Basel Old Town City Tours – Swiss Culture and Heritage
Offering private and small group tours.
Disclaimer: Maximum of 16 people per small group tour
One of two tours in Switzerland going through Basel. From all the cities in Switzerland, Basel is considered to be the capital of Swiss heritage… our Basel Heritage tour will take you on a journey through the jewel of Northern cities in Switzerland. With your Swiss guide, you’ll explore the historic Basel center and have the chance to stroll through some of Europe’s oldest and best-loved buildings. Climb to the top of the iconic Basel Münster cathedral where you will enjoy stunning views over Basel’s skyline. Visit Basel’s Tinguely Fountain to take in the fantastic art on display throughout the city. Sample authentic Swiss sweets and hear about how Basel city rose from rags to riches to become one of Europe’s favorite historic destinations.
What’s Included in Your Basel Switzerland Tour
- Private local guide
- Visit local landmarks
Basel Switzerland Tour Guides
- English – French – Russian
In Switzerland, Basel is commonly known for being the oldest of the educational cities in Switzerland boasting the old town yet modern vibes… from it’s architectural designs to its small boutiques and antique book shops while fusing today’s more trendy designers.
Switzerland’s Basel city is home to all those who love museums, and with almost 40 museums throughout Basel city – there is much to see, experience and learn. A recommended short-list would be the Basel Art Museum, the Museum of Cultures, as well as the impressive Romain ruins and archeological finds – as it was once a bustling Roman region. It’s easy to explore Basel by foot or bike. You can easily spend a day visiting the Botanical Gardens, Mercian Gardens and the banks of Rhine as well as experiencing Basel’s symphony orchestra and chamber orchestra.
If you have the time, you may want to consider planning your trip around Basel’s annual events and festivals e.g. the yearly Fasnacht (Carnival) – the most important celebration for the people of Basel. It’s said that “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.” – official Switzerland site.
Key point of your Basel walking tour:
- Discover Basel’s old town architecture
- Walk through the secrets and heritage of the Basel Münster, Roothus (Town Hall) and old town.
- Taste local specialities of Basel
- Learn the history that formed Basel
Basel’s Local Vibrance
Located in the northwestern part of Switzerland, near the border with France and Germany, is Basel, a must-visit destination!
1. Basel’s Art Scene: The city of Basel is known for its thriving art scene, with a number of world-renowned Swiss museums and galleries… it also noteworthy to mention that the city hosts Art Basel, one of the world’s premier art fairs, every year in June, which attracts art lovers from around the world.
2. The Basel Music Festivals: A number of Swiss music festivals throughout the year are hosted in Basel e.g. the Basel Tattoo which is a military music and tattoo show as well as the Basel Music Festival that features classical and contemporary music performances.
Enjoying Basel’s Swiss Town Vibes
3. Old Town Swiss Vibe: The Old Town Vibe is a well-preserved in Basel – its historic district that features narrow streets, colorful Swiss buildings, and historic landmarks e.g. the Basel Minster and the Rathaus (town hall).
4. Basel’s Swiss Architecture: There is a diverse range of architectural styles, from medieval buildings to modernist designs to explore and experience in Basel. Visitors can greatly enjoy absorbing the city’s rich architectural heritage.
5. Basel’s Christmas Markets: The Christmas Markets in Basel are some of the most popular in Switzerland with vendors selling handmade gifts, local delicacies, and festive decorations – there is a lot to experience and enjoy!
6. The Rhine River: The Rhine River runs through Basel to which visitors can enjoy a scenic boat tour and absorb the vibrant city from the water, or enjoy a stroll along the River’s parks and promenades where you can enjoy a relaxing picnic.
Indeed Basel is a Swiss city that is rich with history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty – if you’re interested in art, architecture, music, or simply exploring a charming Swiss city, you should definitely visit Basel!
The Carnival of Basel + A Basel Beer Tour = Unforgettable!
The Carnival of Basel, also known as Fasnacht, is an annual carnival celebration in Basel, Switzerland:
1. Fasnacht’s History: The Carnival of Basel has a long history, dating back to the Middle Ages where the celebration was originally a way for people to let loose before the start of Lent to which now it has evolved over the years into a major cultural event in Basel.
2. Masks and Costumes Worn During Fasnacht: One of the most striking features of the Carnival of Basel is the elaborate masks and costumes worn by participants, the masks are often intricate and highly detailed – they are worn to conceal the identity of the wearer.
3. Fasnacht’s Cash Lanterns: Another unique aspect of the Carnival of Basel is the use of lanterns, lanterns are handmade and feature colorful designs and illustrations that are carried by participants during the parades, creating a vibrant and festive environment.
4. Guggenmusik: Guggenmusik is a type of music that is unique to the Carnival of Basel, you’ll hear brass instruments and percussions that are played by groups of musicians who dress up in costumes and march through the streets during the parade.
5. Fasnacht’s Tradition and Community: The Carnival of Basel is deeply rooted in tradition and community as the participants spend months preparing for this annual celebration. The costumes and masks are passed down through generations, so you can feel the history that this celebration brings as people from all walks of life celebrate their community and cultural heritage.
The Carnival of Basel is a fascinating and unique cultural event that really showcases the history and traditions of Basel, if you are into colorful costumes and masks as well as lively music and parades – then the Carnival of Basel is definitely worth experiencing!
Basel’s Geographical Highlights
Basel, Switzerland is geographically important as it is situated in the northwestern corner of Switzerland where the Swiss, German, and French borders meet (“Border Triangle” region) – being of such, it’s a hub for international transportation and trade. Also, Basel is geographically located on the banks of the Rhine River that is notably an important waterway in Europe (hub for shipping and trade) as its connected to other major European cities e.g. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Strasbourg. So as Basel is uniquely situated that allows visitors to easily explore three different cultural regions.
Luckily for the Swiss, Basel is situated in a basin of hills and valleys which generates a microclimate in the region that supports numerous plant species as well as contributes to the region’s reputation for producing high-quality wines. And as the Jura Mountains are south of the city, it provides a scenic backdrop and opportunities for hiking and skiing. However, when you are not out-and-about, Basel is also known for its museums and cultural institutions e.g. the Kunstmuseum Basel that houses one of the largest collections of art in Switzerland as well as the Basel Historical Museum that explores the history of the city and the surrounding region.
Basel’s Local Culinary Scene
If you love to travel and enjoy the local food scene, here is a list to “get the ball rolling”, as we say – this list is being provided for when you are on your own and would like to experience more of Basel. Kindly remember that the global restaurant scene does change over time, and new dining establishments may have emerged… so please do go online and do some research as well.
1. Cheval Blanc
3. Les Trois Rois
4. Kunsthalle Restaurant
6. Volkshaus Basel
7. Walliser Kanne
8. Zum Isaak
10. Brasserie Schloss Bottmingen
12. Restaurant Birs
14. Roter Bären
15. Parterre One
20. Der Teufelhof Basel
23. Restaurant Bel Etage
24. Restaurant Zum Braunen Mutz
25. Restaurant Johanniter
Basel’s Unique Blend of Cultures
Basel, Switzerland has a rich and unique local culture that is influenced by its history, geography, and location at the crossroads of Switzerland, Germany, and France – of which the locals are very proud of.
Basels’ Culinary Scene
And don’t forget Basel’s rich culinary tradition that includes both Swiss as well as international influences! Basel’s local specialties include Basel-style flour soup, Basel-style roasted flour soup, and Basler Läckerli – a type of gingerbread.
Basel’s Arts, Events and Festivals
For instance, Basel’s Carnival or better known as “Fasnacht,” is one of the largest unique carnivals in the world that happens annually in February or March. Fasnacht lasts for three days, during which the city is filled with music, parades, and elaborate costumes. Another reason that locals love Basel is for its many museums, galleries, and architectural landmarks e.g. the Kunstmuseum Basel that is home to one of the largest collections of art in Switzerland as well as the Vitra Design Museum that showcases contemporary architecture and design.
Now mix all that up with a vibrant and lively music scene that hosts many concerts and festivals throughout the year… including the prestigious Basel Symphony Orchestra which is one of the oldest orchestras in Switzerland, it’s no wonder why folks love Basel! Overall, Basel’s local culture is a wonderful blend of traditional and modern influences – and yes – the locals have a strong sense of identity that are proud of that is closely associated with the city’s history and heritage.