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How to Spend 1 Day in Basel

How to Spend 1 Day in Basel

Whether you’re visiting on a day trip from Zurich or Lucerne, or heading to world-class events such as Art Basel festival or Fasnacht carnival, one day is just enough time to take in Basel’s best bits. Here’s how to spend one day in Basel. 

Morning: The Best of Basel

A hop-on hop-off bus tour is the ideal choice for time-crunched travelers in Basel for the first time; it allows you to create an itinerary that features only the sights that interest you. Buses stop at landmarks such as the medieval Gate of Spalen, Tinguely Fountain, and the Roche Tower, the tallest building in Switzerland. 

Jump off to explore the Old Town on a walking tour that covers the daily food market on Marktplatz, Rathaus (City Hall), and the Middle Bridge. Step inside the historic Munster Cathedral to admires its endless vaulted ceiling and then climb to the church tower for a magnificent view over the city.

Afternoon: Culture and Cuisine

Spend the afternoon sampling Swiss favorites such as cheese fondue or raclette in the Old Town, then pick up some edible souvenirs from an authentic Swiss chocolatier. Chocolate lovers can join a themed walking tour, some of which include a truffle-making workshop at a local chocolatier. 

Alternatively, spend the afternoon visiting Basel’s museums—the city boasts more than 40. Art enthusiasts should head to the Fondation Beyeler, the Kunstmuseum (Museum of Fine Arts), or the Museum Tinguely, while travelers seeking something unique can visit the Spielzeug Welten Museum (Toy Worlds Museum), the Paper Mill Museum, or the Vitra Design Museum.

Night: Cruise the Rhine River

If you want to escape the crowds on land, opt for an evening boat cruise, which reveals the city at its most atmospheric. Set sail along the Rhine River and watch the sunset over the city, then cruise back to shore against a backdrop of Basel’s glittering skyline.  

End the evening in Little Basel (Kleinbasel) on the north bank of the Rhine. The lively district is full of bars, clubs, and restaurants; dine by the riverside or sip cocktails at Bar Rouge, Basel’s highest bar. 

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4 Tours and Activities

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Stories of Basel's Old Town

Stories of Basel's Old Town

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52
Explore Basel’s historic Old Town, hear stories from the dim and distant past and discover what makes the city special on this 2-hour Basel walking tour. Follow a guide through Basel’s pretty Old Town and gain insight into its 15th-century history. Take in top city attractions such as Basel Minster, the Barfüsserkirche, City Hall, the Museum der Kulturen and Tinguely Fountain. Along the way, admire the city’s bold and modern architecture, and see how the centuries have shaped the Basel of today.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$21.71
From
$21.71

Basel Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Basel Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

star-5
2
Ditch the beaten path and tourist traps and discover Basel through the eyes of a local. This private and personalized tour is customized to your interests so you'll discover parts of Basel that most tourists miss and gain the local insight you need to have a truly authentic experience in the city.
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  • 2 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$46.92
Price varies by group size
From
$46.92
Price varies by group size

Basel City Center 4-Hours Private Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Basel City Center 4-Hours Private Tour

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4
Explore the cultural capital of Switzerland with a private tour of the Basel city highlights. Skip the hassle of navigating the city streets on your own and follow your guide as you explore the Kleinbasel district along the Rhine River and the old buildings and narrow alleyways of Grossbasel. You’ll learn about the history and culture of this city from you guide and get ideas where to dine and what to do with your remaining time in Basel.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$170.40
Price varies by group size
From
$170.40
Price varies by group size

Shop with a Local in Basel

Shop with a Local in Basel

Basel’s famous for its high quality shops and markets, but it can be difficult to know where to find your ideal purchases. Benefit from the undivided attention of a shopping guide, and be led to the best spots for regional delicacies, designer handbags, or holiday mementos. Get to know the city like a local as you explore its shopping highlights, from the bustling Marktplatz to the trendy St. Johann district.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$16.70
From
$16.70