Basel is the stunning city in the northwestern of Switzerland located on the river Rhine and is one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities of Europe.
With his 177000 inhabitants, is the third-most populous city in Switzerland. It is a city that effortlessly blends traditional heritage, with striking modernism and progressive thinking.
Whit his position, magnificently sited between the three border regions: Switzerland, Germany, and France, Basel is also well known as an important trade fair and congress center. The most important fairs are Art Basel and Swiss Bau for architects.
As a holiday destination, Basel offers a rich and varied history, a buzzing nightlife, and is blessed with his 300 days of sunshine a year.
This guide will provide an introduction to Basel, providing links to further in-depth information.
Why visit Basel?
Basel is one of the most modern and productive cities in the world, it represents a great economic pole that hosts the world’s leading companies like Roche, Novartis, and Syngenta.
Basel is a bustling and exciting city, that boasts a welcoming and liberal atmosphere. The center provides a wide choice of activities and fascinating tourist attractions from museums to historic sites.
Basel is smaller compared with other Swiss cities like Zurich for instance, but you wouldn’t know it looking at the variety of the list below.
These are the 6?? best attractions to visit in Basel:
The Mittlere Brücke
The Mittlere Brücke is a picturesque bridge along the river from where you can enjoy a pleasant walk over the Rhine and a magnificent view with a bustling atmosphere.
This bridge connects the old and newer parts of the city and gives you amazing views from both sides of the river. The riverside district is particularly lively, full of restaurants, bars, and plenty of people seating overlooking the river enjoying the atmosphere.
Basler Rathaus (The Town Hall)
The Basler Rathaus is located in Marktplatz in Basel, easy to reach from anywhere in Basel either walking or by tram. It is a stunning red building with wonderful Murals, it is definitely a must-see if you are visiting Basel.
You can enter the courtyard for free and walking around enjoying the paintings and history. Guided tours are available on Saturdays for CHF 5 or free for under 16.
The Basler Münster
The Munster is situated in a nice square called Münsterplace. It is a protestant Cathedral in a red brick gothic style and represents one of the main tourist attractions in Basel.
You can pay a ticket to go up one of the towers, otherwise, you can admire the beauty in the courtyard, in fact behind the church, there is a large terrace overlooking the river and the town. This panoramic terrace is called Pfalz and from there you can enjoy a breathtaking view.
Spalentor (Spalen Gate)
This historical medieval gate is the icon of the Basel city. The streets that lead you to it are very charming and full of shops and restaurants. Close to the botanical gardens in the university district of Basel and the market square.
St. Alban’s Tor
St. Alban’s Tor is connected to a well-preserved part of the fortification that defended the river entrance to the old medieval city walls. The District of St. Alban has a suggestive view on the water canal and the spectacular St. Alban-Tor (St.Alban’s Gate) is also called the “Dalbedoor” by the locals.
The Old Town
The Old Town has fantastic old-style architecture and walking through the narrow streets you will have the feeling to return to the past times with his decorated buildings and mystical atmosphere.
The Old Town has two sides: Grossbasel and Kleinbasel, with different characteristics but both charming.
Helvetia auf Reisen
This statue of Helvetia is a symbolic and interesting statue that you will find long the Middle Rhine Bridge. It has a deep meaning because is the Switzerland symbol, in fact, it represents the female personification of the country.
Basel is famous as a city of art because has many high-quality museums. These museums are almost 40 and are focused on the whole city. Not only contemporary Museums but also traditional collected arts.
Tinguely Museum is a great museum for people who like moving art. Several artworks are interactive and invite the visitor to become part of the displayed items.
Outside the museum, you will encounter the gardens and the Tinguely Fountain, it is one of the most attractive fountains in the world with his moving artifacts is a great experience just stand and admire all the animated parts making different figures with water.
This museum has an impressive collection, such artists include the likes of Holbein, Van Gogh, Monet, Dali, Gauguin, Paul Klee, and Cezanne.
The museum is actually divided into two different buildings, separated into classic and more modern. The buildings are impressive and the collections are very well curated. You can spend hours admiring the famous artworks and then stopping at the Bistrot to enjoy a coffee and a charming atmosphere.