Explore the historic center and museums of this quaint Swiss town. It borders France and Germany and fuses all three cultures.
Basel is a historic Swiss city that lies on the country’s borders with France and Germany. It is home to many museums, galleries and a charming center filled with antique structures. The River Rhine divides the city into two parts. Grossbasel, which contains the historic center, is southwest. Kleinbasel has an active nightlife.
Visit the Basel Art Museum (Kunstmuseum Basel) which contains the largest assortment of artwork by the Holbein family, the German gothic and renaissance artists from the 15th and 16th centuries. International works date back many centuries. See paintings by Van Gogh and Cézanne in the 19th-century exhibits. Browse works by cubist and impressionist artists, such as Picasso and Braque.
Learn about five centuries of the history of melody and composition at the Music Museum, where you’ll find more than 650 musical instruments from the last 500 years. Find out about antique parades, dances and festivals and hear the intriguing sounds of Old World music. The remarkable museum is located in the cells of a former prison. See an old cell that has been left as it was when the prison was active.
Attend one of Switzerland’s biggest carnivals, Basler Fasnacht, which takes place on the Monday after Ash Wednesday and lasts for three days every year. Watch parades, singers and many acts and events.
The city is in the center of the Dreiländereck (Three Countries’ Corner) region in northwest Switzerland. Although the official language is German, many locals speak a dialect called Baseldytsch. You will find a lot of people who speak English and French as well.
Basel has warm summers and cold winters with a postcard-pretty skyline when its quaint landmarks are covered in snow. Basel is around 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) west of Zurich, Switzerlands largest city, and about a 60 miles drive to the north of Berne.