Insider tips from Basel: top events, competitions and special offers

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Tradition & events

Many of the events that take place in our city have a long tradition. The origins of Basel's famous Fasnacht Carnival date back to the 14th century. Similarly, the autumn fair also has a history of more than 500 years. However, some of the younger events that take place today have already become well-established dates on the calendar.

One should not forget the many smaller events that give the city of culture its well-deserved name. Some of these have already become well-established, others are still establishing themselves. However, they all have one thing in common - the blood, sweat and tears that the promoters and event organisers put in.

Carnival in Basel

Mayhem, music and merriment! The famous Basel Carnival begins on the Monday following Ash Wednesday. It only lasts for three days but the remaining 362 days of the year are busily spent making preparations. The Carnival starts with the “Morgestraich” (lantern parade) at 4 am on Monday morning, when the city is plunged into darkness and the cliques take control.


Autumn fair

The autumn fair is more than a normal funfair or carnival. For two weeks seven of the city's squares are transformed with fairground rides and delicious culinary treats. The numerous stalls of the large market on Petersplatz are even open for two days longer.


Christmas in Basel

If you are still in search of that special Christmas atmosphere, you will find it in Basel. Meandering through the winding streets of the historic Old Town, with its festively decorated houses and beguilingly adorned shop windows, you can not help but be enchanted by the city's Christmas magic.


Basel Tattoo

Based on the world-renowned Edinburgh Tattoo, the Basel Tattoo takes place every summer. With bagpipes, brass bands and traditional folk dancing, visitors cannot help but be amazed. The arena, specially built for this open air event in front of the historic backdrop of the former military barracks Kaserne Basel,  has room for an enthusiastic audience of around 7,500.


Art Basel

Held every June, Art Basel is the highlight of the international art scene and attracts thousands of art lovers and collectors each year to the banks of the river Rhine. More than 300 carefully selected exhibitors from the most important galleries in the world turn the exhibition into the most fantastic temporary art museum in the world.