This beautiful city on the Rhine is particularly worth visiting in spring. When the magnolias are blos-soming, the numerous parks of Basel's greenest city district invite you to saunter and relax.
A short, early morning walk from the ibis Styles Basel City hotel takes you directly through the St. Alban Tor, a former city gate which was part of Basel's original city walls and stands as a historical monument today. A couple of steps further brings you to the charms of the picturesque Malzgasse. Follow the old city alleyways and you'll soon see the famous Kunstmuseum Basel.
Basel is a mecca for art lovers. It's known as the cultural capital of Switzerland. You encounter art with every step, whether you're strolling through the beautiful Old Town or visiting one of the multi-tude of galleries all over the city. There's also the annual Art Basel festival, with its fascinating, ab-stract, impressive and absurd works of art. The Beyeler Foundation, open all year round, is always worth a visit.
The minster stands proudly over the city, one of Basel's main attractions and most famous land-marks. Its rusty sandstone, colorful roof tiles, and two slim towers dominate the cityscape, an irre-placeable feature of its skyline. Construction took place over five centuries, from 1019 to 1500. You can climb both the George and Martin towers for CHF 5 per person. But take care —you'll need a good head for heights! There are some 250 narrow steps to climb. The effort is worthwhile, with a unique view over Basel and the surrounding country.
In the former wine cellar of the Kunsthalle Restaurant (www.kunsthallebasel.ch), guests can enjoy not only the menu but also the unique sea shell ceiling lighting created by world famous architect and designer Verber Panton. Having chosen Basel as his home, he became a regular at the Kunsthalle Restaurant. In 1972 he designed this unique installation for his house in Basel. After over 30 years it is now open to the public.
For a more relaxed but wildly colorful experience visit Za Zaa for outstanding Lebanese soul food. Delicious dishes of mezze (hot, cold, meaty, vegetarian and vegan) are arranged in the middle of the table for everyone to serve themselves and enjoy together. The service at Za Zaa is warm and invit-ing, helping guests savor the middle-eastern delights.
You will discover a wealth of cafes with cozy terraces, offering a convivial setting for watching daily life in the district. We recommend the Flore, reminiscent of a typical Paris bistro, or the Consum wine bar in the heart of the Basel Old Town.
The best place of all to spend the balmy spring evenings is on the bank of the Rhine at sunset.