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

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48h with the BaselCard

Welcome to Basel! To make your stay as pleasant as possible, the city of Basel has a special “upgrade” for you: Every hotel guest in Basel receives this card when checking in. You can use it to travel free of charge on public transport, to access the free guest WiFi and to benefit from attractive cultural and leisure activities. We wish you an unforgettable stay in Switzerland’s cultural capital.

Do you only have one or two days to see our city? The following activities are ones you shouldn’t miss out on:

10.00 am: Visit Kunstmuseum Basel

Kunstmuseum Basel is one of the most renowned museums of its type internationally and houses the world’s oldest public art collection. Its world-famous collection currently consists of around 4,000 paintings, sculptures, installations and videos, plus 300,000 drawings and prints spanning seven centuries. Its first major extension opened in 1980 in the form of the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, one of the world’s first museums for contemporary art. And since April 2016, Kunstmuseum Basel has consisted of three buildings – opposite the main building there is now a new extension which features special exhibitions and collections.

Kunstmuseum Basel

1.00 pm: Lunch at a Basel restaurant

Here you will find an enormous selection, the offer ranges from small and charming to award-winning restaurants. Whether you fancy traditional food, gourmet creations or exotic specialities – Basel offers everything that the heart desires. The Kunsthalle restaurant is one of the city’s traditional dining venues. For an informal get-together the locals meet in the “brown part” or in the spacious garden under the chestnut trees. For celebrations, the formal section with white tablecloths provides an elegant ambience.


2.30 pm: Guided tour of the Old Town and Basel Cathedral

Join us on a journey back through the ages. There can be few other cityscapes where buildings dating back as far as the fifteenth century engage so harmoniously and vibrantly with the contemporary creations of internationally distinguished architects. On our tour, we'll tell you facts and anecdotes about Basel and the background to its development while passing historic buildings such as the Town Hall, the Basel Cathedral (Münster) and the Barfüsserkirche and thus discovering the city’s main sights. We then recommend visiting the cathedral, which is probably the city’s best-known landmark. Directly behind the cathedral is the Pfalz terrace, one of the most popular viewpoints in the city.

Guided tour of the Old Town & Basel Cathedral

5.00 pm: Visit Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

With over 6,000 teddy bears, dolls, toy grocers’ shops, doll houses and carousels, the Toy Worlds Museum Basel is unparalleled in Europe. The collection of over 2,500 teddies is the largest of its kind in the world. In addition to the enthralling exhibition, the Ristorante La Sosta, with its seasonal dishes and tasty snacks, invites you to linger a while. The museum shop is also well worth a second look, offering a wide range of gifts and mementoes.

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

6.30 pm: Drinks at the Bar Rouge

The Messeturm (trade fair tower) by Morger & Degelo and the adjacent exhibition centre aren’t just an architectural attraction. On the 31st floor, high above the roofs of Basel, you’ll find the highest bar in Basel. Bar Rouge is a bar, a lounge and a nightclub in one. Enjoy the spectacular view over Basel and excellent cocktails.

Bar Rouge

Overnight stay in Basel

Basel’s hotels offer accommodation for every taste and need. From traditional top-of-the-line hotels to youth hostels, from highly modern design hotels to the family atmosphere of a bed & breakfast, you’ll find what you’re looking for. 

Best hotels in Basel

10.00 am: Visit Fondation Beyeler

The museum built by Renzo Piano and opened in 1997 enabled the Fondation Beyeler to make its collection accessible to the public. 20 years on, the museum is the most popular art gallery in Switzerland. The 300-plus works of classic modernism reflect the views of Hildy and Ernst Beyeler on 20th-century art and highlight features typical of the period: from Monet, Cézanne and van Gogh to Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein and Bacon. The paintings appear alongside tribal art from Africa, Oceania and Alaska.

Fondation Beyeler

12.15 Uhr: Lunch Boat

Enjoy lunch on board one of the Basler Personenschifffahrt ships while watching the city glide by. The kitchen team will pamper you with sophisticated seasonal dishes. The cruise takes you from the city centre to the border triangle and back, allowing you to combine a delicious lunch with a sight-seeing tour.

Lunch Boat

2.00 pm: Basel Zoo

Basel Zoo is a popular excursion destination and well worth a visit at any time of year. In the summer months the park is an ideal place to stroll in the open air, in the winter months the various animal houses guarantee up close and personal encounters with a wide variety of animals. If you wish to discover an underwater world, there are several underwater creatures to discover at the vivarium.

Zoo Basel

7.30 pm: Attend a performance at Theater Basel

The largest mixed-programme theatre company in Europe offers a broadly diverse repertoire, including dance, opera and theatre. From September until June around 600 performance of over 40 new productions in the fields of opera, theatre and ballet are presented on the three stages (Grosse Bühne, Kleine Bühne and Schauspielhaus). Numerous awards such as "Theatre of the year", "Opera house of the year" or "Choir of the year" and renowned guest performances and international co-productions illustrate the regional and international importance of Theater Basel.

Theater Basel