Exploring Basel Switzerland – boring or brilliant?

When my friends and colleagues heard that I was planning on spending some time exploring Basel Switzerland they were not enthusiastic at all. Most of them told me that Basel is not enormous and there was not a lot to see. I thought it would be better to see for myself whether this is true.

Exploring Basel Switzerland: See what I did on my first day in Basel, exploring Basel Switzerland per tram and on foot, including a walking route for Basel Switzerland
Exploring Basel Switzerland

Getting to Basel Switzerland

Basel is only an hour by train from Zurich, making it ideal for a quick day trip from Zurich.

Exploring Basel Switzerland

Upon my arrival at the Centralbahnhof Basel (the central station), it surprised me. The station was bigger than I thought it would be. I later learned that Basel even had an airport as it is a mid-point for travel between Germany, France, and Switzerland.

Basel-station

The tallest building in the area is the Bank for International Settlements.

Basel-BIS

Close to the Bank for International Settlements is a lovely big garden called the Elisabethenanlage with lots of colorful flowers and a statue. I have no idea what the figure represents.

Basel Statue

When you stay at a hotel in Basel, they give you a mobility ticket which means free tram rides within Basel. This is very convenient, but Basel is also a city that is easy to walk through.

Exploring Basel Switzerland by tram

These are a few of the interesting things I saw while on my first tram ride in Basel.

Beautiful-old-clock-Basel

This little patch of a garden in the middle of the pavement was also unique.

Beautiful-patch-of-garden-Basel

Basel had many fountains all around. I later found out this was common throughout Europe.

Fountain-Basel

Exploring Basel Switzerland on foot

I got out of the tram at the Town Hall or Rathaus. This was a stunning building, so different from everything else around it. I just loved the colors and the designs on the building. Try as I may, I could not fit the Rathaus into a single picture…

Basel-Rathaus-Horisontal-view

Basel Rathaus Vertical view
Basel Rathaus Vertical view

Just see the details on the outside walls.

Basel-Rathaus-Detail

I wasn’t sure if entry to the building was allowed, there were no guards at the door, so I quickly sneaked in and took a few pictures of the inside of the building. It was just as amazing as the outside of the building.

Basel-Rathaus-Inside-Detail

Basel-Rathaus-Inside-Statue

Walking routes to help with exploring Basel Switzerland

I then noticed everywhere on the walls of buildings was signs to walking routes one can do in Basel. Immediately I started following the green route. I didn’t know where the route started, so I just continued from the Rathaus. The signs were bright and easy to follow.

The Basel Munster

The next building I saw en route was the Basel Minster, another prominent building.

Basel-Munster

I went inside to see what it was like on the inside and I was not disappointed!

Inside-Basel-Munster

These stained glass windows were out of this world with vibrant colors.

Beautiful stained glass window in the Basel Munster in Basel Switzerland while exploring Basel Switzerland
Beautiful stained glass window in the Basel Munster in Basel Switzerland

Apparently one can go upstairs to see the view of Basel from the Munster tower. I decided not to go up and chose instead to go into the cellar area. There were some graves behind a locked door, but the ceiling in the basement was another unique feature.

The ceiling inside the Basel Rathaus in Basel Switzerland
The ceiling inside the Basel Rathaus in Basel Switzerland

The Fine Arts Museum Basel

I then exited the Munster and continued walking by following the green route markers. Next, I came to the Fine Arts Museum Basel with a lovely big fountain on the outside.

Basel-Kunstmuseum-Fountain

I would not have minded going inside, but since my time was limited, I decided to continue with the green route.

Other buildings en route

Next, I walked past the Caricature & Cartoon Museum Basel – another museum I decided to save for a future visit to Basel.

Basel-Cartoonmuseum

I then walked past another church, the Evangelische-methodistic Kirche Kleinbasel, it was nothing like the Munster and looked just like any other building.

Basel Evangelische Kirche

Then I saw this building. I am not sure if it is a hotel or restaurant, but I thought it was immaculate and beautiful.

Basel-hotel-or-restaurant

Eventually, I reached the river flowing through Basel. Since it had been raining heavily for the last few weeks, the river was so full that no river tours or cruises were on offer.

Basel-River

I followed the green route markers and arrived at the Basel, St. Alban-Tor – the old city wall.

Basel-Old-City-Wall

I decided to walk back to the hotel I was staying at for a break. On my way, I walked past the Elizabethan Church. It was an impressive building with a beautiful bright blue and gold clock.

Basel-Elizabethan-Cathedral

Below is the map of the route I followed on my stroll from the Rathaus to the Centralbahnplatz in Basel.

Have you ever been to Basel Switzerland? Did you find it brilliant or boring?

Mentioned in this post
  1. Centralbahnhof Basel
    Attraction in Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    14 Centralbahnstrasse
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland
    051 229 24 62
  2. Bank for International Settlements
    Attraction in Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    2 Centralbahnplatz
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland
    061 280 80 80
    http://www.bis.org/about/index.htm
  3. Elisabethenanlage
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    Elisabethenanlage
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland
  4. Town Hall
    Attraction in Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    Basel-Stadt Switzerland
  5. Basel Minster
    Attraction in Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    3 Rittergasse
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland
    061 272 91 57
    http://www.muensterbasel.ch/
  6. Fine Arts Museum Basel
    Attraction in Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    16 Sankt Alban-Graben
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland
    061 206 62 62
    http://www.kunstmuseumbasel.ch/
  7. Caricature & Cartoon Museum Basel
    Attraction in Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    28 Sankt Alban-Vorstadt
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland
    061 226 33 60
    http://www.cartoonmuseum.ch/
  8. Evangelisch-methodistische Kirche Kleinbasel
    Attraction in Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    131 Riehenring
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland
    061 692 42 61
    http://www.emk-kleinbasel.ch/
  9. Basel, St. Alban-Tor
    Attraction in Switzerland

    Switzerland
    http://sbb.ch/
  10. Elizabethan Church
    Attraction in Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    Basel-Stadt Switzerland
  11. Centralbahnplatz
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland

    Centralbahnpl.
    Basel-Stadt Switzerland

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