People sitting on the banks of the Rhine River in Basel
Photo by Michael Springmann  –  Link



The city of Basel in northwest Switzerland hugs the picturesque Rhine River, with the borders of France and Germany close by. Known as a hub for art and culture, Basel is home to more than 40 museums and a full roster of festivals and events throughout the year, including the famous Art Basel fair.

It's the third most populous city in Switzerland (after Zurich and Geneva), and it's just as exciting as any. Fly into the international EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg and experience all that Basel has to offer, from the medieval old town to the impressive 16th-century Town Hall and the lovely red sandstone M√ľnster Cathedral (aka Basel Minster). And if you forget to brush up on your Swiss German (the most common language spoken here), don't worry - you can easily get by speaking English or French.

Events in Basel

  • Art Basel: Founded in 1970 by two Basel-based gallerists, Art Basel is an international art fair that now draws thousands of visitors to its three outposts in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong every June.
  • Baselworld: This renowned watch and jewellery show is where brands reveal their latest innovations. It takes place at the Messe Basel exhibition area in March.
  • Jazz Festival: Jazzfestival Basel takes over the city centre each summer, bringing music and live performances to the city streets.
  • Carnival of Basel: For three days beginning on the Monday after Ash Wednesday, locals in Basel (and thousands of visitors) celebrate the Carnival by putting on costumes and taking to the streets for a big parade/party.


Out of all the cities in Switzerland, Basel has the highest concentration of museums (40), with everything from important institutions to quirky and unusual sites. We recommend spending some time at Kunstmuseum (an amazing art gallery), the Basel Paper Mill, and the medicine-themed Pharmazie-Historisches Museum.

If you've got kids in tow, check out Museum Tinguely and Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel, aka the Toy Museum.