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Basel

Culture & History

Our most recommended Basel Culture & History

Walking Tour through Basel Old Town

1. Walking Tour through Basel Old Town

Basel is situated in the heart of Europe, on both sides of the Rhine River. The city is the center of the idyllic border triangle of France, Germany, and Switzerland, nestled between the Swiss Jura, Germany's Black Forest and the Vosges in Alsace. Describing Basel in one word is not easy. Sometimes known as the cultural capital of Switzerland or as a university city, Basel boasts a wealth of cultural, historical, leisure, and enjoyment experiences. This traditional tour is ideal for first-time visitors to Basel as well as visitors who already know the city but want to learn more. During the 2-hour walk you will follow the traces of a very eventful past, from the tranquil Tinguely Fountain to Cathedral Hill, the town hall, and through the winding streets of the well-preserved old town. In addition to the public city tour, many other interesting, exciting, and thematic tours are offered.

Basel History Tour for Groups

2. Basel History Tour for Groups

Through an interesting tour of the city, discover Basel's romantic winding alleyways and well-preserved Old Town. Immerse yourself in the city's history and admire the imposing structures, cozy squares and many more highlights. Beginning at the Tinguely Fountain at Theater Basel, make your way through the Basel oppidum, known as Basel-Münsterhügel, to the Rotes Rathaus (Town Hall), which dates back to the 16th century. Pass Basel Minster and "Barfüßer Kirche," a former church that now houses the Basel Historical Museum, as well as other sites capturing the spirit of the city. See the most beautiful sights in Basel and let a friendly tour guide teach you all about the history and landmarks of the breathtaking Swiss city.

Basel: 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour

3. Basel: 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour

Discover Basel during a short but sweet excursion during which you will learn the most intriguing facts about the history, local lifestyle, and contemporary transformation of the city. After meeting your local guide at St. Albans Tor, start the stroll and 1-hour sightseeing tour where you are sure to fall in love with Basel. See the city through the eyes of a local, discover what the everyday life looks like, and find out where the city gets its characteristic ambience. While walking through Basel, you will discover its parks, monuments, and historical architecture with the chance of getting insider tips about the best cafes, restaurants, and bars to visit during your time here. Make the most of your visit and enjoy an experience perfect for someone visiting for the first time, or for someone who wants to rediscover the city.

Basel: Walking Tour in German

4. Basel: Walking Tour in German

Travel back to times long past and learn more about life in 18th century Basel. Join Emma Munzinger, a chamber maiden, on her way to a new place of work in an upper class household of Basel during the last century. Go with her to a stately town house and take a look behind its locked doors and see its chambers and halls. Learn more about the fascinating customs of its inhabitants and their famous guests. You will be surprised by anecdotes and curious stories. During the tour, you'll discover the Blue and White House, which are among the largest and most important testimonies of Basel's baroque architecture.

Basel: Theatrical Jailbirds, Butchers, and Elegant Ladies

5. Basel: Theatrical Jailbirds, Butchers, and Elegant Ladies

Basel, 1850. Traugott and Irma von der Mühll would never have imagined that two escapees from the Lohnhof prison would drop in on the day of their memorial celebration for Uncle Friedrich. Be bold and embark on a different kind of walk. Along with the jailbird and his accomplice, you'll wander through a part of Basel that has quite a lot of history to tell. Find out why stags graze on the Stadtgraben, and hear about bits of bacon during a church service and where trousers and gingerbread are welcomed as a means of payment. You will also meet Rector Thurneysen, who provides an address in Latin, as well as the police, or the eccentric Ms. Ochsenfuess. Finally, your tour will conclude with you enjoying the special views from Spalentor Gate.

Basel: 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour

6. Basel: 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour

Discover Basel's vibrant history with a passionate local tour guide on a walking tour. Begin your tour at the iconic Marktplatz and embark on a journey through various time periods and their corresponding architectural styles as you discover some of the city's most important buildings. Learn more about how Basel has changed over time and get off the beaten track as you visit churches and the city hall. Discover sites that a normal tour group would not visit and even get the opportunity to cross the oldest bridge in town.  During the tour, benefit from the knowledge and experience of a local guide who will share with you insider tips and the city's best-kept secrets. Feel free to inform your guide of any particular interests or desires you may have as they will be happy to adjust the itinerary to your requirements.

Basel Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour

7. Basel Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour

Get to know Basel at your own pace on this interactive scavenger hunt walking tour played on your phone. Decipher riddles, interact with the most important attractions of the city, and unlock local facts.  After downloading the scavenger hunt tour on your mobile device (via a link and login credentials received upon booking), use the mobile app and integrated maps to reach 10 of Basel’s most important attractions on foot. At each stop, learn about the attraction and solve a location-based riddle that can only be solved if you reach the specific location. Use logic, imagination, observation, and team spirit to unlock the correct code and reveal the next destination of the tour. As you walk through the city, enjoy the flexibility to pause your game at any time to take a break, snap the perfect photos, stop for lunch, or visit a museum. Choose to continue the tour later or save the rest for another day. You can start the activity at any time. The tour route includes Strassburger Denkmal, the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Elisabethenkirche, Münsterplatz, Basel's Old Town, the Natural History Museum of Basel, Spalen Gate, Basel Town Hall, St. Peter's Church, and Middle Bridge.

Basel: Private Architectural Walking Tour

8. Basel: Private Architectural Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in Basel's rich history and impressive architecture on this private tour with a local guide. Discover the most impressive buildings in the city and learn about the history behind each of those historical buildings and structures on this invigorating architectural walk. Join your guide on this adventure to discover the beauty and history of the city’s most significant buildings and find out a bit more about the local culture in Switzerland from a local perspective. During your tour, become better acquainted with the local architecture and learn how it has changed over the years while still retaining its unique character. You will also get to learn about world-famous architects such as Richard Meier and Frank O. Gehry, and gain an insight into how Basel came to be a melting pot of architectural wonders.

Basel: Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide

9. Basel: Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide

Discover why Basel is known as the City of Art on a private tour with a local guide and learn what it is that attracts thousands of art lovers from all over the globe to visit the city each year. This tour is perfect for both first-time visitors to Basel and returning tourists who want to go beneath the surface of the city. As you wander around the streets of the city, admire impressive street art and learn more about the city’s galleries and museums as well as hearing about several local artists. Don't miss the opportunity to discover the most significant cultural and historical details of the colorful and multi-faced Basel while you dive into the art and culture of the city from a local perspective.

Basel City Center Private Walking Tour

10. Basel City Center Private Walking Tour

Discover the highlights of Basel on a private walking tour with an expert guide. Enjoy a comprehensive overview of the notable landmarks of the city center. Meet your guide at your hotel and begin by exploring the Kleinbasel district. Enjoy the stunning views of the Rhine river and the city cathedral. Cross the river by a short ferry ride and walk along the old town buildings at Grossbasel. Explore narrow alleyways and hidden squares as you make your way to the beautiful city hall. Get insider tips about the life, culture, museums, and history of the city.

Frequently asked questions about Basel Culture & History

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Other Sightseeing Options in Basel

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What people are saying about Basel

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 184 reviews

Everything is very quiet, you can use it without fear. I don't speak German or French and English is very bad, but I didn't have any problems.

Irina - our guide - was perfect. The stories and the length of the tour were excellent. Thanks for everything. Laszlo from Hungary

Marianne our guide was super knowledgeable and very friendly Happy to answer any questions- a lovely way to learn about Basel

Great tour with personalized recommendations of what to do after the tour as well

Your guide made it fascinating despite the occasional hills!