The tourist office hands out free do-it-yourself guides to walk through the old town.
The Museum Jean Tinguely, at Paul Sacher Anlage 1 (take bus no. 31/36 to Tinguely Museum), is dedicated to the life and work of this major sculptor of iron. The building itself was designed and executed by another famous Swiss, the architect Mario Botta. There is another example of Tinguely’s work: the fountain on Theaterplatz. Museum open Tue-Sun 11am-7pm, closed on Monday. Admission CHF10.-, students CHF7.-. www.tinguely.ch
At Fondation Beyeler at Baselstr. 101 in Riehen (take tram no 6 to Riehen Dorf) you’ll find an exceptional collection of work by modern masters! Open daily 10 am – 6 pm (Wednesday till 8 pm). Admission CHF23.-, students CHF12.-, cheaper admission on Mon 10 am – 6 pm and on Wed from 5 – 8 pm CHF 16.- students CHF 8.- www.beyeler.com
The Roman Town of Augusta Raurica. A visit to this largest open-air archaeological museum in north-west Switzerland is one of the most attractive outings around Basel. The extremely interesting open-air complex of The Roman Town of Augusta Raurica offers over 20 places of interest, including the best preserved antique theatre north of the Alps, a unique replica of a "Roman House" and the "Roman" farm animal park. No wonder the archaeological site is the most visited tourist attraction in the Baselland Canton today, and enjoys an international reputation. How to get there: Fast train from Basel to Kaiseraugst: 10 minute walk to the Roman Museum and the central points of interest; Bus number 70 from Basel-Aeschenvorstadt to the Augst stop, from there 10 minute walk. Or by boat from Basel-Schifflände to Augst or Kaiseraugst (summer only, call 061 639 95 07); from there 15 minute walk to the Roman Museum (journey time from Basel: 1 ½ hours). Opening hours: Outdoor exhibitions and the farm animal park are open daily 10am-7pm; The Roman Museum open Tue-Sun 10am-7pm and Monday 1pm-7pm. You can visit most of the sights of August Raurica free of charge. Entry to the Roman Museum and the Roman House costs CHF7.-, students CHF5.-.
The Natural History Museum at Augustinergasse 2 covers virtually all aspects of the natural sciences. Walk through the dinosaur hall or look at the numerous fossils or bizarre, colorful minerals. You may observe living animals in terrariums. Tram 6/8/11/14/16 to Schifflände or tram 2/15 to Kunstmuseum. Open Tue-Sun 10am-7pm (closed on Monday). Admission CHF7.-, students CHF5.-; or free admission every 1st Sunday of the month and always during “happy hour” 4pm-5pm (Tue-Sat). www.nmb.bs.ch
The Puppenhausmuseum at Steinenvorstadt 1 is the fascinating exhibition of teddy bears, dolls, toy shops, dollhouses and miniatures - the largest of its kind in Europe. The size and quality of the teddy bear collection make it unique in the whole world. Take tram 3/6/8/11/14/16 to Barfüsserplatz or tram 10 to Theater. Open daily 11am-5pm, Thu until 8pm. Admission CHF7.-, students CHF5.-. www.puppenhausmuseum.ch
Basel’s Zoo is laid out in a large park near the SBB station. Feeding times (Fütterungen) are fun to watch (see display by the entrance). Open daily from 8 am - 5.30 pm, CHF 16.- / youth under 25 CHF12.-; cheaper admission on Mondays CHF 11.- / youth under 25 CHF 9.-. www.zoobasel.ch
Basel’s impressive cathedral (called the Münster) is the landmark of the city and worth a visit. Open Mon – Sat 11 am – 4 pm, Sun 2 – 4 pm.
For many people the Swiss Architecture Museum (Switzerland’s only museum of architecture), at Steinenberg 7 is a major reason for coming to Basel. The principal themes are: Swiss architecture from the Classical Modern period, international contemporary architecture, and the relationship between architecture and art. Open Tue, Wed & Fri 11 am – 6 pm, Thu 11 am – 8.30 pm, Sat & Sun 11 am – 5 pm (closed on Mon); CHF 10.- / students CHF 6.-.
The Schaulager at Ruchfeldstr. 19 in Münchenstein (approx. 10 minutes by tram no. 11 from the Swiss railway station SBB, direction Aesch until “Schaulager” stop) is an amazing venue (designed by the leading architects Herzog & De Meuron) and Basel’s newest, highly-regarded cultural institution (intended primarily for specialists as restorers, curators, researchers, teachers and students). But it’s also open to the public for occasional exhibitions and special events: May 12th until October 14th 2007, Tue, Wed & Fri noon – 6 pm, Thu noon – 7 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am – 5 pm (closed on Mon); CHF 14.- / students CHF 8.-
The Vitra Design Museum is one of the world’s leading museums for industrial furniture design and architecture. You’ll find the Vitra Design Museum across the border in Germany, 10 km north of Basel in the small town of Weil-Am-Rhein (at Charles-Eames-Strasse 1). Take bus no. 55 from Basel “Badischer Bahnhof” (passport needed!). Open Mon – Sun 10 am – 6 pm, Wed until 8 pm; admission Euro 8.-, students Euro 6.50.
Get many reductions and lots for free with the Basel Card. Costs for 24 h CHF 20.- (without means of transport) or CHF 25.-( incl. means of transport), for 48 h CHF 27.-, and for 72 h CHF 35.-. It gives you free admission to 25 museums and to the zoo, free guided tours of the town, free ferry rides, free entrance to the garden swimming pools, reductions for concerts and discos, reductions in various shops, 30% reduction on car rental and reductions on boat trips and taxi fares.
From Feb 11th – 13th it is carnival in Basel - three crazy days with processions of small and big groups with fifes and drums, lantern exhibitions, Guggemusig-concerts (music played on old and dented instruments) and much more. You really should not miss it!
For more entertainment, fun and parties ask at your hostel. The friendly people there will help you with lots of tips. Or ask at the tourist office for the brochure to get full listings.