The Kunstmuseum Basel hosts an exquisite collection of European art from the medieval period to the 20th century. Highlights include a whole room dedicated to masterpieces by Picasso, and works by Holbein and Monet.
The Beyeler Foundation has 140 modern classic artworks in their collection, including 23 Picassos.
One of Basel’s favorite sons, Jean Tinguely, has a museum dedicated to his incredible animated mechanical sculptures. The Museum Jean Tinguely is devoted to his works, and also includes works by other “kinetic” modern artists.
The Museum of Ancient Art (Antikenmuseum), has a fine collection of ancient artworks, mainly Egyptian, Greek, Italic, Etruscan, Roman, from the 4th millennium BC to the 7th century AD; also works from the Near East and Cyprus.
Other area museums include: the Museum of Culture, with ethnographies of Europe, the South Pacific, Mesoamerica, Tibet, and Bali; the Music Museum, featuring the history of 16th-to-20th century music and 650 instruments; the Caricature & Cartoon Museum, with cartoons, parodies, and pastiches of 700 artists from a dozen nations; and a toy museum, the Spielzeug Welten Museum, with 6000 teddy bears, dolls, toy shops, doll houses, and miniatures.
FC Basel is one of Europe’s best soccer teams, having claimed the Swiss Championship four times in the last decade. Basel is also home to Switzerland’s most rabid football fans, and games here sell more tickets than any other venue in the country. Home games take place at the new St. Jakob Park, which opened in 2001.
Basel is a treasure trove of medieval architecture, from the cobbled streets of the Marktplatz (Marketplace) where you can still by fresh local produce and baked goods, to the impressive Basel Münster (cathedral). First built in 1019 and rebuilt in 1492 due to earthquake damage, the Münster has beautiful examples of Romanesque sculptural work on its main and western façades. You can also climb one of the two towers for unimpeded views clear into France and Germany.
Switzerland is an alpine country so to get the real experience, take a short trip out of the city to the nearby Jura Mountains. Seewan is a little mountain town about 15 km away with more than 200 marked rock-climbing and hiking routes of varying degrees of difficulty.
The three-kilometre promenade along the river is one of the city’s most pristine and peaceful areas. Riverside views of the city are quite beautiful and the bridges that cross the river provide some of the best vantage points for river life. On hot days, the Rhine is also nice place to take a swim.