Looking for a Basel itinerary? You’ve landed in the right place!
This 2 days in the Basel itinerary can be followed at any time of the year, whether you’re spending a weekend in Basel in the summer, winter, spring, or autumn!
So make sure to bookmark this travel guide for what to do, where to stay, and where to eat in Basel in 48 hours!
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Essential Travel Resources for 2021 & 2022
These are my favorite companies that I use on my travels.
Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.
For road trips and ground transportation, rent a car through Discover Cars.
Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide.
For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.
Get reliable travel insurance through World Nomads.
Good to Know: This Basel itinerary comes to use from Trijit Mallick from the Budget Travel Buff.
He is a software engineer by profession and a travel blogger by heart. Besides being a writer, he also has a passion for motorcycles!
Trijit is based out in the city of the joy of India – Kolkata. In his free time, he spends his time exploring beautiful places in Europe and the USA.
Planning a Trip to Basel for the Weekend?
If you have finally persuaded your boss for two days off then Basel is a perfect place for a peaceful vacation.
Basel is a metropolitan city seat at the northwest of Switzerland where the Swiss, French, and German borders meet.
If regular life is driving you batty, then escape to this small city with rich history, art, and culture, and a charming atmosphere.
Pro Tip: If you’re coming during the winter, make sure to enjoy Basel’s Christmas Market, one of the great Swiss Christmas Markets.
How to Get to Basel, Switzerland
Basel is a unique and less crowded place compared to Zurich and Geneva.
It is a dog-friendly place, and it’s worth spending 48 hours in Basel to enjoy the city’s beauty and unexplored gems.
One common route to get to Basel is to go from Zurich to Basel. From the Zurich railway station, you can book tickets to Badischer Bahnhof railway station in Kleinbasel.
Of course, there are many other ways to get to Basel. Here are a few others:
By car: Yes, you can get into your car, load up Google Maps, and you are all set to drive to Basel.
Make sure you have what you need to cross the borders in Europe if you’re coming from outside of the country.
If you want to road trip to Basel and don’t have your own car, rent a car through Discover Cars.
By air: Euro Airport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg is Basel’s airport which is 10 minutes away from the city center.
Wear your headphones and enjoy the flight to Basel.
Once you arrive, you’re just a few minutes from one of the most fascinating parts of Basel with lots of restaurants, bars, and cute cafes.
When is the Best Time to Visit Basel?
Visit Basel in December or January if you want to experience chill weather and visit the beautiful Christmas market. If you want to escape the heat then visit in May and June.
I love Basel in September: the weather is pleasant and the city is not crowded.
I stroll the streets and enjoyed autumn colors and very little snow on mountain tops.
July is the warmest month in Basel and during this time of the year, the city’s famous art exhibition takes place. It’s time for all the art and craft lovers.
The best time for tourists is to visit between Mid May and End of June or Mid August to End of October.
While I have preferences for when to visit Basel, this two-day Basel itinerary will sort all your stress so you can enjoy Basel at any time of the year!
How to Get Around Basel
Basel is not a large city, so you can see a lot of Basel in two days. And you’ll see a lot of it on foot, since it has a very walkable historic center.
I stayed near Old Town and I was amazed to see how well connected and reliable Basel public transport was.
It was always on time, facilitated pre-booking tickets, and was even free.
My first recommendation is to get a free Basel Card once you check in to a hotel. If you are staying at Airbnb then they will provide you this card.
This card is referred to as a “Mobility Ticket” by Basel locals, and it offers discounts on museums, local tourist attractions, and allows you to use unlimited public transportation.
What to See in Basel in Two Days
If you are wondering what to do in Basel in two days then steal this 2-days-in-Basel Itinerary to explore and experience the best of Basel in a weekend!
Basel Itinerary Day 1: Swiss Cuisine, an Old Town Walking Tour, + Rhine River Views
Here we go!
8:30 AM: Breakfast on Your Own
If your accommodations provide breakfast, eat at your leisure. Otherwise, grab a croissant or pastry and make sure to fuel up for a big day of sightseeing in Basel!
9:30 AM Explore Old Town on a Walking Tour
I like to get acquainted with a new city with a walking tour or a city bus tour.
For Basel, start with a walking tour through the Old Town of Basel to get to know the history and geography of the city and some of the city’s most important landmarks.
This one-hour tour will cover the winding streets, old museums, and pretty Tinguely Fountain, Cathedral Hill, and Town Hall – a perfect way to get introduced to Basel!
Important Basel Landmarks to see on the tour or on your own:
This cathedral was built in 1019 but it was destroyed in 1356. Luckily for us, it was reconstructed!
It is a beautiful church which is located in Munsterplatz. It is built up of red sandstones and a tile-patterned roof.
The church is magnificently designed with stained glass windows enhancing its beauty.
There is a great landmark at this church: Desiderius Erasmus, a famous Dutch university master, is buried here.
It is located across the Rhine River with incredible views.
If you have some time during your weekend in Basel, you might want to come back and see it in greater detail when your tour is over.
Basel Town Hall
A red huge building standing at the center of the Old Town. City Hall has its rich historical culture and significance on display.
On the front, a few frescoes remind you of the history. If you find yourself with extra time, you can purchase an entry ticket and learn about the city’s political history.
Town Hall is a can’t-miss during your Basel weekend!
11:30 AM: Enjoy Local Cuisine at a Local Basel Restaurant
Pick whichever cafe or restaurant piques your interest or use one of the restaurant recommendations that I have posted below.
Note that great dishes to eat in Basel include local favorites like Basler läckerli, Basler mehlsuppe, and Lummelbraten.
Or you can go for traditional Swiss cuisine like the national dish, Rosti.
1:45 PM: Enjoy Rhine River Views
The main attraction of Basel is the blue river Rhine flowing gorgeously, calling you loudly to dip in and float on the water to drift you away.
Yes, you can swim in the river!
There is a Middle Bridge that allows people to cross the river easily making it navigable on the other side. This was built in 1225 but redesigned in 1905.
This is one of the most popular places to take pictures in Basel!
Stand on the bridge and snap some Instagram pics with the right amount of light and enjoy the breathtaking view!
2:30 PM: Visit the Gorgeous Spalentor
You’ve already gotten a peak, but now it’s time to go back and take in this magnificent Basel attraction!
On the west of the Old Town, Spalentor stands protecting the incredibly beautiful Basel. It has a tiled roof and sculptures on its outer façade which is Instagram perfect.
This place makes me nostalgic and reminds me of the Bygone era of Basel.
3:00 PM: Learn Local History at Basler Papiermuhle
Even those who don’t traditionally love museums will love a trip to the Basler Papiermuhle!
The name translates to English as the Swiss Museum for Paper, Writing, and Printing.
Here you can learn about the history of printing and experience some of the old-school technology for yourself. Prepare to get your hands dirty!
For example, I learned how to make paper and also made one for myself with my own hands. How cool is that?
Good to Know: The museum is closed on Mondays and closes every day at 5 PM, so try to arrive by 3 PM so you have enough time to experience the museum!
5:30 PM: Walk around Old Town or Go to Your Hotel to Rest and Freshen Up for Dinner
If you felt like Old Town called you and you want to see more, now is the perfect time to circle back and take it in at a slower pace.
However, if you are tired and want to take a break before dinner, head back to your hotel to rest and refresh.
7:30 PM: Dinner in Old Town at 1777 Kaffee Restaurant Bar
There are several restaurant recommendations for Basel later in this post. One of these recommendations, the 1777 Kaffee Restaurant Bar, is a perfect way to end your first day in Basel!
9:00 PM: If you are a German-speaker and looking for something interesting to do in Basel at night, go on this Basel: Nighttime Walking Tour in German.
The tour highlights the history of the city with romantic tales and dark history – a great way to get to know the city deeper!
Otherwise, enjoy the city at your leisure or retire to your hotel to prepare for day 2!
Basel Itinerary Day 2: Hiking + History
Get up relaxed and ready to go! There’s a lot more Basel to see!
8:30 AM: Breakfast on Your Own
Use one of the recommendations below or eat breakfast at your hotel.
9:30 AM: Hike to Another Country on the Rehberger-Weg
Basel is a great place to hike, and you can even traverse international borders here on foot. How fun is that!
You can start from Fondation Beyeler and hike to Germany. The Rehberger-Weg is a beautiful sculpture trail that starts in Basel and crosses into Germany, ending in Weil am Rhein.
It was named after the German artist Tobias Rehberger. This walk takes between one and a half and two hours.
When you’re done, you can head back to your hotel to change into city clothes or you can go straight to our next stop!
11:30 AM: Lunch at Schlüsselzunft
This beautiful and ornate tavern is located on Freie Strasse and is one of the most famous restaurants in Basel.
If you are looking to enjoy Basel on a budget, you can opt instead for street food or eating on your own in your hotel.
1:00 PM: Start Your Afternoon at the Natural History Museum
This museum covers paleontology, zoology, entomology, and anthropology.
You can find information about dinosaurs, mammoths, narrow-toothed tigers, and many other extinct species.
It has a different section exhibiting fossil and geographical activities like earthquakes and volcanoes.
Spend an hour here if you are curious, or you can spend longer if you love natural history (especially dinosaurs)!
Good to Know: The museum is open from Tuesdays through Sundays until 5 PM.
3 PM: Learn Basel History at the Basel History Museum Barfüsserkirche
Do you want to know more about the rich culture of Basel?
Then set aside some time to visit the local history museum!
The main building is inside Barfüsserkirche, which was built in the 13th century and displays artifacts and medieval tapestries.
Good to Know: The museum is open from Tuesdays through Sundays until 5 PM.
5 PM: Finish Your Museum Trilogy at the Tinguely Museum & Sculpture Garden
In the name of artist Jean Tinguely, this art and sculpture museum is dedicated.
The sculptures are fun, beautiful, and kinetic. It’s a great way to enjoy Basel culture and have a bit of fun as well!
Good to Know: The museum is open from Tuesdays through Sundays until 6 PM.
6:00 PM: Enjoy Your Last Dinner in Basel!
Enjoy your last evening in Basel by enjoying a nice dinner out on the town. You can use the recommendations below or step into a place near the Tinguely Museum.
Afterward, you can get drinks in town or go back to your hotel to pack and prepare for the voyage home.
Where to Stay in Basel
Basel is a place of history and culture, and you’ll want to be able to access this quickly during your time here.
This means choosing a place near the Old Town is a great idea and will make getting around Basel during your time a breeze!
If you want a peaceful place then you can look at the places in Gundeldingen which are located directly across the river from the city center, or you can choose a hotel across the Rhine River.
These places are well connected with the train station.
Option 1: The Krafft Hotel
The Krafft Hotel is on the bank of River Rhine and has been one of the historic hotels since 1850.
It is a 3–star boutique hotel with magnificent interior decoration and a huge winding staircase.
The rooms are large with contemporary furnishings that remind me of gothic movies from the 1990s – perfect for your time in a city as historic as Basel!
I stayed on the 3rd floor and found it so beautifully decorated with a Japanese teakettle and stocked with L’Occitane toiletries.
It felt like I was in the 1880s!
The most exciting and beautiful part of this hotel is the perfect view of the Rhine flowing across Old Basel.
Option 2: The Hyve Hostel Basel
Switzerland is NOT a budget travel destination, but you can save some money if you try!
If you are on a tight budget then it’s better to look for hostels rather than hotels.
This will not only help you to save money but you might just make a friend or two during your Basel getaway.
In my opinion, the Hyve Hostel in Basel is the best choice for someone looking for budget accommodations in Basel.
The hostel is in a good location. It is only three hundred meters from the SBB Basel railway, a 10-minute walk to Margarethen Hill, a 3-minute bus ride to Zoological Garden, and a 15-minute walking distance from City Centre.
Where to Eat in Basel
Since you will have two days in Basel, you will be eating anywhere from four to eight meals in the city depending on when you arrive and depart the city and how many meals you typically eat during the day.
I have a few recommendations here, but feel free to enjoy any Basel restaurant that piques your interest!
Just remember that prices in Switzerland can get out of hand rather quickly, so if you are visiting Basel on a budget, look at the menus before you sit down so you know what you will be spending.
In my own travels, I love getting street food and visiting markets. This is a great way to have a budget-friendly trip to Basel.
The restaurants in Basel that I ventured to had great food and memorable settings!
For a lovely and cozy breakfast, you can have breakfast in the hotel where you are staying (if this is an option).
The Krafft Hotel, where I was staying, provided a generous amount of food including fruits, cherries, old charcuterie, boiled eggs, brown bread, warm buttery croissants, and boiled mushrooms.
For lunch and dinner here are two of the best restaurants in Basel.
Kaffee Restaurant Bar
This restaurant at the center of Old Town provides great salad options, sandwiches, burgers, fried fish, lovely pannacotta with a cherry compote, and a lot more.
Sip a cup of coffee or craft beer and enjoy your lunch!
When you are in Basel, you have to try Swiss food!
The best “stuebli” in the town is offered by Elsbethen Stubli. They serve the best fondue, smoldering hot pan of gooey cheese, Basel-style salmon with caper sauce, and Swiss red wine.
Pro Tip: Stay hydrated without spending a ton on bottled water!
Basel has beautiful fountains on the streets so drink water as much as you want and stay hydrated. Ahh! And don’t forget to take a few Instagram photos beside the fountains!
Basel Travel Tips
It’s so important to have peace of mind while traveling. You can see so much on a weekend trip to Basel, but you need to be prepared!
It is most likely for you to spend most of your 48 hours in Basel split between the two main areas: Global (Big Basel) and Kleinbasel (Small Basel).
These two places are connected via several bridges over the Rhine River.
If you are planning a two-day Basel trip in June during the art week then make sure your pocket is loaded with cash.
During this month of the year, the prices of hotels are much higher compared to the other months.
If you are coming from France and Germany to Basel for the weekend then you can do all the financial transactions via Euros. But you will receive your change in Swiss Franc.
The people of Basel are very friendly and welcome tourists to explore their hometown.
If you have spare time or end up extending your stay to three days in Basel (or more) then I recommend enjoying some local shows or visiting Basel theaters.
5 Things to Pack for Your Trip to Switzerland
It can be hard to find big, international guidebooks once you land (or they’ll be way overpriced). Get yours ahead of time, either a hard copy or on a Kindle.
An Unlocked Cell Phone so that you can use a Swiss sim card while here to help navigate public transportation and when you’re on the road.
Backup Charging Bank for your cell phone since you’ll be using it as a camera, GPS system, and general travel genie.
A Waterproof Passport Holder so that if something happens when you are near the water, your passport and important IDs don’t get wet.
I’ve seen people denied boarding on flights due to wet passports, and you can technically not be allowed to go over the border.
A Great Day Bag so you can carry what you need with you (like your camera, snacks, water, sunscreen, cash, etc).
My current favorite is the Pacsafe Citysafe, which is especially great for Nashville because it has many anti-theft features designed to deter pickpockets.
It also transitions to a night bag more easily and won’t embarrass you if you go to dinner directly after sightseeing all day.
More Switzerland Travel Resources
Here are more Switzerland travel guides to help you plan your complete Switzerland trip!
Switzerland Country Guides
Love chocolate? Check out the best Switzerland Chocolate Factory Tours.
Swiss City Itineraries
Use these itineraries to plan your time in Switzerland:
Included in These Round-Ups
Don’t Forget about Travel Insurance Before Visiting Switzerland!
Whenever I go on a trip, I always make sure to get travel insurance!
The company World Nomads is the travel insurance company I always look to first, and I happily recommend them!
I always make sure to get travel insurance whenever I’m going to be in a foreign country.
While I feel safe traveling through Europe, I know that being in foreign cities can make you an easy target of pickpockets, and outdoor activities can end in injury.
I don’t want either of these scenarios to ruin my trip or come for my wallet!
It makes my life easier knowing if something should happen, I’ll be able to take care of it!