About Basel

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Basel – Switzerland’s Capital of Art and Culture 

Nestling in the heart of Europe in the three countries corner where Switzerland, Germany and France meet, Basel is a pocket-sized metropolis that combines proverbial Swiss quality with a multicultural population. This makes the city unmistakably open-minded, happy and innovative.

A Paradise for Museum Lovers 

For museum lovers, one thing is quite clear: Basel is not a city that can be discovered in just a few hours. This is assured by nearly 40 museums and the city is therefore rightly referred to as the cultural capital of Switzerland. From the world’s oldest public art collection in the Kunstmuseum Basel (Museum of Fine Arts), to the Swiss Architecture Museum, or to the Fondation Beyeler with its unique collection from the era of classical modernity and spectacular selection of special exhibits. With this highly diverse specialism, there is something to interest each and every visitor. 

When Culture Stirs Up Life 

It is almost incredible how much art you can enjoy in Basel. No other city in Switzerland invests as much in art and culture as Basel. Art and culture are constantly being reinvented and are in a state of permanent flux. The Theater of Basel could mark milestones in the world of German-language theatre and the Symphony Orchestra Basel is one of the leading Orchestras in Switzerland to name just a few examples.

Explore History in Basel’s Old Town 

As one of the most beautiful and best-preserved old towns in Europe, it is far more than a mere backdrop. You will experience history at first hand in the heart of the city. The Old Town is divided in two sides by the River Rhine: Grossbasel and Kleinbasel. Both parts of the city have their own individual charm. Kleinbasel entices with the Rhine bank, which invites to linger and relax at the first rays of sunshine. The Old Town of Grossbasel on the other hand captivates with its snug spots and winding alleys, which invite to take a stroll. 

The Savoir-vivre in Basel 

The Rhine plays a key role in the life and development of Basel. It is both a vital waterway and a local place for recreation. The Rhine has always been the gateway to the sea and therefore an important trade route. But still more important is undoubtedly its contribution to the high quality of life that Basel can offer its guests and inhabitants, together with the pleasantly mild climate with many sunny days in which the city basks. The Rhine offers valuable space to relax, to engage in sports or quite simply to enjoy life. The people of Basel are very fond of their River Rhine, and accordingly spend a great deal of time beside it and in it – strolling along its idyllic banks, swimming or simply relaxing. 

Basel – An Architectural Mecca 

Contemporary architecture has become a brand name for Basel: cutting-edge buildings by top international architects in fascinating contrast to the dignified traditions of the old town round out the image of this cosmopolitan metropolis. In matters of architecture, Basel has a good deal to offer; most certainly since local architects Herzog & de Meuron, Morger & Degelo or Diener & Diener have enhanced the world’s great cities with their exciting constructions. What is more, in the region of Basel are buildings and structures from several international architects who have been awarded with the Pritzker price (worldwide most renowned price for architecture), amongst other Richard Meier, Renzo Piano, Frank Ghery and Zaha Hadid.

Basel Port – On the Border Triangle 

The tri-border region at the Rhine harbour marks the meeting point between Switzerland, Germany and France. This makes the city unmistakably lively and innovative. Living where they do at the meeting point of three countries, its people have a tolerant and cosmopolitan view of life.

Gourmet Paradise 

Basel whets one’s appetite in the most varied and delightful ways. What applies to its remarkable cultural heritage is also true of its culinary scene. Thanks to the city’s location, its cuisine is both excellent and eclectic. Experience “culture unlimited” and an unrivalled savoir-vivre: the sunny banks of the Rhine, the romantic streets of the excellently preserved Old Town and countless boulevard cafés invite you to stroll and enjoy. In trendy bars or historic taverns – every taste is catered for.

Trade Fair and Congress Venue 

Basel is Switzerland’s leading trade fair and congress venue and hosts two extremely important international trade fairs: Art Basel, and BASELWORLD – The Watch and Jewelry Show – both of which lend the city an exclusive air every year in spring time. In addition, Basel is a congress and exhibition city with a long tradition due to the central location, excellent transportation links, the outstanding infrastructure and countless possibilities for putting together a leisure activity program. 

Top Events all Year Round 

Celebrate festivals with the people of Basel as they happen: join the life-loving and enthusiastic residents as they celebrate carnival like nowhere else! It may last for only three days, but the city prepares for it 362 days in advance. Besides this, the spectacular Basel Tattoo, the Baloise Session which has world stars such as Elton John or the Swiss Indoors (one of the most important indoor tennis tournaments in the world) give good reason for letting enthusiasm overflow. Well worth a visit is also the Advent period to which Basel attaches special importance.

Experience the Region of Basel 

When it comes to its neighbors, Basel is very lucky – and not only because of the close bonds that transcend borders, but also because of the beautiful scenery, the picturesque locations and the many culinary temptations that surround the city on the Rhine. The bordering cantons of Baselland and Solothurn, as well as the Alsace and the Black Forest form a beautiful recreation area close to the city, featuring innumerable opportunities for leisure activities. It takes only a short time by public transport to reach the Roman town of Augusta Raurica, the excellent restaurants in the Alsace or one of the famous wine cellars in Baden.