Best Walking Tours In Basel (Culture, Art & Cobblestones)

best walking tours basel

Planning a trip to Basel? Switzerland’s third-largest city is nestled on the Rhine River in close proximity to France and Germany. This gives the city a unique identity and makes it a good place to brush up on both your French and German. It’s a lively city with residents who love art, colorful festivals, and food markets.

You’ll see the story of Basel etched into its architecture with buildings like Basel Cathedral, the bright red Rathaus (town hall), and St. Johann’s-Tor, one of three surviving gates to the old walled city built in 1356 shortly after the Great Earthquake.

One of the best ways to experience Basel is on a tour led by a local guide. Find one tailored to you from this list of the best walking tours in Basel.

Basel Old Town Walking Tour

Basel Museum Tinguely
Museum Tinguely – Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Get acquainted with Basel on this walking tour of the Old Town. This traditional 2-hour tour is perfect for first-time visitors or for returning ones who want to delve deeper into the history and culture of this city situated in the border triangle of three countries. The tour will take you on a journey through Basel’s past as you stroll the winding streets of the Old Town.

Admire the beauty and meaning of precious landmarks like the Tinguely Fountain, Cathedral Hill, and the Basel town hall. Stories from the past will give you a deeper understanding of Basel — Switzerland’s cultural capital and university city.

Meet your group at Tinguely Fountain near Theater Basel.


Private Walking Tour in Basel with a Local

You’ll almost feel like a resident after this private walking tour with a local guide. Learn the best places to go, where to eat, where to shop, how to get around, and more from a friendly local passionate about their city. The tour will make your stay much more enjoyable as Basel becomes more of a friend and less of a stranger.

Your private tour guide will meet you in the lobby of your accommodation and acquaint you with the neighborhood. Or you can opt to meet at a certain landmark or intersection and go from there. Either way, you’ll feel more comfortable navigating the city on your own as you get insider tips on how best to enjoy your stay.


Express Walk of Basel with a Local

St. Alban's Tor
St. Alban’s Tor – Image courtesy of Wikimedia

This 1-hour express walking tour is designed to provide visitors with an intense experience in a short amount of time. It’s excellent as an introductory tour or for rediscovering the city. It pulls double duty with an interesting and amusing history and culture narration while discovering the main sights and secret spots in Basel.

You’ll meet your group at St. Albans Tor (St. Alban’s Gate) to begin a sightseeing tour that includes monuments, parks, and historic buildings. You’ll hear the story behind them all and get insider tips for all the best places to eat, drink, and shop while you’re in town.


Basel: Most Photogenic Spots Tour with a Local

Art Museum Basel
Art Museum, Basel – Image courtesy of Wikimedia

See Basel through your camera lens on this 1.5-hour excursion that showcases the city’s most photogenic spots. An informed local will share tips about lighting, angles, and more so you’ll have great photos to share about your trip across all social media sites. At the same time, you’ll hear stories about Basel’s rich history and culture.

Stroll along admiring the city from the Art Museum to the Tinguely Brunner in a small group of 6 or fewer. Keep your eyes open for hidden gems to capture with your camera. Your guide will also share local tips on the best places to eat, drink, and visit in Basel.

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Basel: 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour

Marktplatz, Basel
Marktplatz, Basel

If you’re a history buff, this is definitely the tour for you. The walk begins at the Marktplatz and takes you on a journey through time past archaeological styles from different time periods. After learning about the city’s most important buildings, you’ll get off the beaten path and discover churches, the historic city hall, and other places with stories to tell.

The highlight of this tour is a walk across the city’s oldest bridge while listening to fascinating stories from your guide.

By keeping groups small, this tour can be customized to your interests. Have your questions ready.


Basel’s Most Insta-Worthy Spots with a Local

basel old town

This popular Basel walking tour focuses on the picturesque side of the city. Your guide will be a local who will take you to the most impressive places in town to capture Instagram-worthy photos. You’ll get tips on how to get the best shots using your phone or camera while at the same time learning a little history behind the places you will visit.

You’ll take your Instagram account to another level with stunning photos of Basel’s monuments, architecture, the oldest bridge, and the famous Rhine River.


Basel’s Art and Culture revealed by a Local

This 90-minute walking tour led by a local will impress the staunchest art aficionados and culture vultures. The secret is that the city has become an art and culture hot spot known around the world. Returning tourists as well as first-time visitors will discover the city from a unique perspective.

You’ll soak up the culture of the city through its artsy side as you wander the streets admiring street art and stopping by galleries and museums.

The group meets in front of the Tinguely Fountain.


Basel History Tour for Groups

Basel Historical Museum
Basel Historical Museum

This comprehensive guided history tour takes you from ancient to modern times as you explore the historical buildings and contemporary architecture of this unique city. The 1.5-hour stroll begins at the Tinguely Fountain and follows the winding streets and alleyways of Basel’s Old Town.

You’ll listen to interesting anecdotes from your guide as you stop to admire the Minster, the Red Town Hall, and a former church that now houses the Basel Historical Museum.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Basel walkable?

Yes, Basel is a pedestrian-friendly city and easily walkable.

What is Basel’s main street called?

Basel’s main street is called Freie Strasse (Free Street.) It’s the street where merchants transported goods duty-free during the Middle Ages.

Are there many things to do in Basel Old Town?

Basel has lots of interesting museums and landmarks to explore, a variety of themed tours to take, and water activities along the Rhine.

Is a walking tour in Basel worth it?

Yes, a walking tour is an inexpensive way to experience all Basel has to offer.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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