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10 Fun Things to do in Basel

Dreirosenbrücke in Basel - Jari Villoria  / 

Basel is not only one of Switzerland's largest cities but also one of it's most international ones. This is partly due to its location in the corner of three neighboring countries: Switzerland, France and Germany. There are quite a lot of people living in either France or Germany who are working in Basel and profiting from the high Swiss salaries. We call them "Grenzgänger" which means frontier-goers.

However, Basel is not only very international but also known for being a cultural city. Museums, galleries and a very well maintained old city make this the perfect stop for any art lover. There are plenty of other things to do and see in Basel of course which is why I'm sharing this  list of 10 Fun Things to do in Basel with you!

10 Fun Things to do in Basel

  1. Park im Grünen: Although not technically located in Basel but in Münchenstein, this park is easily reached in 10 minutes by tram from Basel's main station. This park is owned and maintained by Migros and at it's center sits a modern but comfortable self-service Migros restaurant. The park has much more to offer though: a big pond with ducks and fish, an antique carroussel, big playground for children, tons of walking trails and bike paths, etc. 
  2. Trams: For those who love trains and trams, this is a great way to spend a rainy day. Buy a day pass for all of Basel and discover the city from the comfort of your tram seat!
  3. Rhine River: This is one of Europe's largest rivers and it is impressive as it makes it way through Basel. There is a nice promenade along the shores of the Rhine where you can walk, run or even skate. In the summer it is popular with locals to swim in the river - join them but remember to heed the rules of river swimming!
  4. Football: Soccer is popular in Switzerland and one of the best clubs around here is FC Basel. You can purchase a ticket and enjoy a game. Soccer games are normally peaceful in Switzerland unless it's a high-risk game, like FC Basel vs. FC Zürich, where there's sometimes skirmishes between ultras.
  5. Visit Germany or France: You're so close you might as well take a short trip to the neighboring countries. One thing you'll notice: shopping is much cheaper abroad!
  6. Old City: Basel's old city is beautiful. The old houses are well preserved and in some parts streets are still covered in cobble stones. You can stroll through the market, visit the municipality and have a cup of coffee in one of the many cafés. 
  7. Zoo: Basel's zoo is called "Zolli" by the locals. Next to the Zoo in Zurich, it is Switzerland's largest and most known zoo. There is a big variety of animals and the zoo is constantly remodeling and improving the animal habitats. Great for a visit even on a rainy day!
  8. Tierpark Lange Erlen: You can see many local animals in this small wildlife park. There are pigs, turkeys, visent and many more. Entrance is free so you can even just come for a short visit!
  9. Fondation Beyeler: This is probably Basel's most famous art museum. Located in Riehen near Basel it shows the entire art collection of Hildy and Ernst Beyeler. There are works by Monet, Picasso, Cézanne and many more!
  10. Tinguely Museum: You can't write an article about Basel without at least mentioning Tinguely. He was one of Basel's most famous artists and you can see some of his sculptures around the city, e.g. in front of the opera. For a more in-depth experience visit the Tinguely museum!



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