"Cycling and recycling in Basel" Top 5 Page for this destination Basel by Nemorino

Basel Travel Guide: 516 reviews and 1,419 photos

Before the old Basel Theater was torn down in 1975, parts of the old stage machinery were salvaged and given to the artist Jean Tinguely, who spent two years recycling this old machinery and making it into an elaborate and very entertaining fountain, the Fasnachtbrunnen or Carnival Fountain, on the site of the old theater and right in front of the new one.

The ten machine sculptures in this fountain are kinetic sculptures, meaning that they have moving parts. Amazingly, these are still in good working order after more than thirty years of operation, so somebody must be responsible for keeping them in good repair. (Thanks, whoever you are.) The machines also squirt water, by the way.

For those who want to see more of Tinguely's work, there is an entire museum devoted to his machine sculptures and other artistic creations. The museum is on the other side of the Rhine River, a ways upstream -- not centrally located, but easy to reach by bicycle.

On my most recent visit to Basel I rented a bicycle at the railroad station and spent the afternoon riding around the city and along both sides of the river. It was a beautiful summer day, and lots of other people were out cycling as well.

There are bicycle routes along the Rhine River -- often on both sides -- for the entire distance of 1300 to 1400 kilometers from the source of the Rhine in the Swiss Alps all the way down to the place where it flows into the sea in the Netherlands, near Rotterdam.

Once when I was living in Bern (this was in 1962) I took a seven-week bicycle trip that went partly (but not entirely) along the Rhine, stopping among other places in Basel, Breisach, Kehl, Speyer, Oppenheim, Wiesbaden, Limburg, Siegen, Hagen, Lünen, Amersfoort, Amsterdam, den Haag, Chaam, Antwerpen, Brussels, Namur, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Basel again and then back to Bern.

I remember that on the return stretch from Strasbourg to Basel I had a strong tailwind, so I covered the distance in about half the time I had expected.

  • Last visit to Basel: Jun 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (21)

Comments (36)

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Thanks for virtual tour to Basel!

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    Hi Don, nice tour of Basel. Thanks for sharing.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    Lots of great things to do in Basel

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Hi Don, Enjoyed your page. We changed trains in Basel during journey from Paris to Lauterbrunnen several years ago. Nice to see the city on your page. Have been away to South East Asia for 19 days, 6 in Sabah ( North Borneo) a new destination for us and the remainder again in Chiang Mai & Bangkok following orchids.

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I liked this page about a city I did not think had so much to offer.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Oct 20, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      Thanks for your visit to my Basel page. I was surprised, too, at how much Basel has to offer.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    Your Shopping tip raised more questions than gave answers. Still I enjoyed the tour and the humor! Thanks Don!

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Hi Don, we were in Basel for 10 minutes during 2010, changing trains for Lauterbrunnen. Don congratulations on your Barfusserplatz tip, the biker photos are superb, a nice way to start my day @ 6:30am.

  • kris-t's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2011 at 4:31 AM

    Nice Basel page and interesting tips... I miss Prague, hope to be back one day ...

  • unaS's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2011 at 3:59 AM

    I do enjoy your clearly written and detailed tips. They are very helpful for planning a trip. Many thanks.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Nov 3, 2010 at 4:06 AM

    Some 'different' tips on this page! It is quite interesting what they make out of scrap. There is a gallery here that has beaut sculptures made out of scrap metal.


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