The “pocket-sized metropolis” has a great deal to offer, combining a lively city centre with narrow streets in the romantic old town, world-class museums, historical buildings and highlights of modern architecture. All of which can be explored on foot and in a single day thanks to the short distances, with a surprise around every corner.
Discover Basel’s most picturesque streets to stroll along, culinary hot spots and locations with a history spanning over 2000 years.
Take a stroll through the streets and alleys of Basel, and you will soon find yourself immersed in history. The city’s venerable buildings bear witness to its long history, which stretches back over 2000 years.
The city of Basel was first mentioned in writing in the year 374, when the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus described how Emperor Valentinian I had set up camp in “Basilia” with his troops. At this time, the city was already several hundred years old. Its attractive location on the Rhine and the strategically important Münsterhügel (Cathedral Hill) first attracted the Celts to the bend in the Rhine in the Bronze Age, before the Romans subsequently made Basel an important trading centre. The next milestone in Basel’s history is 1226, with the construction of the Mittlere Brücke (the Middle Bridge), which soon became a major hub for long-distance trade.
From the 16th century, Basel’s economic prosperity was associated first with silk weaving and subsequently with dyeing. These two economic mainstays later went on to evolve into the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
To this day, Basel functions as one of the most important logistics hubs for the economy of the country as a whole: thanks to the Schweizerische Rheinhäfen (Port of Switzerland), Basel connects Switzerland with the sea, the EuroAirport is vital for the region’s import and export trade, and the SBB, Badischer Bahnhof and Basel SNCF railway stations are major European hubs for both freight and passenger trains.Read More