Sustainable Basel tips

Would you like to pay a visit to Basel while keeping your environmental footprint as small possible? That’s a great idea – and we have just the sustainable travel tips to provide you with inspiration along the way!

Sustainable travel

Basel is a city that is convenient to reach using environmentally friendly means of transport such as trains. Everything is right close by in the city centre, making it easy for you to explore Basel on foot or by bike.

Der Zugverkehr am Abend beim Bahnhof SBB

Getting there the climate-friendly way

If you take the train, you can quickly and easily travel to Basel from many European cities and be directly in the city centre within minutes of your arrival.

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BaselCard, the sustainable card for visitors

The BaselCard lets you travel free of charge on all public transport – starting with the trip to your hotel to check in after you arrive in the city. And for just CHF 20.00 a day, you can use an e-bike to get around.

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Durch Basel auf dem Fahrrad.

Bike city Basel

Compared with all other Swiss cities, Basel has the highest share of trips taken by bicycle. With a dense network of cycling routes, paths and other infrastructure, Basel is seeking to become the country’s most bicycle-friendly city.

Car-free city centre

The City Park & Ride combo ticket allows you to park your car in a multi-storey car park and benefit from an hour of free parking while you inexpensively continue your journey on the tram or bus. 

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Sustainable accommodations

You can sleep with a clear conscience here by staying in a hotel, hostel or B&B that is committed to environmental, economic and/or social sustainability. The BaselCard is also free with every booking.

Aussenansicht des GAIA Hotels Basel.

Gaia Hotel

This four-star hotel pursues a strategy of zero waste and uses organic products exclusively.

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This “integration hotel” puts its focus on sustainability from a social welfare and environmental standpoint, employing people with disabilities and offering guests the opportunity to rent bicycles as well as use charging stations.

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Ein Zimmer in der Jugendherberge Basel.

Basel Youth Hostel

In the Hotel Rating 2021, this architecturally charming hostel in Basel was named one of five most beautiful buildings of its type when compared with Switzerland’s other sustainable youth hostels.

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Das renovierte Hotel Radisson Blu in Basel.

Radisson Blu Hotel

This business hotel certified according to the Green Key programme features modern conference spaces and automatically offsets the carbon footprint of all meetings held on site.

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Cydonia Bett & Brot

This environmentally friendly bed and breakfast is located just a stone’s throw from the city centre and operated in a manner that conserves resources to the greatest extent possible.

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Wining and dining sustainably

A growing number of restaurants in Basel are primarily offering cuisine made with organic ingredients from the region and also helping to prevent food waste.

Zum goldenen Fass

All the dishes on this restaurant’s concise menu are carefully chosen to include natural and sustainable products – without long transport routes, as the ingredients all come from Basel and the surrounding region.

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Das vegetarische Restaurant Tibits.


Everything served in this cosy buffet eatery is vegan or vegetarian and nearly everything on offer is organic. Sustainability is a key component of the restaurant’s philosophy.

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Cantina Don Camillo

A vegan four-course meal, natural wines and a cordial atmosphere are a matter of course at this restaurant.

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Das Cafe Unternehmen Mitte.

Unternehmen Mitte

With the sworn credo of making the best out of the simplest of ingredients, the largest coffee house in Basel operates an organic restaurant as well as a mobile coffee bar on the Rhine.

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Discover Basel sustainably

Decelerate your visit on a sustainable basis by taking climate-friendly means of transport that cause no harm to humans, animals or the environment we all share. Workshops and special guided tours will enable you to gain even more insight into the sustainable projects in Basel. 

Take a guided tour at Smart City Lab

Take a look at the workshops and think tanks at Smart City Lab Basel, where over 60 partners from the business, scientific and administrative community tinker with innovative, sustainable solutions.

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Tour the city with Basel by Bike

You will be able to quickly explore the most beautiful and unmissable places in Basel as you are taken on a guided bike tour that ranges far beyond the core of the city centre.

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Take a guided tour on a solar-powered boat

Take the opportunity to get to know the city from the Rhine’s most beautiful perspective and learn more about the challenges facing the Canton of Basel-Stadt as well as the initiatives it is pursuing in regard to protecting the environment and climate.

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Take a guided tour with StadtHonig

Learn more about biodiversity in the city as you accompany a beekeeper on a visit to a bee colony in the middle of Basel.

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A bicycle taxi will conveniently bring you directly to your destination or take you on a relaxing sightseeing tour of Basel.

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Auf den vier Basler Fähren (hier die Münsterfähre «Leu») lässt sich der Rhein bequem und nur durch die Kraft der Strömung überqueren.
The four ferries that cross the river using only the natural power of the river's current connect the larger southern part of the city (Grossbasel) with the northern side of the river (Kleinbasel).

The Rhine ferries

The four ferries are each attached to a long wire cable and are driven by the flow of the Rhine itself.

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Das Restaurant Seegarten im Park im Grünen Münchenstein.

Basel is a “green” city

Basel’s parks and gardens are designed and maintained in a manner that is particularly sustainable, and the conferral of the Green City Switzerland award is an acknowledgement of this environmental effort.

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Other activities:

Basel is becoming even more sustainable

With the aim of becoming Europe’s environmental capital, Basel will apply to receive the European Green Capital Award 2025.

A sustainable city for exhibitions and conferences

Basel supports the climate-friendly staging of exhibitions and conferences and has been committed to sustainability for many years.

Thanks to its exemplary energy policy, Basel was once again awarded the European Energy Award Gold in 2018. The city has also been committed to the vision of a 2000-watt society since 2001. The goal is to reduce energy consumption gradually to 2000 watts per person.

Basel aims to increase its energy efficiency and promotes the development of renewable energy and environmentally compatible mobility: 

  • 100% of its power consumption is covered by renewable energy sources.
  • Basel has above-average public transport connections. A bus takes passengers from EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg to the Basel city centre in just 15 minutes. Zurich Airport is 70 minutes by train from Basel.
  • In 2019, Basel was the first Swiss city to declare a climate emergency. As such, the Basel Parliament considers combating climate change a responsibility of the highest priority.
  • Basel is an Energy City Gold, which is continuously working towards the efficient use of energy, climate protection and renewable energies.
  • The Basler Verkehrsbetriebe will convert its entire bus fleet to electric mobility by 2027. This makes it a pioneer in Europe.
  • Basel is a certified “city on the path to the 2000-watt society”.
  • It has set itself the goal of reducing annual carbon emissions to one tonne per inhabitant by 2050.
  • Hotel guests receive a free BaselCard, which allows them to use public transport for the entire duration of their stay – an effective measure to limit individual transport. In addition, the BaselCard can be used to rent an e-bike for only CHF 20.00 a day.

Basel takes ecological, economic and social aspects of sustainability into account in many other areas:

  • Basel wants to promote sustainable, fair consumption and is seeking the distinction of being a Fair Trade Town.
  • To promote sustainable food, Basel has signed up to the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact.
  • Basel is a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and ICLEI city networks, which support projects and campaigns for sustainable urban development.
  • The Congress Center Basel’s online climate calculator provides organizers with an overview of the climate impact and carbon footprint of their event. They can offset their emissions by supporting individually selected climate protection projects.

Basel Tourism is Swisstainable

Switzerland is already a pioneer in matters of sustainability – not only in terms of the landscape but also thanks to its outstanding infrastructure. Swiss cities make a good case for being sustainability superstars due to the spatial proximity of their points of interest in particular. Nowhere else in the world are the attractions, cultural institutions, restaurants, insider tips and opportunities to shop closer together.

This is also the case in Basel, and that is precisely why the city is eager and motivated to further develop and promote the destination in terms of sustainability. All of this is to happen not only within the Basel Tourism organization but also in close collaboration with the city and canton as well as various tourism service providers and stakeholders. Positioning Basel on a lasting basis as a world-renowned smart city is the objective that drives all partners and contributors.

Swisstainable level I

Basel Tourism participates in Swisstainable, the sustainability programme sponsored by Swiss Tourism. Level I companies are committed to sustainable corporate governance and continuously developing their operations in the direction of increased sustainability.