In the legendary Picasso year, 1967, the people of Basel voted to acquire two paintings by the artist for the city's Kunstmuseum (Museum of Fine Arts). Picasso was so moved that he gave three paintings and a study to Basel. And the city's love of art is evident elsewhere too: it's no coincidence that there are 40 museums here in a small geographic area.
During the famous Fasnacht (carnival), the three "most beautiful days" for the people of Basel. During the remaining 362 days in the year they prepare for the event with a passion. Look forward to creative masks, colourful costumes and wonderful lanterns!
The region is no longer an insider's tip for gourmets, with over 20 restaurants that have won GaultMillau or Michelin awards. For instance, at the Cheval Blanc, a restaurant with three Michelin stars, Peter Knogl – «Chef of the year 2015» – will pamper you.
The Rhine is the city's lifeline, an area for recreation, and it inspires people, events and the city's architecture. When temperatures rise, there's a distinct southern flair: stalls set out their wares, residents put out tables and chairs, and barbecues sprout up everywhere.
Embark on a journey into the past spanning many epochs. There can be few other cityscapes where buildings dating back as far as the fifteenth century engage so harmoniously and vibrantly with the contemporary creations of internationally distinguished architects.
Basel can rightly call itself the football capital of Switzerland as hardly any other city in the country has such devoted fans as FC Basel. And the club shows its thanks in a fitting manner: with international success and countless championship titles.
Thanks to its location on the border with France and Germany, the multinational companies established here, and the two large trade fairs, there is always a cosmopolitan air in the streets and alleys of Basel. It's therefore no wonder that the city's inhabitants are considered to be particularly open-minded.
Did you know that Basel is one of only a few cities to have two orchestras of international renown? The Sinfonieorchester (symphony orchestra) and the Kammerorchester (chamber music orchestra) play regularly at the world's big concert halls, delighting classical music fans.
Mayhem, music and merriment! The famous Basel Fasnacht Carnival begins on the Monday following Ash Wednesday. It only lasts for 3 days but the remaining 362 days of the year are busily spent making preparations. The Carnival starts with the “Morgestraich” lantern parade at 4 a.m. on Monday morning, when the city is plunged into darkness and the Fasnacht Cliques take control.
Each spring in Basel, around 1,800 names from the watch, jewellery, precious stone and related industries present their latest designs and innovations. Some 100,000 visitors from the specialist retail and wholesale trade travel to Basel from all continents to discover the latest trends and creations from the watch and jewellery universe. As the world's leading trade fair, Basel World has the imperative to give positive impetus to the industry.
After the Edinburgh Tattoo, the Basel Tattoo is the second largest military music festival in the world. Formations travel here from all over the world and present their precise choreographies each July. And be aware: the Basel Tattoo sells out a few hours after ticket sales begin. Remember the date and be prepared.
Basel is the home town of Roger Federer. The tennis star therefore makes sure to take part in the Swiss Indoors as often as possible along with many other top shots. The Swiss Indoors is the third largest indoor tennis tournament in the world and if you love tennis, it is an absolute must.
The travelling fairground festival is more than your normal funfair or carnival. For two weeks seven of the city's piazzas are transformed with fairground rides and delicious culinary treats. The numerous stalls of the large flea market and speciality market on Petersplatz are even open for two days longer.
Basel is known as Switzerland's most traditional Christmas city, thanks not only to its Christmas market but also to a variety of other seasonal events: its many shops, beautiful Christmas lights, spectacular special exhibitions in its museums, its Wish Book and numerous concerts and events.
It doesn’t really matter when you come to Basel: there are unique events here all year round. Switzerland’s largest Fasnacht (Carnival), the most important art fair in the world, a well-known ATP tournament, a fun fair with a history that dates back nearly 550 years and much more is waiting for you. Actually you should just spend 365 days in Basel, because choosing between the offers is definitely not easy! Here you will find an overview of all the events in Basel so that you know what is happening when and can plan accordingly.
If you visit Basel, you won’t be able to avoid the Rhine. Especially in the warm months, the banks of the river tempt you to sunbathe and relax, to rest or to swim. From the Kleinbasel Rhine side, you will have a unique panoramic view of the Grossbasel district with the Cathedral and Pfalz, of the Mittlere Brücke, the four ferries, picturesque half-timbered houses and baroque residences. You can let your eyes wander from various viewpoints, enjoy refreshment in numerous restaurants and cafes, or just sit in the sun by the river and become part of the picture.
A trip on one of the four ferries across the Rhine is not to be missed. Traditionally one calls the “Fährimaa” with a bell from the landingstage. Experience how time seems to stand still during the short crossing. Without sound, driven solely by the current, the ferries will take you to the other side of the river throughout the whole year.
In summer, it cheerfully shovels water, in winter, an enchanting ice sculpture: the unique fountain designed by the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely attracts tourists as well as passers-by, strollers, and Basel inhabitants wishing to enjoy their lunch break outside. With its central location in the city centre, it is the best starting point for a tour of the outdoor works of art of Basel.
Starting in 2016, the Kunstmuseum Basel presents art in three different buildings: The Kunstmuseum Basel | Main Building, the Kunstmuseum Basel | New Building and the Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart, which is dedicated to contemporary art. Across Dufourstrasse, facing the Main Building and connected to it on the basement level, an exhibition building designed by the renowned Basel-based architecture firm Christ & Gantenbein rised that accommodates special exhibitions as well as presentations of art from the collections. The Kunstmuseum Basel ranks among the most renowned institutions of its kind in Europe and beyond. Its world-famous collection, the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel, now encompasses around 4.000 paintings, sculptures, installations, and videos as well as 300.000 drawings and prints from seven centuries.
The Vitra Design Museum numbers among the world’s most prominent museums of design. It is dedicated to the research and presentation of design, past and present, and examines its relationship to architecture, art and everyday culture. In the main museum building by Frank Gehry, the museum annually mounts two major temporary exhibitions. In conjunction with our alternating exhibitions, the Vitra Design Museum offers a variety of workshops and guided tours.
Situated directly on the Rhine, the Museum Tinguely, built after plans by the Ticinese architect Mario Botta, houses the greatest collection of works by Jean Tinguely (1925–1991), one of the most innovative and important Swiss artists of the 20th century. The permanent exhibition presents a survey of his oeuvre spanning four decades. Special exhibitions show a wide range of artists and subjects including Marcel Duchamp and Kurt Schwitters who influenced Tinguely significantly, companions such as Arman, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein as well as current art trends along Tinguely’s ideas.
By building Renzo Piano’s museum in 1997, the Fondation Beyeler made its collection accessible to the public. The 250-odd works of classic modernism reflect the views of Hildy and Ernst Beyeler on 20th-century art and highlight features typical of the period: from Monet, Cézanne and van Gogh to Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein and Bacon. The paintings appear alongside tribal art from Africa, Oceania and Alaska.
Experience the whole wide world in microcosm as you follow the daily events at the Rhine port. The border triangle is where the three counties Germany, France and Switzerland meet, from where container ships head out towards the North Sea and is the pick-up and drop-off points for Swiss raw materials and goods.
The Zoological Gardens, known affectionately as “Zolli” by Basel's inhabitants, opened in Basel in 1874 and is home to a large number of indigenous and exotic animals. Basel Zoo is a popular excursion destination and well worth a visit at any time of year. In the summer months the park is an ideal place to stroll in the open air, in the winter months the various animal houses guarantee up close and personal encounters with a wide variety of animals. If you wish to discover an underwater world, there are several underwater creatures to discover at the vivarium. The recently rebuilt lion enclosure, “Gamgoas”, and the newly opened monkey house are two attractions worth a special mention.
Your personal guest card will be handed to you when you check in. The attractive features of the BaselCard include free use of public transport, free surfing on the guest WiFi plus a 50% discount on admission to Basel’s museums, Basel Zoo, Theater Basel and much more. So what are you waiting for? Discover Switzerland's capital of culture. With its multicultural diversity and passion for life, this bastion of art and architecture is sure to captivate you. The BaselCard will turn your trip into an unforgettable experience.
Basel’s landmark must be the Cathedral. This former Episcopal Church was built between the 12th and the 15th century in romanesque and gothic style. Today, the square around the church is a meeting place and is often used for events. From the observation platform, known as the “Pfalz”, you can enjoy a spectacular view overlooking the Rhine, the Kleinbasel district, the Black Forest and the Vosges.
The Restaurant Schloss Binningen is a gourmet restaurant and dining inside the castle, it is really a feast for all the senses. While your eyes delight in the elegant and unique environment, if it’s on a summer evening on the terrace, or on a winter afternoon in the pleasurable lounge, your taste buds can experience the wonderful flavours of the fine food.
Treat yourself to some culinary delights in the newly renovated Restaurant Les Quatre Saisons. Head chef Peter Moser and his team apply a fresh sense of inspiration and a high level of commitment to their dishes, bringing together all of the elements necessary to create their unique cuisine – ingredients fresh from the market, original recipes and a great deal of passion.
In the centre of lively “Kleinbasel”, one of the hotspots of the city, you’ll find Rhywyera restaurant. A terrace provides a lovely view over the river Rhine where the restaurant offers contemporary, modern and creative cuisine, focusing on regional dishes and seasonal ingredients in a Mediterranean ambience.
Whether you choose for a café in the morning, restaurant over lunch time, tapas bar in the evening, or the lounge at night - the Don Pincho in Basel gives you the feeling of being part of the Spanish way of life. The kitchen offers nutritionally balanced and creative lunch time menus, Spanish specialties, such as the namesake of the restaurant, Pinchos, the world renowned tapas and, of course, paella.
Situated between Heuwaage and zoo, in the old walls of a water plant. Enjoy simple and fresh Italian cuisine with the Menu del giorno and vino da tavola. Even the coffee tastes a little bit more Italian than usual. And the long bar with fine drinks and cocktails are impressive. Lounge with comfortable seating, soft music, dimmed lights and freedom for your head: rilassamento assoluto!
Here you will find state-of-the-art gastronomy with à la carte menus, reasonably priced plate-service meals, a large choice of wines and guaranteed market fresh cuisine. The unique restaurant with the historic guild room is the perfect place to relax and enjoy right in the city centre.
Situated between Heuwaage and zoo, in the old walls of a water plant. Enjoy simple and fresh Italian cuisine with the menu del giorno and vino da tavola. Even the coffee tastes a little bit more Italian than usual. And the long bar with fine drinks and cocktails are impressive. Lounge with comfortable seating, soft music, dimmed lights and freedom for your head: rilassamento assoluto!
EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg is the city’s major airport, located 8km from the centre. Phone: +41 613 253 111 Web: www.euroairport.ch Taxi stands are located in front of the Arrivals hall. The main companies are Taxi Zentrale (Tel: +41 612 222 222) and 33 Taxi (Tel: +41 613 333 333). The cost of a taxi from the airport to the city centre is approximately 40 CHF. BVB bus no. 50 runs to Basel central railway station. The journey time takes approximately 20 minutes. Phone: +41 616 851 414 Web: www.bvb.ch All visitors who stay overnight in one of the cities hotels receive a Mobility Ticket that allows them use all public transport free of charge during their stay.
The most convenient way of getting around town is by bus or tram. Phone: +41 616 851 212 Web: www.bvb.ch. You can rent a bicycle from the SBB-CFF-FFS train station for approximately 25 CHF per day Web: www.rent-a-bike.ch There are four ferries that cross the Rhine, linking Grossbasel with Kleinbasel. The ferries run from 09.00-19.00 in good weather in summer, and from 11.00-17.00 during the winter. The five-minute crossing costs 1.60 CHF. Web: www.faehri.ch