Basel günstig erleben

It is possible to experience Basel at a good price or for free. Here are some cool tips that will save you money.

Basel’s skyscrapers: spectacular towers

At 178 metres, the Roche Tower (Building 1) is the tallest skyscraper in Switzerland. It can be visited every Saturday free of charge. The guided tours last one hour and are in German or English, French for groups on request. The minimum age for visitors is seven years, and registration is possible online four months in advance.

Another high tower in Basel is the Messeturm. The Bar Rouge on the top floor offers a rich evening programme; sometimes admission is free. Snacks and drinks, of course, are not.

How to get to the Roche Tower: bus stop Hoffmann-La Roche, bus 31 or 38 from Schifflände.

Basel Blooms for Free: Parks and Gardens

The botanical garden of the University of Basel was laid out in 1589 and is the oldest in Switzerland. In greenhouses, tropical houses and outdoors, it displays plants from the Alpine world, orchids and, for example, a desert plant that disguises itself as a pebble stone. If the titanium root is not flowering, admission is free. On the outskirts of the city is the Meriangärten, which is open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset. Admission is free, and there is a free guided tour on the first Sunday of each month. The gardens include the mill museum and a café in Villa Merian. From the Meriangärten, the tour continues seamlessly to the green park with ponds and a restaurant.

The municipal parks also invite you to take walks, play games or take a break: Schützenmattpark, Kannenfeldpark or St. Johanns-Park directly on the Rhine.

How to get to the Botanical Garden: Tram 3 to Spalentor.

Free on the Move: Privilege for Hotel Guests

Anyone staying overnight in a Basel hotel will receive a guest card at no extra cost called the Basel Card. It’s a real treat: trams, buses and scheduled ferries can be used free of charge. It also includes 17 WiFi hotspots in the city and a range of half-price admissions: Basel Zoo, museums, Basel Theatre, a city tour and guided tours in German or English.

Cheaper Than You think: The Basel Zoos

Admission to Basel Zoo (without Basel Card) costs 21 francs and 43 francs for a family. The longer you stay in the zoo, the cheaper the pleasure. The complex attracts visitors with winding paths and animals ranging from A for monkeys to Z for zebras. It has ten animal houses, and bad weather makes it even more attractive. Admission to Basel Zoo is only free on the day in honour of patron Johannes Beck: the zoo is open to all from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission to the Lange Erlen zoo is free. It has a great variety of small animals and is located in Basel’s largest landscape park, the Lange Erlen or Wiese landscape park – large enough to spend the day here. By the way, the meadow is not a field but the name of a river.

How to get to Basel Zoo: Tram 10 or 17 to the Zoo stop.

Gold Plated: The Basel Town Hall

The Basel Town Hall is striking and serves as a backdrop for countless Selfies. Sunshine makes the red façade and the golden decorations on the roof shine. The entrance area of the town hall is freely accessible during opening hours. The town hall was built in 1504 after Basel joined the Swiss Confederation. Council meetings are open to the public and visitors, although groups must register in advance.

The Churches: Ascent of the Tower, Concerts, and Aperitif

The Basel Cathedral on Cathedral Hill is the most striking church in the city. The building consists of red Vosges sandstone, colourful roof tiles and two slender towers. The cathedral, cloister and crypt can be visited free of charge. The ascent of the tower costs five francs.

All church services in the Basel churches are free of cost. Several of the many concerts do not require a ticket. After the “ Mitenand“ (together) service in the St. Matthew’s Church, there is a free aperitif (Sunday, 6 p.m.).

Carnival: Free Major Events

The Carnival of Basel is the largest carnival in Switzerland and starts every Monday after Ash Wednesday at 4 am. The colourful and loud spectacle lasts exactly 72 hours. As the area is not closed off, the Fasnacht can be visited freely. But if you want to save the entrance fee and don’t wear a plaque, you can expect to be punished by angry carnival fans…

No risk is taken at explicitly free major events; for example concerts such as “Em Bebbi sy Jazz” (16.8.2019), “European Youth Choir Festival” (May 2020), “Summerblues” (28.6.2019), “Pärkli Jam” (June 2019) or the federal celebration on the Rhine, always on 31 July.

Cheap Museums: Happy Hour and Happy Day

Basel is a museum city with a large and wide range of attractions. However, many admissions can cost a pretty penny. Some of the museums offer a happy hour: the last hour is free of charge. Some museums can be visited for free on the first Sunday of the month. This offer applies, for example, to the Historical Museums, the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Natural History Museum Basel and the Museum of Cultures in Basel.

Vibrant City: A Lot Going on for Little Money

The city itself offers a lot that costs nothing. Enthusiasts of architecture can admire a whole range of exceptional buildings: the exhibition halls by Herzog and de Meuron, the Basler Messeturm (Basel Trade Fair Tower) by Morger and Degelo, the BIZ building by Mario Botta, the White Plaza / Euregio office building by Richard Meier, the Südpark and Meret-Oppenheim high-rise buildings, both by HdM.

Of course, exploring Basel on foot is free. The old town on Cathedral Hill and on the Spalenberg / Gemsberg is particularly beautiful, as is the Rhine bank on the north-eastern side of the Rhine. It is an unforgettable experience to throw yourself into a swimming suit and drift through the city on the Rhine. As the Rhine is not harmless, safety rules apply to Rhine swimmers. Official Rhine swimming takes place on the thirteenth August 2019 and is free of charge.

Cheap Shopping: Flea and Other Markets

Shopping does not have to be expensive. Flea markets offer a lot of entertainment and sell second-hand clothes, books, antiques or decorations. Even without purchasing, fun is guaranteed. Here are the most important markets:

Flea market on the Petersplatz, Saturday, 7.30 am to 4 pm.

Flea market on Barfüsserplatz, 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 7 am to 7 pm.

Market on the market place, daily at 7 am 2 pm, Friday and Saturday 7 am to 6 pm.

Market on the Matthäusplatz, Saturday, from 8 am to 1 pm.

Christmas market takes place each December.

Free Walking Tours and Guided Tours for free

A dozen dedicated women offer guided tours of Basel in several languages. Each tour has a theme: old town, Kleinbasel, history, or art. There is no fixed price, and money is collected after the tour on a voluntary basis.

Basel Tourism offers five tours that you can do yourself. The explanations can be found on an audio guide in an app, which can be downloaded free of charge. The app is available under iTour Basel and contains topics such as Erasmus, Paracelsus or Holbein.

The guided tours in the synagogue are free of charge on the first Sunday of each month at 3 pm.

Autor: Walter Brunner für