Sissach is a beautiful town with 6449 habitants in northwestern Switzerland. It is located about 20 kilometers south of Basel in the Jura Mountains and is 372 meters over sea level. The highest elevation is called Böckterflueh 745 meters over sea level. Even though the Böckterflueh is the highest, the most remarkable mountain and the best view is at the Sissacherflueh from where you can see over the whole town and the Ergolztal. Sissach is the geographic and cultural centre of the district Sissach. Sissach is not one of the major touristic sites in Switzerland. Nevertheless it is worth droping by to spend a pleasent afternoon there when passing through on the motorway.
The motorway A2 Sissach on its way from north to south. Sissach can be reached from Basel in about 20 minutes, from Zurich, Bern and Lucerne in about an hour. Sissach is also connected well to the Swiss train system. There are 4 connections an hour which take passengers in 15 minutes to Basel and two connections an hour to Zurich, Bern and Lucerne which are taking an hour. You might need to change the train in Olten for going to those cities.
As Sissach is small, the best way go get around is by foot or bike. Everything is close and you can reach almost every point in the city in maximal 30 minutes by walking. If you intend to visit the Sissacherflueh you can take the hiking path or drive up there by car. The last part of the road is closed for cars on Sundays. But its only about a 10 minutes walk from the last parking to the top.
Sissacherflueh: Its a great viewingspot. On good days the view ranges from Basel to the Swiss Alps. There is also a restaurant which is also open at nights. It offers reasonable food and a spectacular view especially at night.
Protestant Church: The protestant church in Sissach is located in the center close to the primary school. It is protected by an ancient wall and has a little park in front of it. The interior is simple as in most protestant churches.
Begegnungszone: The Begegnungszone is a traffic calmed zone in the heart of Sissach. You can find some stores, restaurants, banks and a supermarket there. Just don't expect a big shopping street there. Surprisingly there are many stores which sell stuff for elderly people such as hearing devices, glasses, walking frames and special mattresses. The zone is regularly used to host local events such as the carneval, concerts, other cultural events or sports.
Heimatmuseum: (home museum) Located in a beautiful old house close to the central square, the Heimatmuseum shows exhibits such as historical dresses, weapons and weaving looms which played an important role in the past of the region. The museum opens every first Sunday of the month.
Palace Ebenrain This palace was built in 1774 in the baroque style. The palace is surrounded by a beautiful park where you can find ducks and gooses. Its reachable in about 15 minutes from the city center and can be seen from the train when leaving Sissach in direction Basel on the left side.
Carneval: The carneval in Sissach is probably the most important cultural event in Sissach. The main parade with over 70 participating groups happens always on the Sunday before the more famous carneval in Basel starts. The parade is strongly influenced from political or local topics and it is wise to let a local explain all the different subjects of the participating groups. The carneval is a good occasion to meet local people. At 19:30 starts the "Chienbäse" parade where locals carry up to 30 kilogram burning brooms through the city. This has its roots in Liestal, where the more famous and especially bigger "Chienbäse" parade happens.
Another unique tradition only happening in Sissach is the "Chluri". A 6 meter high wooden figure which represents each year a local personality who influenced the city life over the year. For people in Sissach, it is a big honor to be burnt as the Chluri. The burning is the official end of the carneval.
Eierläset: A tradition which happens every second year on Sundays after easter. The two towns Sissach and Gelterkinden are competing against each other. In the middle of the road are two lines with each about 200 eggs. The eggs have to be picked up and thrown into a basket. As soon as an egg breaks, another has to be picked up by the racer. There is a high "risk" for the participants to get hit by an egg.
Banntag: Once a year every spring, the men of the village are walking along the city border while those in fronts are shooting with historic guns into the air. Once upon a time, it was a serious event where boundary stones were checked. Today its more about meeting each other, hiking and also drinking. Until today there are no women allowed on the Banntag which lead to some controversies among the population. Even men dressed up as womens were once sent home to change their clothes. For foreigne visitors it is helpful to go there with a local who can explain all the customs.
There are a few stores in Sissach, but its most certainly not a shopping destination.
Casa Pepe: Probably the best food in Sissach. Casa Pepe, located close to the railway station serves Spanish specialities such as Tapas and Paellas. Costs are between 30 and 40 swiss francs.
Restaurant Sissacherflueh: This restaurant is located spectacularly on the Sissacherflueh mountain and offers great views to its visitors.
Alpbad: Located on the mountainside the restaurant Alpbad has a terrace with an amazing view over the town. The waiters are not known for their friendlyness but the food is solid.
Löwen The restaurant "Lion" offers good food and it is a place where locals meet to get lunch or dinner. In spring and summer guests can sit outside on the terrace.
There are some more restaurants mostly located in the "Begegnungszone" mentioned above. There is no outstanding famous restaurants and all prices range between 25 and 50 swiss francs for a meal including drinks. At lunchtime there are special offers which are usually a bit cheaper. For those who are on a low budget, there are 2 Kebap stalls at the railway station which offer takeaway food for about 10 CHF. They are also opened at night on weekends.
If you are looking for a vibrant nightlife go to Basel or Zurich. Sissach only has a few bars where you can get some drinks.
Lindburgh Pub: This pub, by locals only called "Lindbi" is probalby the best place to have a drink in Sissach. It offers a different array of international beers and a good atmosphere to have a good talk with friends. It is usually overcrowded on occasions such as the Carneval, Banntag and the autumns market.
Joker: Its a bar close to the railway station. It seems that everyone dislikes it due to its sometimes strange visitors. Nevertheless everyone is going there. If you end up in the Joker drunk at 4 am you know that you've had a good night out and just wanted to get a last beer.
Schwyyzerhüsli: If you want to meet the local population from the generation 55+ you're at the right place in the Schwyzerhüsli or "Stöpli" how it is called by the locals. This bar can count on loyal guests who even go there to celebrate Christmas. You can go there 3 nights in a row and will probably meet the same people each night. Don't expect to get english speaking waiters there.
Hotel Sonne: It is probably the only Hotel in Sissach. The hotel Sonne is located in the center of Sissach close to the main square and the "Begegnungszone". Its 3 walking minutes from the railway station and has a parking for about 50 cars in front of it. It also includes a tweedy restaurant. The price for a single room is 125 CHF and a double room costs 200 CHF.
On http://www.sissach.ch/Termin-Veranstaltung.96.0.html you can find all important (and also not so important) events which take place in Sissach.