things to do in basel

Last Updated on: 18th March 2024, 10:16 am

Welcome to Basel, Switzerland – a city that offers an array of exciting activities and attractions for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, a nature explorer, or a food connoisseur, Basel has something special in store for you. Discover the top things to do in Basel and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and beauty of this captivating city.

When it comes to must-see attractions in Basel, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Explore the winding streets of the Old Town and marvel at its architectural wonders. From the awe-inspiring Basel Minster to the charming Rathaus, the medieval charm of these landmarks will transport you back in time.

Art enthusiasts will be delighted by Basel’s rich artistic heritage. Discover the famous Kunstmuseum Basel, home to an impressive collection ranging from the 14th to the 20th century. Don’t miss the chance to visit the iconic Vitra Design Museum, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, and explore the fascinating world of modern design.

For those who love the outdoors, Basel’s location on the banks of the Rhine River provides breathtaking views and countless opportunities for relaxation. Take a leisurely stroll along the river promenade or embark on a boat ride to admire the city from a different perspective. Surround yourself with the natural beauty of Basel’s parks, like the tranquil Solitude Park.

And of course, no visit to Basel would be complete without indulging in its culinary delights. Treat your taste buds to traditional Swiss dishes such as raclette and fondue, or savor the unique flavors of Basler Läckerli, a local gingerbread-like biscuit. With a variety of restaurants offering cuisines from around the world, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

With so many must-see attractions in Basel, there’s never a dull moment in this remarkable city. Start planning your visit today and get ready to create unforgettable memories in Basel, Switzerland.

Explore Basel’s Old Town and Architectural Wonders

Basel’s Old Town, also known as the Altstadt, is a captivating neighborhood that transports you back in time with its well-preserved medieval buildings and stunning architectural marvels. As you wander through its narrow, winding streets, you’ll be greeted by a tapestry of history and culture.

One of the standout landmarks in Basel’s Old Town is the iconic Basel Minster. This towering Gothic cathedral dominates the city’s skyline and is a testament to the architectural prowess of the past. Take a moment to admire its intricate details and admire the panoramic views of Basel from its viewing platform.

basel old town

Another must-see attraction in Basel’s Old Town is the Rathaus, or Town Hall. This impressive Renaissance building showcases the city’s rich history and serves as a focal point for local government activities. Admire its ornate facade and step inside to uncover the beautifully decorated halls and rooms.

The Spalentor medieval gate is another architectural gem worth exploring. This well-preserved city gate offers a glimpse into Basel’s past and showcases the city’s fortifications. Marvel at its grandeur and imagine the stories it holds within its walls.

“The architecture in Basel’s Old Town is simply breathtaking. It’s like stepping into a different era and immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant history.” – Local Resident

As you venture deeper into Basel’s Old Town, don’t miss the opportunity to wander through the charming alleyways and discover hidden gems at every turn. From quaint shops and cafes to picturesque squares, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Basel Landmarks in Old Town:

Landmark Description
Basel Minster A towering Gothic cathedral with panoramic views of Basel.
Rathaus (Town Hall) A stunning Renaissance building that showcases Basel’s rich history.
Spalentor A well-preserved medieval gate that offers a glimpse into the city’s fortifications.

Take your time to explore Basel’s Old Town and let its captivating architecture and historic landmarks transport you to a bygone era. It’s a journey that will leave you with lasting memories of this enchanting city.

Immerse Yourself in Art and Culture

Basel is renowned for its vibrant art scene and world-class museums. Experience the rich cultural heritage of the city by visiting the Kunstmuseum Basel, home to a significant collection of artworks spanning centuries. This museum showcases masterpieces from the 14th to the 20th century, including works by renowned artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, and Cézanne. Immerse yourself in the ever-evolving world of art as you explore the galleries and admire the diverse range of artistic styles and techniques.

For design enthusiasts, a visit to the Vitra Design Museum is a must. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, this museum is a masterpiece in itself. Discover the fascinating world of modern design through the museum’s extensive collection of furniture, appliances, and architectural models. Gain insights into the creative process and the impact of design on our daily lives.

Basel is also home to numerous contemporary art galleries, each offering a unique perspective on the artistic landscape. From emerging local artists to international exhibitions, you’ll find a wealth of inspiration and creativity on display. Take the time to explore these galleries, engage with the artists, and appreciate the diverse range of contemporary art.

kunstmuseum basel

Art and Culture in Basel: Highlights

Museum Artwork Year
Kunstmuseum Basel Les Demoiselles d’Avignon 1907
Kunstmuseum Basel Water Lilies 1914-1926
Vitra Design Museum Panton Chair 1960
Vitra Design Museum Wiggle Side Chair 1972

Immerse yourself in the incredible world of art and culture that Basel has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or simply curious about the creative expressions of human ingenuity, Basel’s art scene is sure to captivate and inspire.

Enjoy the Outdoors and Natural Beauty

Basel, located on the banks of the Rhine River, offers breathtaking views and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely stroll or an adventurous boat ride, the Rhine River in Basel provides the perfect setting for enjoying the outdoors. Take in the picturesque scenery as you walk along the river promenade, or hop on a boat and see Basel from a different perspective.

Surrounded by lush greenery, Basel is also home to several stunning parks where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature. One such park is Solitude Park, a tranquil oasis that offers a peaceful retreat. Relax in the serene surroundings, take a picnic, or simply unwind amidst the beautiful landscape.

If you’re looking to explore beyond Basel, the city serves as an excellent base for day trips to the Black Forest and the Alsace region. Just a short distance away, these destinations boast their own natural wonders and charm, providing you with even more opportunities to experience the beauty of the region.

Basel Parks and Natural Spaces

Park Description
Solitude Park A peaceful park offering a serene atmosphere and a beautiful landscape.
City Garden A well-maintained garden featuring vibrant flowers, sculptures, and a pond.
Margarethen Park Home to the famous Margarethenstich open-air theatre and a lovely rose garden.

“The beauty of nature in Basel is truly breathtaking. Whether you’re exploring the river promenade or relaxing in one of the city’s parks, you’ll be surrounded by stunning scenery that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.” – John Lewis, Travel Enthusiast

With its idyllic location and abundance of natural beauty, Basel offers the perfect blend of urban charm and outdoor appeal. From the tranquility of its parks to the majestic Rhine River, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors during your visit to this remarkable city.

Indulge in Culinary Delights

Basel is a haven for food lovers, with a wide variety of culinary delights to try. Immerse yourself in the rich and diverse Basel cuisine and indulge in the traditional Swiss food that the city has to offer. From hearty fondues to delectable gingerbread-like biscuits, there is something for every palate.

Start your culinary journey with a taste of traditional Swiss dishes such as raclette and fondue. Raclette, a staple of Swiss cuisine, features melted cheese served over boiled potatoes, pickles, and onions. Fondue, another beloved dish, involves dipping bread into a pot of melted cheese or chocolate.

Don’t forget to sample Basel’s popular local specialty, Basler Läckerli. These delightful gingerbread-like biscuits are made with honey, nuts, and a blend of aromatic spices. The result is a sweet and indulgent treat that pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea.

When it comes to dining options, Basel does not disappoint. The city is home to a multitude of Basel restaurants that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Swiss fare, international cuisine, or innovative fusion dishes, Basel’s vibrant food scene has it all.

Explore the picturesque streets of Basel and discover charming eateries tucked away in historic buildings. Sample local delicacies at traditional Swiss restaurants or opt for contemporary dining experiences at trendy bistros. From casual cafes to Michelin-starred establishments, Basel offers a plethora of choices to satisfy your taste buds.

Dining Recommendations in Basel:

Restaurant Kunsthalle: Located in the heart of Basel, this restaurant offers a blend of Swiss and Mediterranean cuisines. Enjoy stunning views of the city while savoring delicious dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

Zur Matte: This cozy restaurant in Basel’s Old Town is known for its traditional Swiss dishes, including fondue and rösti. Immerse yourself in a charming atmosphere while indulging in authentic Swiss flavors.

Café Spitz: Situated along the Rhine River, this riverside cafe offers a relaxing ambience and picturesque views. Treat yourself to a variety of pastries, cakes, and Swiss snacks as you unwind in the outdoor seating area.

Basel Cuisine: Traditional Swiss Food

Traditional Swiss Dishes Description
Raclette A dish made with melted cheese served over boiled potatoes, pickles, and onions.
Fondue A communal pot of melted cheese or chocolate, served with bread or other dipping foods.
Basler Läckerli Gingerbread-like biscuits made with honey, nuts, and a blend of aromatic spices.

Basel Cuisine


In conclusion, Basel offers an incredible array of activities and attractions that are sure to captivate visitors of all interests. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, a nature admirer, or a food connoisseur, Basel has something to offer for everyone.

Exploring the charming Old Town is a must-do, with its beautiful medieval buildings like the Basel Minster and the Rathaus. Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant art scene by visiting the Kunstmuseum Basel and the iconic Vitra Design Museum.

But it doesn’t stop there. Basel’s natural beauty will leave you in awe, with the Rhine River offering picturesque views and opportunities for outdoor activities. Make sure to take a leisurely stroll along the river promenade or venture on a boat ride to truly experience the city’s enchanting surroundings.

Lastly, don’t miss out on the culinary delights Basel has to offer. Sample traditional Swiss dishes like raclette and fondue, or treat yourself to the local specialty, Basler Läckerli. With an eclectic mix of restaurants serving cuisines from around the world, your taste buds are in for a treat.

In summary, plan your visit to Basel and indulge in the top attractions and activities that make this city a remarkable destination. Whether you have a couple of days or a week to spare, Basel will leave you with unforgettable memories and a desire to return again and again.


What can I explore in Basel’s Old Town?

Basel’s Old Town is a treasure trove of historic buildings and architectural wonders. You can stroll through narrow streets, admire beautifully preserved medieval buildings, and visit landmarks like Basel Minster and the Rathaus (Town Hall).

What art and cultural experiences can I have in Basel?

Basel is renowned for its vibrant art scene. You can visit the Kunstmuseum Basel, explore the Vitra Design Museum, and discover numerous contemporary art galleries throughout the city.

What are some day trips I can take from Basel?

Basel is a great base for day trips to the nearby Black Forest and Alsace region, where you can explore nature, visit charming towns, and experience the local culture.

What culinary delights can I indulge in while in Basel?

Basel is a haven for food lovers. You can sample traditional Swiss dishes like raclette and fondue, as well as the local specialty Basler Läckerli, a delicious gingerbread-like biscuit. There are also many restaurants offering cuisines from around the world.