Basel – City on the Rhine

Well known for its carnival in spring, Basel is one of the most visited sites in the history of Swiss tourism. Located at the spot where Swiss, German and French cultures meet, it is an amazing multicultural city. Basel is situated between the soft rolling hills of the upper Rhine region, in the northwest of the country. Situated on the Swiss frontier at the river crossing, Basel is an important commercial town. Being the third largest city in Switzerland with a population of about 190,000 inhabitants, it is the headquarters of Novartis as well as Hoffmann-La Roche. Many famous people like Erasmus, Euler, Calvin, Nietzsche, Froben, and the Bernoulli family were related to the University of Basel. The city has numerous beautiful parks and playgrounds. There are different kinds of restaurants and bars to pick from, and excellent shopping and recreational facilities.

Basel is also an international transport hub: EuroAirport, Rhine ports, rail and road, all link this region with Europe and the rest of the world. Despite its northern location, Basel is blessed with a great climate in the summer, which is why most tourists visit the city during this season. Many people say that cruise ride along the River Rhine is the best way to see Basel. Don’t forget to visit the zoological gardens and the huge monkey house, where you can see several Western lowland gorillas, along with many chimpanzees and orangutans. These spots are perfect for families.

Basel is well known for ballet and opera. Some call it the “European capital of culture”. Indeed, Basel is considered one of the most important cultural spots in Europe.

If you are looking for more dynamic activities, you can enjoy hiking through the various trails that go around the hills, each offering a unique breathtaking view of the entire region. The city is a prosperous business location, and the second important business center in Switzerland with the fastest rate of economic growth. The city’s main industry sectors are chemical, machinery, electrical equipment production and textile industry.

Basel has more than 100 art galleries, 40 museums and theaters that host opera and ballet performances, and over 40 cinemas, all contributing to its rich cultural life. If you want to visit the old town, the best way to do this is on foot. You will feel like time stands still there.

Places to See in Basel

Tinguely Museum

If you are interested in art, visit Tinguely Museum and see the work of the famous Swiss iron sculptor Jean Tinguely. This artist was inspired by kinetic works and moving objects. Tinguely is well known for his “electromechanical” sculptures that can perform activities such as playing music, painting etc. “Homage to New York (1959)”, a machine that destroyed itself after it was set into motion, is just one of his famous works. The Tinguely fountain is another well-known piece of art. This fountain consists of a series of moving water pipes in a huge pool that spout out water as they move. By creating this fountain, Tinguely gave Basel one of its most loved and enjoyed trademarks.


The Marktplatz (Market place or square) is an interesting, dynamic spot. The Old Town’s main square is crowded every morning with fruit and vegetable stalls. Basel’s oldest cafe, the “Confiserie Schiesser”, is located here, offering a variety of delicious chocolates and cakes. The Rathaus (City Hall) from the 16th century is located here. This building is a perfect example of Basel’s architectural wealth. The government hall definitely dominates the Market Square.

The Cathedral

The Basel Cathedral is a red sandstone building with matching towers and multi colored roof tiles. The history of Basel as an urban settlement begins right here on the Cathedral Hill. Basel’s Romanesque Cathedral will offer you fascinating insights into the story of Basel and its inhabitants.

The Pfalz

The view offered by the Basel Pfalz overlooking the Old Town is timeless and classic. The word “Pfalz” means Palace. This place is located behind the Basel Cathedral. Long stairs go from the Pfalz to the ferryboat landing stage. This ferryboat is very interesting, since it uses the force of the river current to move. It is one of the greatest attractions for both adults and children.

Les Trois Rois

Les Trois Rois (The Three Kings), is a superb luxury resort. It is located in the very heart of Basel – in the center of the Old Town and on the Rhine banks. This is the hotel where Napoleon, Goethe and even The Rolling Stones used to stay at.

Rhine cruises

The Rhine is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe. The Basel port on the border is certainly something you should see. The Rhine is very busy and dynamic, since it is used for transportation of various goods. Take a walk along the Rhine promenade, or let the ferry take you to the other side. Swimming in the Rhine is a fantastic experience.

Botanical Garden

The botanical garden was created by the University of Basel in 1589. It has a fantastic collection of plant species, and it is famous for its batch of cacti and orchids. The botanical garden in Merian Park in Brüglingen is definitely worth seeing.

Solitude Park

As the name suggests, this park is very peaceful. With huge trees and plenty of flowers, it is a perfect spot for art lovers and people who just need some peace and quiet. The Tinguely Museum is one of the park’s attractions. The park is open everyday.

Mittlere Brücke

Mittlere Brücke is the famous bridge on the Rhine. The Mittlere Brücke means “Middle Bridge”. This is one of the river’s oldest bridges. It was originally built in 1225, as the first bridge on the Rhine. This is the main bridge connecting the old town with the newer area of Basel.

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Visit SwitzerlandVisitSwitzerland will help you learn more about this beautiful country. As you will see, there are so many reasons to visit Switzerland. The locations we have described were chosen by travel experts and acclaimed by tourists from all around the world. You will enjoy your vacation in some of the most popular resorts in Europe. Swiss cheese, delicious chocolate, the Alps, numerous historic sites, lovely mountain villages, friendly people and beautiful resorts will make your vacation unforgettable.