Basel, located in northwest Switzerland on the French and German border, is one of the country’s most important cultural centres. With its location on the Rhine River, it’s a beautiful city to visit whether you’re on a day trip or have more time to dedicate to exploring its cobblestoned streets.
If you plan on visiting the city the airport is Basel Mulhouse Euroairport and it is only about 4 miles outside of Basel city centre. Flights from the UK to Basel leave out of London Heathrow, London City and London Gatwick.
Now come explore the beauty of Basel with us through its most emblematic landmarks and experiences…
Altstadt (Old Town)
Aldstadt, or Old Town Basel, is a great place to wander and marvel at the houses, stop at a café or two, and browse the shops and boutiques. Make sure you climb to the top of the Old Town as the views of the Rhine River are impressive.
Basler Münster (Basel Minster)
The Basel Minster is one of Old Town’s most emblematic landmarks. It was built between 1019 and 1500 and follows in the Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
Another impressive piece of architecture in Basel’s Old Town is the Jewish Synagogue which was built in 1868. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
In Old Town you can find this curious fountain and statue in the Fishmarkt (Fish Market Square). It was built in 1468 and depicts Madonna, St. John, and St. Peter.
The Hammering Man is one of Jonathan Borofsky’s many sculptures that celebrate the working man. The massive sculpture can be found in many cities worldwide like Frankfurt, Seattle, Seoul, New York City…
Kunstmuseum (Museum of Contemporary Art)
The Kunstmuseum is Basel’s and Switzerland’s most important museum and also the largest. It has works of art from 1400 to 1600 and the 19th to 21st centuries. Admission is CHF 15 for adults (age 19+) and CHF 8 for teens (age 13-19) and students (age 20-30). It is open to the public Tuesday-Sunday 10am to 6pm.
Mittlere Brücke (Middle/Central Bridge)
The Mittlere Brücke connects Old Town to the newer parts of Basel and is the first bridge constructed in the city to cross the Rhine River. It was first built in 1225, but the current bridge dates back to 1905.
Elisabethenkirche (St. Elisabeth Church)
The Elisabethenkirche is Switzerland’s finest example of neo-Gothic architecture due to the pristine condition of the building to this day. Built during 1857-65, it is the first church built after the Protestant Reformation. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Open from Tuesday-Friday from 10am-9pm, Saturday from 10-6pm, and Sunday from 1am-6pm.
Rathaus (Basel Town Hall)
The Basel Town Hall is located centrally in Marktplatz and is one of the most emblematic buildings because of its vibrant red stonework. Make sure to step inside and take a walk around its courtyards.
While in Basel make sure to take a trip on one of the small ferry boats down the Rhine and cross under the 5 bridges.
Spalentor (Gate of Spalen)
The Gate of Spalen is one of the three remaining entrances that Basel had when it was a walled city. Spalentor is the most famous of the three.