Basel is located in northwestern Switzerland, in the Three Countries Corner of Germany, France and Switzerland. Strategically situated in the heart of Europe on the shores of the river Rhine, Basel has long been an important international transport hub: EuroAirport, Rhine ports, rail and road all link the region with Europe and the World, and Basel's location has been central for its economic development. For this reason, international, cosmopolitan attitudes characterise the city which is an open and tolerant metropolis.
Basel and its people are both proud and very aware of its history, but at the same time very receptive to everything new. This aspect is exemplified by the many modern structures designed by world-famous architects (such as Mario Botta or Herzog & de Meuron), serving as a contrast to the venerable buildings in the historic Old Town. Basel's many attractions and places of interest, such as the Old Town with its picturesque streets and historic buildings, the Cathedral and other churches of historical interest, the Town Hall, and the old city gates (the Spalentor, the St. Albanstor and the St. Johannstor, which were part of the former fortifications), can easily be discovered by foot, by bike or public transportation.
In Basel, often called Switzerland's cultural capital, art ranks high on the list of priorities and there are many galleries offering an unbelievable variety. Basel also has the oldest university in Switzerland (founded in 1460), nearly 40 museums, the country's first musical theatre, a town theatre of international renown, and countless small theatres. Further, Basel is known for its music and jazz festivals and its choice of live music clubs, and finally, the city district of "Kleinbasel" on the right bank of the Rhine is the home of the alternative cultural scene. Sports enthusiasts and friends of outdoor activities including excursions find plenty of options in the surrounding Three-Countries Region. More attractions and activities in Basel and the Three-Countries-Corner.
Basel is located in the northwestern corner of Switzerland bordering France and Germany, and therefore, the region is called the "Three-Countries-Corner". Switzerland's 3rd largest city is situated on the shores of the river Rhine at an elevation of 260 m (853 ft), which is the lowest point in Switzerland north of the Alps.
Map of Basel
Distances to other popular Swiss Destinations:
Getting to Basel:
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The EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse is located just 6 km (3.7 miles) from Basel's city center and is reached within approx. 15 minutes by bus or car. This international airport offers direct flights to/from most European cities, and connecting flights to/from intercontinental flights from/to Zurich, Frankfurt, Paris or other larger European gateways. Travel time by train from/to Zurich-Kloten International Airport is less than 90 minutes, and from/to Geneva-Cointrin less than 3 hours.
Basel has two main train stations. The Basel SBB
station is south of the town center and the Basel Badischer Bahnhof
is to the north in Kleinbasel. The Basel SBB station serves the Swiss and the French Railways, with German trains connecting to the Basel Badischer Bahnhof. Basel's railway stations are the main entry point for numerous international trains from Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg to Switzerland and Italy. There are direct trains from Basel to/from all major cities in Switzerland.
Basel as a reknown international transport hub is easily accessible by car from the neighboring countries and from other Swiss destinations. Basel is connected to the international network of motorways with its A2 motorway, Switzerland's major north-south axis (Basel - Lucerne - Chiasso). The A2 connects to the A1, the Swiss east-west motorway; and in Germany the A2 becomes the A5 Autobahn (Basel - Freiburg - Karlsruhe - Frankfurt). Then, there's the A3 motorway Basel - Zurich -Sargans which also connects to the A1, and becomes the E25/E60 in France (to Mulhouse).
The Rhine river is navigable to Basel, and in the summer cruise ships operate on from Amsterdam to Basel, with intermediate stops.
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