Switzerland's cultural capital
Home to 40 museums, the city of culture for connoisseurs has the highest concentration of museums in the country. Internationally known museums, such as the Basel Art Museum, the museum devoted to the iron sculptor Jean Tinguely, the Fondation Beyeler and the Museum of Cultures attract a great number of visitors, as do the many internationally renowned galleries.
Basel is Switzerland's oldest university city. Historic landmarks of the city include the large market square with its richly decorated red sandstone town hall and the late Romanesque-Gothic cathedral. During a walk through the old town, past small boutiques, antique book shops but also shops of modern designers, a visit to the "Läckeri Huus" to try the traditional Basel honey cake is well worth your while. Basel is tradition-conscious and open-minded at the same time, a fact born out by several modern buildings designed by renowned architects such as Herzog & de Meuron, Mario Botta, Diener & Diener and Richard Meyer.
The River Rhine is Basel's unofficial emblem. In summer you will find life in all its facets here as sun worshippers, walkers, students and businesspeople all gather on the shore. The river is a perfect place for a refreshing dip or a pleasant ferry trip; enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean at the Rhine knee.
And last but not least, the yearly Fasnacht (Carnival) is the most important celebration for the people of Basel. On the Monday following Ash Wednesday the city rises with the "Morgenstraich". At four in the morning on the dot all the lights in the city go out and a colourful and brilliant procession through the streets of the city begins.