Basel is a beautiful city in Switzerland that allows you to have the best kind of experiences. A wonderful mixture of modern and ancient, a lively spirit and a city full of traditions and enthusiasm, Basel makes for a great visit. There are just so many fun things to do in Basel!
Switzerland is famous among couples for being a perfect honeymoon destination. The breathtaking beauty of Switzerland, the scenic places, the mouth-watering popular Swiss chocolates, all make Switzerland even more romantic. Well, now it’s time to add another interesting spot to your trip and that is Basel.
So, if you are planning for a honeymoon in Switzerland or want to visit Basel in 2 days with your family or partner, then you have arrived at the right place. Our two days Basel itinerary will guide you to the best things to do in Basel Switzerland. Let’s jump into and see how you can have an amazing experience in a two-day Basel itinerary.
Two Days in Basel Itinerary – Best Things to Do in Basel
First Day in Basel:
Explore the Old Town
Definitely, walking around Basel will give you the best experience, and what’s better than starting your tour with Old Town. You will get some historic vibes roaming around the narrow streets of the old town and witnessing some really old houses. You can also visit Cathedral hill, ancient museums, Town Hall and many more. Start your day around 8.30 to 9 to have the entire day for yourself and enjoy even more. Grab some breakfast before you begin your walking tour.
Visit City Hall
Once you’re done with Old Town, take a tour to City Hall, one of the most unique and iconic town halls of Basel. The red-colored tall building makes for a great view and it is situated just in the heart of old town. You can also opt for a guided tour during the busiest seasons and spend your afternoon at this famous building. The courtyards are always open for visitors and tourists during winter, so make sure to visit City Hall once.
Don’t Miss The Minster Cathedral
Your two days in Basel would be incomplete if you miss out on the great Basel Minster. If you’re a lover of art, culture, and history, then you are surely going to fall in love with this cathedral that displays amazing architecture.
The top of the cathedral provides a panoramic view of the city so make sure to try getting up there. Another great fact about visiting the Munster Cathedral is that it’s located just beside the Rhine river. So, you are in due for some great scenic views. Don’t forget to get some awesome clicks.
Afternoon at the Spalentor
A magnificent view awaits you at the beautiful Spalentor. This is one of the three city gates that are still present in the city. The tall building with its intricate work outside certainly makes for one of the best tourist attractions in Basel.
Sunset at Rhine River
What else can be a perfect note to end your first day in Basel by enjoying a heartwarming sunset at the Rhine River? The river flows smoothly with crystal clear water and provides ample opportunity to take great pictures. Keep your camera or GoPro handy. If you don’t have any or looking for an affordable option, check these GoPro alternatives.
If you’re in the mood for some adventures, you can take a dip in the water as swimming is allowed here. You can also visit the other side of the bridge through the middle bridge. Sit back on the riverbank, relax and soak in the beauty of the sunset.
Head back to the hotel
After witnessing the wonderful sunset and walking a bit around the riverbank, you can have a quiet dinner at a Basel restaurant. Finish off your day at around 8 p.m so that you have a good enough time for rest. Let’s see what’s in store for you for your next day’s Basel itinerary.
Second Day in Basel:
Local Scenes at Markthalle
One of the best ways to spend your last day in Basel is to get some ideas about the local culture and Swiss food. And for that, Markthalle must be on your two days Basel itinerary. There is a dome-shaped food hall where you will find plenty of local foods and cuisines.
Don’t miss a chance to gorge on some local food for your breakfast and kickstart your day. Not only local, but you will also get national and global cuisines available there. All kinds of cuisines are there to suit your taste buds.
If you want to dive even more into the local food scene, check out this self-guided Basel Food Tour. This is perfect, as you can explore at your own pace and linger at your favorite places.
Natural History Museum
As the day unfolds after your sumptuous breakfast, you must go and visit Natural History Museum to explore some historical facts. You will find many extinct species like mammoths, dinosaurs in their exhibition section. From zoology to anthropology everything can be found here.
This is also a great place to visit with your families. Kids love spending time in this historical museum because of its wide range of exhibitions. The museum remains open from Tuesday to Sunday, so your weekend in Basel will be totally sorted.
You have already known by now that there are plenty of museums in Basel. Another interesting museum that you can easily include in your Basel itinerary is a trip to Basler Papermuhle. This is a museum that revolves around printing, paper, and writing. You can get some hands-on experience on how to make paper. Also, you will learn a lot of interesting facts about paper and other stuff. The museum is located beside the Rhine River, so you get another chance to catch glimpse of the river on your last day as well.
Tip: Do check the timings of the museum before visiting the museum and also this remains closed on Mondays. The ticket price is usually 14 euros but with a Basel card, you can avail yourself of some discounts.
Basel Fine Arts Museum
Basel Fine Arts Museum is a hub of culture and art. You will find the most exclusive collections of arts. This museum is also a perfect mix of ancient and contemporary arts.
An afternoon hike
Would you like to visit another country during your stay in Basel and that too by hiking? Well, it’s possible if you’re in Basel because of its excellent location. It is right in the heart of the three borders of France, Germany, and Switzerland.
The best part about getting to the border is that you don’t even need any kind of transport. You can hike up to this place easily. Start your journey from the Rehberger-Weg trail. You will end up in Weil am Rhein after crossing the borders of Germany. After your hike, you can stop for your final meal in Basel and end your beautiful journey of two days in Basel. Also, read our guide on the best hikes in Switzerland here>>
Where to Stay in Basel
The old town is an ideal place to stay because of its central location and proximity to all Basel attractions. Apart from that, staying nearby the Rhine River also makes for a great choice.
Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois is a riverside hotel. You can enjoy your stay with some stunning riverside views. This is a pet-friendly hotel and has all the modern amenities. Book your room here>>
Hotel Basel sits in the middle of Old Town. It has a very contemporary look and a gourmet restaurant too. The local markets and the Basel Minster are extremely near to this hotel. Book your room here>>
Where to Eat in Basel
Schlüsselzunft is one of the top-rated places to eat in Basel and have some local food. From European to Swiss to French, all kinds of cuisines are available here. They also have great vegetarian and vegan options. You must have one meal, especially dinner at this restaurant.
Hostaria is another great option that is affordable yet has delicious food options. Local residents also love this place for its friendly staff and the super ambiance. You will really enjoy their Italian food.
Best Time to Visit Basel
The best time to visit Basel is between May and August. It has ideal weather at that time. But if you want to experience some fall colors, then the end of September-October would be a great time to soak in the beauty of Basel. Also, if you’re a winter person and want to have some snowy fun, then January-March would be your best bet.
How to Get to Basel
Basel has a lot of surprises in store for every tourist. If you’re someone looking for a place with less footfall, then a day in Basel is a must for you. Basel also has an excellent network of transport and you can easily visit Basel in two days. You can reach Basel via several options.
By air: Both Euro Airport and Zurich Airport will take you to Basel. You can get on a shuttle which is available every 7 minutes. The city center is just 15 minutes away from the airport. If you’re traveling via Zurich Airport, you will find direct trains to Basel. It will take around 75 minutes to reach your destination.
By car: Basel is beautifully located at the Europen east-west and north-south motorway junctions. The superb location of the city makes it easily accessible via car. From Zurich it’s only 85 km, so you can plan an enjoyable road trip. And you don’t need to worry about parking as Basel has a lot of parking areas and the hotels also have ample parking space.
How to Get around Basel
You might be thinking if a two-day itinerary for Basel is sufficient to explore the city. Well, Basel is a pretty small yet lovely city. Hence spending a weekend in Basel will give you every opportunity to roam around. The city has an amazing transport network, so getting around is Basel is nothing but a cakewalk.
Aside from walking on your feet and exploring the city, you will find plenty of local trams, buses, trains to take you to different places in the city. You will also find a number of travel passes, day passes which can be used both by solo travelers or families. You can buy these tickets from bus stops and tram stops. Apart from that, you will also find them at TNW sales offices and on the BLT ticket app.
Tip: The hotels in Basel including Airbnb provide Basel cards with which you can use public transport without any cost. Make sure to avail the Basel card before you go to museums and other tourist attractions spots to get some awesome discounts and save some money.
Bicycles: A great and cheap way to explore Basel is to get on a bike. Also, if you and your partner are looking for something unique, you two can certainly get on a bicycle and tour around. You can rent bikes from the central train station. The local shops also carry cycling routes maps which will come in handy. Some of the popular cycling routes are Petite Camargue Alsacienne and Rheinradweg.
On foot: Basel is a pretty small place and you can certainly complete your trip walking on your foot. From the town center which is Old Town, you can walk up to many beautiful nearby places. Also, if you feel tired, there are frequent tram stops where you can hop anytime.
Basel Travel Tips
- If you plan to visit Basel during Summer, you must know that it’s going to be crowded. Due to this huge footfall, hotel prices are high. Winter is the low season in Basel and the perfect time for budget travelers to save money on flights and hotels.
- Basel is a dog-friendly destination. So you don’t need to worry about your pet dog. Bring him along with you on your Basel trip.
- Basel mostly has cobbled streets and not many hilly areas. So, you don’t require any special clothing to visit Basel.
- You can drink water from the fountains. Carry your own bottle and enjoy the free water.
- Make sure to go to the Basel funfair if you are there in Autumn. It’s a great fun experience.
- Go for a ferry ride to cross the Rhine River. This is going to be a very different type of experience indeed.
- Try the sweet chestnuts from the local marketplace.
- Choose hotels that cover your breakfast, so that you can make this trip even more affordable.
As you can see, Basel has a lot to offer. Museums, river views, culture, and history, you will just have ample places to visit on your Basel trip. However, these two days Basel itinerary helps you to utilize your time in the best possible way. Visit the most famous places, enjoy the food and create superb memories on your Basel trip.
Author’s Bio: Trijit Mallick from Budget Travel Buff I’m an India-based travel blogger cum software engineer who loves to explore the beautiful European countries and US states in his free time. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.