Basel – the city of art. The second largest city in Switzerland, famous for its 40 museums, modern architecture and beautiful Old Town, attracts a bunch people every year. Historically, the city’s position astride the Rhine river has played a major role in Basel’s development, especially in the pharmaceutical industry. The city with as many as 300 days of sunshine a year is a great culture center with many galleries, museums and buildings.
Visit this Swiss gem with us as we bring you the top ten reasons to go on this little adventure.
This impressive square located in the center of the city, is home to the government of the Basel Canton, situated in a characteristic and very recognizable building with its red walls ever since the XIV century. Marktplatz plays a key role in lives of Basel’s citizens, since it’s their favourite place for gatherings. The markets are abundant across Basel, but the best one is right on this square, in the city’s Old town, where you can buy fresh food and enjoy local delicacies. This place is also a home to Basel’s Indoor Market, where you can find specialities from all over the world brought together under one domed roof.
If you are visiting Basel, you should definitely take a look at the Rathaus or The City Hall. This magnificent building is located in Marktplatz in centar Basel and is the seat of the Basel government and its parliament. It is also city’s most iconic building which dates back from 16th century. The building is most famous for its red façade and colourful frescoes which depict Basel’s coats of arms as well as those from other cantons in Switzerland. Make sure to check out the working schedule before visiting.
3) Basel Münster
With its height of 67 meters, colourful roof tiles and twin towers, no other building adorns the cityscape of Basel like the former episcopal church, now Cathedral, built between the years 1019 and 1500 in the Romantic and Gothic styles. The piazza in which the Cathedral stands is today a popular meeting place and is often used for concerts and events. The Pfalz – the terrace offering wonderful views over the Rhine is one of the most popular viewpoints in the city. Check out this red beauty and enjoy its view.
4) Kunstmuseum Basel
Kunstmuseum in Basel offers a wonderful balance of judgment and bravery. Housing the most comprehensive collection of public art in Switzerland, Kunstmuseum was one of the world’s first dedicated museums of contemporary art. This heritage site of national significance extends back to the Amerbach Cabinet, a collection of works by H. Holbein purchased by the city of Basel in the 17th century. The museum is a home to paintings and drawings by artists active in the Upper Rhine region between 1400 and 1600.Guided tours are available and you can buy your ticket online. The prices arefrom 16 to 26 CHF.
5) Chocolatier Beschle
Switzerland is best known as the land of chocolate, which means you can enjoy this delicious guilty pleasure in Basel as well. Most famous Swiss chocolate in Basel can be found in Chocolatier Beschle, which is heaven for all chocolate lovers. This place offers a unique experience for its guests. Customers from all over the world can taste this amazing chocolate, and learn about the fine art of chocolate making. You can also create your very own delicious chocolate. Tickets and other information can be found here.
6) Basel Zoo
The oldest and one of the largest in Switzerland, Basel’s zoo first opened its door in 1874. Known as “Zolli” by the locals, this place is home to a large number of animals, including many endangered ones. It is also famous for its 2024 project called the “Ozeanium”, a large aquarium dedicated to oceans and their important role in our planet. Check out the entrance tickets here.
7) Cheese fondue
If you want to try traditional Swiss food, than cheese fondue is the perfect choice. This famous Swiss dish originated in the Alps, is made of cheese, crusty bread and wine. Swiss fondue uses two types of cheese- guyère, emmenthaler or vacherin fribourgeois. They come in a special rounded ceramic pot with handled. All you have to do is dip your bread into the fondue while sipping white wine, traditionally sauvignon blanc. If you want to enjoy this dish, the best place to do so is The Walliser Kanne, where you can find three variations of cheese fondue along with champagne.
Carnival or Fasnacht is the most exciting event of the year in Basel. The “three best days” in the year, as the locals call them, is held at 4:00 a.m. on Monday after Ash Wednesday. During that period, Basel becomes home to different musicians, dancers and other performers. At the start time, all of the city lights are turned off and bright lanterns are displayed which means that march can begin! This magnificent and fun experience lasts until “Endstraich” on Thursday at 4:00 a.m. If you want to visit Basel during Fasnacht, check out the dates here.
9) The Rhine river
The Rhine river is the most important river in Basel. Due to its location in the city, both locals and tourists can enjoy this river. You can spend the day on a boat or go for a swim. The most famous event, Basel Rhine Swim, held on summer gathers a lot of people who swim in the Rhine. Here you can also find various outdoor restaurants and bars during the summer. If you want to enjoy beautiful river cruise along the Rhine river, check out the schedule here.
10) Vitra Campus
Basel’s Vitra Campus comprises the fantastic Vitra Design Museum, the Vitra Haus, the whimsical 30m-high Vitra Slide and, since 2016, Vitra Schaudepot. Vitra is a Swiss company dedicated to improving the quality of homes, offices and public spaces through the power of design. Every true fan of architecture and interior design must visit this place and spend a little fortune on supercool souvenirs. Vitra Campus is an extraordinary ensemble of contemporary architecture which brings together the commercial and cultural aspects of Basel, with works of Frank O. Gehry and Zaha Hadid as well as by Tadao Ando, Álvaro Siza, Nicholas Grimshaw and SANAA.