Basel
Canton Basel City

Home to 40 museums, the city of culture for connoisseurs has the highest concentration of museums in the country. Basel also has a beautiful Old Town, modern architecture, and the Rhine – an inviting spot to rest a while.

About Basel

Basel is Switzerland's oldest university city. Historic landmarks of the city include the large market square with its richly decorated red sandstone town hall and the late Romanesque-Gothic cathedral. During a walk through the old town, past small boutiques, antique book shops but also shops of modern designers, a visit to the "Läckerli Huus" to try the traditional Basel honey cake is well worth your while. Basel is tradition-conscious and open-minded at the same time, a fact born out by several modern buildings designed by renowned architects such as Herzog & de Meuron, Mario Botta, Diener & Diener and Richard Meyer.

Almost 40 museums make Basel the city with the highest density of museums in the country. Internationally known museums, such as the Basel Art Museum, the museum devoted to the iron sculptor Jean Tinguely, the Fondation Beyeler and the Museum of Cultures attract a great many visitors, as do several galleries and playhouses. Basel is among other things home to the symphony orchestra and the chamber orchestra as well as the musical theatre featuring international productions. And a wide range of classical and contemporary productions are shown on the stages of the Basel Theatre and the Playhouse.

Basel is a green city. The Botanical Gardens, several parks and the banks of the Rhine are perfect places to relax and linger for a while. And the Etoscha House at the zoo offers spectacular insights into the Namibian Savannah.

At nearby Augusta Raurica near Augst impressive ruins and a great many finds at the museum bear testimony to the busy lives of the Romans in the region in the past. The charming countryside of the Basel region with its many cherry trees in spring boasts a particularly beautiful display of blooms. Germany and France, the Black Forest and Vosges Mountains are only a stone's throw away from the border city of Basel.

The yearly Fasnacht (Carnival) is the most important celebration for the people of Basel. On the Monday following Ash Wednesday the city rises with the "Morgenstraich". At four in the morning on the dot all the lights in the city go out and a colorful and brilliant procession through the streets of the city begins.

Winter

Basel is widely regarded as Switzerland's cultural capital, and with good reason: in this city you will encounter art at every turn, whether you stroll through the beautiful Old Town or visit one of almost 40 museums. What's more, Basel also features top-class modern architecture just waiting to be discovered on a city tour.

Summer

The Rhine is Basel's unofficial emblem. In summer you will find life in all its facets here as sun worshippers, walkers, students and businesspeople all gather on the shore. The river is a perfect place for a refreshing dip or a pleasant ferry trip; enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean at the Rhine knee.

Our personal highlights

Explore Suisse Selection’s unmissable places of interest and top things to see and do during your stay.

Preferred hotels

Browse Suisse Selection’s favored luxury hotels, carefully chosen for their unmatched excellence in architecture, service, gastronomy, and comfort.

Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois

Dating back to 1681, the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel is one of Europe’s oldest hotel properties. Overlooking the banks of the river Rhein, the hotel was ideally positioned on a major trade route. The hotel's riverfront rooms remain much coveted, especially during the annual Art Basel, when guests book up to one year in advance. The scenic Swiss town is popular year round and well known for it’s art, architecture and culture highlights.

Hotel Marthof

Hotel Marthof is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Basel's old town. Accommodation consists of 68 rooms and junior suites furnished with attention to detail and equipped with a free minibar, Nespresso machine with coffee and tea set, WiFi, telephone, television, desk, rain shower and separate toilet. The Bohemia restaurant with bar and boulevard terrace takes visitors back to the exciting bohemian era, with a view of the hustle and bustle of the market square or from the bar to the lively Eisengasse. The restaurant and bar offer ranges from a quick espresso to a dignified dinner with specialities from the open charcoal grill to an extensive à la carte brunch on Saturday and Sunday. On the hotel's top floor, there is a banquet room with direct access to the spacious roof terrace offering an expansive view of the market square, the old town of Basel and the surrounding area. Additional amenities include an in-house wellness area with a fitness room, steam bath and sauna.

Unique experiences

Discover Suisse Selection’s once-in-a-lifetime activities, to be included in your personal itinerary.

Basel Street Art
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When to go

Switzerland has a moderate climate and four distinct seasons, making it an attractive year-round travel destination.

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