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Basel: Switzerland’s capital of art and culture

It is not easy to describe Basel in one word.

Titles such as “Cultural capital of Switzerland” or “University town” can only be understood as attempts to encompass the rich variety of cultural, historical, leisure and enjoyable experiences under one heading. Nestling in the heart of Europe in the three countries corner where Switzerland, Germany and France meet, Basel is a pocket-sized metropolis that combines proverbial Swiss quality with a multicultural population. This makes the city unmistakably open-minded, happy and innovative.

Between tradition and modernity

In hardly any other city do 15th century buildings complement internationally renowned modern architecture to create such a dynamic yet harmonious cityscape. The narrow alleyways and hidden squares with over 190 fountains as well as the many century-old buildings and eye-catching sights such as the City Hall or the Cathedral combine to make Basel's Old Town one of the most beautiful and intact of its kind in Europe.

Simultaneously, the city welcomes modernity with open arms. As home of Herzog & de Meuron, Basel has created a stir in the world of architecture. Numerous other world-famous celebrities in this field have enriched the city with their works, thus cementing its reputation as a centre for contemporary architecture.

40 Museums

And that’s not all, by any means.

Nearly 40 museums with world renowned exhibitions – this is unique in Switzerland and top class by international standards. With various themed areas, our museums offer something for every taste. Whether you wander through the alleyways of the Old Town or take a break on a park bench – in Basel, art is everywhere. Serra, Borofski, Rodin or Niki de Saint Phalle are only a few names of the artists who have contributed to sculpting the cityscape with their works of art.

The Rhine

The river divides Basel in two. Or better said, it connects the two halves of the city. As the most-visited local recreation area, it has a special importance in the daily lives of the people of Basel. Whether going for a walk, a beer after work, a barbeque evening or an afternoon swim in the summer – the Rhine is a source of wellbeing and relaxation.

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