View Map

Overview

Basel sees far fewer tourists than Lucerne, Bern or Zurich, but it also has a wonderful old city, fine museums and a lovely riverfront setting. Basel’s location astride the River Rhine, at the borders with Germany and France, gives the city a mixture of French and Germanic cultures. It has also made Basel a major business center, from medieval times to its present status as the center of Switzerland’s chemical and drug industries. Highlights of the large old city (Altstadt) include the bright red Rathaus (town hall) with its historic paintings, and the Münster, a 14th-century Gothic cathedral whose twin towers are Basel’s most famous ...

Basel sees far fewer tourists than Lucerne, Bern or Zurich, but it also has a wonderful old city, fine museums and a lovely riverfront setting. Basel’s location astride the River Rhine, at the borders with Germany and France, gives the city a mixture of French and Germanic cultures. It has also made Basel a major business center, from medieval times to its present status as the center of Switzerland’s chemical and drug industries. Highlights of the large old city (Altstadt) include the bright red Rathaus (town hall) with its historic paintings, and the Münster, a 14th-century Gothic cathedral whose twin towers are Basel’s most famous symbol.

The steep cobblestone streets are lined with quaint shops and a huge variety of restaurants. Basel’s 40 museums include the world-class art collections of the Kunstmuseum, Kunsthalle and Beyeler Foundation. The whole family will like the whimsical animated creations of local sculptor Jean Tinguely, including the fountains at the Theaterplatz. Basel’s zoo is (with Zurich’s) one of the two best in Switzerland. Basel is a major transport hub, with frequent trains to all points in Europe. It’s easy to take a day trip to France’s Alsace region or Germany’s Black Forest.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

view full overview

Charlie Morris for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Basel is located in northwest Switzerland on the river Rhine and borders both Germany and France.
  • Language: German, French, Italian, Romansh
  • Currency: Swiss Franc
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, early fall, late spring, Christmas, Carnival time