If you like art and architecture, Basel is the ideal city for you. The third Swiss city, with its quarantine of world-class museums, contemporary buildings that compete in beauty with monuments of centuries of history and its relaxed and international character – is literally stuck to France and Germany – will seduce you step by step. If it even has a beach and a port… No, there is no sea in Switzerland, but if the lake was in Geneva, here is the Rhine! We tell you our 15 things to see in Basel, we will surely convince you to visit it.
If you have the opportunity to go in carnivals – of the most famous in Europe – or at Christmas, do not miss it. Of course, we, although we went in summer, also came back delighted.
THE CATHEDRAL: THE FIRST THING YOU HAVE TO SEE IN BASEL
The high Gothic red sandstone towers of the cathedral will take you towards it almost without realizing it as if it were huge magnets. The sculptures on its façade will make you spend a bit of time admiring them. And the Romanesque interior will give you the final coup de grace so that you fall surrendered. Do not forget to stand before the many centenary tombs that it houses – including that of Erasmus of Rotterdam, although not the prettiest -, admire its flamboyant Gothic pulpit and, right next to it, pass over the dragon represented on a slab of the twelfth century. Apparently, it brings luck …
THE CLOISTERS OF THE CATHEDRAL
In addition to entering the cathedral itself, do not forget to approach its two adjacent cloisters, the large and the small. They were added in the fifteenth century – after the earthquake of 1356 that destroyed much of the cathedral. In them, in addition to large late Gothic arches and tombstones of illustrious people in the city, we find two large tables.
THE CLIMB TO THE TOWERS
You can also climb the towers of the cathedral. The entrance to the temple and the cloisters is free, but to climb the towers you will have to pay 5 CHF.
You can see from the top the Rhine, the cloisters and the cathedral square, a good part of the historic center and approach the bright red, green and yellow roof tiles. It is not a sight that takes your breath away – well, if not for the climb of the stairs – but, if you have some extra time and do not mind climbing stairs, it may be worth it.
THE MuNSTERPLATZ AND THE TERRACE OVERLOOKING THE RHINE
Once seen from above, you have to go down to the cathedral square, the great Munsterplatz. We found it very quiet, almost empty, like the rest of the historic center. But, four times a year, it comes alive.