and Mega Bays both have cranes on the top that allow large pieces of the rockets to be lifted into place and stacked on top of one another. A new building is currently being built called “Starfactory”, which will replace the three temporary production tents.

Near to the Mega Bay is a group of rockets, either used and retired, or never flown. This area is commonly referred to as the “Rocket Garden”. The vehicles in the Rocket Garden change very frequently as they are retired, scrapped, or held until testing.

Also located in that area is an Air Separator Unit (ASU) that can generate oxygen, nitrogen, and argon. This is also where some large shipments are received and where some heavy lifting equipment lies. In front of all of this is the gigantic and iconic “S T A R B A S E” sign.

rocket garden, starbase, spacex

These approximately 2.5 m (8 ft) tall illuminated letters are the first thing visible from the side of the road. It is a very popular space to stop and take photos, especially at night when the sign is illuminated. You can easily park on the rocks in front of the sign to hop out and take a photo.

In addition to these are the buildings that have been there since the beginning. Originally built by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Stargate, is now owned by SpaceX and acts as their launch control. The building is an office building with space for desks and computers, meeting rooms, and other spaces where an old Merlin and Raptor engine can be found.

Further down the road toward the ocean is the solar farm. Next to the solar farm are two tracking dishes that were purchased from NASA. Behind that is Boca Chica Village, which mostly includes houses owned by SpaceX to house employees.

boca chica village, solar farm, spacex

On the corner, before the long road to the launch pad, is a private restaurant. The outside seating area is covered in flaps from the Mk 1 Starship prototype. Only employees are able to eat here and at the adjacent food trucks. Across the street is a large building known as the payload processing facility, which is currently used for Starlink, but could be used for other payloads in the future.

Launch Site

After traveling down the nearly three kilometer (two miles) barren stretch of road, the launch site quickly fills the landscape. The launch site consists of three launch pads, two suborbital pads and one orbital pad.

Before arriving at the launch site, pulling off the road before it curves gives the unique view of Suborbital Pad A, on the right, and Suborbital Pad B, on the left. The black and white tanks are the Suborbital Tank Farm and house the propellants for both pads.

Traveling further down the road leads to an up close view of Starhopper, the first vehicle to take flight in south Texas. It has now been repurposed to host radar equipment, cameras, and speakers to provide announcements at the pad. The main gate is shortly after that and provides a sometimes unobstructed view of the Orbital Launch Table. This is where nearly everything goes in and out of the launch site.

orbital launch pad, tank farm, mechazilla, orbital launch mount, starbase, spacex

The Orbital Launch Pad is the table and the very large 120 m (400 ft) tall tower with chopstick arms on it. This is where fully assembled and stacked Starship/SuperHeavy rockets will launch from. Next to the Orbital Launch Pad are eight cylinders which together make the Orbital Tank Farm. Some of these house water, while others house the propellants, oxygen and methane.

Where And Where NOT To Go At Starbase

The number one rule comes as an obvious one: wherever there is a sign indicating SpaceX property, don’t go past it. Roads are public and the land just off the road is generally public too. SpaceX property is almost always clearly indicated.

To play it safe, anytime you’re stopping to look, always park on the opposite side of the road from SpaceX property. For example, at the production site, park on the south side of the road and do not cross the road by foot. It’s important to remember that Highway 4 is a highway and has fast moving cars, so be careful pulling off, merging, and navigating the side of the roadway.

SpaceX, starbase, highway 4, parking

Remedios Ave gives the closest access to any rockets. By parking on Highway 4 and walking down to the Rocket Garden, you can get very close to whatever rockets may be there. As of publication, Remedios is still a public road. However, this may not last long, so be sure to check any signs before proceeding.

Any parking on SpaceX property and around the restaurant are not for public parking and reserved for employees. At the launch site, there is also a parking lot, but again for employees only. Pulling off on the side of the road opposite SpaceX property (the north side) is allowed.

However, areas near the beach can become hazardous very quickly. The sand level and depth can change daily leaving dozens of cars stuck. Only drive down the beach if your vehicle has all-wheel drive and tires that can handle deep sand. Another option is to park on the side of the road before the beach and walk up and down the beach to get new angles of the launch site.

highway 4, boca chica beach, starbase

On launch day, there is a large area around the entirety of Boca Chica Beach, Starbase, and Highway 4 called the exclusion zone or “keep out zone”. Nobody from the general public is allowed in this area during alunch preparations and activities. There are also designated spots on the water in the channel for mariners to watch the launch from.

spacex, starship, orbital test flight, exclusion zone

Rules, Tips, And What To Bring

In this case, it could be helpful to think of Starbase as a desert with very little to no amenities around. There are no public restrooms or gas stations to fill up on snacks and water. Before leaving for Starbase, take the time to stop at a gas station and get everything listed below.

  • Lots of water and food
  • Hat, Sunglasses

Hydration is key, but that does not mean just drinking water while at Starbase. Before heading out the day before, ensure you drink plenty of water to maintain hydration.

General Rules

While some rules may sound like common sense, others may come as a surprise. It’s important to follow these rules closely to stay out of trouble and make it so others can get this close to the worlds biggest and most powerful rocket too.

  • Don’t litter
  • No crossing the river into Mexico. Matamoros is dangerous.

Overall a simple list to follow, but serious consequences can result otherwise. Starbase can be a fun place when safety and health are put first. The rockets do not need sunscreen.

Watching A Launch

Unlike Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Starbase has only been around in recent history and has never seen an orbital launch. This means that the infrastructure for the public to watch launches from Starbase is largely non-existent. An important note is that Highway 4 is completely closed on the day of a launch, so no members of the public will be able to travel down on launch day.

The only exception to this is Rocket Ranch . Rocket Ranch has a ranch where guests can stay in little Airstreams or their own RVs. They have an outpost further down Highway 4 that provides the closest viewing possible, however they are currently sold out of these tickets for the first Orbital Flight Test.

entry rocket ranch

The next closest place is Isla Blanca Park on the southern tip of South Padre Island. To enter, they charge $12 cash, exact change not necessary. This can and will get very crowded on launch day, so it’s best to arrive a little early. Only a certain number of cars are allowed per day, but there is public parking at the Visitors Center and other spots further north.

Port Isabel is another spot to watch from. It is located before crossing the bridge on South Padre Island. The bridge itself is NOT a viewing location. There are very few direct views of the pad from Port Isabel due to the private residences in gated communities.

However, on Highway 48, which is the road to Port Isabel/South Padre Island, there are a few pull off spots like the Jamie J Zapata boat ramp. A reminder, Mexico is not an option due to the dangerous nature of Matamoros.

brownsville, boca chica, distance

What To Bring

In general, it’s smart to envision any of these viewing locations just like Starbase. It will be just as hot and humid and the same precautions still exist. Sunscreen is a must and an umbrella may be beneficial to provide shade will be beneficial. Bathrooms will generally be closer, but due to the number of people trying to see a launch, the lines can be long and you may be at risk of losing your viewing spot.

A camera with a telephoto lens or binoculars are also good items to help with viewing. Starship/SuperHeavy will not leave a contrail, so it will mainly be visible as a large silver tube flying through the sky. While binoculars are not necessary, they could help enhance your viewing experiance.

How To Get To Starbase

This section will discuss how to get to Starbase by ground. Flying is covered in the next section and can be more complicated than driving. The best, and nearly only, way to get to Starbase is in a personal vehicle, either a rental car or your own car. Utilization of a GPS would be helpful here; just typing in “Starbase”, “Boca Chica Beach”, or “Boca Chica” should result in the same path as there is only one way to get there.

A specific address would be 1 LBJ Blvd, Brownsville, TX 78521, which is the restaurant. Although it’s not open to the public, it is an address to navigate to. It is possible to use a rideshare option like Uber or Lyft, but drivers are scarce and, once out there, getting between the launch site and production site is difficult. Additionally, the cost of the long drive might end up costing more than renting a car.

Border Checkpoint

While trekking out to Starbase, shortly after leaving Brownsville city limits, is a border check point. Although there is no border crossing at the checkpoint, due to the proximity to the border and the shallow depth of the Rio Grande near the beach, the United States Border Patrol keeps a station there.

US border patrol check point, starbase

Going out to Starbase, a stop will not be necessary. However, when returning to Brownsville from Starbase every vehicle will be stopped and questioned. The questions are generally very simple, “Are you a U.S. citizen?” and “Is there anyone else in the vehicle?” Answer these honestly and you will be sent on your way without problem. If there is a shift change at Starbase, the line will get very backed up. So in the morning and afternoon, keep this in mind.

For U.S. citizens, a drivers license will act as a form of ID. International travelers should have travel documents and their passport. The border patrol officers do not always ask for documentation, but will on occasion.

Flying To Starbase

There are three main airports that all provide good options for flying into south Texas and then driving to Brownsville. Some are easier and cheaper to get to than others, but may be further away.

BRO, or Brownsville, is the closest option and is relatively near to Starbase given it’s location on the outskirts of Brownsville. As of publication, you must either first fly to Dallas or Houston and get a connecting flight to Brownsville. In May of 2023, Avelo Airlines will offer direct flights to Brownsville from Orlando and Los Angeles.

HRL, or Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas, is also a good option, but requires a bit more of a drive, about an hour to Starbase. Depending on demand, HRL can be cheaper and have more rental car options.

MFE, or McAllen International Airport in McAllen, Texas, is about to an hour and a half from Starbase. Generally, MFE shares similar options and availability to HRL, but it’s an option nonetheless.

Airports bro, hrl, mfe, starbase

Flying from oversees might mean spending more time in Texas. In this case, it may be possible to save money and drive from a city like Austin, San Antonio, or Houston. Houston, of course, is where Johnson Space Center is located. Visitors can spend a day at Space Center Houston, which has interactive activities and a great museum.

Do not rely on rental cars being available at Brownsville or some of the airports in the Rio Grande Valley, so check carefully, especially around times of peak travel.

Where To Stay

There are numerous options for places to stay depending on the type of traveler you are. Some types include campers, luxury, adventure seekers, budget, and families. During times of peak travel and lots of activity, some options may be more available than others.

South Padre Island/Port Isabel

South Padre Island, or SPI, has a host of good options for those who want to see rockets, but also make a vacation in south Texas. SPI is host to a variety of restaurants, hotel options, and adventure experiences like dolphin tours. The dolphin tours are a good way to see the launch site from a unique perspective.

dolphin tour spi, starbase, spacex, staship

Margaritaville, formerly known as “The Pearl”, is a good option to have a pool, beach access, and a potential view of the rocket. The rooms are spacious and can accommodate a family easily. In order to have a good view of launch, getting a room on the south side about five floors up or higher is best. This is where Tim Dodd, the Everyday Astronaut, livestreamed SN8 and SN9 from!

SN8 livestream, everyday astronaut, margaritaville hotel, starbase

Holiday Inn is a similar option to Margaritaville in terms of rooms and amenities, but does not offer balconies to view the pad from. Its proximity to the bridge enables easy access to the mainland and avoids a lot of the northern island congestion.

Hilton Garden Inn is located much further up north on the island and also does not have a good view of the launch pad. However, it offers great amenities and was recently renovated.

Lighthouse Cafe and Hotel in downtown Port Isabel is also a good option. It avoids the bridge, which means less traffic. The hotel also offers gelato and snacks and is within good walking distance from local and chain restaurants.

Casa Rosa Inn is another option in the Port Isabel area. Alternatives to this are AirBnBs and other spots for rent, so keep looking if these hotel options don’t suit you perfectly.

Those who enjoy camping can try and secure a spot at Isla Blanca Park on the southern tip of SPI.


Brownsville is home to most major hotel brands, but a lot of them are located on the highway and too far to walk to restaurants. They are, however, closer to Starbase by about 20 to 30 minutes. Generally, these hotels are cheaper than what can be found on SPI.

Rocket Ranch

Rocket Ranch is about as close as possible for anyone from the public to stay. There are small campers for individuals and they also offer spots for people with RVs to park and stay. Above all, the community at Rocket Ranch is full of more rocket loving people and will be a great welcome to south Texas. So far, they have hosted thousands of people and even more have booked stays.

In addition to a place to stay, they also offer bus tours to Starbase. These tours have been operating for a while, and will provide rich knowledge and history of Starbase.

When To Book Your Trip

Timing is everything and timing with a rocket test program is nearly impossible. Even SpaceX sometimes does not know when they will launch until just a week before. Generally, trying to book as close to a launch as possible is best.

Sometimes, booking less than five days in advance will yield the best results, but sometimes that is not possible. Oftentimes these launches will see many delays before actually flying, so it might be best to book for a week and be prepared to stay longer if that’s possible.

There is no exact answer for when to book, but it’s best to wait until as late as possible and be prepared to change dates. Read hotel and flight cancellation policies closely before booking.

Indicators of a launch could be FAA and FCC Licensing, road closures, beach closures, Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs), maritime notices, and of course, an official statement from SpaceX. All of the latest can be found in Everyday Astronaut’s live updates article .

Where To Eat

South Padre Island and Port Isable have a variety of eating options from fresh sea food, to vegetarian, to acai, and even Starbase themed resturants. Each recommendation below is linked to their site which has more information.

  • Ceviche Ceviche
  • Russo’s Pizza
  • Berry Divine on SPI and Beach Bowls on Port Isabel
  • Hopper Haus

russo's pizzeria, kohnami, south padre island

The proximity to Mexico means that there is an abundance of tacos. There are many local restaurants in Brownsville that sell local taco styles, like street tacos. Additionally, like SPI, there are nmerous types of resturants with different price points. There are also typical fast food chains on every corner, so if you are looking for something familiar, it is there.

  • Ultima Taco
  • La Villa Taqueria y Yogufrut
  • Veggie Del Sol
  • Terra’s Urban Kitchen
  • Dodici Pizza

What Else Besides Starbase?

Before Starbase, South Padre Island was a popular vacation spot. The beach that runs along the island is great for typical beach activities, especially surfing. For surfing lessons, South Padre Surf Company has a local staff that are great instructors. Different parts of the island have different severity of waves, which makes it appealing to all skill levels.

Additionally, there are dolphin tours on both SPI and Port Isabel that will venture out into the channel and ocean to see dolphins leap from the water.

Also on the island is Gravity Park , an amusement part that features Go-Karts and other rides. Fishing and bird watch tours and boats are very common and leave from Port Isabel/SPI.

STARSociety hosts many stargazing events and STEM events for kids.

The Art Lounge on SPI has space themed art including a piece from Inspiration 4 Astronaut Dr. Sian Proctor .

Located in Brownsville is Gladys Porter Zoo , which has bike trails and coffee.

Overall, this article gives the most comprehensive overview of Starbase, how to visit, how to get there, and what to do there. Bookmark this tab so you can reference it when you make it down there! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or email the author.

spacex, starbase, launch site, south padre island

Great content, thanks Tim!

Boca Chica Starbase looks rather haphazardly designed, without much forethought of master planning. Thats sad and very inefficient, since poor design always has much higher costs and greater redundancy. Even the Starship design looks overly simplistic and wastes on functionality minimalist design approach. Maybe this is just prioritized stuff to get the buzz lighted.

Great job perfect timing thank you!

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Thanks Tim. You provide a valuable service to both novice and expert alike. Good luck on your upcoming adventure.

Awesome overview Tim! I called Rocket Ranch, and they have 11 acres for camping, so that seems to be always available if you bring your own tent. And they have beer and restrooms 🙂

Hay Tim, you didn’t mention phone or internet coverage about Starbase and SPI, how is that??

A great topic for a deep dive would be safety of SH/ST launch to the public. You mentioned some viewing zones at about 5 miles from the launch pad, the size of the exclusion zone radius. Interview someone not from from SpaceX with expertise on rocket launch exclusion zones on the safety of the SH/ST launch. Five miles is likely not to be adequate if there is an explosion.

Also, the Mexican border is inside this safety zone. If Mexican citizens are injured by a SH/ST explosion SpaceX could create an international incident.

Robert Clark

Please remove if not allowed, but my husband and I rent a condo on SPI -> It’s centrally located close to restaurants, bars and fun activities. It’s a 10 minute drive to Channel View Rd to see the launchpad from the bottom of SPI!

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22 Cool Sights to See at Military Installations Around the Globe

T.T. Robinson

1. Location: Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia

Must see: national museum of the marine corps.

 National Museum of the Marine Corps

2. Location: Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickam, Hawaii

Must see: coconut island.

Coconut Island

3. Location: Joint Base San Antonio – Camp Bullis, Texas

Must see: san fernando cathedral, 4. location: naval station newport, rhode island, must see: castle hill lighthouse.

Castle Hill Lighthouse

5. Location: Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico

Must see: albuquerque international balloon fiesta.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

6. Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Must see: honda point memorial, 7. location: marine corps air ground combat center twentynine palms, california, must see: sky’s the limit observatory, 8. location: naval support activity mid-south, tennessee, must see: national civil rights museum at the lorraine motel, 9. location: naval station norfolk, virginia, must see: nauticus.


10. Location: Fort Leonard Wood Army Base, Missouri

Must see: meramec caverns, 11. location: coast guard base kodiak, alaska, must see: alutiq museum, 12. location: fort knox (army), kentucky, must see: cumberland falls, 13. location: grand forks air force base, north dakota, must see: ronald reagan minuteman missile state historic site, 14. location: camp smedley d. butler (marine corps) – okinawa, japan, must see: churaumi aquarium.

Churaumi Aquarium

15. Location: Fort Carson (Army), Colorado

Must see: royal gorge bridge and park, 16. location: carlisle barracks (army), pennsylvania, must see: us army heritage education center.

US Army Heritage Education Center

17. Location: Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Must see: antelope island state park, 18. location: tinker air force base, oklahoma, must see: bombing memorial.

OKC bombing memorial

19. Location: Camp Pendleton (Marine Corps), California

Must see: thursday sunset markets, 20. location: wright-patterson air force base, ohio, must see: museum of the us air force.

Air Force Museum

21. Location: Camp Murray National Guard Base, Washington

Must see: arsenal museum, 22. location: naval station guam, must see: haputo beach.

Haputo Beach Guam

T.T. Robinson

T. T. Robinson is a freelance writer, editor and speaker. She is the founder of Humans on the Homefront and author of the New York Times Deployment Diary. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, We Are The Mighty, and several other outlets. She is a graduate of Harvard’s Leadership in Crises Executive Education program, something that has proved super helpful as the mother of two young children.

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Norfolk Visitor

Norfolk Visitor > Norfolk Naval Base

Naval Station Norfolk

Norfolk, Virginia, is the proud home of the largest naval base in the world. No matter what your reason is for visiting Norfolk, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to tour Naval Station Norfolk .

Naval Station Norfolk's mission is to support and improve the personnel and logistics readiness of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. The Norfolk naval base provides seaport, airport, and squadron facilities, quality of life, and personnel management services.

Don't miss the tours of the Naval Base . The 45-minute tour departs from the Naval Tour and Information Center located at 9079 Hampton Blvd, next to Gate 5. Bus tours conducted by Navy personnel ride past aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, amphibious assault ships and the busy airfield. The tour also drives by historic homes from the 1907 Jamestown Exposition. There is a charge for the tour. A picture ID is required for all adults.

Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest Naval Station, occupies about 4,300 acres on a peninsula known as Sewells Point. Port facilities extend more than four miles along the waterfront and include some seven miles of pier and wharf space.

75 ships and 134 aircraft are home-ported here, and when they are not at sea they're along side one of the 13 piers or inside one of the 11 aircraft hangars for repair, refit, training and to provide the ship's or squadron's crew an opportunity to be with their families. Naval Station Norfolk is homeport to aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, large amphibious ships, submarines, supply ships, airplanes and helicopters.

Air Operations conducts over 100,000 flight operations each year, an average of 275 flights per day or one every six minutes. Over 150,000 passengers and 264,000 tons of mail and cargo depart annually on Air Mobility Command aircraft and other chartered flights from the NSN airfield. It is the hub for Navy logistics going to the European and Central Command theaters of operations, and to the Caribbean.

The land on which Naval Station is located was originally the site of the 1907 Jamestown Exposition , a mammoth 300th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the first permanent English settlement in America in 1607. 21 states constructed buildings that celebrated their history and industry. Pennsylvania House, a 2/3rds replica of Independence Hall, is one of several state houses that are still standing at the Naval Station.

During the Jamestown Exposition, high-ranking naval officers agreed that this site was ideal for naval activity. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, the Secretary of the Navy was persuaded to buy the property.

Victory Rover Naval Base Cruise

The Victory Rover makes 2-hour narrated cruises past Naval Station Norfolk. It departs from Nauticus on the downtown waterfront. Enjoy a fascinating and entertaining commentary along the way aboard this Navy-themed vessel. See aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, guided missile cruisers and all of the other ships that form the world's most powerful fleet. On board, guests will enjoy plenty of comfortable seating, clean restrooms, air-conditioned enclosed deck, open-air upper deck, snack bar and souvenir shop.

Reservations are available. Bring a camera and binoculars.

Hampton Roads Naval Museum at Nauticus & the Battleship Wisconsin

The Hampton Roads Naval Museum presents 225 years of naval history in the Hampton Roads region. The museum is also responsible for the historic interpretation and day-to-day operations of the Battleship Wisconsin.

The Hampton Roads Naval Museum and the entrance to the Battleship Wisconsin are located on the second floor of Nauticus : The National Maritime Center in downtown Norfolk (at One Waterside Drive). There is no on-site parking, but there are several city operated parking garages within walking distance.

The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » Switzerland » 15 Best Things to Do in Basel (Switzerland)

15 Best Things to Do in Basel (Switzerland)

Cosy, walkable and straddling the Rhine, Basel is at the tripoint where the Swiss, German and French borders meet. Basel’s art and culture put it on an equal footing with almost any city in the world. The Kunstmuseum is the shining light, replete with Renaissance, Baroque and modern art.

And the Altstadt is a confusion of alleys and streets with monumental wayfinders like the Basel Minster (Cathedral) and the 15th-century City Hall. In the Altstadt you can make your own paper at a water-powered mill from the 15th century, or step into a house where Erasmus would meet up with his friends 500 years ago.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Basel :

1. Kunstmuseum Basel

Kunstmuseum Basel

Switzerland’s largest and richest assortment of art is yours to enjoy at this superlative museum.

The roll-call of names says it all: Beginning in the Renaissance there’s Konrad Witz, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein (the museum grew from an early collection of his works). There are Dutch masters like Rembrandt, Brueghel the Elder and Rubens.

From the 19th century you can admire pieces by van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Manet and Gauguin.

The Kunstmuseum has an entire room just for pieces by Picasso.

And elsewhere Giacometti, Klee, Franz Marc, Braque and Chagall are just a taste of the 20th-century art collection.

2. Altstadt


Basel’s old town has an uncommon array of Swiss national heritage sites.

If you check in at the tourist office they’ll suggest a few themed walks around Grossbasel on the left bank and Kleinbasel on the right bank of the Rhine.

As the many plaques make clear, the Altstadt’s oldest buildings are from the 14th century.

These streets were once walked by historic figures like Erasmus, the 16th-century theologian and humanist.

We cover many places in the Altstadt later, but some spots to keep in mind are the sweeping Münsterplatz, the irregular townhouses on Petersgasse and the jovial monkey fountain on Andreasplatz.

At Spalenvorstadt is the Holbein Fountain, a Renaissance masterpiece by Hans Holbein the Younger from the 16th century.

Suggested tour : Walking Tour through Basel Old Town

3. Basel Minster

Basel Minster

There’s no missing Basel’s medieval minster church and its two 60-metre towers, Georgsturm and Martinsturm.

It’s a mesmerising edifice with pinkish red sandstone walls and a glazed patterned roof.

A lot of the architecture is from the 14th and 15th centuries after an earthquake in 1356 toppled the high medieval Romanesque church.

One of the earlier elements is the main portal, which was partly dismantled by iconoclasts in the Reformation.

But they left the Gothic archivolts, which boast angels, prophets, roses, kings and an image of Abraham.

To the right of this see the “Seducer” courting a young virgin, with snakes and toads behind his back to symbolise evil.

For €5 you can struggle up a narrow spiral stairway to survey Basel and the Rhine.

4. Museum Tinguely

Museum Tinguely

In the Solitudepark on the Rhine’s right bank is a museum for the 20th-century kinetic sculptor Jean Tinguely.

His wacky, needlessly complicated machines are anchored in the Dada spirit and satirise mass production and materialism.

But on any level they’re also fun, fanciful and interactive, so it’s an art museum where kids will never be bored.

You can push buttons and pull levers to start these machines whirring.

The exhibition chronicles Tinguely’s career, from the 1950s to 1980s.

One of his final pieces was Grosse Méta Maxi-Maxi Utopia from 1987, a tangle of pulleys, wooden wheels and electric motors with steps allowing that you can climb.

5. Basel Paper Mill

Basel Paper Mill

As early as 1453 this mill on the Gewerbekanal was in the business of producing paper.

Since 1980 the mill has been a working museum where you can get in touch with historic methods for dipping paper, printing and bookbinding.

Machines powered by a waterwheel turn rags and pulp into leafs ofpaper: You’ll be able to make a page of your own on the first floor.

Upstairs are the early printing presses, and quills invite you to perfect your calligraphy, while the crafts of bookbinding and paper marbling are demonstrated on the top floor live before your eyes.

6. Basel City Hall

Basel City Hall

The City Hall feels at the centre of Basel in every sense.

Martkplatz in front is a nexus for Basel’s tram network, while citizens and tourists flock to the square for the daily market.

The red sandstone behemoth that confronts you on Marktplatz is from the start of the 16th century and no expense was spared in its construction.

There are many symbols to decipher on the facade, like the 12 coats of arms of the Old Swiss Confederacy, including Basel’s, adorning the merlons at the top.

Go through the arch to enter the enthralling courtyard where there’s a 17th-century fresco by Hans Bock and a statue of Basel’s Roman founder Lucius Munatius Plancus sculpted in 1580.

7. Basel Historical Museum

Basel Historical Museum

HMB for short, the Basel Historical Museum has four locations.

Three of these are inside the city, and one, the Coach and Carriage Museum, is in Münchenstein to the southeast.

The main attraction is in the converted Barfüsserkirche and concerns itself with the late medieval period and early modern age.

Inside you can examine works from the Cathedral treasury, collections of coins and stained glass, tapestries, altars and possessions belonging to Erasmus.

There are also historic cabinets of curiosity, put together by wealthy collectors in the 1600s and 1700s.

But maybe the most haunting piece of all is Basel’s Danse Macabre fresco attributed to the 15th-century painter Konrad Witz.

8. Spalentor


Basel was once defended by two layers of city walls.

The Inner Wall was built around 1230, and following the earthquake in 1356 a new Outer Wall with 40 towers was raised to accommodate the growing city.

Practically all of these walls were torn down to allow Basel to grow and provide a healthier living environment in the 19th century.

Three gates remain, the most impressive of which is Spalentor.

This controlled the western approach to the city from France and was part of that outer wall begin in the 1350s.

As well as a pair of towers and patterned there’s a lot of ornamentation to look for on the facade, like Basel’s coat of arms framed by two lions.

9. Basel Zoo

Basel Zoo

With more than 640 species, few zoos on the planet can claim to have as much diversity as Basel Zoo.

This is the largest and oldest zoo in the country, dating back to 1874 but with a completely modern approach to enclosure design.

Expansions and renovations happen by the year, and in 2016 a new elephant house was opened, providing 5,000 square metres for them to roam in.

The aquarium (vivarium) is a perennial favourite and has almost of 500 species of fish, reptiles and amphibians, as well as king and gentoo penguins.

Maybe the zoo’s most famous inhabitant is Goma, the first western lowland gorilla born in Europe and turning 58 in 2017.


Under the minster towers the Pfalz is possibly the best spot on street level to contemplate the Rhine and the rows of houses on the right bank in Kleinbasel.

This terrace is above the Münsterfähre jetty, and is roughly on the site of Basel’s former episcopal palace.

Here and there you’ll notice ornately designed ledgerstones for Basel’s noble families dating back as far as the 1500s.

There’s a telescope on the wall, while the benches in this little square are shaded by trees and just right for a packed lunch.

11. Antikenmuseum Basel

Antikenmuseum Basel

Basel has the only museum in the country dedicated solely to ancient civilisations.

This deals with Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, Middle Eastern and Roman objects across more than 3,000 years up to the 1st century AD. The collections were first put together in the 17th century and the museum opened in its current form in 1986 after a major donation by the industrialist Peter Ludwig.

One spellbinding item from Ancient Greece is an intact Laconian volute-krater (a vessel for watering down wine) from the 6th century, while the Egyptian galleries are rich with jewellery, sculptures and sarcophagi.

12. Pharmazie-Historisches Museum

Pharmazie-Historisches Museum

Historic medicine is the subject of this world-class museum in a listed building in the Altstadt.

In the early 16th-century there was a printing press here, part-owned by Johann Froben, a close friend of Erasmus, who would often call in.

The amount of artefacts inside is almost overwhelming and has ceramic vessels from floor to ceiling.

There are mortars, first-aid kids, laboratory instruments, entire pharmacy interiors including cabinets, strange contraptions for practising alchemy and the preserved remnants of historic medications.

But maybe most exciting are the 15th and 16th-century books by physicians Johann de Cuba and Leonhart Fuchs.

13. Spielzeug Welten Museum

Spielzeug Welten Museum

On Barfüsserplatz is as a museum to catch the imagination of both grownups and children.

A five-storey building has been made fully accessible, and holds more than 6,000 dolls, miniatures and dollhouses.

But it’s the record-breaking army of over 2,500 teddy bears that makes the headlines.

Many of the exhibits are interactive, including miniature scenes that light up, play music and have moving parts.

It might be hard to believe but this cornucopia of toys was assembled by just one person, the German-Swiss billionaire Gisela Oeri.

14. Fondation Beyeler

Fondation Beyeler

Six kilometres outside town, on the German border, the Fondation Beyeler is worth every second of the journey.

Awaiting you is the fabulous modern art collection of the 20th-century dealers Ernst Beyeler and Hilda Kunz.

In the 1990s this trove of 200 works was given a swish permanent home designed by Renzo Piano.

You’ll savour 23 Picassos, and paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Francis Bacon, Lichtenstein, Pollock, Warhol, Monet and Cézanne.

On top of this there’s an ethnological exhibition of 25 works from North America, Oceania and Africa.

15. The Rhine River

Rhine River

The Rhine flows so quickly through Basel that ferries don’t need any form of propulsion other than the river’s currents.

These vessels are tethered to steel lines and zip across the water.

You can catch a “Fähri” at four points along the river in the centre of the city, the most popular being Münsterfähre below the Pflalz.

There are also “Badhysli”, bathing areas where stronger swimmers pit themselves against the currents and others rest in the shallows.

These spots have a resort atmosphere in summer when people lounge in the sun and chat at cafe terraces.

Outside the city the Rhine takes the place of a sea or lake, and has beaches for sunbathing, watersports and barbecues in summer.

15 Best Things to Do in Basel (Switzerland):

  • Kunstmuseum Basel
  • Basel Minster
  • Museum Tinguely
  • Basel Paper Mill
  • Basel City Hall
  • Basel Historical Museum
  • Antikenmuseum Basel
  • Pharmazie-Historisches Museum
  • Spielzeug Welten Museum
  • Fondation Beyeler
  • The Rhine River

19 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Basel

Written by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Dec 22, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

With more than 40 museums to choose from and an atmospheric old town to explore, you won't have any trouble finding things to do in Basel. Few cities in Europe can match Switzerland's second-largest city for its concentration of cultural attractions and things to do.

Basel, Switzerland

Moreover, many of these are housed in buildings that are themselves works of art, designed by great architects that include Renzo Piano, Frank O. Gehry, and Mario Botta. Basel's university became a center for humanism in the 16th century and continued to be a magnet for distinguished scholars and teachers, which may account for its remarkable cultural heritage today.

The two sides of Basel are joined by six bridges over the Rhine, as it makes a sharp turn before flowing north to become the German-French border.

It's the higher left bank where you'll find the old town and cultural attractions. The river itself is a good vantage point for sightseeing, and you can take short cruises or cross the river on the quirky little cable-operated ferry.

Whether you enjoy sightseeing or immersing yourself in art, you can be sure of finding the best places to visit using this list of the top tourist attractions and things to do in Basel.

See also: Where to Stay in Basel

1. Admire Art in the Kunstmuseum Basel (Museum of Art)

2. stroll through the old town, 3. take the kids to the zoologischer garten (zoo), 4. visit basler münster (basel minster), 5. museum tinguely, 6. learn about printing at papiermühle (paper mill museum), 7. rathaus (town hall) and marktplatz, 8. smile at the tinguely fountain, 9. take a break at tierpark lange erlen, 10. historisches museum (historical museum), 11. be a kid again at the spielzeug welten museum (toy museum), 12. tour the museum für gegenwartskunst (museum of contemporary art), 13. antikenmuseum and the sammlung ludwig (museum of antiquities and the ludwig collection), 14. jüdische museum (jewish museum), 15. visit the haus zum kirschgarten, 16. spalentor, 17. fondation beyeler, 18. cross the border to vitra design museum, 19. take a day trip to solothurn, where to stay in basel for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in basel, basel - climate chart.

Kunstmuseum Basel (Museum of Art)

The Kunstmuseum , enhanced by the added exhibition space of a 2015 wing, is considered the finest collection of paintings in Switzerland, representing both old masters and modern art. On the first floor are the old masters and a collection of French and Dutch paintings.

Outstanding among these are the 15th-century Heilsspiegelaltar (Mirror of Salvation Altar) by Konrad Witz, 16th-century portraits by Holbein the Younger, Crucifixion by Mathias Grünewald, and Rembrandt's David with Goliath's Head from 1627. The second floor houses an outstanding collection of 19th- and 20th-century Impressionists, Expressionists, and Surrealists.

You'll find major works by Gauguin, Van Gogh, Corot, Cézanne, Braque, Picasso, Kandinsky, Léger, Chagall, Klee, Dali, Max Ernst, and others, along with later works and special exhibitions.

Address: St. Alban-Graben 16, Basel

Mittlere Bridge in Basel

The part of Basel that lies roughly between the river and the old city gate at Spalentor is not large but quite atmospheric with its stone streets, medieval churches, beautifully maintained old homes, and brightly painted fountains. But leave it to Basel to introduce a thoroughly modern and whimsical fountain by Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely in the midst of the stately historic houses.

From Marktplatz , wander west along Spalenberg with detours into some of the narrow side streets, such as Leonhardsberg and Spalenberg, Heuberg. This was the old artisans' neighborhood. Or wander along Freiestrasse, which begins with the Renaissance Geltenzunfthaus , from 1578. At number 25 is the guild-house of the locksmiths dating from 1488 and decorated in Baroque style in 1733.

Look for more wall paintings at the guild-house of the Hausgenossen at 34. In the little Fischmarkt , you'll find a reproduction of a Gothic fountain whose original you can see in the historical museum.

The two-hour Stories of Basel's Old Town walking tour explores the oldest parts of the city with a knowledgeable guide who will explain local history and highlight points of interest, stopping at major sightseeing destinations like Basler Münster , Rathaus , and Tinguely Fountain . The tour focuses on the area's rich history and varied architecture.

Zoologischer Garten (Zoo)

Switzerland's oldest and largest zoo, Basel Zoo is affectionately known as the Zolli by locals, and it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Switzerland. It has been named one of the fifteen best zoos in the world.

Founded in 1874 with 510 European animals, today the zoo is known more for exotic species. With predators, primates, mammals, reptiles, birds, and aquatic life, the population ranges from seahorses to elephants, the latter now enjoying an elephant enclosure added in 2015 with wallowing pools, showers, and a savannah-like environment.

The lion enclosure and monkey house are highlights, along with the penguins in the vivarium, which also houses fish and reptiles. The aviary houses both indigenous and exotic birds, as well as birds of prey. The zoo has been particularly successful in breeding rhinoceros and cheetahs. The realistic habitats and variety of exotic animals make this one of the favorite places to visit with children in Basel.

Address: Binningerstrasse 40, Basel

Basler Münster (Basel Minster)

Set atop the highest point on Münsterhügel (Minster Hill), Basel's Minster is easily spotted by its prominent spires and brightly patterned roof tiles. The spacious Münsterplatz , formerly the site of a Roman fort, is an elegant 18th-century square. Built of red sandstone from the Vosges mountains of France between the ninth and 13th centuries, the minster was rebuilt in Gothic style after an earthquake in 1356.

But some of the original church remains. The high altar and much of the furnishings were destroyed by Protestants in 1529, but the greatest treasures were hidden in the sacristy vaulting and survived; you can see some in the historical museum.

Doorway at the Basel Minster

Be sure to see the St. Gallus doorway in the north transept, with its many 12th-century Romanesque stone carvings - one of the oldest figured doorways in German-speaking Europe. The tympanum above the doorway shows the Wise and Foolish Virgins, with Christ enthroned above flanked by Peter and Paul.

A large rose window lies above the doorway. Inside, the lower part of the choir is Romanesque; be sure to notice the capitals carved with rich foliage and animals and the Romanesque capitals in the nave and ambulatory. In front of the pulpit, under glass, is a piece of the Late Romanesque pavement from the 12th century.

Basler Münster (Basel Minster)

From inside the church, you can access the stairs to the top of the south tower. The crypt, which can be entered from beside the choir, contains the tombs of 10th- to 13th-century bishops and an excellent Romanesque frieze on the piers; ceiling frescoes depict scenes from the life of the Virgin and other New Testament themes. The beautiful 15th-century double cloister, entered from Rittergasse, contains monuments ranging over five centuries.

Address: Münsterplatz, Basel

Basel Minster - Floor plan map

The Museum Tinguely contains the largest collection of this influential Swiss artist's work thanks to a generous donation by his widow Niki de Saint Phalle, as well as contributions by other collectors. The collection includes Tinguely's sculptures and drawings, as well as an extensive library of documents and photographs.

The museum also hosts visiting installations that change every three months, focusing on artists who inspired Tinguely, as well as the work of contemporary artists. The building housing the collection was designed by famed architect Mario Botta.

Address: Paul Sacher-Anlage 2, 4002 Basel

Waterwheel at the Paper Mill Museum

Set on a medieval canal with an operating waterwheel, an old paper mill has been turned into a museum of writing, printing, and paper, showing the printing and papermaking processes with actual working machinery.

As you tour the museum, you can watch the laborious production of handmade paper, explore the evolution of printing from before Gutenberg's press through the demise of lead type in the 1980s, and see how books are bound. Displays follow the development of writing from primitive pictographs through modern typography.

Address: St. Alban-Tal 37, Basel

Rathaus (Town Hall) and Marktplatz

The focal point of the Old Town is Marktplatz, where you'll still find the colorful daily market selling local produce, flowers, and food specialties. Dominating the square is the bright red Basel Rathaus , with its colorful painted facade. The arcaded main building is in Late Burgundian Gothic style dating from 1504 to 1521; the new wing to the left and the tall tower on the right are 19th-century additions.

The clock dates from the building's origins, the work of Master Wilhelms from the early 1500s. Be sure to step into the beautiful courtyard to see the wall paintings, restored from 1608-11 originals. The statue, from 1574, on the outer staircase represents the legendary founder of the town, Munatius Plancus. You can also see the two council chambers, the Regierungsratssaal , with its impressive wood paneling, and the Grossratssaal , decorated by 15 coats-of-arms of the Swiss cantons.

Address: Marktpl. 9, 4001 Basel, Switzerland

Tinguely Fountain

Completed in 1977, the playful fountain designed by the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely quickly became a Basel landmark. Placed inside a large shallow pool, 10 large figures made of scrap metal seem to be playing with each other in the water as they move and spray jets of water into the air.

Powered by low-voltage current, these playful and ingenious water-spouting mechanical figures are built from pieces of metal equipment from the old theater that once stood on this spot. In the winter, the fountain becomes a series of fantastic ice sculptures as the water freezes around the figures. You can see more of his unusual and imaginative sculpture in Basel at the Jean Tinguely Museum.

Address: Theaterstrasse, Basel

Owl at the Tierpark Lange Erlen

When you need a break from Basel's abundance of museums and historic attractions, or if you are looking for things to do with children, take a tram or bike to the Tierpark, an expanse of green parkland alongside the river. Here, you'll meet a variety of local wildlife — deer, lynx, wild boar and others — roaming free in their natural habitat, discreetly fenced from the public.

Swans and ducks swim as herons fish in the ponds, and colorful peacocks roam about the grounds. More birds inhabit the spacious aviary, and an assortment of farm animals are in stables and paddocks. It is a peaceful green space for walking and relaxing, and a good place for children to meet animals in a non-zoo environment. They can also let off energy in the large playground.

Address: Erlenparkweg 110, Basel

Historisches Museum (Historical Museum)

The 14th-century Barfüsserkirche (Church of the Barefoot Friars) was renovated in the 1970s to house the Historical Museum with important collections on local history and culture. It spotlights particularly the city's unique position at the crossroads between Swiss, German, and French cultures.

In the nave of the church are the Late Gothic tapestries and the curious Lällenkönig (Babbling King), a crowned head with a movable tongue and eyes that was the emblem of Gross-Basel in the 17th century. In the aisles are weapons and furnished period rooms, in the choir religious art, and in the crypt is the minster treasury, recovered after being saved from destruction during the Reformation.

Interesting exhibits deal with the importance of silk ribbon manufacture in Basel from the late 18th through the 19th century.

Address: Barfüsserplatz 7, Basel

Spielzeug Welten Museum (Toy Museum)

The Spielzeug Welten Museum collection of more than 6,000 toys, including dolls, stuffed animals, dollhouses, shop models, and carousels is not just for children. The dollhouses are exceptional, not only the historical examples but the newly commissioned works of artists who create rooms and shops in miniature.

One section is devoted to the Neapolitan folk art of nativity scenes set in the context of everyday life in early Naples , with figures dressed in infinitely detailed costumes. The museum's collection of 2,500 teddy bears is thought to be the world's largest.

Even if you don't tour the museum, don't miss walking around to look in the windows. Six display-sized windows facing the street are dedicated to changing displays from the collections, based on seasonal and other themes and representing current special exhibitions.

Address: Steinenvorstadt 1, Basel

Museum of Contemporary Art in Basel

Housed in an old paper mill with modern extensions, Basel's Museum of Contemporary Art highlights art from 1960 to the present. You'll find paintings and sculptures by artists that include Chagall, de Chirico, Dali, Braque, Mondrian, Klee, Giacometti, Moore, and the Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely.

It was the first public museum in Europe dedicated exclusively to artworks created in the late 20th century. Guided tours in English are available with advance notice and are included in the admission price.

Address: St. Alban-Rheinweg 60, Basel

Museum of Antiquities and the Ludwig Collection

Basel's Museum of Antiquities and the Ludwig collection feature Egyptian, Greek, Italian, Etruscan, and Roman works of art, covering antiquity from about 4000 BC to the 6th century AD. The strongest areas are sculptures and Greek vases, although there are outstanding exhibits of gold jewelry, bronze sculptures, and clay figures.

The museum also operates Skulpturhalle Basel , located near Basel University, which features more than 2,200 plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculptures including a complete set of casts of the Parthenon, part of the Acropolis in Athens , as well as scale-size architectural sculptures.

Address: St. Alban Graben 5, Basel

Jüdische Museum (Jewish Museum)

One of central Europe's best collections of Judaica, the Jüdische Museum depicts religious and everyday life as it explores the Jewish history of Basel and its surrounds. In addition to documenting the local history, it introduces visitors to Jewish ceremonies and customs from the broader diaspora through exhibits focused on Jewish Law, the Jewish Year, everyday life, and history.

In the courtyard, medieval gravestones and documents go back as far as the medieval Jewish communities with documents printed in Hebrew by the city's book printers from the 16th through 19th centuries. Significant documents focus on the two World Wars.

Address: Kornhausgasse 8, Basel

Haus zum Kirschgarten

One of the finest of Basel's patrician houses, the Haus zum Kirschgarten was built between 1775 and 1780 in the early Classical style. It was the home and office of a prosperous Basel manufacturer of silk ribbons and is among Switzerland's best museums of domestic life.

Throughout the 25 furnished rooms are displays of the furniture of a wealthy 18th-century commercial family, as well as internationally important collections of decorative arts. The Pauls-Eisenbeiss Foundation's collection of porcelain, a significant watch and clock collection, and major groups of Basel silver and scientific instruments are displayed.

Address: Elisabethenstrasse 27/29, Basel


Dating from 1370, the Spalentor is a fortified gate marking the end of the old town. The town gate, once part of the old town walls, has stood alone since their destruction in 1866. Look to the left of the gate to find an early 19th-century letterbox with the emblem of the Basel pigeon.


The adjacent Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church) was rebuilt in the 15th century, but the vaulting in the choir is from an earlier 14th-century building. There are frescoes in the Eberler chapel and the nave. Adjacent is the university, with a botanical garden that was founded in the 16th century, one of the oldest in the world.

Fondation Beyeler

Collectors Ernst and Hildy Beyeler opened the Fondation Beyeler in 1997 to allow the public to enjoy their extensive personal collection of Classic Modernist art. A staggering number of works by both Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse are on display, including drawings, paintings, and sculpture.

Also displayed are multiple sculptures by Alberto Giacometti and Max Ernst, and a variety of works by celebrated artists, including Georges Seurat, Marc Chagall, Marlene Dumas, Paul Klee, and Vincent Van Gogh. The collection also includes pieces from the Beyelers' world travels to Africa, Oceania, and Alaska.

The museum is set in a lovely park, housed in a building designed by architect Renzo Piano.

Address: Baselstrasse 101, Basel

Vitra Design Museum

Because Basel lies right on the international border, some of its suburbs spread over into Germany and France. So it is with the Vitra Design Museum , which although considered a Basel institution, is a five-minute train ride just across the German border from central Basel.

By any measure, it is one of the world's most important museums of design. The building itself is a landmark, designed by Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry. Inside are changing exhibitions - two or three each year - examining current and historical design trends and themes. The displays are stunning and provocative, often inviting interaction.

Add some outdoor exercise to your gallery hopping by hiring an electric bicycle at the central train station to follow the Rehberger-Weg bike path across the border to the Vita campus.

Address: Charles-Eames-Str. 2, Weil am Rhein, Germany


Lying astride the river Aare, about 67 kilometers from Basel, Solothurn is an elegant town of Renaissance and Baroque buildings that indicate its splendor in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries as the residence of the French ambassadors to the Swiss Confederation. Earlier, the town of Salodurum ranked with Trier in Germany as one of the oldest Roman settlements north of the Alps.

Marktplatz is a beautiful square with a 12th-century clock tower, the Zeitglockenturm , that has mechanical figures from 1545. The Mauritius fountain is decorated with a figure by the master Hans Gieng of Fribourg. You'll see several more fountains with colorfully painted figures as you stroll down picturesque old Hauptgasse .


Stop there at the Jesuit church to see its interior, decorated with stucco work by 17th-century artists from the Swiss Ticino region. In the cloister is a collection of stones with Roman inscriptions. Just inside the 1508 Baseltor gate stands the Italian Baroque Cathedral of St. Ursen , built from 1763 to 1773.

Its treasury is especially rich in goldsmiths' work and textiles from the 15th to 19th centuries. In the hills outside of Solothurn, be sure to visit Schloss Waldegg - Waldegg Castle. The palace is set among lovely Baroque gardens and its beautiful interior gives you an idea of the splendor in which the French ambassadors lived.

Solothurn Map - Tourist Attractions

The Old Town, which lies between the river and the Spalentor gate, is relatively small, but many of Basel's several dozen museums are here, along with medieval churches, the old artisans' neighborhood, and Marktplatz, with the magnificent Rathaus (city hall). These highly-rated hotels in Basel are in or close to the Old Town. Most Basel hotels include a free city bus pass.

Luxury Hotels :

  • With old-world elegance enhanced by modern luxuries, Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois , which often hosts royalty, overlooks the Rhine River in the center of the Old Town.
  • Close to the Munster and several museums, Der Teufelhof Basel rooms are designed by artists, so guests live in a work of art instead of just looking at it.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Basel has a pool and is in the center of a cluster of museums; the tram from the central station stops right in front of the hotel.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • Near the Spalentor and botanic gardens and a short walk from the heart of the Old Town, Hotel Spalentor Basel has spacious modern rooms.
  • On the hill above the Old Town, on a bus line, and a 15-minute walk from the train station, Steinenschanze Stadthotel is literally steps away from the shopping and restaurant area.
  • Near the Spalentor and a tram stop with regular trams into the town center, the family-friendly Hotel Odelya is in a heritage building set in a park.

Budget Hotels:

  • Beside the university, a few blocks from the Rathaus, and an easy walk to the Munster and art museums, Hotel Rochat has plain rooms but includes breakfast.
  • Adjacent to the train station and airport bus stop, Ibis Basel Bahnhof is on a bus line to the historic center.
  • A five-minute walk away, Ibis Budget Basel City is only two minutes from two tram lines into the Old Town.

Basel Map - Tourist Attractions

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30 Days in Europe — where should be home base?

My husband and I are planning a 30 day (for our 30th anniversary 💙) stay in Europe in September of 2022. I have only been to Europe once & he has never been. He will be working remotely part time but we definitely want to be able to take side trips as well.

So, where would you suggest we ‘home base’? Also, where do we NEED to go on this first trip? We love cities, but also ‘off the beaten path’ is super appealing. We love nature, active adventure, good wine, & cozy little markets.

All recommendations welcome! Thank you for your help!

the fall of 2022.

"Fall" spans from 3rd week of Sept to 3rd week of Dec.

Can you be a bit more specific of 'when'?

What sort of 'work' he can do may depend on what it is and where you are.

Choosing a place with good weather is key. I suggest somewhere in Spain or Portugal.

Happy anniversary!

I’d opt for London.

As your husband has never been to Europe I believe he’d appreciate the familiarity of language. However, understand not everyone sound like Downton Abbey actors. They are other words and phrases for things. Crisps are potato chips, gas stations are petrol stations, traffic flow is opposite that what you are used to as they drive on the left side of the road. I’m chuffed to bits means I’m pleased. Cheeky means playful, would you like a cuppa translates into would you like a cup of tea. Fancy a pint is saying let’s go get a beer and don’t be surprised if you find children and dogs in pubs.

There are very interesting museums many of which are free. Absolutely see theatre in London. If you can do a same day performance check the 1/2 price ticket booth options on line. The London Rail 2 for 1 deal is great in order to cut admission costs to many of London’s attractions:

There are 3 different airports ( Heathrow, Stansted, Luton ) from where you can fly to Barcelona, Rome, Berlin, Dublin, Prague, Stockholm among other major European cities.

If booked far in advance you can obtain reasonable fares for the EuroStar train from London to Brussels and Paris. Numerous train stations such as Waterloo, Kings Cross/St Pancras, Paddington, and Victoria will transport you to other parts on England, ( Whitsable, York, Durham, Cornwall) as well as Scotland and Wales.

There are lovely parks in London neighborhoods. Hyde Park near Kensington Palace, the Hampstead Heath, Richmond Park where you’ll find Elk, Battersea Park Peace Pagoda. The Thames path is a great way to explore.

As far as “off the beaten path” outside London checkout Eel Pie Island, or Chilham in Kent. In England consider Lyme Regis on the Jurassic Coast, the Gap of Dunloe in Ireland, Provins near Paris, Orvieto in Italy and Haguesund, Norway.

Lastly, remember in the Fall daylight hours will be shorter. I’m often in London in November and it starts getting dark by 4pm. A fun November occurrence is the Lord Mayor’s Parade.

London is a vibrant city that is always changing yet always the same.

You NEED to go to places that interest you, not us. For example, Stonehenge doesn’t interest me, so I wouldn’t go there and ditto Highclere Castle (where Downton Abbey was filmed), but I love National Trust properties Sissinghurst gardens in Kent and Cragside in Northumberland.

You brief doesn’t cut out any of Europe. If budget is a consideration, London, Paris, Venice, Madrid, Switzerland and Scandinavia are more expensive.

Do you want one home base or two? If one and you want to explore other parts of Europe, then you need to be based near an airport where the value airlines are based e.g. near Gatwick or Stansted not Heathrow in London. Alternatively, would you prefer to cover a smaller area, but see it in more detail? A month whilst working isn’t very long to explore a whole continent.

Most places have a decent WiFi connection although mobile phone signals can be spotty in rural locations.

Exactly when would you be travelling? If later in the year and you want warmer weather, then Portugal or Spain would be the best option.

Do you speak any languages other than English?

For different reasons my suggestions would be:

London - good access elsewhere, fantastic museums, transport, markets and history.

Edinburgh, Scotland - fantastic scenery on the doorstep plus history. Better for whisky than wine.

La Rochelle, France - great food, markets, history and a lovely coast with wine regions nearby, but less accessible to other countries as the airport is small.

Lisbon, Portugal - better weather and ticks your other boxes.

Tavira in Portugal smaller town with good access to Faro airport.

Seville, Spain - as Lisbon. I don’t like Spanish dining hours- I never get used to eating dinner at the time I am usually going to bed!

Budapest, Hungary - a great vibe and feels very different to say London.

Berlin - modern history, great airport for connectivity elsewhere, markets etc.

You could take a map of Europe and both stick a pin in blindfold and see if either options would suit and take you somewhere unusual.

Is there just one "home base" you want for your trip? If just one, I'd agree that London is your best option, for a fantastic city with lots to do and see, great side trips available with excellent means of getting there, even cozy markets! You'll have outstanding opportunities for good wine, too, although it won't have been produced just down the road.

If moving to France for some additional experiences sounds appealing, Avignon, in Provence would be a great base farther south. It would also check the boxes on your list, and the wine would even be local! If you'd want to be closer to Paris, opt for Lyon - arguably the food capital of France, and you could even visit the Alps from there.

All this if you didn't have any other country on your must-see list.

I would actually disagree with London (don't get me wrong--it's a favourite city) simply for the sake of geography. Sure, you can fly to Prague for the weekend, but you could also take a train to Prague from Munich or Milan. From London, you have to fly everywhere. From somewhere more centralised, you have other options.

For what you are describing, I would actually consider something like the French Alps or the Dolomites. Maybe renting an apartment or a small cabin on the edge of a city or in the centre of a mid-sized town. That could give you cozy villages which likely have markets and good wine, access to hiking or other mountain activities, and easy trips to places like Geneva or Monaco or Venice or Munich. But that's my interpretation of your very broad description. And of course weather is a big factor--if you are talking September or November is a big difference. At the end of the day remember that ease of travel is great, but you might end up, for various reasons, spending most of your time in that place. And that's great! So make it a place where you can look out the window and enjoy it, possibly meet some locals during your month there, maybe get involved in a local event, etc.

The good news is that there is no right or wrong choice. I personally could spend a month in London and never cross off half my list. I could also spend a month in a cabin in the Pyrenees hiking or learning the local language while working from the coffee shop by day and wearing fluffy socks and watching the fall colours in the evening. Both would be amazing.

Realistically figure 2-3 side trips to a place you really want to see. You can't do it all, so pick the things you most want to see and do, and do them well. Enjoy the planning!

Most of the replies so far favor London, mostly because you can fly from there to almost anywhere else in Europe for very little cost. Pre-pandemic EasyJet,etc. would take you almost anywhere for about $50 IF you got tickets a bit in advance (prices go up the closer to the date you travel). So if you planned in advance you could easily go to anywhere every few days if you wanted. London itself if a wonderful city (and yes, major museums are free) and so is the rest of England.

The downside to basing the whole month in London is that it is an expensive city. IF you can find a reasonable priced rental then it would work, but otherwise, you would be paying quite a lot for an apartment (flat) you wouldn't be in half the time while you were traveling elsewhere. If you chose a smaller city in one of the less expensive countries you could probably save half the rent.

I would first of all do some research and figure out which areas you most want to see. Thirty days is nowhere close enough to see very much. Once you know which main area you are interested in, and also which other ways you might want to spend a few days in, then look at the EasyJet (and other) websites and see where you can fly between. For example, some of the 'secondary' cities in Italy have connections to more places than others do. Same for other countries.

Have you watched all the Rick Steves TV shows (all available on this site). He gives a decent overview of pretty much everywhere. I'd spend a weekend binge watching that and see which places grab you.

If you opted for “London” I would suggest that you avoid central London which has high rental prices and stay somewhere within easy reach of London by train or the outer underground stations, which would offer better value. Supermarket shopping in the U.K. is much cheaper than say France and Italy.

You'll have outstanding opportunities for good wine, too, although it won't have been produced just down the road.

There is some fantastic English wine being produced at the moment with some vineyards "just down the road" figuratively speaking from London. In blind taste tests English sparkling wine frequently beats Champagne which isn't a great surprise as the much of the terroir of southern England is very similar to that of the Champagne region.

I feel like a 30 day home base is good if you want to immerse yourself in a city/culture and really live like a local. I am considering 30 days in Rome or Florence since we absolutely loved our shorter stays in those cities.. But you did say "30 Days in Europe", not 30 days in 1 city. So I would suggest considering several home bases maybe up to 5 or 6. That would mean moving every 5 or 6 days, but you could get a feel for more areas without being too rushed. Maybe even look at RS best of Europe tours as a framework. So many possibilities depending on your interests. In Fall, start North then head South. Amsterdam, Paris, Munich (Octoberfest), Lauterbrunnen (Hike the Alps), Provence, Rome off the top of my head!!! What an awesome trip you have upcoming, whatever you choose!!!!

Wow - thank you for all of these thoughtful replies! You have given me great direction for more research. I have been overwhelmed with just picking a home base, but your comments about limiting our expectations about what we can see on this trip are very helpful!

I will binge watch the Rick Steves shows immediately! As soon as we decide on where to ‘live’ for the month, I will be back for your fun ideas for 2-3 side trips.

If you want to see a lot then stay somewhere more central than Londen. I would suggest Germany. Cheap flights in Europe are a good value but a bit of a headache-they limit luggage weights severely and try to nickel and dime you for everything. I'd travel by train. Germany could put you in a different country every week-France, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands and of course, Germany is huge itself. It's also much cheaper than London, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world! Lastly, the English is plentiful and the culture closer to the US/UK than a lot of countries.

You need to go to places that interest you, not ones that people say you should visit. When choosing locations consider how you’re getting around whether it be train, bus, rental car or a combination. With 30 days you could conceivably spend a week in a few different countries or a couple weeks in a couple countries. Personally, I could spend 30 days in just 2 regions of Spain. That time of year the further north you go, the cooler it will be, so you also need to base your decision on weather.

There are wonderful things to see and do all over Europe, but some locations will be better than others for making side-trips. Your range will be greater if you stay in a city with fast train service heading in multiple directions. Your range will be a lot more limited if you stay in a town with only comparatively slow regional-train service.

If cultural variety is important to you, consult a map to be sure you aren't going to be deeply embedded in a country or region and need hours to get to another one. For example, places like Brittany, Cornwall and Puglia (wonderful though they are) would not be good bases if you want to do a lot of traveling and visit other countries.

Yes, I know there are flights, but the time-overhead when you fly is significant (it's going to be close to 5 hours each way, door to door), and the cheap tickets usually need to be bought well in advance. If you're thinking about taking only 2 or 3 major side-trips (I assume you're counting just trips requiring an overnight stay), I assume that means you plan to take a lot of day-trips. (If not, you need to choose a sight-rich big city as your base). If so, you should choose a base city with a lot of good destinations within a 90-minute train ride. Madrid is a great example, but staying in Madrid would limit you to seeing parts of Spain unless you hopped on a plane.

The more traveling you want to do, the more money you're going to be spending on train tickets, so if the idea behind staying in just one place is to save money on lodging, there's going to be a trade-off. And lots of traveling out-and-back will eat up precious time. Unless there's a very good reason for doing so, I would not choose just one base. I'd stay in multiple cities. The amount of time spent in each one would depend on how much time I needed to see the local sights and how many nearby side-trips interested me.

One thing I try really hard to avoid is needing to make two day-trips to the same destination. If there's that much to see there, I want to spend a few nights.

Since you are relatively new to Europe, I would lean toward 2 bases at minimum and up to 4, max. That way you can get a good taste of places without wearing yourselves out with frequent moves. London, for sure. It’s one of the greatest cities cities in the world. You do speak the language (sort of), so it’s a good way to get your feet wet. There are plenty of easy day trips you can do, and it’s got plenty of transportation connections to the continent when you are ready to move on. Italy is our favorite country in Europe, so I’d recommend it for another part of your trip. We once rented a cottage near Perugia for 2 weeks and never ran out of things to do. Being near Florence would be a good location, giving you access to both urban and small town/ rural pleasures (WINE!). Having a car would be very convenient. Italy is also extremely varied. The north is geographically, culturally and even linguistically quite different from the south. In parts of the northeast German is the first language. As I’m writing, I’m beginning to think that no more than 3 bases might be ideal. So, France? Germany, Austria? Hard to make a wrong choice. One practical thing you should be aware of is “open jaw” flights; that is, flying into one city and out of another. On airline sites it comes up as “multicity.” It’s rarely significantly more expensive than straight rt, and it saves time and the cost of getting back to your starting point.

Since neither of you have had much European travel, I recommend a major city that will, by itself provide much to see.

My top choices would be:

London Near London, you can take day trips to visit: Windsor Castle, Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, Winchester, the Cotswolds (perhaps a weekend) and Salisbury. Don't miss Stonehenge. A day trip to York would be too much, but consider a weekend.

Paris There are fewer places of interest for day trips from Paris, but several for weekends: The Loire Valley (we stayed in Blois) is Chateaux country. Also, Normandy and Reims.

My favorite city in Europe with so much history. Still, day trips can be a bit far. Still your can visit Ostia Antiqua, Naples/Pompeii/Sorrento/Capri and Florence. All better for weekend. Also, Orvieto would be good.

You might consider splitting your time with 17 days in London and 13 days in Paris.

I like the idea of 2 weeks in London and 2 weeks in Rome.

Too bad there is a waiting list or you could of signed up for Rick's Best of Europe in 21 Days tour and divided the remainder of your time/days to the beginning and end cities of the tour. The tour would of given you a taste of multiple countries.

What ever you choose, I hope you enjoy the adventure.

Is your husband going to be able to use any Vacation time during your stay to explore a bit more? I would pick Florence Italy as a home base and rent an apartment for two weeks and explore Italy by train. From Florence you can explore big cities like Rome, the whole Tuscany region, and the Amalfi coast. I would then spend the next two weeks in Paris again renting an apartment, and train/drive around France making sure to visit Nice and the surrounding coastal towns, you can even take a train from Nice to Monaco for a fun day trip, and from Paris you can take a train to London for a few days. Those two places would keep us very busy for a month. We usually travel end of September/October and have found wonderful weather in all the places I mentioned, not too cold to hit the coastal cities. But once we got deeper into October Paris was VERY cold, but cozy, scarfs, boots, shorter days.

"Off the beaten path" could be harder to do without a car. Most of the other places mentioned have great train service, which is definitely the easiest way to get around.

If I had a month, I'd probably do two bases, or stretch to 3. Perhaps London, Budapest, Florence. Each for 9 days with side trips from each as desired. See the city and rent cars or take trains only for short day trips in the surrounding areas. Any one of these would provide enough for the whole month but this would give you a flavor of 3 different centers and a variety of day trips.

I think you might be putting the cart before the horse. Don't worry about a home base until you select the places where you really want to visit. Once you do that, picking a home base will be simple. If you pick a home base first you might be limited by distance to the places you want to visit.

Map out the places you want to visit and pick a major rail line city in the middle. Have fun.

I would also consider two bases. From London, you can do Eurostar to Amsterdam and Paris, and cheap flights to Ireland. Munich or Vienna might be a good hub for the other portion - easy to get to Budapest, Prague, etc from there.

You should not have a "home base". Don't spend more than 5 nights in any one city. 6 max if you really find that a big city has a lot that interests you.

Make up a 30 day itinerary. Try to list one to two major activities you want to do each day. There is no such thing as places you "need to go". I like art museums, I don't care about beaches, some travelers don't care about art and just want to sit on beaches for hours at a time. Some novice travelers think of their trip as "seeing Europe", which often means just going to big and popular cities in Western and Southern Europe like London, Paris, Florence, Rome. I am going to Spain next if they don't ban American tourists again. You could spend 30 days in just one region or country the size of Spain, or you could just go to the Alhambra in Granada and decide you could care less about seeing any other place in Spain. You should probably focus on one or more specific neighboring countries rather than thinking that you are "seeing Europe".

If you post your itinerary, we will see if it looks doable.

Hmmm. I think I would pick Alsace. It is in France, close to Alps (french or swiss); close enough to wine areas; easy to get to Black Forest and perhaps Rhineland (depending on where in Alsace); not too far from Paris; could reach places like Lille; you could take a mini-ca to the coast, like Nice. Access to cities and rural escapes.

On the other hand, I was just saying to a friend today that Italy has a full package of mountains, cities, southern coast, etc.

One thing that has helped me: I have an old-fashioned atlas that I can open to Europe and see everything at a glance. It helps over having the teeny-weeny Google-type maps available on the interwebs,

Wish I were picking this for me! I speak German, and have another area scoped out for my next visit. Can't wait.

For sure I’d pick 2-3 home bases. You have plenty of time! I always love to stay in contrasting locations. Like Paris and then the Swiss alps, or Italy and Germany. Seeing very different cultures is part of the fun!

My recommendation is for France. I work remotely and have traveled France for 3 weeks while working and that was in 2013. I've been back since but my point is that working remotely while traveling is not hard to do if you book places that have WiFi and you have a back up plan using a mobile connection.

France has all of what you're looking for (and so do lots of other European countries) but the diversity of the country is what appealed to us. We basically followed the 3-week plan Rick mapped out in his book, skipping the Riviera because we had already been and that held less appeal. I'm not sure of his 3-week itinerary now, but we spent the first 16 days driving in Normandy, Loire Valley, the Dordogne (lovely markets in Sarlat), Carcassone, over to Annecy (a personal favorite of ours), Chamonix (amazing hiking for the active adventure), Colmar, and then ended with 5 nights in Paris. It wasn't too rushed; it was our favorite trip.

But, if you want a home base, I'd suggest Paris and then perhaps one in Loire and one in Annecy/Chamonix.

Interesting question and fun to consider.

Possibly consider several cities starting in London moving to York and going north to Edinburgh. Then fly to Amsterdam and see that great city and a few towns around, moving to Prague and finishing in Florence, flying out of Milan.

Many different cultures, and all great cities.

Budapest. It's the hub for Wizzair which will get you to most of Europe in under 2 hours for about $60 each way.

This topic has been automatically closed due to a period of inactivity.

Gap between Caitlin Clark's WNBA salary and her male counterparts' draws outrage

College basketball superstar Caitlin Clark is set to soar to new heights in the WNBA — but her rookie contract means she will pocket a fraction of the millions her male counterparts have made on the court.

Clark, the University of Iowa legend who has already made history as NCAA Division I basketball’s overall top scorer, sealed a contract with the Indiana Fever after she was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft Monday.

Clark will earn $338,056 over four years, according to the WNBA’s  collective bargaining agreement .

Under the 2024 WNBA rookie scale for the No. 1-4 draft picks, she'll earn a base salary of $76,535 for her first year, $78,066 the second year and $85,873 the third, with a fourth-year option of $97,582.

Caitlin Clark

Despite Clark’s unprecedented star power, her salary is a sliver of the eye-popping amount male athletes make in the NBA.

WNBA draft picks No. 2-4 — Stanford’s Cameron Brink, who went to the Los Angeles Sparks, South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso, with the Chicago Sky, and Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson, also with the Sparks — will make the same pay as Clark.

For comparison, San Antonio Spurs rookie star Victor Wembanyama — the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA draft — secured a $55 million four-year contract under which he pocketed $12.1 million in his first season, according to the athlete contract tracker Spotrac .

A WNBA spokesperson said Wednesday that the $76,000 sum is just a part of what Clark will make in the league.

“Caitlin Clark stands to make a half million dollars or more in WNBA earnings this coming season, in addition to what she will receive through endorsements and other partnerships, which has been reported to already exceed $3 million," the league spokesperson said.

Beyond the rookie base scale salary, she'll also make earnings through league and team marketing agreements.

Though Clark is likely to rake in much more through endorsements and sponsorships, outrage simmered on social media over the glaring salary disparity between the WNBA and the NBA.

Hoda Kotb, host of NBC’s “TODAY” show, said Tuesday morning: “They’ve already sold out games. She had the highest ratings, her teams and the Final Four had the highest ratings — higher than the World Series, higher than the NBA. So I was like, what is she going to get paid? Because finally, you can get a real paycheck. Then I saw it and was like, this can’t be right.”

Co-host Jenna Bush Hager added: “Honestly the gap is so jarring. ... We’re talking about equal pay. That ain't even close.”

They said things are likely to change in the future as games have already sold out and viewership, which has historically lagged behind the NBA, has soared, partly on account of Clark’s celebrity.  

President Joe Biden said on social media Tuesday, "Women in sports continue to push new boundaries and inspire us all."

"But right now we’re seeing that even if you’re the best, women are not paid their fair share," he said. "It’s time that we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and ensure women are paid what they deserve."

Male athletes also chimed in.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson shared a post about Clark's pay on X, adding: “These ladies deserve so much more … Praying for the day.” 

One user wrote on X , “To the people saying it doesn’t matter what Caitlin Clarks salary is because she will be making millions through endorsement, it actually does matter.”  

Another wrote , “Presumably she’ll make bank on endorsements but Caitlin Clark’s WNBA salary is less than that of a union nurse, teacher, or cop.”

Journalist Lisa Ling wrote on Instagram : “Steph Curry makes more per game than what Caitlin Clark is making for 4 years! With the toll sports and travel take on women’s bodies, is this even a living wage? I know WNBA games have not brought in comparable numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but this is disgraceful. Do better for all of our women athletes!” 

There are some key differences, though, with the leagues. The WNBA plays a shorter 40-game, four-month season compared the to NBA’s six months. The NBA has also existed longer (and has more teams) and is now finishing its 78th season, while the WNBA is in its 28th. 

A big chunk of the money behind the game comes from media rights. The NBA’s national media deals see the league cash in $2.8 billion this year, while the WNBA will make around $65 million this year for its media rights. 

The fight for more equitable pay in women’s basketball has been a long one. 

“From a salary standpoint, it’d be great for the women to be able to make more money,” WNBA legend Lisa Leslie said in a conversation with fellow basketball stars LeBron James and Draymond Green on an October 2022 episode of “ The Shop: Uninterrupted .”

“It’s a lot of work — it’s a lot of hard work. I think I saw something that said one player that makes maybe $12 million on an NBA team can cover the whole WNBA’s salaries. And so that’s kind of crazy,” she added.

Breaking News Reporter

  • International

April 19, 2024 - Iran targeted in aerial attack

By Kathleen Magramo, Elizabeth Wolfe and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Exclusive: No extensive damage seen at Isfahan air base in satellite images

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

SAR data © 2024 Umbra Space, Inc.

There does not appear to be any extensive damage at an air base purportedly targeted by an Israeli military strike, according to exclusive satellite images obtained by CNN from Umbra Space. 

The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite images were taken around 10:18 a.m. local time. 

There does not appear to be any large craters in the ground and there are no apparent destroyed buildings. Additional visual satellite imagery will be needed to check for burn scars – which cannot be seen by SAR images -- around the complex.

SAR images are not like normal satellite images. 

The SAR images are created by a satellite transmitting radar beams capable of passing through clouds, like the ones currently preventing satellites from imaging the area. Those radar beams bounce off objects on the ground, and echo back to the satellite.

Iranian news agency FARS said that an army radar at the Isfahan province military base was one of the possible targets, and that the only damage from the attack was broken windows on several office buildings.

The images also show that the Iranian F-14 Tomcats that have been stationed at the air base in the past are not there at the moment. Additional archival satellite imagery reviewed by CNN shows that those F-14 Tomcats have not been there for some time.

UN secretary-general pushes for end to retaliation in the Middle East

From CNN's Richard Roth

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged both sides to cease retaliating after Israel carried out a military strike on Iran, a spokesperson said in a statement on Friday. 

"The Secretary-General reiterates that it is high time to stop the dangerous cycle of retaliation in the Middle East," the statement read. "The Secretary-General condemns any act of retaliation and appeals to the international community to work together to prevent any further development that could lead to devastating consequences for the entire region and beyond," it continued. 

Treasury department imposes sanctions on two groups for fundraising for Israeli extremists in West Bank

From CNN’s Jennifer Hansler, Kylie Atwood and Alex Marquardt 

The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two organizations on Friday for fundraising on behalf of two violent Israeli extremists in the West Bank.

The two groups -- Mount Hebron Fund and Shlom Asiraich – established crowdfunding campaigns to raise thousands of dollars for Yinon Levi and David Chai Chasdai respectively. Both of those men were sanctioned by the US in February under a new executive order targeting those perpetrating violence in the West Bank. 

At the same time, the State Department on Friday sanctioned Ben-Zion Gopstein, “the founder and leader of Lehava, an organization whose members have engaged in violence, including assaults on Palestinian civilians,” the Treasury Department said in a statement Friday.

The executive order, issued by President Joe Biden in early February, came amid increased violence in the occupied West Bank in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack. That violence has only continued in subsequent months.

The order angered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who complained to the administration, calling it “inappropriate” and “highly problematic,” according to Axios.

Gopstein responded later on Friday, saying: “We overcame Pharaoh; we shall overcome Biden too,” which is his rephrasing of the commonly used expression said during Israel at Passover: "We overcame Pharaoh; we shall overcome this."

This post has been updated with comment from Ben-Zion Gopstein.

Gaza death toll surpasses 34,000, Ministry of Health says

From CNN’s Ibrahim Dahman and Eyad Kourdi

Mourners carry bodies of those killed from a strike in Rafah during a funeral on February 9, 2024.

The death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to at least 34,012, following more than six months of war between Israel and Palestinian militants, the Ministry of Health in Gaza said on Friday.

In the last 24 hours, 42 Palestinians had died following Israeli attacks, the ministry reported.

A further 63 people had been injured over the same time period, taking the overall number of wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war began to 76,833, it said.

CNN cannot independently verify the ministry's casualty figures.

276 aid trucks entered Gaza on Friday, Israeli military says

A total of 276 aid trucks carrying humanitarian supplies underwent inspection and were admitted into Gaza on Friday, according to a statement from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli military body that administers Israeli policy in Gaza and the West Bank.

In addition to ground transportation, 144 pallets containing tens of thousands of aid packages were airdropped into northern Gaza on Friday, COGAT added.

Additionally, COGAT stated that new routes also saw significant activity, with 20 trucks passing through the Jordanian Route and eight trucks of flour arriving via the port of Ashdod in Israel.

"Nine trucks of medical aid were coordinated to the Emirati Hospital, and nine trucks of medical aid were coordinated to the ICRC Hospital," the COGAT statement reads.

Israel last week said it had begun to take several major steps to ramp up humanitarian aid to Gaza amid intense pressure from the United States.

However, humanitarian officials said progress was slow-going and that much more needed to be done, as warnings grew of famine in the Palestinian enclave.

German and Polish airlines cancel Tel Aviv flights

From CNN’s Benjamin Brown and Maisie Linford in London

Germany’s Lufthansa airline has canceled its flights to Tel Aviv until Saturday morning and will avoid Iraqi airspace due to the security situation in the region.

LOT Polish airlines, meanwhile, canceled Friday’s flights to Tel Aviv and Beirut. It is not scheduled to fly to Israel on Saturday, and will decide about Sunday flights on Saturday, the airline said.

Lufthansa is scheduled to resume flights to Tel Aviv and plans to again fly through Iraqi airspace from Saturday 1 a.m. ET (8 a.m. in Israel).

The announcement follows the airline’s decision to extend its suspension of flights to the capitals of Iran and Lebanon.

Lufthansa said Wednesday that flights to Tehran and Beirut will remain cancelled and the airline will not use Iranian airspace up to and including April 30.

Hamas leader Haniyeh to meet Turkish president Saturday

From CNN's Isil Sariyuce and Scott McLean in İstanbul

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, on March 26.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed Turkish media reports that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh will visit Turkey on Saturday. Erdogan said, "What we will speak will be between us for now. And we will take our steps accordingly." 

Regarding the latest escalation, Erdogan appeared to bemoan a lack of international leadership.  

“Israel says different things, Iran of course has different opinions. Nobody claimed the [attack]. And there is no reasonable statement so far. You can not say ‘What Iran says is right.' You can not say ‘What Israel says is right’ either. When you look at USA, they say ‘We were aware, we were not aware,' ” Erdogan said while speaking to reporters in Istanbul.

Erdogan also said he was not surprised by America vetoing the United Nations Security Council resolution that would have paved the way for full UN recognition of a Palestinian state on Thursday. 

“At the UNSC while the world supported Palestine, America is backing Israel again. We were not expecting anything different but this gave us an opportunity to see that,” he said.

See how violence has spread through the Middle East

Violence and uncertainty has gripped the Middle East since Hamas' October 7 attacks on Israel, and Israel's subsequent war in Gaza.

The war has threatened on several occasions to spill over into an all-out regional conflict, and those concerns have intensified in recent weeks, as Israel and Iran traded missile strikes.

Here's a look at where and how violence has spread.

US not involved in any operations, Blinken says, after US officials say Israel strikes Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a press conference at the end of the G7 foreign ministers meeting on Capri island, Italy, on April 19.

The United States has not been involved in any offensive operations, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, after a US official told CNN that Israel had launched a strike on Iran .

"What we're focused on, what the G7 is focused on, and again, it's reflected in our statement and in our conversation, is our work to de-escalate tensions," Blinken said.

The US was given advance notification Thursday of an intended Israeli strike in the coming days but did not endorse the response, a second senior US official previously said.

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Red Sox look to follow up power display in rematch vs. Pirates

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at San Diego Padres

The Baltimore Orioles used a seven-run second inning to escape with a 9-7 win over the host Kansas City Royals on Saturday night to even their series.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a two-run homer, his fourth in two nights, to help the Atlanta Braves to a 5-2 win over the visiting Texas Rangers on Saturday, extending their winning streak to six games.

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Jose berrios improves to 4-0 as jays knock off padres.

Jose Berrios tossed six shutout innings and Daulton Varsho cracked a three-run homer to lift the visiting Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets

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Yankees Star Suffers Setback In His Attempt To Return From Tough Injury

New York fans will have to wait a little longer to see the All-Star in action

  • Author: Patrick McAvoy

In this story:

The New York Yankees will have to wait a little longer until one of their top offensive players is back in the lineup.

New York has gotten off to a fast start and currently is in first place in the American League East with a 13-6 record, but the club hasn't been at full strength for a single game. The Yankees have been dealing with a handful of impact injuries , including ace Gerrit Cole and super-utility man D.J. LeMahieu.

LeMahieu has been dealing with a nagging foot injury but seemingly has been making progress in his recovery. He even was scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment, but it was put on hold as an MRI revealed that the injury hadn't healed as hoped, according to's Bryan Hoch.

"D.J. LeMahieu said that an MRI taken last night showed a lack of healing and doctors were not comfortable with him beginning a rehab assignment," Hoch said. "He is frustrated and hopes to be playing in 3-4 days."

The fact that the Yankees have had as much success as they have had so far this season is impressive, especially with all of the important injuries. LeMahieu is an important piece for the Yankees and is expected to be the club's everyday third baseman when he returns.

New York's offense has taken a step forward after an abysmal 2023 campaign and should get even better once LeMahieu can return to the field. His injury is concerning, but the fact that he hopes to return to action in three or four days hopefully is a sign that it isn't too bad. We should find out more information soon.

More MLB: Mets Superstar Surprisingly Mentioned As Option For Yankees By Insider

Latest Yankees News


New York Yankees' Legend Jorge Posada Dishes on Career, Baseball and Acting in a Miller Lite Commercial

Former Miami Marlins infielder Jean Segura

Two-Time All-Star Could Be Option For Yankees To Add Third Base Depth


Yankees Reportedly Pursuing Ex-Cardinals Pitcher, Postseason Star After Strong Season

New York Yankees logo

Rangers Outbid Yankees For All-Star; Will New York Pivot To Postseason Star?

Oct 20, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Jordan Montgomery (52) throws during the third inning of game five in the ALCS against the Houston Astros for the 2023 MLB playoffs at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Monty Takes Manhattan? Jordan Montgomery, Yankees Talking Again


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