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Overview

The Olympics of the art World

The Olympics of the art World

Located on the banks of the Rhine, at the border between Switzerland, France and Germany, Basel is Switzerland’s third largest city. It’s also world-renowned for THE premier international art show for modern and contemporary works. But more on that in just a pointillist dot. Basel should also be well known for its main train station, which is practically a city in its own right.

You can enter through the “French” side, go through a winding hall and exit through the “Swiss” side. Up the stairs, you’ll find a bank, grocery store and wine shop (sure, get money, buy wine and cheese, and start living the Swiss way). Downstairs, you’ll find the oddly named McClean area. For a few Swiss Francs you can use these shower facilities that includes a towel, soap and shampoo. This is great for someone who arrives by overnight train and wants to freshen up before heading out into the city.

About Switzerland


As soon as you exit the station, you’ll be in the middle of the action. With its world-class museums, outdoor sculptures, theaters, concert halls, medieval old town buildings by leading architects and new, Basel ranks as a culture capital. Which is why art lovers from around the globe come to Art Basel.

Known as the Olympics of the Art World, Art Basel features nearly 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 2500 artists, ranging from the great masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars, are represented in the show. Last year’s installment brought together over 60,000 people.

All those people need somewhere to stay. With all hotel stays, guests receive a transportation card valid on all the public buses and tram, free of charge. With this perk, visitors can see more of this beautiful city that is living art in itself. Take the tram to City Hall where there’s an open market filled with fresh produce. Take a walk through Old Town – with well-preserved homes and winding alleyways. Stop at one of over 200 fountains, which the town officials claim has water so fresh that people can drink from any of them.

In the center of Basel, you’ll find the Barfüsserplatz, a square that literally means "Naked Feet Place." Named after an order of monks who had made a vow of poverty, take a minute to look around. Even if you haven’t a Swiss Franc in your pocket, riches surround you.

Basel lies right on the border of France and Germany. Have a German Railpass ? You can visit here without buying extra tickets (departing from Basel Badischer Bahnhof). Of course, if you plan on traveling a bit in both Switzerland and Germany, a Germany-Switzerland Pass should accompany you.

Be in Lucerne or Bern in an hour using a Swiss Travel Pass. Strasbourg, France in less than 90 minutes. Paris in just over three hours thanks to high-speed trains. Be sure to pick up a France-Switzerland Pass !

Now this is the art of travel.

The Barfuesserplatz is one of the best places to eat in Basel. Foreign cuisine is popular here ; try the French L’Escargot near the Basel SBB train station and the Japanese Sakura restaurant inside the building.

The medley of sophisticated shops in Basel is sure to keep you occupied. Flit between established designers, up and coming fashions and high street favourites along the discerning streets. Seize the opportunity to buy a Swiss Rolex or Victorinox knife in Freie Strasse.

Basel Tourism
Stadt-Casino, Barfusserplatz Steinenberg, 14 CH 4010 Basel
Tel : +41 (0)6 12 68 68 68

The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.

Basel station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Basel.

Basel city guide

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