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"Basel - Switzerland's Gate to the world" Top 5 Page for this destination Basel by german_eagle

Basel Travel Guide: 517 reviews and 1,475 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.

  • Intro Updated Nov 13, 2010
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Reviews (57)

Comments (34)

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2016 at 3:53 AM

    Thank for virtual tour! This city is in my future travel plans!

    • german_eagle's Profile Photo
      Apr 2, 2016 at 11:04 AM

      Thank you, Oleg, for your visit, your ratings and nice comments. You will enjoy this city very much - it has incredibly much to offer for fans of medieval art and architecture.

  • ines2003's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Will be reviewing your excellent tips and thanks for writing about your visits there...Cheers

  • Aug 3, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    I really enjoyed this page and all your photo's. I quite enjoy seeing the old toys, all the fountains and the old buildings. Basel sounds lovely!

  • Apr 25, 2012 at 4:42 AM

    Comprehensive Basel page, Ingo. I had read that Basel is the best place to visit in Switzerland for museums and it definitely looks like this is true from your tips, the Pharmacy museum looks particularly interesting.

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    I hope to be in Basel later this year - you have given a wonderful foretaste of the city. So much beauty, history and art and the organs of Andreas Siebermann. What a treasure trove of delights.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    It’s been over five years since I last looked at this page, and you have added numerous updates and new tips since then. Very well-researched and well-written, as always. Somehow I have never been inside the Historical Museum (Barfüsserkirche etc.) – sounds very worthwhile.

  • bugulma's Profile Photo
    Nov 8, 2010 at 1:46 AM

    Fantastic city!! So many interesting places worth visiting. Drinking water in the street fountains - great! interesting updates such as useful tip about Petergasse elevator and beautiful tip about Botanical garden ( I like 2nd photo)

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Great new tips! Seems I have to visit Basel again...

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2010 at 3:58 AM

    excellent infos and lovely pics, Ingo and also a lot of great updates again !

  • Nov 5, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Ingo, fantastic updates. I also re-read a few of the "old" tips. It looks like you even enjoyed the footie match, although it seems that you wore the wrong colours. So I am glad to see that you are still alive. *winkygrin*

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