"Basel - Switzerland's Gate to the world" Top 5 Page for this destination Basel by german_eagle
Basel Travel Guide: 521 reviews and 1,447 photos
Basel, pop. about 170'000, is the second largest city in Switzerland. Together with Riehen and Bettingen it forms the half-canton Basel-Stadt (BS). Bordering to Germany and France and located right on the Rhine river it is a transportation hub and with the port, railroads, motorways and airport, so to speak, Switzerland's gate to the world.
Basel is one of the world's most important places for chemical and pharmaceutical industry - the headquarters of such famous companies like Novartis and Roche are here. It is also an important place for banking - the Bank for International Settlements is located in the city. Fairs have been held here for many centuries, one of the most important ones is the Art Basel nowadays, but you might be more interested in the Autumn (fun)fair.
Basel is often overlooked on trips to Switzerland. Tourists focus on the mountains (which are gorgeous, so that's an obvious choice) and use to miss what the Swiss cities and smaller towns have to offer. Like the other Swiss cities Basel has not been damaged in one of the World Wars, thus has a well preserved old town (especially on the left bank called Grossbasel). The churches in Basel are gems of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, starting with the Münster church to St. Leonhard and St. Peter. Medieval townhouses are to find in abundance.
But you might also want to look for modern architecture. Not only is Basel home of the architects Herzog & de Meuron who planned buildings like the Allianz Arena in Munich and the Olympic stadium in Bejjing, it is also a place where several other leading contemporary architects built sites for Novartis, the banks etc.
I visited Basel several times but mostly on day trips or breaking up a drive for a couple of hours. Only in 2010 I stayed for 3 nights in the city. I enjoyed the time in Basel thoroughly. I didn't have enough time for exploring the surroundings so I will have to come back. Besides, there are always interesting events going on in the city: I saw a soccer match and Roger Federer playing in the St. Jakob arena, joined the folks at the funfair and saw a special exhibit at the Fondation Beyeler. Too little time.
I doubt this museum gets the number of visitors that it deserves. Thousands pass by on the way to Fondation Beyeler and... more travel advice
First mentioned in 1434 Mariastein is nowadays the second largest pilgrimage site in Switzerland. As the name... more travel advice
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