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Best tours from Basel
What are the best tours you can take from Basel?
Look at a map and Basel is pretty much in the centre of Europe. It’s also very close to
Switzerland’s borders with France and Germany. That means Basel is a great starting
point for making a tour of the highlights of central Europe.
But Basel is a fascinating place itself, bursting with history. Don’t leave without enjoying
the medieval Old Town around Marktplatz, with its red-sandstone town hall. You should
also check out the 12th-century Gothic cathedral, which contains the tomb of Erasmus,
the 16th-century Dutch scholar.
You might also want to visit the Papiermühle, an ancient paper mill that’s now a
museum of writing, printing, and paper. You should also discover the rebuilt Minster
with its 12th-century carvings and tombs of ancient bishops.
Great. Now let’s discover the best tours you can make from Basel.
Tours from Basel to Lucerne
A trip to Lucerne is one of the best tours you can make from Basel. It’s just an hour and
a quarter by road, along the A2. There are plenty of sights to see there.
Among the best is a visit to the top of Mount Pilatus. You’ll take two cable cars and then
you’ve got a ten-minute climb to the summit.
Other highlights in Lucerne include the Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), an ancient
covered bridge featuring 17 th -century pictures hanging from the rafters. Damaged by fire
in the 90s, the bridge has been completely rebuilt.
Don’t leave without seeing Lucerne’s other covered bridge. The Spreuerbrücke, built in
the early 15 th century, also houses paintings under its rafters. Depicting the Dance of
Death, they were painted by Kaspar Meglinger in the 17 th century.
If you’d prefer to see Lucerne by boat, you can take a summertime paddle-wheel
steamer to Flüelen, while enjoying a three-course meal. If you’re in a rush, board a
yacht for a panoramic sightseeing cruise.
Like Basel, Lucerne has an Old Town. It’s a great place to wander on a summer
evening, enjoying the ancient streets with their burghers’ houses, fountains and
Head to the Kornmarkt to see the Altes Rathause, the 17 th -century Old Town Hall. Also
check out the Weinmarkt with its Gothic fountain and St Peter’s Chapel, Lucerne’s
One thing you must do on your day trip to Lucerne is ride the cog railway up to Mount
Rigi. This is Europe’s first cog railway. Keep an eye out for Germany’s Black Forest
from the summit.
If you enjoy museums, Lucerne has one or two that you won’t want to miss. The
Museum Sammlung Rosengart contains great Post-Impressionist art by Pablo Picasso
and Paul Klee as well as other important pieces from the last two centuries.
The Swiss Transport Museum covers every form of transport: trains, planes,
automobiles and even rockets. Check out the fascinating exhibit covering the
construction of the St Gotthard rail tunnel.
One more sight to catch is the Bourbaki Panorama, a huge panoramic painting and
sculpture. It honours the evacuation of the French army during the Franco-Prussian
Read also our article about the perfect day trip from Basel to Lucerne
Tours from Basel to Interlaken
Another of the best tours from Basel is to Interlaken. This small but beautiful town sits
right in the middle of the Bernese Alps, with shimmering lakes all around.
The first visit on anyone’s list in Interlaken has to be Harder Kulm, although you’ll need
a head for heights. Take the funicular railway, which climbs at a 64-degree angle, to a
height of over 1300 metres. From the viewing platform, with its glass floor, you can take
in views of the Jungfrau, the lakes and the town.
Don’t leave without a visit to the Harder Alpine Wildlife Park, where you can see
marmots. The park’s goal is to breed the ibex, which was extinct in Switzerland not so
long ago. They’ve since been reintroduced to the wild.
Next up is Schynige Platte. Head to Wilderswil to ride one of the highest train lines in
the country. The Platte is a 2000-metre ridge on the Schwarzhorn mountain that offers
amazing views of Schreckhorn and the town. See the Alpine garden, eat in the
panoramic restaurant, or head off on hikes around the Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch.
Finally, the Jungfraujoch train line will take you up to 3466 metres, to the highest station
in Europe. Head into the Top of Europe Building for restaurants and other attractions,
then take the elevator to the Sphinx Observatory for incredible 360° views.
Tours from Basel to Rhine Falls
One unmissable tour from Basel is to the Rhine Falls. These are among mainland
Europe’s most-powerful waterfalls. Take a day tour from Basel to Schaffhausen in the
North-East of Switzerland.
The falls drop only 23 metres, but they’re 150 metres wide and the real thrill here is the
sheer force of water. The highest flow ever measured at the Rhine Falls was 1250 cubic
metres per second (44,000 cu ft/s). That’s fast.
To visit, you can travel by car to Schloss Laufen. Take some time to enjoy the castle,
with its exhibition about the falls. You can then take the Belvedere Trail or the
panoramic lift down to the observation platform. From here, you can feel the full force of
the water beneath your feet.
If you want to see the falls by boat, you’ve got several Rhine boat tours to choose from.
One will take you to the rock in the middle of the falls. A boat tour takes between ten
and 30 minutes.
Tours from Basel to Strasbourg
One of the best tours you can do from Basel, Strasbourg is bursting with history,
buildings and monuments.
You should kick things off at the Grande Île. Strasbourg sits on the Ill river and
comprises numerous islands. The most famous is the Grande Île. This is the city’s
historical centre. It’s the jumping-off point to take in the main monuments and other
These include Strasbourg Cathedral. This 15 th -century building features Christianity’s
highest spire, a stunning large rose window and an astronomical clock that puts on
something of a show at 12.30pm every day. Take the 332 steps to the platform to
admire the city.
On the Grande Île, you also have four medieval churches to visit, while Gutenberg
Square, next to the cathedral, is named after the local inventor of the printing press.
This square was for many years the political centre of the city.
You should also visit the Rohan Palace. This is also on the Grande Île and was once
home to four princes of the Rohan family. Today, you’ll find three museums there: the
archaeological museum, the museum of fine arts and the Museum of Decorative Arts.
Stop off for bars and bites at Petite France, a delightful square featuring traditional half-
Tours from Basel to Colmar
Another one of the best tours from Basel is to Colmar. If you love cities on canals, a trip
to Colmar in Alsace should be on your bucket list.
Thought to have inspired The Beauty and the Beast, Colmar seems to bring every fairy
story you’ve ever read to life. This is a colourful town created from the mix of two
cultures: France and Germany.
There’s no real structure to time spent here. It’s best just to wander and take in the
pastel-painted, timbered houses, shutters, window boxes and the narrow, cobbled
Colmar is at its prettiest in Petite Venice, with buildings that date from the 14th century.
Try to pick the right time of day, though. Things get pretty busy around here.
Alternatively, you can see the city from the canals on a boat trip.
If any of these tours from Basel interests you, you can book a trip through
Traserbas and travel in style, in luxury premium vehicles. Find out more here.