Nestled in Switzerland’s picturesque Rhine bend, Basel’s boulevards and winding streets are dotted with some of the best-preserved mediaeval buildings in Europe. Leave space in your itinerary for these top ten Basel attractions:
1. Art Basel
Possibly the city’s greatest visitor draw, this annual art show opens its doors this week and runs until 21 June. The festival comprises exhibitions, films and discussions between inspirational members of the arts community and deserves the description ‘the Olympics of the art world’. In recent years it has expanded to Hong Kong and Miami, but this is the authentic original.
2. Foundation Beyeler
A tour of this museum leads you on a spectacular journey through 19th and 20th century art. Permanent highlights include Cézanne’s dreamy, impressionistic Seven Bathers, while this summer’s exhibitions celebrate Paul Gauguin and Marlene Dumas.
3. Basel Minster
This spectacular red sandstone Gothic cathedral has sat overlooking the river for approximately one thousand years. Its roof is covered with brightly coloured tiles, while soaring pillars support the impossibly high ceiling in the nave. Take a guided tour through the monument-lined cloisters to explore the beauty of this magnificent building.
Basel receives around 35,000 hours of sunshine every year, so take some time to savour it on the Rhine’s grassy banks. Swimming in the river is popular in summertime, but is only advisable for confident swimmers thanks to the strong currents.
5. Historisches Museum Basel
Learn all about the fascinating history of the city at this museum, housed in a spectacular old church. The jewel in the collection’s crown is the recreated Basel Dance of Death mural, in which Mediaeval figures from all walks of life meet the skeletal figure of death.
You can spend days wandering through Basel admiring its eclectic architecture. Start at the old city gates, complete with crenellated watch towers, then stop at a café for Basler Leckerli, special biscuits filled with spices, almonds, honey and just a drop of kirsch.
7. Bird’s Eye Jazz Club
This atmospheric, low-lit bar is one of the finest places in Europe to hear international live jazz. Listen five nights a week from 8:30pm to skilled, impassioned performances from the professionals, or take part in a musical workshop yourself.
8. Museum Tinguely
This fun, mobile gallery is filled with the quirky installations of Jean Tinguely, a Basel native known for his kinetic sculptures. The interactivity of the exhibitions makes this an ideal choice for families with children.
9. Basel Zoo
Home to every animal from antelope to zebra, this zoo is regularly named as one of the best in Europe. It has been open since 1874, but continues to make regular improvements to better the animals’ lives. The kinderzolli is specifically designed for its youngest visitors, with adorable minipigs and ponies to pet.
The city hall is a spectacular Renaissance palace, its red brick walls covered in frescos. Take a guided tour inside to see the council rooms and charming covered walkways, then explore the market stalls selling flowers, vegetables and fruit outside.
The Engel & Völkers Basel office is centrally located on Grenzacherstrasse, making us the ideal partners in your search for a Swiss investment property. Visit us online or in-store to find out more.