Once an important base for the Roman Empire, today it is a dream destination for the cultural tourist and its variety of sights and sounds means that it offers something for all visitors. If you are looking forward to visiting Basel during your fully-inclusive river cruise, it is important that you get an idea of the places you would like to see before you arrive to ensure you will not be leaving with any regrets.
With this in mind, the Basel Minster is a sight not to be missed. Built between 1019 and 1500 and serving as a great example of Romanesque and Gothic-style architecture, it is one of the dominating sights of the city and is admired by millions of people every year. It is unmistakable for its two towers, with the northern tower – or Georgsturm – standing at 64.2 metres, which is half a metre shorter than the southern tower (Martinsturm).
Another not to be missed landmark is the Basel Zoo, which is the oldest and largest zoo in Switzerland and the best place to get up close and personal with almost 6,000 different species of mammals, reptiles, birds and other animals. Receiving well over 1.7 million visitors every year, it is famed for its breeding programme and is known as the location of the first birth of an Indian rhinoceros in a zoo.
There is also the Spalentor to discover, a heritage site of national significance which was once a city gate of the ancient city walls of Basel. One of just three remaining gateways in Basel, it is known by many as one of the most beautiful gates in all of Switzerland and is well worth taking a photo to show to friends and family back at home.
Finally, no visit to Basel is complete without walking on the Middle Bridge, the oldest existing crossing of the Rhine River between Lake Constance and the North Sea. Renowned for its heritage, it has served as an active crossing since 1225 and is one of the most photographed sights in all of Basel.
Discover Swiss cuisine at its best
After a long day of sightseeing in Basel, it’s likely that attention will soon turn to whetting your appetite. Fortunately, the city is acclaimed for its restaurant scene and diners can enjoy everything from traditional Swiss cuisine to fine foods from around the world at its many eateries. Among the best known restaurants in Basel is Restaurant Schloss Bottmingen, offering the chance to dine inside a 14th century castle that is surrounded by water and nestled into a tranquil park. Specialising in traditional Swiss Cuisine, expect to enjoy plates that tantalise and excite the taste buds.
For something slightly different, why not taste sublime Asian fusion at Noohn. A stylish and sleek restaurant that seats over 200 people, the centrepiece of the restaurant is the sushi bar where a multitude of dishes are crafted right before your eyes. After the fine food, why not move on up to the rooftop terrace bar and admire the incredible views over the cityscape.
Image Credit: kuhnmi (Flickr.com)