Things To Do In Basel In One Day

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Why visit Basel?

When it comes to planning your trip to Switzerland, we highly recommend spending a day in Basel. There are so many treasures to discover including the 11th-century Cathedral and the Rhine.

Whether you are simply taking a stroll through the picturesque city or taking in stunning artwork in one of the many popular museums, you will want to add a trip to Switzerland’s third-largest town to your to-do list.

Top 10 places to visit in Basel

Basel is nestled at the tripoint between the Swiss, French and German borders and is extremely popular for its art and culture. To help you make the most of your trip, we have collated ten fun things to do in Basel to suit a variety of tastes.

1. Rheinfelden and Feldschlösschen brewery

Dating back to medieval times, Rheindelden boasts of multiple city defense towers and city gates. Cross one of the bridges to get to an island in the Rhine that forms part of the German Rhinefelden.

End your day of exploring by visiting the Feldschlösschen brewery, which has daily tours, to enjoy one of the country’s most popular beers.

2. Kunstmuseum Basel

If you enjoy drinking in as much art as possible then The Kunstmuseum will definitely be your cup of tea. It houses Switzerland’s richest and largest collection of artwork.

Just a few of the famous artists you can expect to find include:

  • Konrad Witz
  • Van Gogh
  • Rembrandt
  • Monet
  • Hans Holbein
  • Cézanne
  • Bruegel the Elder
  • Manet

There is even an entire room dedicated to Picasso.

3. Basel City Hall

For a feel of the culture, join citizens and tourists with a visit to the daily market. Savour delicious local produce including some of Switzerland’s culinary specialities.

The City Hall was constructed in the 16th century and is certainly eye-catching, with a multitude of symbols to look out for including the Old Swiss Confederacy’s 12 coats of arms.

Wander through the arch into the captivating courtyard to see the statue of Basel’s roman founder, which was sculpted in 1580.

4. Augusta Raurica

An easy 5 miles to the south of Basel, the Augusta Raurica is one of Switzerland’s national treasures. This is the country’s largest Roman ruins, dating back to 43BC.

Several temples and the open-air theatre have been restored, making it an interesting place to visit during your trip to Basel.

5. Altstadt

Visit Basel’s Old Town to experience an array of uncommon Swiss national heritage sites, with some of the oldest buildings dating back to the 14th century. Take in the stunning architecture and walk the same streets as historic figures such as the 16th-century theologian and humanist, Erasmus.

Make sure you visit the following during your trip:

  • Münsterplatz, the city square
  • Petersgasse, known for its irregular townhouses
  • The jovial monkey fountain

6. Museum Tinguely

On the right bank of the Rhine sits a museum for Tinguely, the kinetic sculptor.

His eccentric machines are interactive and can be enjoyed  by children and adults alike, allowing this museum to claim a spot on our list of fun things to do in Basel. Pull levers and push buttons to see the machines whir to life, chronicling Tinguely’s career in an unforgettable way.

Be sure to experience the Grosse Méta Maxi-Maxi Utopia, which was one of Tinguely’s final pieces and consists of electric motors, wooden wheels and pulleys.

7. The Rhine River

Whether you want to swim within the challenging currents or rest in the shallow waters, the Rhine River is a popular stopping point creating a resort sort of atmosphere.

The Rhine River is based outside the city and is the perfect spot for watersports, sunbathing and summer-time barbecues.

8. Basel Minster

If you are interested in historic architecture, the Basel Minster church is worth visiting. With 60-metre towers, pinkish-red sandstone walls and a stunning pattern roof, it truly is a sight to behold.

Soaked in history, a lot of the architecture dates back to the 14th and 15th century. The main portal was dismantled in the Reformation but the Gothic archivolts are still in place, boasting of angels and prophets, kings, roses, a rendering of Abraham and more.

Make sure you wear the right shoes if you are planning on tackling the narrow spiral stairway for fantastic views of Basel and the Rhine.

9. Basel Historical Museum

With four locations, the Basel Historical Museum (HMB) definitely makes our list of ten of the best things to do in Basel.

A few of the riches you will find here include:

  • Works from the Cathedral treasury
  • Stained glass and coin collections
  • Altars and tapestries
  • A work by Konrad Witz

10. Fondation Beyeler

When looking for places to visit in Basel in one day, we recommend travelling to the Fondation Beyeler. A mere six kilometres outside Basel, this is an art collection you won’t want to miss.

The plethora of artwork on display includes paintings by:

  • Picasso
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Lichtenstein
  • Francis Bacon
  • Pollock
  • Monet
  • Warhol
  • Cézanne

Whatever you decide to do during your trip to Switzerland, a visit to Basel is sure to be an enjoyable day.

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