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Destinations » Switzerland » Basel Travel Guide
Located on the River Rhine bordering France and Germany, Basel is regarded as a lively, open-minded city full of contrasts. Switzerland's oldest university city is known as a centre for art, music and architecture.
Historic landmarks of the city include the large market square with its richly decorated red sandstone Town Hall and the Romanesque cathedral. In Basel's Old Town it is easy to combine sight-seeing with great shopping, there is plenty to do and see to keep visitors occupied!
For more information and to book, please visit the Basel City Break page
If a city break isn't complete until you have shopping bags in your hands, then Basel is the place for you. It's easy to combine shopping with sightseeing.
And there is plenty to keep you occupied: luxury brands like Hermès, Louis Vuitton or Rolex; shoes, fashion, books and specialities; from small boutiques and old antique shops, to chic department stores.
Famous for its elegant riverside terrace, with tables set close to the waters of the Rhine in midsummer. The restaurant offers cuisine based on the best of market-fresh ingredients.
Basel's best Italian restaurant - the creation of Romano Villa and Peter Wyss, whose viands are just as fine as those south in Italy itself. This has long been a favorite of artists visiting Basel; it was a former haunt of Andy Warhol and Jean Tinguely. Ancient statuary is placed against periwinkle blue walls, and chandeliers light the dark woodwork. All of this is just setting the scene for the first-class cuisine, which some critics have hailed as the finest Italian dining in the entire country.
Zoologischer Garten Basel
The Zoologischer Garten, opened 1874, is one of the greatest zoos in the world, famous for breeding endangered species in captivity. Covering 26 acres in an urban setting with just a 7 minute walk of the railway station, it has some 4,500 animals of 600 different species. Trained elephants and sea lions perform tricks. The Vivarium is filled with everything from penguins to reptiles.
Some half a century ago, Ernest and Hildy Beyeler set out to acquire some modern paintings to decorate their home. By the turn of the millennium, they had collected one of the greatest private art collections of Switzerland, which they now share with the public in the suburb of Riehen, 15 minutes by tram from the centre near the Swiss borders with France and Germany. See some of the biggest names in art - Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Georges Seurat, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Joan Miró, Léger, Max Ernst, van Gogh, Kandinsky, Edgar Degas, Cézanne, Alexander Calder, and Georges Braque among others.
Kunstmuseum (Fine Arts Museum)
The oldest museum in Switzerland, offering one of Europe's most remarkable collections - everything from the old masters to 20th-century paintings. You approach the massive building through a courtyard graced with sculptures by Rodin, Calder, and others. The collections represent the development of art of the Upper Rhine Valley from the 14th to the 17th centuries, as well as works by outstanding modern artists.