Shopping in Basel: A Guide to The Best Stores & Markets

basel shopping

Traveling to Basel and you want to do some shopping while you’re there? Then you’re in luck because this detailed guide covers all the things you need to know about Basel’s best shops.

The best department stores, the best places to shop for souvenirs, and the most popular fashion boutiques are all included in this detailed guide. From daily markets to seasonal fairs – here’s everything you need to know about shopping in Basel!

Freie Strasse

Basel Freie Strasse
Freie Strasse

Freie Strasse is the main shopping street that runs through the city center. It’s a great place for serious shoppers who want to go inside a lot of stores. The street is lined with high-end and luxury fashion boutiques, jewelry stores, beauty shops, and electronic stores, so you can quite literally shop till you drop here.

From Zara to Louis Vuitton, there’s a store for everyone’s budget along Freie Strasse. This is also one of the most iconic streets in the city of Basel, so window shopping definitely counts as sightseeing!

In addition to that, venture just a few steps from the southern end of Freie Strasse to visit Basel’s largest international bookstore. Bider & Tanner AG is by far the best place for all bookworms in Basel with a huge selection of books in many different languages, plus they’ve even have a food department.


Spalenberg is a charming district in Basel’s old town with narrow alleys and unique stores. The main street is lined with shops on either side, which sell everything from medicine to high-end jewelry.

Even if you don’t like shopping Spalenberg is an iconic old town street definitely worth checking out. There are several cafes and restaurants along the way, so you can stop and have a quick break from all the shopping. Why not enjoy the views, do some people-watching, and try to scan the windows of all the stores that interest you while sipping on some excellent coffee?



Kleinbasel is the part of Basel’s old town that lies on the eastern bank of the Rhine. It’s home to excellent bars, restaurants, and perhaps the best mid-priced department store in the city – Manor.

Manor is a huge department store with loads of different departments, so it’s a great destination if you want to go shopping but you’re not looking for anything specific. Whether it’s food, clothes, beauty products, books, or souvenirs, there’s at least one level in Manor for you.

In addition to this huge department store, Kleinbasel is home to quite a few other shops worth checking out. Kleinbasel is also worth mentioning because it’s also the name of a brand run by Tanja Klein. Her shop carries high-end leather and fabric goods (purses and clothes), and you can find it along Schneidergasse. If you want to support a local Basel shop and purchase some high-quality goods, definitely pop inside this shop.


Markets are another way to go shopping while still enjoying your surroundings. Just be sure the weather is cooperating that day!


Marktplatz is truly the heart of Basel city. It’s famous for the town hall building that attracts countless tourists to the area, but also for the many market stalls that are set up along the square every day.

On weekdays, you can shop for fresh produce, flowers, dairy, meats, and a lot more. You can also find cooked food here, including some of the best Swiss specialties – dried fruit, local biscuit, cheese, etc. Shopping in Basel without at least checking out the offer at Marktplatz just doesn’t count, so make sure you don’t miss out on this absolute Basel gem!

It’s worth noting that the market doesn’t take place on Sundays.


If you enjoy searching for treasure at the occasional flea market and you happen to be in Basel on a Wednesday, be sure to check out Barfüsserplatz. The public square hosts a flea market twice a month on Wednesdays, where you can find all sorts of vintage goods.

This is one of the best places for discount shopping in Basel. You’ll find all sorts of goods here, from vintage clothing to ancient cameras, and you can usually get a pretty good deal on them, especially if you try to haggle.


If you’re in Basel on a Saturday, don’t miss out on the flea market at Petersplatz. It takes place every Saturday from 7:30 AM until 4 PM, and it’s one of the best destinations in Basel for vintage shopping. Antiques, vintage clothes, and even old records can be found on sale here, so there’s definitely something for everyone.

Visit the market early in the morning, before the crowds come, and buy up all the good stuff. On the other hand, stick until closing time for the best discounts and even free gifts. Some vendors just want to get rid of their junk, so it’s common for people to give stuff away for free and be more open to haggling as the closing time approaches.

Basel Christmas Market

Basel Christmas Market
Basel Christmas Market

The Basel Christmas Market usually takes place from late November to late December. The main locations of the market at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, and they’re absolutely worth checking out if you want to get in the Christmas spirit while doing some shopping.

Christmas ornaments, delicious foods, mulled wine, and all sorts of souvenirs are just a few highlights of the Basel Christmas market. It’s widely agreed that this is one of the prettiest and best Christmas markets in the entire country, so it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re lucky enough to be in the city during Advent.

Sunday Shopping in Basel

Perhaps the best thing about shopping in Basel is that you can also enjoy doing it on a Sunday when most stores in most places in the world are closed for the day. Sure, the shops and department stores along the main city streets in Basel are usually closed on Sundays, but the shops at the main Basel train station aren’t.

Head to the Main train station in Basel, and you’ll find a huge variety of shops that are open even on Sundays. Whether you want to buy cosmetics, clothes, souvenirs, or just food, you’ll find several open shops right here.

The railway station stores aren’t the only ones that remain open on Sundays in Basel; the same can be said for the many museum shops in the city. Most museums in Basel are open on Sundays (the Kunstmuseum is even free every first Sunday of the month), and naturally, they keep their souvenir shops open as well. So, if you’re looking for a unique souvenir or gift, a museum shop might just be the best place to go look for one.

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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