20 Places to Visit in Basel, Tourist Places & Top Attractions

Tourist Attractions in Basel

Old Town, Spalentor, Basel Minster, Basel Zoo, Jewish Museum, Spielzeug Welten Museum, The Museum Of Antiquities And The Ludwig Collection, Basel Papermill museum, Historical Museum, Basel town hall and Marktplatz.

Basel is the third-largest town in Switzerland, settled on the Rhine river; this town is close to Germany and France. There are abundant places to visit in Basel which boast of its strong history in its architecture, museums and the atmosphere.

A great way to commence the city's exploration would be by taking the tour of the charming lanes of Old Town and witnessing the alluring Gate of Spalen. If you are keen about history and food you should visit the Marktplatz piazza, a colourful marketplace with medieval architecture, it is the perfect amalgamation of the two which will leave you pleasantly surprised.

The City Hall (Rathaus) is also edged here, and you will also find an abundance of other attractions scattered all around Marktplatz. There are still many tourist attractions in Basel to check out, once you are done exploring the quaint historic town.

You could start by looking up the art and historical artefacts that are displayed in the many museums Basel has. The Kuntsmuseum, Genetwartz Museum and Jean Tinguely Museum are some with a vast range of exhibits. While at it, a unique museum of Switzerland, Spielzeug Welten Museum has the largest display of toys, which makes it one of the must-visit places here.

Another exciting place to spend your day at is the Basel Zoo, first opened in 1874; it is the oldest and one of the largest in Switzerland. It houses many different animals, including some endangered species as well. Furthermore, you should also take a visit to the Tinguely Fountain for an eye-catching experience.

Apart from these, there are still so many places one can visit in Basel, like Foundation Beyeler, Basel Papermill museum, Jewish Museum Basel. Also, if you are in Basel during the Fasnacht Festival celebrations, you shouldn't give it a miss.

Here are some of the best tourist attractions in Basel:

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Old Town within Basel will take you back to the 15-century with its eccentric and still intact architecture. You will find buildings in every nook and cranny that were designed by world-renowned architects. Amongst the most compelling monuments here is the Cathedral.

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The Basel Papermill Museum (Papiermuhle) is an old mill that was converted into the National Museum for Paper, Writing and Typography in Switzerland. The Paper Museum, which is located on an old canal, has a fully working water-wheel along with functioning machines and other tools as part of the exhibit.

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The Rathaus (City Hall) was replaced by the new building after the major earthquake to restore the former seat of government. It was after Basel joined the Swiss Confederation that the front of the building was redone with a new structure within the Marktplatz Piazza.

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Marktplatz is one of the most popular marketplaces in Basel and dazzles with its historic charm and daily buzz. Dominated by the colourful Rathaus (Town Hall) from the 16th century, this square is a feast for the senses. Here, locals and visitors mingle, shopping for fresh Swiss delicacies and handmade crafts. It is a perfect spot to soak in Basel’s lively culture and rich history.

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For art lovers from around the world and most of Europe, Kunstmuseum Basel remains one of the most significant museums. With art collections for over seven centuries amassed in one place, Kunstmuseum Basel receives hundreds of art enthusiasts, art students and researchers every day.

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Basel Minister (Basler Munster) was a Catholic Church built between the years 1019 to 1500, it is now a Reformed Protestant Church and amongst the top places to visit in Basel. This impressive Cathedral was rebuilt after it was destroyed in an earthquake during 1356.

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The Spielzeug Welten Museum also known as Toy Worlds Museum Basel is the biggest in all of Europe. It is your all your childhood under one roof, as the name suggests this Museum has the largest exhibit of toys. There are also themed exhibits that take place regularly, and the Museum remains open on all days.

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Marvel at one of the most beautiful gates of Switzerland, the Gate of Spalen was once a strong entrance in Basel’s old walls. It is one of the three remaining gateways to the city, admired for its beautiful design. Made of sandstone, it features a square main tower and two round towers. There is also a clock on the gate of this significant heritage site in Basel that showcases the city’s rich past.

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The Museum of Antiquities and the Ludwig Collection is also known as Antikenmuseum and the Sammlung Ludwig, was founded in the year 1961, a site of national significance, it is one of the many museums that the city of Basel has.

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The most visited tourist attraction of Switzerland, Basel Zoo is situated in the northwest of the country. Sharing its borders with foreign nations, the zoo receives a great footfall from France and Germany. Although renowned by the name Basel Zoo, the official name of the zoo is Zoologischer Garten Basel, which means Basel Zoological Garden in German.

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The Basel Historical Museum first opened in the year 1894, it is one of the largest museums in Switzerland and is a heritage site of National importance. The Historical Museum has three sites- Barfüsserkirche, Haus Zum Kirschgarten, and Musikmuseum. Each is displaying a collection of a different theme.

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The Museum fur Gegenwartskunst opened in the year 1980 is a branch of the Kunstmuseum Basel and is exclusively dedicated to contemporary art. Located on St. Alban-Rheinweg, it is now known as Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart and is one of the Places to see in Basel.

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Founded in the year 1966, the Basel Jewish Museum has since collected a historical collection of Jewish religious significance and everyday life fragments. Over the years it has emerged as one of the notable tourist attractions in Basel.

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Designed by a famous architect Mario Botta, Jean Tinguely museum is one of its kind museums which is filled with artistic concoctions of sculptures created by a renowned scientist, Jean Tinguely. Basel is the hometown of Jean Tinguely and the museum is in a way tribute to his glorious work. The museum holds the collection of all kinds of varied machine sculptures created by the scientist throughout his career.

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A sought-after museum in the medieval city of Basel, Fondation Beyeler was commissioned by Hildy and Ernst Beyeler, the celebrated swiss art dealers of the modern century. Fondation Beyeler boastfully accommodates the 250-odd pictorial icons of classic modernism of the 20th-century.

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The Tinguely fountain was the creation of Jean Tinguely, a Swiss artist in the year 1977. The design of the fountain was laid on the site of the old theatre stage as a homage. The fountain since its creation has always ceased to amaze the visitors, becoming a landmark in Basel.

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People Also Ask About Basel

  1. Which are the best places to visit in Basel on your honeymoon?

    1. Rathaus (Town Hall) and Marktplatz: Your honeymoon definitely cannot be complete without shopping your heart out. The Town Hall and it's beautiful Marketplace allow you to shop from unique Swiss products and gorge on some of the most delicious local food items. Apart from that, exploring the historical glory of the town hall is surely worth it.

    2. Old Town: This ancient part of the city that falls in between the old city gate and river is undoubtedly one of the most romantic and beautiful places to visit in Basel, lined up with enchanting stone streets, medieval churches, beautiful fountains, and beautifully maintained old houses. Taking a walk along the old town itself will take you to an entirely different world.

    3. Tinguely Fountain: Undoubtedly one of the most romantic places to visit in Basel is the Tinguely fountain. Completed in 1977, this beautiful playful fountain is placed inside a large shallow pool along with 10 beautiful iron figures, shooting out jets of water in the air, creating a beautiful ambiance and view.

    4. Basler Münster: Set atop the highest point on Minster Hill, Basel’s Minster is an 18th Century square built of beautiful red sandstone. The place is highly picturesque and allows you to explore some of the most beautiful historical attractions of the town, including the ancient church, most of which is in ruins, however, it still has most of its beautiful elements and provides you a peek into its rich history.

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  2. Which are the best museums to visit in Basel?

    1. Paper Mill Museum: Transformed from an old paper mill set along a medieval canal and an operating waterwheel, the place is a museum of writing, printing, papermaking, and much more. A visit to the museum allows you to experience the laborious process of papermaking and also allows you to witness the evolution of printing technology.

    2. Kunstmuseum Basel: Popularly known as the Museum of Art, this museum is amongst one of the best places to see in Basel. The museum is known to hold one of the biggest collections of paintings in Switzerland, including old masterpieces as well as modern arts. Some of the major works exhibited at the museum include works by masters like Picasso, Dali, Corot, Gauguin, Klee, and various others.

    3. Historical Museum: Another of the iconic places to see in Basel, the Historical Museum is one of the most important attractions of Basel, allowing you to explore the history of one of the most important crossover locations for ancient France, Switzerland, and Germany. The museum allows you to witness a perfect amalgamation of these 3 beautiful ancient cultures.

    4. Jean Tinguely Museum: This unique museum showcases some of the most prominent works by the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely and is amongst one of the best places to visit in Basel. Apart from its permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibits that change every 3 months.

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  3. How to reach Basel?

    If you are traveling by air to Zurich, Basel is just a 1-hour trail ride away from Zurich city center. Zurich has direct flights from almost every major city in the entire world. However, Basel also has an international trail hub, which has frequent trains from the neighboring European countries including Germany, Italy, France, Austria, and various others.

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  4. What is the best time to visit Basel?

    The best time to visit Basel is from the months of May to June and August to October. These moths offer pretty decent weather, which allows the travelers to explore all the beautiful places to visit in Basel in the best way possible.

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  5. Is Basel worth visiting?

    Yes, Basel is one of the most beautiful destinations in Switzerland that one can visit. The endless museums of the town along with the historical town center of the city make it quite special and worth a visit for each and every traveler heading to Switzerland.

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  6. Is 1 day enough for Basel?

    Yes, one day is enough to visit and explore all the major attractions of the city. However, a one day trip would surely not do justice if you actually wish to explore the entire city and get soaked in the real vibe of this beautiful city.

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  7. Which are the best adventure activities in Switzerland?

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