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10 tips for visiting Basel

Tips for your city trip to Basel

Thanks to Art Basel, one of the largest contemporary art fairs in the world, the Swiss city of Basel is a walhalla for culture lovers. But there is also plenty to enjoy for foodies, water enthusiasts and architecture fans. We have listed 10 tips for you for about three perfect days out.
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1. Climb to the roof of the city

Münsterplatz is home to one of the city's most recognisable and iconic structures: the Münster, or cathedral. The imposing medieval building, with both Gothic and Romanesque features, is the final resting place of Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus. Fully in style with this peace-loving humanist, you can enjoy a peaceful view of Basel from both towers, 250 steps above the tomb.

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2. Admire the city hall

The Rathaus is a landmark building in the city's centre. Its gates open onto a romantic courtyard garden with arcades. The facade is richly decorated with 17th-century 3D murals.

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3. Swim in the river Rhine

On summer days, the Rhine is where the action is. Thousands of people perch on the banks and seek coolness in the river water. The Badhysli, as locals call the swimming platforms, are the best places to enter the water and sunbathe. Prefer lying on pebbles? Then spread your towel on the beach next to Rheinbad Breite.

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4. Don't miss the boat

The Weidling has been used for transport since the Middle Ages and played an important role in the rise of Basel as a transit port on the trade route between Venice and the North Sea. To this day, the flatboat is still in full use. Take a boat trip with a rower who will teach you facts about the Rhine and Basel as a port city, or book a rowing lesson!

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5. Gaze up at the sky

It is clear that Basel is more than a business city of trade fairs and conventions. In the many bars and restaurants, you will hardly find anyone wearing a tie and, as a traveller, you immediately get that holiday feeling. Even on vacation, a walk to the Basel Exhibition Center is well worth it. The building was designed by the well-known architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron. If you stand on Messeplatz and strain your neck you will see the sky passing by through its circular opening.

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6. Enjoy an evening of open-air cinema

Every August a big screen rises on the historic Münsterplatz and for more than three weeks, you will be able to go to the open-air cinema Allianz Cinema. Not only the big screen offers entertainment. Beneath the trees, you will find numerous stalls. With a beer and a plate of street food, you can settle down at one of the many picnic tables.

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7. Lounge about the river Rhine

After a dip in the Rhine or a walk or picnic on the riverbank, it is time for another form of refreshment: an ice-cold drink in one of the city's Buvettes (open-air bars). On the lounge deck of Le Rhin Bleu, you can enjoy the day's special with a glas of wine − you will feel Mediterranean vibes.

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8. Duck into a former brewery

Now that the brewers have put away their uniforms, artists and designers are bringing the former Warteck brewery back to life. Check the calendar for interesting workshops.
Here, you can dine at Kulturbeiz113. No fewer than 113 steps (or a lift) lead to this intimate restaurant in the old malt tower, with spectacular views of the Rhine and city. The kitchen offers seasonal regional dishes and live concerts take place regularly.

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9. Go to the market

When the Markthalle opened in 1929, the building had the third largest concrete dome in the world. Under this imposing dome, you will find a wide range of stalls, food trucks and bars offering specialities from all over the world. In the evenings and on weekends, there are regular concerts and special events.

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10. Visit Hotel Victoria, near the station

Hotel Victoria is a 4-star hotel which offers traditional hospitality and modern comforts in the centre of Basel. It is ideally located next to the beautiful central station. In summer, you can relax on the outdoor terrace.

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Travelling by train is quick and comfortable

Basel is easily accessible by train from the Netherlands. ICE International takes you to Basel via connection train in Mannheim from Amsterdam Centraal in just one way.

Read more about travelling by train to Basel

Tips for Basel

From € 38