Often overlooked by those who fly straight to the larger, well-trodden cities of Zürich and Geneva, beautiful Basel is one of Switzerland’s – if not Europe’s – most underrated destinations. Situated in a scenic setting on the River Rhine between the borders of France and Germany and boasting an eclectic mix of sights and attractions, both historic and contemporary, this charming city is sure to enchant and inspire.
Visiting Basel via river boat is the best way to experience all that this Swiss gem has to offer. You can enjoy views of the gorgeous surrounding scenery as you sail the Rhine straight into the city, then step ashore in the heart of it all to take in Basel’s many delights. The engaging medieval Old Town – one of 19 fascinating ‘quarters’ spread across the city – is a particular highlight. Here you can uncover beautifully preserved 15th century buildings, the Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, the imposing Rathaus and the ancient Spalentor gate, which all stand defiantly alongside a few fabulous modern structures designed by world-renowned architects.
Known as Switzerland’s ‘cultural capital’ Basel also boasts the largest collection of museums found in any Swiss city, with around 40 to discover dotted around the many districts. Among the most interesting are the Kunstmuseum, Gegenwartskunst and Schaulager museums, which all exhibit spectacular artwork from various eras and world-famous artists; the Museum der Kulturen ethnographic museum; Antikenmuseum, which houses a huge collection of antiquities; and the Puppenhaus teddy bear museum. Basel is also home to Switzerland’s oldest and largest zoo; and is known as the ‘green city’ thanks to the abundance of pretty parks botanical gardens.
- River Cruises to Basel