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10 Things To Do In Basel

Basel, located in the northwest corner of Switzerland, is a vibrant city that offers a delightful blend of historical charm and modern attractions. With its picturesque setting on the banks of the Rhine River, Basel is a cultural hub that attracts tourists from around the world. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie looking for culinary delights, Basel has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore 10 must-do activities in Basel that will make your visit truly unforgettable.

1. Discover the Old Town

Begin your journey in Basel by exploring the captivating Old Town, also known as Altstadt. Stroll through its narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautifully preserved medieval buildings. Admire the stunning architecture of the City Hall and the iconic Basel Minster, a Romanesque and Gothic-style cathedral that offers panoramic views of the city from its tower. Don’t forget to visit the charming Marktplatz, the central square, where you can find fresh produce and local crafts at the daily market.

2. Visit the Basel Art Museums

As an art lover, you cannot miss the opportunity to explore Basel’s world-class art museums. Basel is home to a remarkable concentration of art collections, making it an art lover’s paradise. The Kunstmuseum Basel, with its extensive collection of European art from the Middle Ages to the present, is a must-visit. The Fondation Beyeler, located just outside the city, showcases an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art in a stunning architectural setting. Additionally, the Museum Tinguely, dedicated to the works of Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, offers a unique and interactive art experience.

3. Take a Rhine River Cruise

Experience Basel from a different perspective by embarking on a leisurely Rhine River cruise. Enjoy the scenic views of the city’s skyline, its historic bridges, and the beautiful surrounding landscape. Choose between a traditional riverboat or a modern cruise ship and relax as you glide along the tranquil waters of the Rhine. Some cruises even offer lunch or dinner options, allowing you to savor delicious Swiss cuisine while enjoying the picturesque scenery.

4. Explore the Basel Zoo

For an unforgettable family outing, visit the Basel Zoo, one of the oldest and largest zoos in Switzerland. Home to over 6,000 animals from all over the world, the Basel Zoo offers a unique opportunity to observe wildlife up close. From majestic lions and playful primates to fascinating aquatic creatures, the zoo promises an enchanting experience for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the recently opened Elephant House, designed by world-renowned architect Herzog & de Meuron.

5. Wander through the Botanical Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by taking a peaceful stroll through the Basel Botanical Gardens. Located near the University of Basel, these tranquil gardens offer a vast array of plant species from various climates and regions. Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance as you admire the vibrant flowers, lush greenery, and meticulously landscaped gardens. The Botanical Gardens also house a charming greenhouse filled with exotic plants, making it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

6. Indulge in Swiss Chocolate Tasting

Switzerland is renowned for its exquisite chocolate, and Basel provides the perfect opportunity to indulge in this delectable treat. Visit one of the city’s artisanal chocolate shops or join a chocolate tasting tour to sample a wide variety of flavors and textures. Discover the secrets behind Swiss chocolate-making and learn about the rich history of this culinary delight. Treat yourself to a box of handmade chocolates as a delicious souvenir to bring back home.

7. Experience the Basel Carnival

If you happen to visit Basel during February or March, you are in for a truly unique experience – the Basel Carnival. Known as Fasnacht, this three-day festival is one of Switzerland’s most significant cultural events. Marvel at the vibrant parades, elaborate costumes, and lively music as the city comes alive with joy and celebration. Join the locals in throwing confetti and enjoying the traditional Basel Carnival delicacies, such as Mehlsuppe (flour soup) and Fasnachtskiechli (carnival pastries).

8. Visit the Paper Mill Museum

Delve into Basel’s rich printing and papermaking history by visiting the Paper Mill Museum. Located in the St. Alban neighborhood, this interactive museum offers a fascinating insight into the art of paper production. Explore the various exhibitions featuring ancient paper machines, traditional printing techniques, and handmade paper products. Participate in hands-on workshops to create your own paper or try your hand at letterpress printing.

9. Go on a Shopping Spree

Basel is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of boutiques, department stores, and specialty shops. Stroll along the famous Freie Strasse, Basel’s premier shopping street, where you can find renowned fashion brands, upscale jewelry stores, and luxurious Swiss watches. Explore the picturesque St. Peter’s Square and discover unique antique shops, art galleries, and bookstores. Don’t forget to visit the popular Markthalle, a vibrant indoor market where you can find fresh produce, gourmet delicacies, and local crafts.

10. Attend a Cultural Event

Immerse yourself in Basel’s vibrant cultural scene by attending one of its numerous events and festivals. From classical music concerts at the renowned Basel Symphony Orchestra to contemporary dance performances at the Theater Basel, there is always something exciting happening in the city. Don’t miss the prestigious Art Basel, the world’s premier international art fair, which attracts artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts from around the globe. Explore the vibrant street festivals, open-air concerts, and theater productions to truly experience the cultural diversity of Basel.

In conclusion, Basel offers an abundance of attractions and activities that cater to every taste and interest. From exploring its rich history and art collections to indulging in delicious Swiss chocolate and immersing yourself in its vibrant cultural scene, Basel is a city that will captivate and enchant you. So, pack your bags and embark on a memorable journey to discover the 10 things to do in Basel.


Q: What is the first activity to do in Basel?

A: The first activity to do in Basel is to discover the Old Town, also known as Altstadt.

Q: What can art lovers do in Basel?

A: Art lovers can explore Basel’s world-class art museums, such as the Kunstmuseum Basel and the Fondation Beyeler.

Q: How can one experience Basel from a different perspective?

A: One can experience Basel from a different perspective by taking a leisurely Rhine River cruise.

Q: What is a recommended family outing in Basel?

A: A recommended family outing in Basel is to visit the Basel Zoo, one of the oldest and largest zoos in Switzerland.

Anwar Abdi
Anwar Abdi
Anwar Abdi is a Canadian business executive and Digital Journalist. Anwar Abdi is the CEO of AMG Brands Network Inc. and the Current Editor-in-Chief of University Magazine. Previously He Worked as an Education contributor at HuffPost. Anwar received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication at the University of Windsor.
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