Discovering Basel – Top Activities and Places To Visit (Tourist Attractions)

Are you looking for beautiful cities filled with intriguing cultural sights and experiences? If so, then Basel is the perfect destination for your next vacation!

This charming city offers a unique blend of cultures. It is located at the meeting point of France, Germany, and Switzerland and there are a limitless array of activities awaiting discovery. 

From delightful restaurants to unique shopping experiences, look no further than Basel for your next escape from everyday life. 

Read on as we explore some of the top destinations every traveler should visit while in city and get ready to plan an amazing itinerary!

Charming Basel – Brief overview

Basel is one of Switzerland’s finest cities with an incredibly diverse array of attractions making it an ideal tourism destination for visitors seeking both adventure and culture combined with sublime scenery offering unbeatable experiences all year round.

Let’s take a quick look at what it has to offer tourists.

Basel history

Throughout history, Basel has been an important hub for trade and commerce, acting as a major center of banking and finance in Switzerland. 

The city is home to some of Switzerland’s most prominent museums and galleries, including the Kunstmuseum Basel, the largest collection of artworks in Switzerland. 

Additionally, Basel is known for its vast selection of historical sites and monuments, such as the Münster Cathedral and Gebäude der Universität Basel.

Famous tourist destination

Tourists flock to Basel for its culture and art scene, but also for high-quality infrastructure such as public transportation systems and its waterfront promenades which offer stunning views along the River Rhine. 

The city of Basel has a vibrant cultural scene featuring numerous festivals throughout the year. For example, Fasnacht is one of the world’s biggest carnivals held annually since 1615. 

Moreover, it offers plenty of shopping opportunities – from exclusive boutiques and designer shops to antique stores selling artifacts from centuries ago. 

It also houses some of Europe’s most popular restaurants offering dishes ranging from traditional Swiss cuisine to modern international flavors.

Things you must visit while in Basel

As we mentioned, Basel offers many attractions and sights to explore. 

Whether you’re looking to venture into history, experience art, or embark on a walk along its cathedral squares and narrow alleys, there is something for everyone. 

Check out what places you must visit in Basel.

Tourist attractions

Here are some of the top tourist attractions you should visit during your vacation in Basel:

  • Old town
  • Basel Minster
  • Zoo
  • Tinguely fountain

1. Basel Old Town

The old town’s lively atmosphere boasts many colorful buildings and quaint cobblestone streets. Sightseers will find plenty of attractions to explore, both indoors and outdoors. 

The Romanesque style architecture lends to its charm and bewitches visitors with its stunning presence. 

Whether one wants to take in some culture or just wander around exploring, no one should miss out on visiting the vibrant city of Basel. 

2. Basler Münster (Basel Minster)

This is one of the region’s most iconic churches that date back to 1019 and stands as one of Switzerland’s few remaining examples of early Romanesque architecture. 

Its characteristic bell towers are from the 19th-century Renaissance revival era while unique elements from the Baroque period were incorporated into its interior artwork. 

3. Zoologischer Garten (Zoo)

Located in historic Basel, the Zoologischer Garten is among the city’s most beloved attractions. 

It has provided animal enthusiasts with an unforgettable experience since its grand opening in 1874, making it one of Switzerland’s oldest public zoological gardens. 

This fascinating zoo features thousands of native and exotic creatures, such as predators, primates, mammals, reptiles, birds, and aquatic life.

4. Tinguely Fountain

The Tinguely Fountain in Basel is a one-of-a-kind aquamarine sculpture that combines art and engineering.

As water pours down the black steel frame, these mechanized elements come to life. Set against the verdant landscape of Basel, this innovative artwork has become an iconic sight to behold. 

The spectacle continues during the night as lights defining each metal figure become illuminated and provide an extra layer of magic that requires no words to be described.

Art and culture

Basel is known around the world for its rich cultural heritage and forward-thinking attitude when it comes to art. 

Home to a wide variety of galleries, museums, festivals, and exhibitions, Basel offers an unparalleled experience for art aficionados and casual observers alike.

If you are wondering what cultural-based places to see in Basel, here are some most famous:

  • Kunstmuseum Basel
  • Paper Mil museum
  • Historical museum
  • Toy museum
  • Jean Tinguely museum

5. Kunstmuseum Basel

Basel’s Kunstmuseum is the premier destination for art appreciators everywhere. 

Lauded as a museum of fine arts, its extensive permanent collections showcase grand paintings from diverse eras – all the way back to 14th-century masterpieces and up until works by 20th-century artists such as van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne Picasso or Léger. 

Its beauty inspires awe in every visitor – Plus admission is free on Tuesday through Friday after 5 pm.

6. Papiermühle (Paper Mill Museum)

Housed within an authentic old paper mill on a medieval canal, this fully-operational museum allows you to explore how writing has evolved – from primitive pictograms to modern typography. 

You can watch demonstrations of the laborious process behind producing handmade paper. 

See printing presses from before Gutenberg’s press up until lead type became obsolete in the 1980s and gain insight into bookbinding techniques. 

7. Historisches Museum (Historical Museum)

Nestled in the city of Basel lies the 14th-century Barfüsserkirche, formerly a church for Barefoot Friars and now transformed into the Historical Museum.

Visitors to the museum can explore numerous archaeological excavation findings from local monasteries, fortifications from Roman Switzerland, and weapons from centuries past. 

As a testament to Basel’s long-living history, the Historical Museum is an important destination for locals and tourists alike looking for a deeper look into Switzerland’s past.

8. Spielzeug Welten Museum (Toy Museum)

The Spielzeug Welten Museum in Basel provides a unique opportunity to explore the exciting world of toys throughout history and across cultures. 

Visitors can discover thousands of old and new toys that date back to the early 17th century, including dolls, model railways, and even 2500 teddy bears

Whether you have fond memories of playtime or are fascinated by cultural phenomena across periods, this toy museum has something that will surprise and delight you.

9. ​​Jean Tinguely Museum

The Jean Tinguely Museum has become a hub of creative inspiration due to the generous contributions from Niki de Saint Phalle and other collectors. 

On display is an impressive collection of sculptures and sketches, in addition to archives documenting his work’s influence on both classic artists that came before him and modern contemporaries alike. 

The museum building, designed by renowned architect Mario Botta himself, invites visitors every three months with new installations ready for exploration.

In Basel, there are many things to do

Basel offers an array of exciting activities to explore, making this Swiss city ideal for a memorable vacation. 

If you are wondering what to see in Basel or where to go, we have some suggestions. Check it out below.

Outdoor activities

From lively city parks to gorgeous countryside views, there’s something memorable awaiting in this stunning location. 

Active travelers can enjoy exploring Basel with the following outdoor activities:

  • Rhine River Walk
  • Cycling
  • Botanical Garden
  • Picnics
  • Stand-up Paddle Boarding
  • Picnics
  • Hiking

Culinary delights of Basel

Basel is also renowned for providing its discerning locals and visitors with fabulous food experiences. 

From traditional Swiss dishes to modern international cuisine, there is something to delight every palate in this city. 

So, we have selected for you a list of the best restaurants in Basel that you must visit:

1. Cheval Blanc

Experience a culinary journey at the renowned Cheval Blanc restaurant. 

cheval blanc restaurant by the river in basel
Cheval Blanc is amazing restaurant by the river

Enjoy exquisite French cuisine with modern flair and take in magnificent Rhine River views right from your elegant dining table.

2. Stucki Restaurant

Make your next dinner a memorable one at the Michelin-starred restaurant Stucki

restaurant to visit in basel - stucki restaurant basel
Restaurant to visit while in Basel – Stucki

There you can try the delicious flavors of Basel’s local and seasonal ingredients in a fine-dining experience complete with an exquisite garden for al fresco dining.

3. Kunsthalle Restaurant

Enjoy Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in the contemporary dining room of Basel’s renowned Kunsthalle restaurant. 

kunstmuseum basel
Inside Kunstmuseum in Basel you will find great Kunsthalle restaurant

A perfect spot for lunch or a relaxing dinner, take some time to savor delicious dishes and immerse yourself in an artistic ambiance.

It is located inside the art museum Basel Kunsthalle, which makes it even more special.

4. REIN Restaurant & Bar

Indulge your taste buds for an unforgettable culinary experience. Enjoy a unique take on Swiss cuisine at REIN Restaurant & Bar – a stylish spot in Basel. 

rein restaurant basel
REIN – Restaurant and bar

Savor the restaurant’s modern yet relaxed ambiance and let yourself be delighted by its inspired selection of fresh, seasonal dishes with irresistible Mediterranean flair. 

5. Trattoria Antichi Sapori 

Step into Trattoria Antichi Sapori and experience the true flavors of Italy. With its charming rustic decor, this restaurant creates a cozy atmosphere reminiscent of an Italian family kitchen. 

Trattoria Antichi Sapori 
Looking for a pizza? Trattoria Antichi Sapori is the place you should visit

Enjoy traditional homemade pasta as well as wood-fired pizzas made with only fresh ingredients.


In summary, Basel is a stunning destination that has something special to offer everyone – from the amazing cultural and art scene and numerous things to do to the beautiful green spaces that dot the city.

Whether you’re looking for a holiday destination or just a quick break from everyday life, Basel is definitely the city you must visit.

Therefore, if you need help getting around the city, EdelSwiss has the best solution for you! 

We offer the best limousine service around, with a professional driver who will be at your disposal and provide you with a luxurious, safe, and relaxing ride.

So, if you want to get to know Basel in style, feel free to contact us and book your ride.

Thank you for reading!

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