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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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7 Tours and Activities

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Basel City Center Private Tour

Basel City Center Private Tour

star-5
2
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
$250.60
Price varies by group size
From
$250.60
Price varies by group size

Basel City Sightseeing Bus Tour

Basel City Sightseeing Bus Tour

star-4
57
See the sights of Basel by City Sightseeing bus, and hop on and off around town to visit the landmarks, museums, and attractions that interest you most. The perfect way to sightsee at your own pace, the bus tour follows a route around the city center, passing the Kaserne Cultural Centre, the Roche Tower, and even the Stücki Shoppingcenter. You’ll learn about each site from the audio commentary as you ride around town.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$26.73
From
$26.73

Stories of Basel's Old Town

Stories of Basel's Old Town

star-4.5
37
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
$22.28
From
$22.28

Basel Selfie Tour 7 Attractions in 90min

Basel Selfie Tour 7 Attractions in 90min

star-5
1
See the top sights of Basel comfortably and efficiently on a 90-minute small-group tour. With three possible departure times, you can easily pick a tour that fits with your schedule. Provided hotel pickup and drop-off, allows you to avoid the confusion of navigating an unfamiliar city on your own. Visit the city's most photogenic attractions, including Basler Minster Cathedral, roche Tower, and Red Town Hall, with your guide.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$81.68
From
$81.68

Basel Zoo Entrance Ticket with Hotel Pick and Drop Off Included

Basel Zoo Entrance Ticket with Hotel Pick and Drop Off Included

Meet an African ground squirrel and a white-rumped shama with tickets to The Zoological Gardens in Basel’s city center, an award-winning zoo that was founded in 1874. Stroll open-air enclosures and expansive animal houses. See life below the water in a vast aquarium that’s home to fish, reptiles, amphibians and two kinds of penguins. Travel from the African plains to the Australian bush, watch white-faced sakis play in the Monkey House, and explore an Asian garden full of snow leopards, rhinoceroses and a crowd of chattering macaques.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$97.10
From
$97.10

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
$17.14
From
$17.14

Basel Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Basel Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

star-5
1
With our walking tours, you’ll skip the mundane historical tours and discover the city through a local’s eyes. Experience a tour that will transform the way you travel to make it as much about the people you meet, as it is the places you see. Our local guides (Lokafyers) are passionate about their city and eager to share their knowledge and perspective. Since Lokafyers are not professional guides and tour occasionally, they provide an experience that’s authentic and personal, like a friend showing you around their city. By the end of the tour, you'll feel comfortable navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to make the most of your stay.
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  • 2 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$41.25
Price varies by group size
From
$41.25
Price varies by group size