Swimming in the Rhine
High water in summer 2021
Due to the current critical water level of the river, bathing in the Rhine is not advised at the moment.
Your day swimming in the Rhine
Swimming in the Rhine is Basel’s most popular sport in summer. Do as the locals do, and experience an extra-special leisure activity. The colourful Wickelfisch – a swim bag in the shape of a fish which was invented in Basel – will keep your clothes dry.
The Rhine bathing houses
The bathing houses directly on the banks of the Rhine are a perfect place to relax and provide great access to the water. So it’s off to one of the two Jugendstil bathing houses, bathing suit on and walk upriver. Then simply drift on the current until you are back to where you started from!
Good to know.
The easiest point of entry is at Schaffhauserrheinweg 93, just below Museum Tinguely. You can swim along the Kleinbasel side until shortly before the Dreirosenbrücke. For all points of entry and exit, see the map provided by Swiss Lifesaving Society (Schweizerische Lebensrettungs-Gesellschaft SLRG).
Please swim in the Rhine only if you are a good and safe swimmer. To ensure that swimming in the Rhine is a great experience, please observe the following safety information:
- Swim with at least one other person, never alone.
- Inflatable flotation aids are not allowed.
- Don’t tie the Wickelfisch (swim bag) around your body or use it as a flotation aid.
- Avoid the bridge pillars, as dangerous eddies can form there.
- Keep away from fishing weirs – you could risk injury!
- Jumping off bridges is strictly prohibited.
- Stay close to the Kleinbasel banks.
- Swimming is not allowed in the port area or near the weirs.
- Keep checking upriver, as ships coming from this direction are silent and difficult to manoeuvre.
In its Guidelines for Rhine Swimmers, Swiss Lifesaving Society provides further tips for swimming safely in the Rhine.
Inexperienced swimmers can cool off at Rheinbad St. Johann right by Johanniterbrücke. It also features a non-swimmer pool.