Switzeland’s city of culture, Basel dazzles with its museums, art galleries and architectural wonders. Here is a 48h programme for you in this city that is at its most colourful during the Fasnacht Fesival (March 10-13).
The popular quarter of Grossbasel in the Old Town is an ideal spot for starting a tour. Here stands the 11th century Basel Münster (cathedral), which also boasts the tombstone of the renowned renaissance scholar Erasmus, who died in Basel in 1536. The medieval monarch Lälle Keenig meanwhile is depicted sticking out his tongue in a statue that is another Grossbasel trademark. From here you can also explore the historic quarter of Kleinbasel, which stretches along the banks of the river.
We are standing on the Mittlere Rheinbrücke (Middle Rhine Bridge) in port city Basel, which connects Switzerland to the sea via the River Rhine. It’s fun to watch, even photograph, the reflection of the medieval buildings in the river here. Strolling along the riverbank, we come to the Kunstmuseum (Museum of Fine Arts), founded in the 17th century, where a rich collection of everything from Picasso paintings to Jean Tinguely designs is on display.
We have included Basel, which is home to Switzerland’s oldest university, in our night tour, because this place is as beautiful by night as it is by day. Be sure to witness the stunning play of light on the elegant fountain and water jets. The Fasnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) is another of the city’s must-see fountains.
During the Fasnacht Festival, which kicks off on March 10 this year, all the city’s lights are extinguished towards four in the morning and people come outside carrying lanterns. You have to go to the Marktplatz to see the street shows and fantastic costumes. The Rathaus (Town Hall) on the square known for its open-air markets is itself a 16th century Renaissance palace. One of the city’s main shopping avenues also runs into this square.
This city, which offers countless alternatives from art galleries to theaters and cinemas, is justly proud of its museums as well. Starting with the Tinguely Museum, literally dozens of them await you with everything from dolls and antiques to history and culture. What’s more, you can visit Basel’s museums very economically by purchasing a Museum Pass Card.
And now for Basel’s quintessential art complex: Schaulager. A staggering diversity of shows is mounted throughout the year in this extraordinary building in minimalist Stone Age style, designed by the architecture duo Herzog & de Meuron..
Next is the Beyeler Foundation, where the Beyeler family’s personal art collection has been exhibited since 1997. An extensive collection from Van Gogh to Miro is on display in the galleries of this museum, which also boasts restaurants and shopping areas as well as works by Rodin in the sculpture section.
Choose a restaurant on the banks of the Rhine for dinner. In addition to international cuisine, you can also find local dishes in Basel. Fondue served with tiny new potatoes, grilled game meats and wild berry tortes are just some of the delicacies that await you here.