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Good to know

City map Basel

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    Good to know

    Basel – a brief overview

    One of Switzerland’s most dynamic cities, Basel may be less known than Swiss powerhouses Zurich and Geneva, but it certainly rivals them for beauty, culture and nightlife. Its beating heart is the River Rhine, which divides the city into two halves: Grossbasel, which houses an immaculately preserved medieval Old Town and most of the city’s historical

    sites, and Kleinbasel, a younger, trendier district which pulses with nightlife. Architecturally, it’s a fusion of traditional and cutting-edge design, while its location at the meeting point of France, Germany and Switzerland results in a diverse mix of culture, food and customs.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Top 10 sights in Basel

    ListMap
    Basel, Schweiz, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Münster

    Rittergasse 3
    4051 Basel
    Switzerland
    Tel: (061) 272 9157
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 1100-1600
    Sun 1130-1600 (winter)
    Mon-Fri 1000-1700
    Sat 1000-1600
    Sun 1130-1700 (summer)

    The landmark of the city, this 11th-century, twin-towered cathedral overlooks the River Rhine. The Pfalz, a viewing platform behind the building, is a good spot to take in the view.

    Rathaus

    Marktplatz 9
    4001 Basel
    Switzerland
    Tel: (061) 267 8566
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0700-1200, 1330-1700

    In the centre of the Old Town, Basel’s 16th-century town hall is a vision in burgundy and gold, with an intricately tiled roof and colourful frescoes.

    Rhine ferries

    Fähribödeli
    4051 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-2000 (Apr-Jun)
    Daily 0900-0100 (Jul-Aug)
    Daily 0900-1900 (Oct)
    Daily 1100-1700 (Nov-Feb)
    Daily 1100-1800 (Mar)

    Four tiny ferries cross the Rhine using only the power of the river’s current. Catch one under the Münster to cross over to Kleinbasel.

    Kunstmuseum Basel

    St Alban-Graben 16
    4010 Basel
    Switzerland
    Tel: (061) 206 6262
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1800

    Basel’s principal fine art museum boasts an impressive array of works by artists from the 15th to the 20th centuries including Rembrandt, Picasso, Klee and Rothko.

    Fondation Beyeler

    Baselstrasse 101
    4125 Riehen
    Switzerland
    Tel: (061) 645 9700
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Thu-Tue 1000-1800
    Wed 1000-2000

    Works by Monet, Warhol and Bacon appear alongside tribal art in the fascinating private art collection of Ernst and Hildy Beyeler, housed in a purpose-built museum designed by Renzo Piano.

    Museum Tinguely

    Paul Sacher-Anlage 2
    4002 Basel
    Switzerland
    Tel: (061) 681 9320
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1100-1800

    The late Basel artist Jean Tinguely was the Salvador Dalí of sculpture, creating zany moving artworks out of salvaged scrap. A large collection of his work created over four decades is housed here.

    Vitra Design Museum

    Charles-Eames Strasse 2
    79576 Weil am Rhein
    Germany
    Tel: +49 7621 702 3200
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1800

    A shrine to design, this extraordinary museum across the border in Germany showcases groundbreaking interior design, exhibited in buildings by world-renowned architects including Frank Gehry and local boys Herzog & de Meuron.

    Basel Paper Mill

    St Alban-Tal 37
    4052 Basel
    Switzerland
    Tel: (061) 225 9090
    Show on map

    Opening times: T
    ue-Fri and Sun 1100-1700
    Sat 1300-1700

    Known as Little Venice thanks to its canals and narrow streets, St Alban-Tal was once a paper-making district. Housed in a former mill, this lovely museum explains medieval paper-making methods.

    Zoo Basel

    Binningerstrasse 40
    4054 Basel
    Switzerland
    Tel: (061) 295 3535
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0800-1730 (Nov-Feb)
    Daily 0800-1800 (Mar-Apr and Sep-Oct)
    Daily 0800-1830 (May-Aug)

    This late-19th-century zoo is now dedicated to conservation projects and breeding programmes. Its lion enclosure and monkey house have been recently revamped and it boasts a large oceanarium.

    Botanical Gardens

    Schönbeinstrasse 6
    4056 Basel
    Switzerland
    Tel: (061) 267 3519
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0800-1800 (Apr-Oct)
    Daily 0800-1700 (Nov-Mar)

    One of the oldest in Europe, the University of Basel’s gardens house numerous tropical species, greenhouses full of orchids, a lily pond, plus alpine and woodland plants.

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    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Mixing expansive greenery, slick cities and buckets of fresh air, Switzerland is a stylish tourist destination offering countless outdoor adventures and contemporary urban breaks. The ancient capital Berne provides superb opportunities for sightseeing, shopping and traditional folk entertainment, while Zurich leads the way in arts, design and nightlife.

    Top ski resorts include Zermatt, Verbier and celebrity-studded St Moritz, while white-capped mountain peaks set against blue skies make a wonderful backdrop for summertime hiking. Small, mountainous and wealthy, Switzerland is renowned for its enviable quality of life in a country that ticks along like clockwork.

    Geography

    Landlocked Switzerland shares borders with France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Italy to the south. It has the highest mountains in Europe, together with waterfalls, rivers and lakes set amid green pastures.

    The highest peaks are Dufourspitze, 4,634m (15,203ft), on the Italian border; the Dom, 4,545m (14,911ft); the Matterhorn, 4,478m (14,691ft); and the Weisshorn, 4,506m (14,793ft).

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 7.996.026

    Population Density (per sq km): 194

    Capital: Bern.

    Language

    German (64% of the population) in central and eastern areas, French (20%) in the west and Italian (7%) in the south. Romansch (1%), the fourth national language, is spoken in parts of the southeast. English (as a second or third language) is widely spoken.

    Currency

    Swiss Franc (CHF; symbol SFr) = 100 cents (called centimes in French, rappen in German and centesimi in Italian). Notes are in denominations of SFr1,000, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of SFr5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes.

    Electricity

    230 volts AC, 50Hz. Standard European round two-pin plugs and Swiss three-pin plugs are used.

    General business opening hours

    Business hours are typically Monday to Friday 0800-1200 and 1400-1700, while in Geneva the business day can start 30 minutes earlier.

    Public holidays

    Below are Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.
    Note: There are additional regional holidays which are observed in certain cantons only.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2014
    Berchtold’s Day: 02. January 2014
    Good Friday: 18. April 2014
    Easter Monday: 21. April 2014
    Ascension Day: 29. May 2014
    Whit Monday: 09. June 2014
    National Day: 01. August 2014
    Christmas Eve: 24. December 2014
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2014
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2014

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Berchtold’s Day: 02. January 2015
    Good Friday: 03. April 2015
    Easter Monday: 06. April 2015
    Ascension Day: 14. May 2015
    Whit Monday: 25. May 2015
    National Day: 01. August 2015
    Christmas Eve: 24. December 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2015

    Flight and accommodation

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    Nightlife in Basel

    ListMap

    When it comes to evening entertainment, Basel isn’t short of options. Traditional taverns

    in the Old Town vie with trendy bars and clubs, and there are several live music venues.

    Consum

    Rheingasse 19
    4058 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Sip Spanish sherry and nibble on salami and cheese at this delightful wine bar on a Kleinbasel street corner.

    Volkshaus

    Rebgasse 12-14
    4058 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Boasting a restaurant designed by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron, Volkshaus is also a cocktail bar, club and live music venue.

    Atlantis

    Klosterberg 13
    4051 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Drinks and dinner easily escalate into late-night clubbing at this Basel institution.

    The Bird’s Eye Jazz Club

    Kohlenberg 20
    4051 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Catch Swiss and international contemporary jazz artists play in this intimate club.

    Kaserne Basel

    Klybeckstrasse 1B
    4057 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Dance, theatre and popular music events are held at this large arts venue which stages the annual Basel Tattoo.

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    Restaurants in Basel

    ListMap

    Drawing on influences from neighbouring France and Germany, as well as all the international flavours you’d expect from a

    modern European city, Basel is well equipped to excite your palate.

    Bel Etage

    Leonhardsgraben 49
    4051 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    One of two great restaurants in Der Teufelhof hotel and arts centre, Bel Etage offers gourmet food in a salon-style dining room.

    Au Violon

    Im Lohnhof 4
    4051 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Located in a former monastery-turned-prison, this French brasserie has a cosy atmosphere and classy food.

    Kohlmanns

    Steinenberg 14
    4001 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Homemade Swiss-German cooking is on the menu at this popular place just off Barfüsserplatz in the Old Town.

    St. Alban-Eck

    St. Alban-Vorstadt 60
    4052 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    In a listed building in Basel’s ‘Little Venice’, this lovely place serves a daily changing lunch menu including a vegetarian option.

    Lily’s Stomach Supply

    Rebgasse 1
    4058 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Ideal for a quick lunch in Kleinbasel, Lily’s dishes up Asian-influenced fare.

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    Calendar of events

    Basel Herbstmesse

    25 October – 25 December 2014

    The country’s largest and oldest amusement fair is a centuries old tradition drawing around a million visitors. Dating back 540 years, expect lots of traditions and amusement rides for all the family to enjoy.

    Christmas Market

    27 November – 23 December 2014
    Website

    Venue: Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz.

    More than 180 lovingly decorated stands selling festive gifts, decorations, mulled wine and gingerbread. Widely accepted as one of Europe’s finest and most extravagant Christmas markets. The market is held on Münsterplatz – one of the most beautiful squares in Basel – and Barfüsserplatz.

    'Vogel Gryff' Festival

    20 January 2015

    Venue: Various venues around Basel.

    ‘Vogel Gryff’ Festival is a traditional festival during which the three heraldic figures (Vogel Gryff (Griffin), Wild Maa (Wild Man) and Leu (Lion) parade through the city, accompanied by drummers and jesters who collect money for the needy. The event marks the start of the carnival season. The ritual, which is derived from military inspections, has been performed since 1838.

    Fasnacht (Carnival)

    23 – 26 February 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    The biggest party on the Basel calendar, a three-day non-stop carnival of parties and parades. It begins on the Monday following Ash Wednesday with the “Morgestraich” lantern parade at 4am, when the city is plunged into darkness.

    Jazz Festival

    16 April – 10 May 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    This annual spring jazz festival is marked by performances from celebrated international musicians who perform at a variety of locations throughout Basel.

    Les Muséiques

    22 April – 25 May 2015

    Venue: Various museums.

    A world-class international art and chamber music festival. A world-class international art and chamber music festival, which has been taking place in Basel since 2002.

    Three Country Run (Dreiländerlauf)

    23 May 2015
    Website

    Venue: Throughout the region.

    Over 1,000 runners are expected to take part in the Three Countries Run (Dreiländerlauf) in Basel encompassing Switzerland, France and Germany. The 21km (12 miles) Dreiländerlauf starts at 11am but is preceeded by a 10km (6 miles) run starting from the Marktplatz at 1045am.

    Art Basel

    18 – 21 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    The international art show features over 300 carefully selected exhibitors for around the world featuring work from established names to new fresh talent. Every artistic medium is represented: paintings, sculpture, installations, videos, multiples, prints, photography, and performance. The events draws tens of thousands of fans every year

    Swiss National Day

    1 August 2015

    Venue: Various venues.

    Swiss National Day precedes 1 August in Basel when more than 100,000 people flock to the river to watch sports events on the Rhine and visit numerous riverside stalls, before the evening ends with a magnificent fireworks display at night.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

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    Hotels in Basel

    ListMap

    Whether you’re after old-fashioned luxury or on-trend design, Basel delivers.

    Choose to stay in the heart of the Old Town or amid the city’s vibrant nightlife across the river.

    Les Trois Rois

    Blumenrain 8
    4001 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Over its long history, Basel’s most luxurious hotel has welcomed royalty to its elegant rooms and Michelin-starred restaurant.

    Krafft

    Rheingasse 12-18
    4058 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This contemporary design hotel in a historic house in Kleinbasel boasts a riverfront restaurant and a smoking room.

    Hotel D

    Blumenrain 19
    4051 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Near the Old Town on the Grossbasel side of the Rhine, this is a sophisticated boutique hotel.

    Spalenbrunnen

    Schützenmattstrasse 2
    4051 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Simple but tasteful, this family-run place is housed in a medieval building in the Old Town.

    Du Commerce

    Riehenring 91
    4058 Basel
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    A recently renovated hotel in the centre of Kleinbasel not far from the Messe Exhibition Centre.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Friday, 19.12.2014 23:00

    light rain

    temperature


    10°C


    50°F

    wind direction

    west

    wind speed

    8.75 mph

    humidity

    81%

    7 days forecast

    Saturday

    20.12.2014

    10°C / 6°C

    50°F / 43°F

    Sunday

    21.12.2014

    9°C / 4°C

    48°F / 39°F

    Monday

    22.12.2014

    9°C / 3°C

    48°F / 37°F

    Tuesday

    23.12.2014

    10°C / 3°C

    50°F / 37°F

    Wednesday

    24.12.2014

    8°C / 2°C

    46°F / 36°F

    Thursday

    25.12.2014

    8°C / 4°C

    46°F / 39°F

    Friday

    26.12.2014

    3°C / 1°C

    37°F / 34°F

    Climate & best time to visit Switzerland

    The Alps cause many climatic variations throughout Switzerland. In the higher Alpine regions temperatures tend to be low, while the lower land of the northern area has higher temperatures and warm summers. Overall the hottest months are July and August, though these are also the busiest. Those looking to ski should visit Switzerland between December and April, when snow is good in the Alps. The months of May and September are great times to visit for those looking for sunny and mild days, but without the throngs of tourists.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +41

    Telephone

    Phonecards are available for use in payphones. SIM cards are available for mobile phones and the Swiss network supports many data-roaming packages.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good.

    Internet

    Internet access is available in Internet cafés and phone booths operated across Switzerland, found in most major town and cities. In the case of phone booths, charges are payable by phonecard or credit card, whilst cafés are mostly independently run. Internet coverage is good across Switzerland.

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    Shopping in Basel

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Most of Basel’s shopping streets are located in and around the Old Town in Grossbasel. For wallet bashing or window shopping, head down Freie Strasse, home to big-name designers, high street chains, watch shops and jewellers. Alternatively, the winding streets to the west of Marktplatz, including Nadelberg and Spalenberg, offer independent boutiques and artisan products.

    Markets

    Rifle through vinyl, antiques, books, bric-a-brac and clothing at the Saturday morning flea market in Petersplatz. Central

    Grossbasel square Barfüsserplatz hosts its own flea market every second and fourth Wednesday. For fresh produce, head to the Matthäusmarkt on Feldbergstrasse in Kleinbasel every Saturday.

    Shopping Centres

    Basel’s main department stores include Pfauen (Freie Strasse 75), Manor (Greifengasse 22) and the high-end Globus (Marktplatz 2). Out of the centre, shop to your maximum credit limit at the St Jakob-Park and Stücki shopping malls.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    It is customary to give flowers to the hostess when invited for a meal, but never give chrysanthemums or white asters as they are considered funeral flowers. Informal wear is widely acceptable.

    First-class restaurants, hotel dining rooms and important social occasions may warrant jackets and ties. Black tie is usually specified when required.

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    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    Other Risks

    No immunisations are required to enter Switzerland, although it is advisable to make sure your tetanus, diphtheria and polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. A certificate of immunisation against contagious diseases (including Yellow Fever) is required before the traveller can enter the country if they have been in an infected area within 14 days prior to arrival in Switzerland. Rabies is present, but extremely rare. However, if you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

     

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