Things to do in Basel

Our most recommended things to do in Basel

From Zürich: Stein am Rhein and Rhine Falls

1. From Zürich: Stein am Rhein and Rhine Falls

Travel out of Zürich for a scenic tour through dramatic natural landscapes and historic landmarks. Come across quaint villages and vast vineyards, and take the lift to the Rhine Falls. Explore Schloss Laufen, the Belvedere Trail, Historama Castle Museum, and the viewing platform at Känzeli. Depart Zürich and journey towards the Swiss/German border of northern Switzerland. Travel through a beautiful wine-growing region of charming farming villages and picturesque landscapes en route to Laufen. See the splendid medieval castle of Schloss Laufen and the mighty Rhine Falls and experience Europe's biggest waterfall. Get unique views from the panoramic lift and discover what it looks like when an average of 700,000 liters of water per second plunges into the basin below. Next, take the Belvedere Trail to a viewing platform right above the falls. Feel the rumbling waters beneath you. If you are feeling adventurous, take the optional boat ride and experience the falls from below. Continue via Schaffhausen with its famous Munot Fortress. Soak up the views of the gently rolling vineyards and farming villages en route to Stein am Rhein. Upon arrival, learn about the well-preserved old town during a stroll. See distinctive medieval buildings such as the church and former monastery of St. George's Abbey. Look at the half-timber frame townhouses, along with the city gates and towers, the Town Hall, and the Armory. Admire the delicate wooden window frames of many of the buildings and marvel at their exceptional frescoes.

Welcome to Basel: Private Tour with a Local

2. Welcome to Basel: Private Tour with a Local

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Basel from a local eager to share all the tips to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with the neighborhood. Learn insider tips, such as the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city with all the information you need.

Walking Tour through Basel Old Town

3. Walking Tour through Basel Old Town

Basel is situated in the heart of Europe, on both sides of the Rhine River. The city is the center of the idyllic border triangle of France, Germany, and Switzerland, nestled between the Swiss Jura, Germany's Black Forest and the Vosges in Alsace. Describing Basel in one word is not easy. Sometimes known as the cultural capital of Switzerland or as a university city, Basel boasts a wealth of cultural, historical, leisure, and enjoyment experiences. This traditional tour is ideal for first-time visitors to Basel as well as visitors who already know the city but want to learn more. During the 2-hour walk you will follow the traces of a very eventful past, from the tranquil Tinguely Fountain to Cathedral Hill, the town hall, and through the winding streets of the well-preserved old town. In addition to the public city tour, many other interesting, exciting, and thematic tours are offered.

Swiss Travel Pass: Unlimited Travel on Train, Bus & Boat

4. Swiss Travel Pass: Unlimited Travel on Train, Bus & Boat

The Swiss Travel Pass is a must-have for any traveler to Switzerland. You can enjoy unlimited access by public train, bus, and boat to over 90 cities and towns and benefit from free entrance to 500+ museums, discounted city tours, and access to private and scenic trains with a pre-requisite seat reservation. There are two broad types of Swiss Travel Pass: Continuous and Flexi, with an option to choose from 3, 4, 8, and 15 days. Apart from it being an ‘all-in-one’ pass which allows a traveler to access all modes of public transportation within the country, it also offers numerous other benefits on the mountain excursions. So be it the adventurous, the avid or the leisure traveler, you will have the chance to make the most of your Switzerland Travel Pass.

Basel History Tour for Groups

5. Basel History Tour for Groups

Through an interesting tour of the city, discover Basel's romantic winding alleyways and well-preserved Old Town. Immerse yourself in the city's history and admire the imposing structures, cozy squares and many more highlights. Beginning at the Tinguely Fountain at Theater Basel, make your way through the Basel oppidum, known as Basel-Münsterhügel, to the Rotes Rathaus (Town Hall), which dates back to the 16th century. Pass Basel Minster and "Barfüßer Kirche," a former church that now houses the Basel Historical Museum, as well as other sites capturing the spirit of the city. See the most beautiful sights in Basel and let a friendly tour guide teach you all about the history and landmarks of the breathtaking Swiss city.

Basel: Nighttime Walking Tour in German

6. Basel: Nighttime Walking Tour in German

Explore the third largest city in Switzerland with the night watchman Rudolf Streiff and wander through the street and alleys of the fabled suburb St. Alban at nighttime. Follow in the footprints of the people who lived there in the 18th century and learn about the adventures and stories of times long gone. Listen to anecdotes about life in the St. Alban-Valley ‒ Basel's "Little Venice", learn about Streiff's unfulfilled love, who still crosses his path there from time to time, and more. The actors turn this scenic walking tour into a vivid experience and also lead you to the famous Zschokke-fountain, the time-honored house "Zum Sausewind" as well as the St. Alban-gate.

Basel: Self-Guided Food Tour

7. Basel: Self-Guided Food Tour

This tour is self-guided, so you choose when you want start and how much time you want to spend on the tour. However, it's recommended to start before 11 AM so you can arrive right on time for lunch at the KLARA food court. Here you can look forward to delicious lunchtime snacks (until 2 PM). The tour voucher (handed out on the first stop) contains all the information about directions you need to find each stop as listed below: Start at Bäckerei KULT "Elsi" Here a young team has breathed new life into Basel’s oldest bakery. Everything from the jam to the vanilla cream is handmade. Stop here, find out what a “Basel Gold” is and get one to try. Then go further to Basel Unverpackt, your second stop on the tour. Anyone who is keen to take a more conscious approach to life will know this shop. The team’s priorities are zero waste, recycling, and sustainable preservation of foodstuffs. Here you can fill up on organic products. Afterwards, head over to your third stop. At KLARA you can enjoy international dishes in a laid-back atmosphere. Sample 3 delicacies from around the world with a drink of your choice.   The last stop of the day is a traditional place, Jakob's Leckerly at Spalenberg.

From Colmar: Christmas Markets Across 3 Borders

8. From Colmar: Christmas Markets Across 3 Borders

Depart Colmar at 10:00 AM from Colmar with your private driver and travel to the fortified town of Neuf-Brisach. This planned city is notable for its octagonal layout and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Next, visit the Christmas market of Freiburg across the border in Germany. Following this, travel to Basel in Switzerland to discover its Christmas market at night. Explore all cities at your own pace and fall in love with their charm and decoration for the Christmas season.

Basel: Christmas Magic Guided Walking Tour

9. Basel: Christmas Magic Guided Walking Tour

Visit Basel during a very special time of year on this guided Christmas tour through the city. Explore the city on foot and see the streets and buildings adorned in festive decorations. Visit a Christmas market to shop local products. Christmas time is the perfect time of year to discover the beauty and cheer of Basel. Starting in front of the cathedral, follow alongside your guide to the city’s most magical and festive spots. Discover bright lights, Christmas trees, decorative angels, and much more in a city full of special stories, one-of-a-kind views, and surprises at every turn. As you explore, get to know more about the city. Learn from your guide about local advent customs and other holiday facts. Finish off your tour at Barfüsserplatz, where you can visit the traditional Christmas market afterward.

Basel: Walking Tour in German

10. Basel: Walking Tour in German

Travel back to times long past and learn more about life in 18th century Basel. Join Emma Munzinger, a chamber maiden, on her way to a new place of work in an upper class household of Basel during the last century. Go with her to a stately town house and take a look behind its locked doors and see its chambers and halls. Learn more about the fascinating customs of its inhabitants and their famous guests. You will be surprised by anecdotes and curious stories. During the tour, you'll discover the Blue and White House, which are among the largest and most important testimonies of Basel's baroque architecture.

Frequently asked questions about Basel

What top attractions are a must-see in Basel?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Basel?

The best day trips and excursions from Basel are:

Lucerne

What are the best indoor activities in Basel for rainy days?

What are the most popular museums and exhibitions in Basel?

Other Sightseeing Options in Basel

Want to discover all there is to do in Basel? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Basel

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 566 reviews

Our Guide, Anna was very knowledgeable and took us to many sites in Basel! We had a chance to see many view points from different areas and heard a great amount of history. Anna made the tour very personable and relate able to the whole all from different parts of the world. It was easy to tell how proud Anna is of her adopted country and it made it so pleasurable for all of us! We covered a lot of area a Very Good walking tour!

It started and ended at the specified time. The bus transport was very good as it is comfortable to seat back, view the natural sceneries before reaching the place of interest. It was well-planned and I had a good time throughout the tour. Especially, for the boat ride, I did not had to queue up for the tickets. The boat ride was the best part of the tour.

The tour was punctual as it is to keep it as per scheduled and return on time. Monique keep it under tabs and was professionally chatty with good insight into Switzerland history, politics, and general knowledge

Everything went very smoothly. Check the weather to be sure it will be relatively clear so you get good views. This trip is mostly about the views from the top.

This was really good to do our trips by trains around Switzerland.