With its beautiful medieval old town centre, a Carnival that ranks with those of Venice and Rio de Janeiro, stunning Renaissance architecture and several world-class art museums, Basel is a surprisingly rewarding tourism destination.
The highlight of the city must undoubtedly be its old town with its tiny cobbled streets and alleys. Head to Münsterplatz (Cathedral Square) to see Basel's Münster (cathedral), built 1019-1500 in Romanesque and Gothic style, and the medieval buildings lining the square. The Galluspforte (Gallus portal) on the western façade is considered the most important Romanesque sculptural work in Switzerland. For a few CHF, you can climb St. Martin's tower (completed 1500) for spectacular views over the Rhine, the city and Alsace and Black Forest. Views from the Pfalz (plaza) north of the Münster and overlooking the Rhine are some of the best Basel has to offer. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Basel during its annual carnival, Fasnacht, you’re in for a real treat. The city’s location in the Dreiländereck (three countries’ corner) also ensures it retains a cosmopolitan spirit with its residents speaking German, French and English.