Basel is a medieval town and one of the most scenic cities in Europe. It is primarily dominated by 12th-century Gothic cathedral and 16th century Redstone townhall that allows you to observe the city with a stunning panoramic view. You will also find Erasmus tomb a 16th-century Dutch scholar. Basel is often underrated, but it is rich in culture, art, and architecture. You can enjoy the fast-paced life of the city and colorful nightlife with a blend of cultures. Basel offers a blissful experience to thousands of visitors coming to the city each year.
If you are visiting Basel for the first time, it is better that you have a to-do list, and we have made it easy for you because we have listed top things to do. When you make time to visit the city, you will genuinely have the fantastic cultural experience. Basel is a tripoint where French, Germany, and Swiss borders meet. Resting on River Rhine in northwest Switzerland, you will enjoy your visit because you get a blend of cultures from one location.
Check out the most exciting things to do in Basel.
Table of Contents
1- Explore Basel Paper Mill Museum
Anyone who is looking for an experience on how paper is manufactured then the medieval paper mill factory is the place to visit. The mill provides a unique insight into the history of how paper is produced in the last century as well as modern techniques used in pepper production. You will find antique items such as old stamps, quills, typewrites, and printing machines.
During your visit, you will engage in various activities such as demonstrations, workshops, and you can try to make your paper, how cool is that? Be sure to check the opening hours and days of operation before the visit.
2- Enjoy Swiss Heritage at the Jean Tinguely Museum
Switzerland is one of the most picturesque towns in Europe. The artistic heritage offers you a chance to see some of the works of great artists that rival the legends of French and Italian painters. One of the most notable artworks is Jean Tinguely, which is a 20th century who is famous for his innovative techniques in moving mechanical sculptures.
The museum is a house of the world’s most significant art collection, and it includes a permanent exhibition presenting a cross-section of some considerable artwork. Inside the museum, you will get a chance to see the work of artists such as Mario Botta.
3- Take a Tour around the City
If you would like to know the city well, the best idea is to take a tour around it. Some buses will give you a chance to view various points of the city. You can discover Basel’s hidden gems if you choose a tour around the city. Tours are the best option for larger groups and families. You can also have a chance to see some of the places for yourself firsthand, some of which are not covered in guide books.
If you’re getting bored in Basel, there is a variety of outdoor activities you can do. There are many hikes near Basel, ski tracks and trekking adventures. The options are endless and it’s not possible to get bored in or around Basel.
4- Visit Kunstmuseum
Kunstmuseum is one of the most important and internationally recognized museums that is 500 years old.it is home to Swiss most diverse and significant collection of art, and the museum boasts of the world’s oldest public art collection.
The origin dates back to the 1500s and the gallery is the major catalog of Europe artwork. It is important to mention that the museum also has modern features that are exemplary. You should check the schedule of the museum to know the right time to visit as well as days to visit.
5- Explore a Sumptuous Dinner at Volkshaus Bar and Brasserie
After a long trip to exploring the city, it is time to enjoy a meal at home. The only way that you can enjoy swiss food is by dining at the restaurant. The restaurant is housed in a building that was constructed in the 14th century. The building has undergone refurbishment to incorporate modern features while preserving the ancient architecture.
6- Understand design by visiting the Vitra Design Museum
It is imperative to note that you will need your passport for you to access this museum. It is located in Basel city; however, part of it lies on the German border so you’ll need proper documentation. If you are interested in ancient designs and you want to know how experts did in the past and currently, then this is the right place to visit. The exhibit often deals with the theme of future designs in lighting and furniture.
7- Get a Glimpse of 5,000 Years of Mediterranean History
Basel exhibits some of the most ancient histories, and you can explore historic pieces from the Mediterranean at Antikenmuseum and Ludwig Collection. Here you will see relics from the ancient civilizations of ancient Greece, Egypt, and Romans, among others. You will also get to see decorative art with functional earthenware and other treasures. What is more appealing is the wonderfully curated pieces and how they are juxtaposed with oldtown architecture. You can learn techniques that were used thousands of years ago.
8- Explore the World of Medieval Medicine at Pharmazie-Historische Museum
It may be a small area of interest; however, the world of pharmacology has grown over the years to the level that is currently. You will get a window into the ancient history of drugs and pharmaceutical products. It houses the world’s most extensive collection of pharma artifacts such as alchemist laboratory, old pharmaceutical books, and laboratory utensils. Besides, the museum provides a reminder of how medicine has grown over time.
9- Get to Know about Contemporary Art at Fondation Beyeler
Fondation Beyeler was founded by a famous artist called Ernst and Hildy Beyeler. The museum combines a picturesque setting, exceptional artwork, and eye-catching architecture. It is set in an idyllic ark, and renowned artist Renzo Piano designed it. You can also get to view an impressive assortment of ethnographic art from the African continent, Oceania and Alaska.
What’s your favorite activity in Basel? Feel free to share your favorites below.
This guest post is by Aurimas: I am a passionate hiker residing at the moment in Switzerland. I like to explore the hidden corners of the Swiss Alps, peaks and villages.
10 thoughts on “9 Exciting Things to Do in Basel, Switzerland”
Lot’s of great suggestions! That’s so interesting that the Vitra Design Museum overlaps the German border and requires a passport – I’ve never heard of a museum doing so. Thanks for the awesome ideas!
Lovely suggestions. Basel is such an underrated city, even in Switzerland. The art museums are some of the best in the world. Will have to visit the Pharmacie Museum on the next visit.
I just love all things Medieval, so I’d love to get stuck into Basel! The World of Medieval Medicine and Paper Mill Museum are jumping out at me. I’d also just love to wander the street with a hot cappuccino and see what I could stumble across.
Basel sounds like a fascinating city with lots to see and do. Not sure I’ll ever make it there so it was great to read about it here in hyour article.
I haven’t considered going to Basel before, but after reading your post, I have to put it on my list because I would love to tour around the city and see the fabulous museums. The medieval pharmacy museum sound fascinating. Basel really looks like a beautiful city, with its mix of cultures.
I’m going to Switzerland next year!! I don’t know if we’ll make it to Basel (it’s so hard to choose where to go, there are so mnay things I want to see!!). but this is a great list of suggestions!
Wow, such a beautiful blend of ancient and modern architecture and design! Having studied chemical engineering in school, I think visiting the Basel Paper Mill Museum would be fascinating, especially to learn about production techniques of centuries past. Switzerland has always been on my wish list, and Basel sounds like the perfect city to visit first!
I visited Basel during my visit to Switzerland first foreign country and loved this charming city. As Basel is a medieval town and one of the most scenic cities in Europe, I loved it. With a skyline of 12th-century Gothic cathedral and 16th century Redstone townhall, this city is very photogenic.
I’m planning a trip to Switzerland this year so this post is very handy. Basel just looks so pretty. I never knew you could explore the Mediterranean history there so that’s good to know. Thanks!
I would definitely make it a museum day! There appears to be so many interesting ones. Especially the Vitra, how fascinating that it straddles the border, I knew Basel was close to Germany, but not that close. I would also tour the town and love to sample some traditional Swiss cuisine. Sounds like a perfect day trip.