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How to Spend 3 Days in Basel

How to Spend 3 Days in Basel

Three days in Basel let you explore Switzerland’s culture capital at a relaxed pace; you’ll have time to visit Basel’s many museums and explore the Swiss Alps on a day trip. Here are some ideas for how to spend three days in Basel.

Day 1: Monuments and Museums

A hop-on hop-off bus tour is a stress-free way to get your bearings in Basel. Jump off to stroll around the Old Town and visit Munster Cathedral, and admire historic landmarks such as Rathaus (City Hall), the Gate of Spalen, and the Tinguely Fountain from the top deck.

In the afternoon, visit two or three of Basel’s museums—there are more than 40 to choose from. Highlights include the Fine Art Museum (Kunstmuseum), the Museum Tinguely, and the Natural History Museum. Some museums are equally celebrated for their architecture, so it’s worth stopping by to take a photo even if you don’t have time to explore the exhibitions; the Schaulager Museum, Fondation Beyeler, and the futuristic Vitra Design Museum are notable structures. 

End the day with a sunset cruise on the Rhine River and admire the glittering city skyline from the water.

Day 2: An Adventure in the Alps

Basel’s central location makes it a strategic starting point for day trips to Swiss cities such as Zurich, Bern, and Lucerne; it’s also a great base for crossing the border to the Alsace region of France or the Black Forest region of Germany. If you’re planning just one day trip, make it to the Swiss Alps, where snow-covered scenery provides a dramatic contrast to city life. 

Nearby Lucerne offers a number of alpine adventures. Day trips from Basel typically include round-trip transport and come in a variety of forms; ride the rotating cable car to the top of Mt. Titlis and then brave a walk across the Titlis Cliff Walk, or opt for a round-trip ride to Mt. Pilatus, during which you ascend via Europe’s steepest cogwheel railway then return by cable car. For the ultimate view, brave a trip to the Top of Europe, Europe’s highest railway station at a dizzying 11,371 feet (3,466 meters), in Jungfraujoch. 

Day 3: Basel Like a Local

Spend your final day in Basel exploring the city’s neighborhoods and enjoying a taste of local life. South of the Old Town, the Bruderholz and Dreispitz districts have some of the city’s most unique shops, while nearby Markthalle harbors Basel’s most popular covered market. Here, you can sample food from around the world, as well as Swiss classics such as fondue.

Head back to the Old Town in the afternoon to pick up some edible souvenirs at the city’s famous chocolatiers. A themed walking tour is a great way to learn more about Swiss chocolate; chocolate lovers can even join a truffle-making workshop. 

In the evening, cross over the Rhine to Little Basel (Kleinbasel), where you’ll find a large choice of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and live music venues. For the best views of the Rhine River, start your night with a cocktail at Bar Rouge, the city’s highest bar. 

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4 Tours and Activities

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Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Private Tour from Basel

Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Private Tour from Basel

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Reaching the 11,000 foot-tall peak at Jungfraujoch, known as the “Top of Europe,” is no easy feat, even with the help of cable cars and railways. Streamline your ascent—and make the most of your time—on this full-day private trip to Jungfraujoch from Basel, including tours of two mountain towns along the way.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$724.59
Price varies by group size
From
$724.59
Price varies by group size

Mount Pilatus Golden Round Trip with Lake Cruise Private Tour from Basel

Mount Pilatus Golden Round Trip with Lake Cruise Private Tour from Basel

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Enjoy the Swiss mountains and lakeside views on a day trip from Basel to Lucerne. With a private guide, you’ll travel by train to the idyllic lake city that’s loved for its alpine scenery. Take an hour-long cruise around Lake Lucerne, then travel up the world’s steepest cogwheel railway to the peak of Mt. Pilatus. After some time to explore the summit, you’ll return to Basel, enjoying gondola, bus, and train rides along the way.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$475.02
Price varies by group size
From
$475.02
Price varies by group size

Basel Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Basel Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

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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
$48.31
Price varies by group size
From
$48.31
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
$16.14
From
$16.14