Basel is located along the Rhine river in northern Switzerland, at the intersection of France, Germany and Switzerland. The border with France on the west bank of the Rhine is about 2 km north of the city--the border with Germany is on the east bank, about 3 km north.
You'll find the Basel tourist office inside the SBB train station. In Basel, you'll find a tourist office at Schifflände 5. These offices charge to make reservations at hotels for you. There are hotels just outside Basel SBB as you exit.
When you check into your hotel you'll be handed a BaselCard when you check in. The attractive features of the BaselCard include free use of public transport, free surfing on the guest WiFi plus a 50% discount on admission to Basel’s museums, Basel Zoo, Theater Basel and much more.
Basel hotels aren't cheap, and may get even more expensive during trade shows.
Since Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc, you might need to exchange money if you've been traveling in the Euro zone. You can do so at Basel SBB daily from 6am–9pm, but an ATM card is your best bet. ATMs are all over Basel, including the train station. it's also very easy to use credit cards here. In some areas, especially near the border, Euros may be accepted.
Guilds were a big deal in 12th century Basel; the foundation of the first craft and merchant guilds started in 1226. Many of the halls have turned into quite nice restaurants. The restaurant Safran Zunft in the old town is the spice trader's guild hall, and spices are part of the regional cuisine served within.
Summer weather is usually mild in Basel; expect some rain, as rainfall peaks in summer. For climate information as well as the current weather conditions, see Basel Travel Weather.
Basel is famous for its ancient masked carnival, or Fasnacht, a three-day carnival festival starting on the Monday after Mardi Gras. See A Basel Fasnacht Primer from Anita's Feast.
Christmas in Basel, with the big Christmas market at Munsterplatz, is a very big deal.
Basel’s ART International Contemporary Art Fair is the largest art event of its kind in the world.
Vogel Gryff is a medieval festival held in January on the Rhine in Basel.
Basel usually has many resources for you to find out about the top events in the city. With a ban on public gathering, many listings have evaporated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's a list of events in Basel. Art Basel also has some virtual events for art lovers.
Basel has a wonderful web site that links to all of Basel's Museums: Museen Basel. Below are our favorites.
Basel Cartoon Museum - St. Alban-Vorstadt 28, CH - 4052 Basel
Swiss Sports Museum - Münsterplatz 20, CH - 4055 Basel
Museum der Kulturen Basel [Museum of Ethnology] houses one of Europe's largest collections on European and non-European cultural life.
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