Located on the banks of the Rhine, Basel is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in Switzerland. With a wealth of art galleries, opera houses, and theaters to choose from, there's sure to be something for everyone.
If you're feeling really adventurous, make your way to the Jean Tinguely Museum and check out his unique collection of moving mechanical sculptures! These are a fun and quirky addition to your Basel adventure.
1. Old Town
The Old Town of Basel is a charming place filled with cobbled alleys, beautiful squares and historical buildings. It is home to the famous Rathaus (town hall) and a number of other tourist attractions.
The best way to experience the historic section of Basel is to take a walk around on foot. It's an ideal way to get a feel for the city, and you can also check out the Mittlere Brucke, which is one of the oldest bridges in the town that connects the banks of the Rhine River.
If you're looking for something more cultural, make sure to visit the Museum of Cultures, which houses a collection of global artifacts. It also features special exhibits from time to time.
In addition, you can climb to the top of Cathedral Hill for amazing views over Basel and the Rhine. It's a beautiful site, and you can also enjoy a drink at the Tinguely Fountain.
2. City Hall
Located in the Market Square, this is one of Basel's top attractions. This beautiful red sandstone building is the seat of the Cantonal Government (Basel-Stadt) and is a must-see on your visit to Basel.
The building features a three-pointed arcade and a tower decorated with playful frescos. It was built in the 16th century to replace the original town hall that was destroyed during an earthquake.
It’s worth a look, especially for the interior, with its two council chambers and pretty murals. Be sure to also take a stroll through the inner courtyard.
The Cathedral of Basel has been a landmark on this city's skyline for centuries. The late Romanesque-Gothic edifice has two towers built from red sandstone, with colourful roof tiles.
It's also a place where you can climb the 67-metre-high bell tower, for Sfr5 per person, and see some breathtaking views over the Rhine River. The Pfalz terrace behind the church is a popular place for concerts, events and people-watching.
Another highlight is the Museum Tinguely, which is dedicated to ancient civilisations. It has a stunning collection of Egyptian, Greek and Etruscan artefacts.
The medieval cathedral of Basel, situated on a hill high above the Rhine, has been inhabited since pre-Roman times. The first bishop of Basel moved his see from Augusta Raurica, a Roman settlement southeast of the city.
4. Rhine Bridge
The Rhine Bridge is a great way to see the city of Basel from the river. You can take a ferry to cross the Rhine or you can just enjoy a walk across this beautiful and historic bridge.
The bridge is located in the Old Town, which is made up of two neighborhoods, Grossbasel and Kleinbasel. The area is full of medieval buildings, cafes, and quirky boutiques.
You can walk over the bridge to explore the area and the shops or you can just go around and look at the view of the Rhine River. Another great thing to do is to visit the Spalenberg which is a fun little street in the Old Town.
One of the most unique things to do in Basel is to take a ride on a reaction ferry. This type of boat does not have a motor and uses a cable to pull itself across the Rhine River.