Basel
Culture & History

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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.

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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.

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From Basel: Zermatt, Gornergrat, and Matterhorn Private Trip

3. From Basel: Zermatt, Gornergrat, and Matterhorn Private Trip

Start the tour by meeting your tour guide at your hotel then make your way together to the train station in Basel. From there, board an intercity train for 2 hours to south-Switzerland and change onto the Matterhorn-Gotthard-Railway. After 50 minutes traveling through the valley, arrive in Zermatt and make your way to the historical part of the village. Stroll through the small streets and get information about the architecture of the wooden houses. Stop at the best photo point as your tour guide tells you the story of the climbers at Mount Matterhorn. See the cemetery for climbers and missing mountaineers. According to your preferences, stop for lunch in Zermatt or board the cogwheel train to Gornergrat. Ride the train up to 2800 m above sea level and admire the fantastical aerial views. Follow your guide to the scenic platform, where you will have a 360 degrees panoramas of Mount Matterhorn, the glacier Monte Rosa, and the surrounding summits. Enjoy time at the top to sit on the terraces and take in the views. According to your preferences, head back to Zermatt by train and discover the local museum. Gain an insight into life in Zermatt in the 19th-century. See exhibition objects from the first ascent to Mount Matterhorn, local houses, and stories about life in the mountain area. After the 45-minute visit, board the train back to Basel.

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From Zurich: Full-Day Discover Basel & Colmar Private Tour

4. From Zurich: Full-Day Discover Basel & Colmar Private Tour

On this unique journey, you will be able to visit two neighboring countries, Switzerland and France and compare them. Your driver will pick you up from any convenient location for you in Zurich and you will start your private tour to Basel, the cultural capital of Switzerland. Have a walking tour to Congress Hall and the old city. Then, your driver will take you to one of your preferred museums such as Tinguely Museum, Ethnology Museum, Basel Zoological Garden or another museum according to your preferences. If you would like to have a boat trip instead, then you will be assisted in this case as well. Basel is famous for its fine chocolates and sweets, thus, you will taste some specialties before proceeding to Colmar in France. This small city showcases the lifestyle of the whole Alsace region. Surely you will be amazed by half-timbered houses dating back to 16th-century. Namely, you will visit the Adolf and Pfister Houses and 'little Venice,' also on the list of must-see locations while visiting Colmar. In the evening, you will be amazed at the originality of the lighting system of this city. At the end of the day, you will have your private transfer from Colmar to Zurich. 

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Basel: 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour

5. 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.

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Basel: Theatrical Jailbirds, Butchers, and Elegant Ladies

6. 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.

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Basel: Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide

7. 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.

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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.

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Basel: 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour

9. 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.

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Basel: 1-Hour Group Walking Tour

10. Basel: 1-Hour Group Walking Tour

Discover Basel in just 1 hour and see all the highlights of the city on a short walking tour. See the architecturally-significant buildings, lively squares and impressive places. Take a look at the lovely sculptures decorating the Basel Minster and learn about the whimsical decorations on the Tinguely fountain. On the way, hear an overview of the history and founding of Basel. Get an incredible overview of the famous landmarks and history of the Swiss city in just one hour during a tour of the old city by a professional and friendly tour guide.

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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

see good guidance, learn a lot of historical information and get an insight into the division of quarters in Basel. Well-founded leadership, despite the autumn fair, they understood the leader very well. You can also ask questions between the stops, the pace was adjusted.

it was a very detailed tour. It's just a shame that we weren't taken to the cathedral by ferry, that would have been even more impressive

Was done by Anna ...... Great, even our children 5 and 9 years could follow her again, entertaining and informative

Very entertaining and informative, we were directed to wonderful places with a lot of charm

Ms. Koch made this tour funny and interesting, very competent!