Perched along the iconic River Rhine, Basel is a historic city home to world-class museums, galleries and some cutting-edge contemporary architecture. Along the waterfront you’ll find atmospheric restaurants celebrating centuries-old cuisine as well as delightful cafes with impeccable views, making this Swiss city perfect for strolling.
Dominating the skyline are the distinctive red sandstone spires of Basel Minster that reach to the heavens above. More medieval treasures await as you wander through the city’s quaint alleys which mix seamlessly with structures designed by some of the world’s top modern architects including Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.
Basel is also home to over 40 museums, covering all manner of interests. The Kunstmuseum has one of the world’s oldest public collections with artwork on display from such greats as Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso, as well as more contemporary artists such as Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol.
If you’re visiting around February, expect the streets to be awash with revellers celebrating the three-day Basel Fasnacht festival. Enjoyed by young and old, it starts at 4 a.m. and runs for 72 hours, with locals and visitors alike celebrating in their thousands with colourful lanterns, parades and medieval costumes and masks.
When to go
Basel is a great city to visit year-round. Walk along the river and enjoy al fresco dining in the spring and summer, and dip in and out of the museums and galleries whichever time of year you visit. During December there are excellent Christmas markets.
What to do
- Explore the city's many museums
- Discover its charming old town
- Cruise along the Rhine
- Relax in the botanical gardens