The western part of Basel is very popular as a residential area. But the reason why so many visitors also end up here is because it’s home to Basel Zoo. If you sit outside one of the district's cafés or restaurants, the background noises might even make you feel as if you’ve suddenly been transported to Africa. But there are other popular excursion destinations here, too, such as the Bachgraben recreational area, which features an outdoor pool and a mini-golf course.
New in the district: Vintage Letters
Alexandra Schwarz-Vuilleumier fulfilled a dream with her shop Vintage Letters: on a visit to Paris she discovered her fascination for various shapes and fonts of old neon sign letters. She spent a good part of her free time collecting and re-illuminating all types of neon sign letters. She now sells them in a lovingly restored workshop in Basel’s Gotthelf district.
Shopping tip: Wirth’s Huus cheese expertise and catering
Alex Wirth has made it his goal in life to counter refrigerator boredom and the industrial manufacture of cheese: his shop in the Colmarerstrasse offers select cheeses and cheese specialities. His customers especially appreciate the fact that he knows all his cheese producers personally and can name the origin of the individual wheels of cheese.
Dining tip: Milchhüsli
Milchhüsli gained fame across the country as the favourite drinking place of Inspector Hunkeler – the fictional detective of Swiss writer Hansjörg Schneider. Schneider liked to send Hunkeler there for a glass or two of beer, and wove the pub into his stories. The smoky atmosphere of Schneider’s era has since given way to a brightly-lit interior where visitors can enjoy tasty lunches at midday and wonderful concerts in the evening.
Quartierkopf Olivier Pagan
I like the amazing diversity of this district. Every morning, when I ride my bike down the Erdbeergraben to work, I always marvel at the wonderful view of the dense green vegetation at the zoo. This part of the city is characterized by its contrasts and there are both busy corners and many small shops that recall times gone by. One of my favourites is the Bumann bakery. My tip: the mini Linzer tortes there are the best!