Tucked away in northwest Switzerland, on the banks of the Rhine River, is the culturally overflowing city of Basel. Known as the pocket-sized metropolis, or city on the Rhine, Basel is Switzerland’s third most populated city and boasts some of the highest standards of living in the world. Teeming with world renowned museums, colorful marketplaces, and grand churches, there is no lack of things to see and do within this 2,000 year old city.
The sheer amount of activities Basel offers is overwhelming, which is why Baselinsider.ch has taken the time to outline the top ten sights within the city on the Rhine. It doesn’t matter whether you love art or architecture, restaurants or shopping, Basel has a little bit of something to offer every type of traveller.
For those who want to be transported back in time, a venture to Old Town is a perfect way to spend a day in Basel. Some of the buildings in Old Town date back to the 15th century, but there is also a sprinkling of more modern homes by famous architects from all over the world. Due to its small size, Old Town is best explored by foot. A walking tour is a perfect way to see the splendors of Old Town and educate yourself on some of this city’s history.
While spending some time in Old Town, it’s important not to miss Marktplatz. This beautiful market square is anchored by the bold red Town Hall building. Every week day a market is held where locals sell fresh vegetables and fruit. You can nibble on some delicious local food while taking in the beauty of the Town Hall’s Gothic architecture.
One of the most famous and recognizable sites of Basel is the Basel Minster. This Episcopalian Cathedral began construction in the 11th century and additions and rebuilding continued over the course of several centuries. After you’ve wandered the beautiful church and piazza, be sure to journey to the Pfalz terrace to see some of the best views of Basel.
There are over 40 museums within Basel’s city walls, and it’s likely you won’t be able to visit all of them. Out of the 40, the Kunstmuseum Basel should be on your must-see list. This art museum boasts the oldest art available to the public in the whole world. This museum displays beautiful work from old and new masters of modern art. Some of exhibits include artwork from internationally famous artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso.
Basel offers a plethora of interesting architectural sights, but the impressive presence of the Spalentor is in a league of its own. It is one of the three city gates that still remain from the 15th century. Spalentor marks the end of Old Town and is a symbol of times long ago.
Another of Basel’s must see museums is not a hotbed of contemporary art, but toys. The Spielzeug Welten Museum, also known as the Toy Museum, has a collection of over 6,000 toys. It’s collection of 2,500 teddy bears is the largest in the entire world. There is no other museum of its kind in Europe.
The Kirschgarten House is an interesting peak into the domestic lives of Basel’s historical citizens. Originally the home of a Basel silk manufacturer, this home was built between 1775 and 1780. Taking a tour through the 25 furnished rooms allows you to not only see beautiful 18th century furniture but also impressive porcelain, clock, and watch collections.
Only a five minute train ride from the German border, the Vitra Design Museum has been proclaimed as one of the best design museums of the world. The stunning building was created by the Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry. This museum delves into the connections between design, art, and architecture. Exhibits rotate throughout the year, so you’re guaranteed to see something modern and exciting.
Educate yourself on the history of this amazing city with a visit to the Historical Museum of Basel. Originally known as the Church of the Barefoot Friars in the 14th century, the site was renovated in 1970 to house historical artifacts. The museum pays special attention to Basel’s unique position between the German, French, and Swiss borders. This three building museum is deemed one of the best preservations of cultural history in the north of Switzerland.
If you’ve had your fill of old churches and stony, cobble streets then the Grand Casino Basel may be just the retreat you need. The Grand Casino Basel opened its doors 12 years ago and has been a staple of Basel’s entertainment scene ever since. Their property boasts over 300 of the most popular and current slot machines. If table games are more your style then they have you covered. The Grand Casino Basel offers blackjack, Texas hold ‘em, and roulette. In addition to your favorite casino games, you have the opportunity to play for million-dollar jackpots. The Swiss jackpot allows you to bet just one Frank, and involves players from all over Switzerland. The progressive jackpot is available to join at specifically marked slot machines, and all of the winnings from these machines go into one single jackpot. Lastly, they offer a multi-level jackpot which is determined by a randomized generator. The Federal Gaming Board, monitors casinos throughout Switzerland through the Gambling Act of 2001. If you would like to practice casino games before you visit the casino then you will find some fabulous casino themed roulette games that can be played on the following link: http://casino-experten.com/roulette/. Whether you’re a gambling enthusiast itching for a chance to win big, or a novice who just needs a break from Basel’s walking tours, you can take refuge at the Grand Casino Basel, and maybe even win some extra cash!
We’ve only just scratched the surface of Basel’s sights and recreation. This city’s rich history and splendid sights are sure to captivate visitors of any age or origin. Baselinsider.ch is here to help you curate the perfect trip to this Swiss metropolis. To continue your research on the best Basel has to offer, please feel free to peruse our website. Our invaluable tips and tricks will guarantee you make the most out of holiday in Basel.