Basel Sights

The Rhine divides the city into two distinct sections: on the southwestern bank lies Grossbasel (Greater Basel), the commercial, cultural, and academic center, which encompasses the Altstadt (Old Town) and, directly upriver, the quiet winding medieval streets of St. Alban, where you can stroll along the Rhine, peek into antiques shops, then dine in a cozy bistro. Also in Grossbasel is the upscale

and leafy residential neighborhood of Bruderholz, home to one of Switzerland's best restaurants, Stucki. The opposite bank, to the northeast, is Kleinbasel (Lesser Basel), a Swiss enclave on the "German" side of the Rhine that is the blue-collar quarter of the city. Here are the convention center, chain stores galore, artsy boutiques, and hotels with terraces that afford glorious views of the Münster (cathedral).

The best way to see Basel is on foot or by tram, as the landmarks, museums, and even the zoo radiate from the Old Town center on the Rhine, and the network of rails covers the territory thoroughly.

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Altstadt 21

Basel Environs 3

St. Alban 3

Kleinbasel 2

Colonia Augusta Raurica (Augst) 2

Zoo 1

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 1

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Building/ Architectural Site 3

Fountain 1

Government Building 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 2

Museum/ Gallery 13

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 2

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 2

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 5

Town/ Village 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Basel Sights

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Augusta Raurica

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

The remains of this 2,000-year-old Roman settlement have been extensively rebuilt, with substantial portions of the ancient town walls...

Basler Papiermühle

  • Museum/Gallery

In a beautifully restored medieval mill with a still functioning waterwheel, this museum honoring paper, writing, and printing is wonderfully...

Blaues und Weisses Haus

  • House/Mansion/Villa

Built between 1763 and 1775 for two of the city's most successful silk-ribbon merchants, these were the residences of the brothers Lukas...


  • Fountain

Created by the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, known for his work in mechanized media, this delightful, animated construction was inaugurated...


  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

Fishmongers once kept their catches marketfresh on this square, whose fountain basin served as a sort of communal cooler. The fountain...

Fondation Beyeler

  • Museum/Gallery

For decades, the world's most prestigious art collectors would journey to Basel to worship at the feet of one of modern art's greatest...

Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois

The statues on the facade depict the biblical three wise men and are thought to date from 1754. The young general Napoléon Bonaparte...

Historisches Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

Housed within the 13th-century Barfüsserkirche (Church of the Shoeless Friars), this museum has an extensive collection of Basel's cathedral...


  • Museum/Gallery

A must-see for lovers of contemporary art, this museum has hosted landmark, precedent-setting exhibits of contemporary art since 1872.


  • Museum/Gallery

In a city known for its museums, the Kunstmuseum is Basel's heirloom jewel. It was built in 1936 to house one of the world's oldest public...