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.