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Things to do in

Basel

Our most recommended things to do in Basel

Walking Tour through Basel Old Town

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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.

Basel: Theatrical Jailbirds, Butchers, and Elegant Ladies

6. Basel: Theatrical Jailbirds, Butchers, and Elegant Ladies

Basel, 1850. Traugott and Irma von der Mühll would never have imagined that two escapees from the Lohnhof prison would drop in on the day of their memorial celebration for Uncle Friedrich. Be bold and embark on a different kind of walk. Along with the jailbird and his accomplice, you'll wander through a part of Basel that has quite a lot of history to tell. Find out why stags graze on the Stadtgraben, and hear about bits of bacon during a church service and where trousers and gingerbread are welcomed as a means of payment. You will also meet Rector Thurneysen, who provides an address in Latin, as well as the police, or the eccentric Ms. Ochsenfuess. Finally, your tour will conclude with you enjoying the special views from Spalentor Gate.

Welcome to Basel: Private Tour with a Local

7. 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.

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: 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour

9. Basel: 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour

Discover Basel during a short but sweet excursion during which you will learn the most intriguing facts about the history, local lifestyle, and contemporary transformation of the city. After meeting your local guide at St. Albans Tor, start the stroll and 1-hour sightseeing tour where you are sure to fall in love with Basel. See the city through the eyes of a local, discover what the everyday life looks like, and find out where the city gets its characteristic ambience. While walking through Basel, you will discover its parks, monuments, and historical architecture with the chance of getting insider tips about the best cafes, restaurants, and bars to visit during your time here. Make the most of your visit and enjoy an experience perfect for someone visiting for the first time, or for someone who wants to rediscover the city.

From Lucerne: Mt. Pilatus Tour by Train, Boat, and Cableway

10. From Lucerne: Mt. Pilatus Tour by Train, Boat, and Cableway

Travel from Lucerne to Mount Pilatus on a view-laden circuit that includes a lake cruise, cogwheel train, and an aerial cableway. Let your guide show you the changing landscape and answer your questions about the country and its people. Head to the massive multi-peaked Mount Pilatus which looms over Lucerne. Take a lake boat from Lucerne across to Alpnachstad. Next, hop aboard the Pilatus Railway, the world's steepest cogwheel railway which is in operation from May to November. Go back down on the aerial cableways from Kriens which operate all year round. Snap pictures of the panoramic views from the cableways. Return to Lucerne by bus.

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The best day trips and excursions from Basel are:

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Other Sightseeing Options in Basel

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What people are saying about Basel

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 566 reviews

We were very lucky, as Mount Pilatus was full of clouds, however, when we reached the top, the clouds gave us a break. Wonderful tour and very friendly guide. It's a shame we don't have time to explore the mountain more. But this tour is well worth it.

It was a very pleasant day. Our guide Abraham was very knowledgeable. He did not find the need to talk nonstop. We never felt rushed and did what we wanted to do. Thankyou for this great experience

Jacqueline is an excellent guide. We learned about the history of Basel through stories, pictures, and thoughtful descriptions of different buildings and sections of the old town.

Absolutely stunning views and a wonderful way to experience the beauty of Switzerland! Our guide was fantastic as well and knew so much about the area!

Easy access, hustle free ,as a traveler safe your time