Basel

Restaurants and bars, museums and galleries, clubs, music, shopping and more...

The best Swiss art galleries and museums
Art

The best Swiss art galleries and museums

Whether you like your art ancient or modern, classical or contemporary, applied or outsider, there is an eye-popping array of world-class Swiss art galleries and museums. From the Paul Klee and Vitra Design museums to prestigious events like Art Basel, the Swiss art scene is vibrant. With both a collecting culture that stretches back centuries and the planet’s most important annual contemporary fair, Basel city has traditionally been the Swiss scene’s Chanel-clad grand dame, snapping up Warhols and Bacons for her Rhine-side apartment. But worldly Zürich has hit a bold new stride in the last decade, with the immaculate regeneration of the city’s former industrial zone serving up a bevy of cool white cubes where cutting-edge contemporary art from every end of the Earth is making itself right at home. Nor are Geneva and Bern art slouches. Their venerable palaces of painting and plastic arts have long earned their global reputations, and each city also has its own flourishing crop of temples to the contemporary, both civic and indie. And the national art appetite keeps on growing. While Renzo Piano hasn’t been called upon just yet to turn the spectacular Fondation Beyeler he built in Basel and Bern’s Zentrum Paul Klee into a megamuseum hat-trick, major institutions are adding new extensions and taking over bigger buildings, while art spaces are breathing vital new life into urban industrial edifices. 

Basel Zoo
Things to do

Basel Zoo

Known affectionately to locals as Zolli, Basel Zoo is something of a landmark. 

Kunstmuseum Basel
Museums

Kunstmuseum Basel

The planet’s largest collection of paintings by the Holbein family is the centrepiece of Basel’s most venerable art archive

Activities in Basel for spring and summer
Things to do

Activities in Basel for spring and summer

When the sun shines on Basel, you'll see a city transformed from it's postcards-perfect snowy settings to a rambunctious hive of activities. So whether it's a much needed retail therapy or a relaxing river cruise on the Rhine, we've got something for you to try.

Basel bars and nightlife

Das Schiff
Restaurants

Das Schiff

Anchored on the edge of the River Rhine, Schiff is a cultural centre with a restaurant and bar that extends over three decks. 

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Kuppel

Kuppel

One of Basel’s most popular clubs, this place has a diverse line-up of party nights, DJs and live music covering a wide range of genres. 

SUD
Nightlife

SUD

Making good use of the spacious former Warteck brewery building, this cocktail bar, music venue and cultural centre has a wide range of events, from concerts and theatre to DJ nights and LGBT club events.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Hinterhof
Nightlife

Hinterhof

While the location might not seem too promising, stranded in no man’s land between Basel-Land and Basel-Stadt, it’s ideal for Hinterhof and its youthful and edgy clientele.

Basel restaurants and cafés

La Fourchette
Restaurants

La Fourchette

Opened in 2014, La Fourchette is the go-to address for straight-up French-inspired cuisine. 

Chez Velo
Restaurants

Chez Velo

A bike shop, ChezVelo is actually also a café renowned among locals for its cosy and unusual setting. 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Hamabama
Bars and pubs

Hamabama

The juice bar strives to make healthy eating tasty and accessible for everyone, and to take one look at its appetising menu is to see this philosophy in action. 

Restaurant Union
Restaurants

Restaurant Union

There’s something of a beer hall about Restaurant Union, but for a younger and edgier crowd. 

Basel shops and spas

kleinbasel
Shopping

kleinbasel

Although not to be confused with the area in Basel, label kleinbasel does share creative characteristics with its geographical namesake. 

Yumm Cupcakes
Restaurants

Yumm Cupcakes

The aroma of fresh baking that infuses the shop in Kleinbasel is irresistible – as is the selection of cupcakes, which range from chocolate and vanilla to mango or white chocolate and raspberry. 

Riviera
Shopping

Riviera

The shop should come with a warning, so we’re warning you: the well-cut pieces hanging from its rails are nothing short of irresistible thanks to their luxurious materials and modern and classic styles.

Claudia Güdel
Shopping

Claudia Güdel

At fashion designer Claudia Güdel’s headquarters in a former garage in Kleinbasel, you can see the magic happen. Behind the rails of clothing is a collection of sewing machines, samples and pattern pieces. 

More things to do in Basel

Kunstmuseum Basel
Museums

Kunstmuseum Basel

The planet’s largest collection of paintings by the Holbein family is the centrepiece of Basel’s most venerable art archive, and works from 1400-1600 and the 19th-21st centuries its broader main attractions. 

Vitra Design Museum
Museums

Vitra Design Museum

A tad cheeky, perhaps, to claim the fabulous Vitra Design Museum for Basel as it lies just over the border in the German town of Weil am Rhein. Established by the eponymous Swiss furniture design company in 1989, the museum shares a sprawling campus with striking buildings by Zaha Hadid – her very first – and the Japanese boxer-turned architect Tadao Ando. 

Basel Zoo
Things to do

Basel Zoo

Known affectionately to locals as Zolli, Basel Zoo is something of a landmark. It opened in 1874, making it Switzerland’s oldest zoo.

Kleinbasel
Things to do

Kleinbasel

On the other side of the Rhine to Basel old town, Kleinbasel is characterised by diversity, creativity and art. 

Dampfbad Basel
Things to do

Dampfbad Basel

Whether you are local or in town for shopping, a meeting or an event, the Dampfbad in northern Basel’s St. Johann is the perfect retreat.