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Places to Visit in Basel Switzerland
Written by Sruthi on June 6, 2020 Share on

10 Best Places to Visit in Basel Switzerland for an Unforgettable Swiss Trip

Located at the juncture of Germany, France and Switzerland, Basel’s art and culture place the city on par with any other city in the world. The Kunstmuseum is filled with Baroque, modern and Renaissance art. Altstadt has many things to offer from making your own paper at a water-powered 15th-century mull or step into Erasmus’s 500-year-old house. You will also find striking monuments like the 15th-century city hall and the Bael Minster (Cathedral). Read on to know about the best places to visit in Basel. 

10 Top Places to Visit in Basel Switzerland

Places to Visit in Basel Switzerland
Image Source: Pixabay

Let’s go ahead and explore some of the best places to visit in Basel.

  • Kunstmuseum Basel
  • Altstadt
  • Basel Minster
  • Museum Tinguely
  • Basel Paper Mill
  • Basel City Hall
  • Basel Historical Museum
  • Spalentor
  • The Rhine River
  • Basel Zoo

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1. Kunstmuseum Basel

This is truly one of the best places to visit in Basel for art lovers. You get to enjoy Switzerland’s richest and largest collection of art. You will find an interesting assortment of names during roll-call like Lucas Cranach the Elder, Konrad Witz and Hans Holbein from the Renaissance period and Brueghel the Elder, Rubens and Rembrandt are some of the famous Dutch masters whose works you will find here. You can enjoy the works of Manet, Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin and Cézanne from 19th-century. You will be pleasantly surprised to see that the Kunstmuseum has an entire room dedicated to Picasso’s work. From the 20th-century period, you will find collections of Klee, Braque, Chagall, Giacometti and Franz Marc to enjoy.

2. Altstadt

You will find many National heritage sites in Switzerland here in Basel. Locals suggest the tourists take part in some of the themed walks around Grossbasel and Kleinbasel by the Rhine banks, which are considered to be one of the best places to visit in Basel. Erasmus, the 16th-century humanist and theologian have roots in Basel. You will find numerous building from the 14th-century here.

Some of the places to visit in Altstadt

  • The irregular townhouses on Petersgasse
  • Münsterplatz plaza
  • Andreasplatz Monkey Fountain.
  • Holbein Fountain – A Renaissance gem by Hand Holbein from the 16th-century

3. Basel Minster

One of the best places to visit in Basel and definitely a not miss is the Basel Minster and its towers namely Martinsturm and Georgsturm. It’s a beautiful structure with a smooth patterned roof and reddish sandstone walls. The earthquake in 1356 destroyed most of the structures and it was rebuilt in the 14th and 15th-centuries. You can climb the narrow stairway that spirals upwards to witness the beautiful skyline of Basel and Rhine.

4. Museum Tinguely

This museum was built in the memory of Jean Tinguely, the 20th-century kinetic sculptor. Located on Rhine’s right bank the museum talks about his career between 1950 and 1980.
His inventions are wacky, fun, complicated and interactive making it one of the best places to visit in Basel. A very interesting museum that will keep the kids engaged. You can even pull the levers and push some button to get the machines to work. One of the last machines he was on was the Grosse Méta Maxi-Maxi Utopia which consists of an array of pulleys, electric motors and wooden wheels. Built-in 1987, this masterpiece even has steps that allow you to climb.

Basel Tram, Places to Visit in Basel Switzerland
Image Source: Pixabay

5. Basel Paper Mill

The Gewerbekanal mill started its business in the early 1450s. Around 1980 this mill was converted into a working museum where you can experience the old methods of dipping paper, printing and bookbinding. You can try your hand in making a page of your own in this museum, a rather interesting thing to do, hence making it one of the best places to visit in Basel. You will be amused to see how some machines which are powered by a waterwheel turns pulp into paper. In the first floor, you can use the quills to attempt calligraphy. The top floor is alive with demonstrations of bookbinding and paper marbling.

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6. Basel City Hall

You will find the interjection for Basel’s tram network, Marktplatz in front of Basel City Hall. Tourists and locals alike gather at the square for the daily market. The huge red sandstone castle was built in the 16th-century and huge amounts of money went into its construction. You will find many interesting artworks like the 12 coats of arms of the Old Swiss Confederacy. Inside the courtyard, you will also find a statue of Basel’s founder Lucius Munatius Plancus and a 17th-century fresco by Hans Bock making it one of the best places to visit in Basel. The statue of Lucius Munatius Plancus was sculpted in 1580

Basel City Hall Facade, Places to Visit in Basel Switzerland
Image Source: Pixabay

7. Basel Historical Museum

Popularly called HMB, the museum has 4 locations. One museum, the Coach and Carriage Museum, is in Münchenstein while the other 3 are inside the city. The most popular attraction is the Barfüsserkirche, it also is one of the best places to visit in Basel as this represents the early modern age and the late medieval period. You will find many artefacts inside the museum-like stained glass, tapestries, altars, collection of coins, works from the Cathedral treasury and even possessions belonging to Erasmus. Many agree that the most intriguing piece is the Danse Macabre fresco painted by Konrad Witz

8. Spalentor

In the early days, Basel was surrounded by two layers of the wall. The inner wall was built in 1230 and the outer wall around 1356. These were later torn down in the 19th-century to allow the city to grow and also to provide a healthier living environment. Out of the three gates that still stand, the most spectacular one is Spalentor. Part of the outer wall, this stood as a defence from the city of France. You will find Basel’s coat of arms framed by two lions ornamented onto the front of the building, which is one of the best places to visit in Basel.

9. The Rhine River

You will be amazed to see that, most of the time, the ferries don’t use any propulsion device as the currents of the river are very strong. It’s a very interesting sight, the vessels zipping through the water, making it one of the best places to visit in Basel. There are multiple sections along the river. Some are called Badhysli, which are the bathing area for experienced swimmers. You will also find people resting in shallow water. This gives a resort vibe in the summers, where crowd flocks to laze in the sun and have coffees in the cafe terraces. You will find many beaches that are known for barbecues, sunbathing and water sports in summer

Cruising on Rhine River, Places to Visit in Basel Switzerland
Image Source: Pixabay

10. Basel Zoo

The largest and the oldest zoo in the country is home to the first western lowland gorilla born in Europe. Named Goma, this famous inhabitant passed away in 2018 at the age of 59. You will find a diverse range of species in the zoo. From over 500 species of fishes to even king Penguins, Basel Zoo has more than 640 species.


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