Looking for the Best Luxury Hotels in Basel? Home to 40 museums, the city of culture for connoisseurs has the highest concentration of museums in the country. Basel also has a beautiful Old Town, modern architecture, and the Rhine – an inviting spot to rest a while.
Basel is widely regarded as Switzerland’s cultural capital, and with good reason: in this city you will encounter art at every turn, whether you stroll through the beautiful Old Town or visit one of almost 40 museums. What’s more, Basel also features top-class modern architecture just waiting to be discovered on a city tour.
The Rhine is Basel’s unofficial emblem. In summer you will find life in all its facets here as sun worshippers, walkers, students and businesspeople all gather on the shore. The river is a perfect place for a refreshing dip or a pleasant ferry trip; enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean at the Rhine knee. You can visit The Best Rhine River Cruise Guide here, or visit us on Pinterest.
Basel Weather – Best Time to Visit Basel
Basel is the warmest place in Switzerland north of the Alps. Basel enjoys a temperate oceanic climate with warm summers. The yearly average maximum temperature in Basel is 59°F (ranging from 41°F in January to 77°F in August). Basel is situated in the Rhine valley, and the heat is conserved by the warmed up houses and the surrounding hills.
Best time to visit Basel is the season between Mid May and End of June, Mid August to End of October. April and May are often wet.
Normally there are only a few days with snow in the streets. A white Christmas is hardly seen. The real Winter is relatively short from Mid January to beginning of March.
Best 5 Things to Do in Basel
Visit the Basel Altstadt (Oldtown)
One of the very best things to do in Basel is to simply to wander around the city and allow the settlement to reveal itself to you. After all, parts of Basel’s old town date all the way back to the 15th-century and the Altstadt is often said to be one of the prettiest and best-preserved old towns in all of Europe. Best explored on foot, old and new blend beautifully.
Admire the Rathaus (Town Hall) and Marktplatz
Much of the old town is centered around the Rathaus (town hall) and the building itself takes pride of place in Basel’s central square (Marktplatz). The Rathaus dates back some five hundred years and it is now where the meetings of the Cantonal Parliament (Switzerland is divided into Cantons and Basel is in the Canton of Basel-Stadt) now take place.
See Baseler Münster/ Basel Minster (Cathedral)
In the heart of the city, Basel’s impressive cathedral is a must-see on any trip. Gothic and imposing, the ecclesiastical building dates back to the 11th-century. Originally a Catholic Church, the Münster is built in a beautiful blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Now, the cathedral is the final resting place of several notable figures, including Erasmus. It’s also worth noting that it’s free to enter inside the red sandstone building, making a trip to Basel’s Cathedral one of the best free things to do in Basel.
Visit the Vitra Design Museum
As quirky on the outside as the designs its holds on the inside, the Vitra Design Museum is located around forty-five minutes from the city center via public transport. Dedicated to the research and presentation of design, the building itself was designed by Frank Gehry and hosts two temporary exhibitions annually. You can discover more about how to visit the Basel cultural hub on the Vitra museum website.
Enjoy art at the Kunstmuseum
As a city well-known for art, it should come as no surprise that one of the very best things to do in Basel is to head to its gigantic art museum. Home to the largest and most significant collection of artworks in Switzerland, the first roots of the museum date back to the Amerbach Cabinet. The Kunstmuseum is not only one of the most significant collections in Switzerland, but one of the oldest art museums in Europe.
5 Best Basel Restaurants
Ackermannshof $30 & Over
Chef Flavio Fermi creates contemporary and personal versions of Mediterranean dishes with a minimalistic approach, allowing for every part of the menu to be carefully thought over. This restaurant’s location is unique as well since it is an old restored printing house. With one Michelin star, Ackermannshof offers its guests the possibility to dine in a welcoming yard with fairy lights and white-clothed tables. Telephone: 41 61 551 22 44 Web: Ackermannshof
Roots $30 & Over
Whether you are having five, six, seven or all nine courses: each course takes its inspiration from the current season and is freshly prepared for you using predominantly regional, hand-selected ingredients. The menu has a selection of matching wines, from (modern) classics to newcomers. Telephone: 41 61 322 10 56 Web: Roots
Stucki -Tanja Grandits $30 & Over
Tanja Grandits uses the best basic products, masterfully uses herbs and spices and thus creates her consistently unmistakable style. Her very own restaurant world is witty, full of freshness and aromas, staged with colors and subtleties that guests are happy to be enchanted by. Telephone: 61 361 09 92 Web: Stucki
Bel Etage $30 & Over
The Bel Etage offers seasonal, product-oriented and no-frills gourmet cuisine at the highest level. Head chef Michael Baader has been in charge of the kitchen since the establishment opened in 1989. The multi-award-winning restaurant with a Michelin star offers a changing range of à la carte dishes and various menus with exciting wine accompaniments. Telephone: 41 61 261 10 10 Web: Bel Etage
Cheval Blanc $30 & Over
Chef de Cuisine Peter Knogl welcomes his guests at the Cheval Blanc with a symphony of aroma, colour and delicately balanced flavours; artfully prepared from the best that nature has to offer. The Cheval Blanc now ranks among the top 100 restaurants in the world, due to its team’s culinary creations that enrich French haute cuisine with Mediterranean and Asian influences. Telephone: 41 61 260 50 07 Web: Cheval Blanc
Best Basel Bars
Classic dishes, seasonal delicacies, exquisite wines and cocktails are served here in the unique Volkshaus Basel style. From the delicious beef tartare, the homemade meatloaf, Wiener Schnitzel to the perfectly grilled steak fries, we offer you culinary delights that pamper your senses. Telephone: 41 61 690 93 00 Web: Volkhaus
Cargo Bar is a funky young pub-bar that fronts on to the river, underneath the arches of the Johanniterbrücke. On the blackboard you’ll find the illustrations of the drink of the day, wine of the week and upcoming live music, plus alternative art exhibits. Telephone: 41 61 321 00 72 Web: Cargo Bar
The bar with salami and cheese specialties and over 100 wines in the heart of Kleinbasel’s old town. The extensive range and lively atmosphere make Consum an uncomplicated meeting point. Web: Consum Winebar
Local drinks connoisseurs will tell you that this is the best cocktail bar in Basel, with a dizzying array of spirits and homemade syrups served by enthusiastic mixologists. It also offers cocktail workshops. Web: Blaupause
Some of the best views in the city come courtesy of this relaxed, bohemian rooftop bar atop the Sudhaus complex in the old Warteck brewery building. There’s a small but perfectly formed bar menu, craft beers and a good wine list. Telephone: 61 311 30 00 Web: Kulturbeiz 113