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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. 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. 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.

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.

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.

Basel History Tour for Groups

4. 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.

Welcome to Basel: Private Tour with a Local

5. 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.

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.

Mount Pilatus Golden Round Trip Small Group Tour from Luzern

8. Mount Pilatus Golden Round Trip Small Group Tour from Luzern

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.

Basel: 1-Hour Group Walking Tour

9. Basel: 1-Hour Group Walking Tour

Discover Basel in just 1 hour and see all the highlights of the city on a short walking tour. See the architecturally-significant buildings, lively squares and impressive places. Take a look at the lovely sculptures decorating the Basel Minster and learn about the whimsical decorations on the Tinguely fountain. On the way, hear an overview of the history and founding of Basel. Get an incredible overview of the famous landmarks and history of the Swiss city in just one hour during a tour of the old city by a professional and friendly tour guide.

Basel: Theatrical Jailbirds, Butchers, and Elegant Ladies

10. 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.

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Frequently asked questions about 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 1,086 reviews

The best investment to get to know Switzerland. The 4-day pass is valid from 00:00 on the first day and ends at 05:00 on the fifth day. So it gives a good margin. You don't have to activate anything, just show the pass to the conductor or at the museum ticket office.

The whole tour is amazing, Francisca y Armando excellent. She knows the area to perfection. The falls are impressive and the medieval town is like taken from a movie. Beautiful!!

It was a great experience. Plenty to eat. We did get a bit confused with the Kults bakery and went to the wrong one to start with so be aware!

We made use of the Swiss Travel Pass. It was amazing. The ticket arrived right and fast. And great value. I recommend

Worth a 2-week journey as we used the trains a lot. Also it works as a museum pass as well.