The Best of Basel Walking Tour. Have you thought of visiting Switzerland? Why not take a trip to Basel? Basel, in the northwest of Switzerland at the border with France and Germany, allows visitors to explore the ancient sights of a city spanning the Rhine river.
The chemical and pharmaceutical sectors have made the third largest city in Switzerland famous. The city also has a thriving art and theater community, for which it is known far and wide. The cultural options of Basel are extensive, including numerous museums, theaters, and opera houses. The Best of Basel City Walking Tour Includes…
The Rhine, Europe’s longest river, will be at your feet for exploration. The tour includes stops in many noteworthy locations such as the Rittergasse, Münster Cathedral, Münster Pfalz, Kleinbasel, and more. There are sufficient positives for a visit to Basel at any time. Preparation for a new Swiss experience is in order. An engaging local expert will fill you in on some fascinating backstory about the city of Basel.
- Get your visit to Basel off to a great start on a private walking tour
- Learn about the city’s vibrant modern art scene and history from your guide
- Ask as many questions as you like from your private guide
Basel’s central location on the Rhine has made it a major trading hub throughout the city’s history. Basel’s proximity to both France and Germany has contributed to the city’s growth as a hub for Swiss culture; the city is home to numerous museums, galleries, and internationally acclaimed festivals. Basel is a city in Switzerland that is often neglected by tourists, despite its lively atmosphere, big and well-preserved old town, and prominent structures.
With one of Switzerland’s finest Old Towns, a plethora of museums, galleries, and theaters, a plethora of Rhine-centered activities, and easy proximity to both Germany and France, Basel is a fantastic travel destination.
As a city, Basel is a paradise for foodies, with restaurants serving everything from Swiss-German and Swiss-French classics to Japanese, South American, and Indian fare.
There’s something for everyone at the city’s little more than 500 eateries, and the food truck and market scene is thriving. Basel is located only minutes from the French border, but the city’s traditional cuisine has a strong Swiss-German flavor.
Swiss artist Jean Tinguely walled a small fountain with black asphalt and, inside, he built mechanical figurines that look like they are playing in the water; these figures are actually operated by the low-voltage current. Like the mime artists, actors, and dancers who previously performed on the stage that originally stood here, these 10 iron figures are always moving and talking to one another.
Artwork featuring a variety of moving characters was inspired by the fact that the site of the fountain was formerly a theater stage. About ten different people are posed side by side in the artwork. There are moments when the actors move and play with the water as if in a stage production.
Everyone loves the fountain that was finished in 1977. There are similar Tinguely kinetic fountains in Basel, Paris, and Fribourg, among other places.
Offene Kirche Elisabethen
Located in the heart of Basel, the Offene Kirche Elisabethen strives to be a welcoming, inclusive, and energetic event space for the community. Ecumenically supported by the Evangelical Reformed, Roman Catholic, and Old Catholic Churches of Basel-Stadt, this church is the first of its kind in Switzerland.
The Offene Kirche Elisabethen is temporarily housed in one of Switzerland’s most significant neo-Gothic structures. As the first new Protestant church to be constructed in Basel since the Reformation, it was constructed between 1857 and 1865.
Rittergasse is a very central street in Basel, leading from Münsterplatz and passing by Basler Münster. Lined up with old houses and several historical landmarks.
The Minster is, together with the Mittleren Brücke, one of the most recognizable symbols of the city of Basel. Its two tall, thin towers stand out against the cityscape’s red sandstone and colorful bricks.
There is evidence of a rich architectural history across several centuries in the form of the crypt, the choir, the grave of Erasmus von Rotterdam, the Gallus gate, and the two cloisters. There are currently regular gatherings and performances in the square adjacent to the cathedral. Furthermore, the Palatinate, a name given to the terrace that looks out over the Rhine, is a very well-liked spot in the city.
You can find the Münsterplatz in the heart of the city, right opposite to the ancient Münster, and it’s segmented into three sections:
Open space – the square is paved and rectangular in shape. Three of the sides are surrounded by old structures. A paved road forms the boundary of the fourth side. The area is under the “Allmend” usage zone. You can walk to the cathedral, the museums, the galleries, the restaurants, and the offices in less than ten minutes.
Trees grove – is rectangular in shape and it is encircled by a paved roadway. The Munster and other historic structures surround it on three sides. Four of the sides are buildings, and the fifth is the open Münsterplatz. In the midst of the trees, you can find an old fountain. The tree-lined area is part of the ‘green zone’ that encourages environmentally friendly behaviors. Close proximity to the church, office buildings, and apartments.
The Palatinate is a famous lookout point, as it provides a panorama of the hub formed by Basel, the Rhine, and the Palatinate. There are chausses on the ground, trees all around it, and a seat wall surrounding the entire area. From the Munster pier, you can board the Rhine ferry (Münster ferry) via a short flight of stairs. Green zone usage describes the current status of the area. Close proximity to the church, office buildings, and apartments.
Kleinbasel, the part of Basel on the right bank of the Rhine, used to be the place where ordinary workers lived and worked. Today it includes the old town of Kleinbasel and the districts of Rosental, Clara, Matthäus, Klybeck, Wettstein, Hirzbrunnen, and Kleinhüningen.
Helvetia auf Reisen Statue
The sculpture “Helvetia Travels” has been sitting on the bridge pillar on the lower Rhine path for around 40 years and looks wearily at the Rhine. The creator of the sculpture is Bettina Eichin. Born in Bern, she has had a studio directly on the other side of the Rhine for a number of years, with a view of the Helvetia sculpture.
The bridge initially served local traffic, but by the 14th century, when the path across the Gotthard Pass became international, it had become a major Rhine crossing for long-distance trade. The current Mittlere Brucke dates back to 1905 when the electric tram forced the replacement of the previous bridge. A replica of the medieval bridge chapel, or Käppelijoch, where executions took place is all that remains of the original structure.
The council rooms, the inner courtyard, the romantic arcades, and the tower make the town hall a must-see. After the devastating earthquake, this structure was erected to serve as the new government center. Basel’s front building was rebuilt with a more emblematic structure after the city joined the Confederation.
The battlements were adorned with the coats of arms of the 12 countries that made up the Confederation at the time the canton joined it. As part of the town hall’s expansion at the turn of the 17th century, artist Hans Bock painted a series of stylized facades to give the building an imposing appearance. The tower on the right and the wing on the far left were added around 1900.
The impressive town hall, which serves as the administrative center for Basel-Stadt Canton, dominates the Marktplatz (market square). Vegetables, fruits, and flowers are sold directly on the square during the week.
The brightly painted town hall is the focal point of the square. Nonetheless, the locals of Basel rely on this location on a daily basis, as the market held here every weekday is a welcome addition to the central business district’s supermarkets. Numerous regional, Swiss, and international specialties are available for gourmets.
Located directly in the heart of Basel, the Barfüsserplatz is home to the Barfüsserkirche. It’s also a major transportation center. In this metropolis, eight separate tram lines crisscross each other to reach every corner.
As early as the year 1100, a commercial community stood on the current site of Barfüsserplatz, replacing the Barfüsserkirche as one of the four cores of the valley town, the heart of the city of Basel.
Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz host one of Switzerland’s largest and most picturesque Christmas markets. The city’s cultural attractions are bolstered in the weeks leading up to Christmas by a plethora of events and outstanding special displays in the museums.
The market takes place at Barfüsserplatz from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. In the heart of the city, you can find inspiration in the diverse selection of goods and services on sale, as well as the chance to unearth hidden gems.
Tour type: Guided tour/Private
Guide language: English
Duration: 3 hours
Price: from $580 (per group, max 10 persons)