The 25 Best Free Things to Do in Basel

Basel, the vibrant city nestled on the Rhine River in Switzerland, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. While it is known for its impressive museums, world-class art, and lively festivals, there are also numerous free activities that allow visitors and locals alike to fully immerse themselves in the city’s charm. From stunning architecture to scenic parks and fascinating historical sites, here are The 28 Best Free Things to Do in Basel.

Free Things to Do in Basel

1. Basel Minster:

Start your journey at Basel Minster, the city’s iconic landmark. Marvel at the impressive Gothic architecture of this red sandstone cathedral and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the tower.

2. Basel Old Town:

Take a leisurely stroll through Basel’s picturesque Old Town, a labyrinth of narrow streets, colorful buildings, and quaint squares. Discover hidden gems, charming boutiques, and beautiful fountains along the way.

3. Rhine Promenade:

Relax and soak up the atmosphere on the Rhine Promenade. Enjoy stunning views of the river, watch the boats go by, or simply unwind with a picnic while taking in the city’s skyline.

4. Tinguely Fountain:

Located near the Theater Basel, the Tinguely Fountain is an interactive masterpiece created by renowned Swiss artist Jean Tinguely. This whimsical sculpture and water feature is a must-see.

5. Basel Fountain Exploration Tour

Consider taking a tour to explore the fascinating fountains in Basel, featuring a variety of designs, including some adorned with statues and others with captivating dragon motifs.

6. Basel Town Hall:

Admire the grandeur of the Basel Town Hall, a splendid Renaissance building in the heart of the city. Marvel at the intricate details on the facade and step inside to appreciate the beautiful murals.

7. Basel University:

Wander through the campus of Basel University, one of Switzerland’s oldest universities. Enjoy the architectural beauty of the buildings and soak up the vibrant academic atmosphere.

8. St. Alban Gate:

Discover the St. Alban Gate, a well-preserved medieval city gate that dates back to the 14th century. Walk through the gate and imagine the city’s past as you explore the charming neighborhood beyond.

9. Botanical Garden:

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at the Botanical Garden of Basel. This serene oasis offers a vast collection of plants, flowers, and trees, perfect for a peaceful stroll or a picnic.

10. Spalentor:

Another impressive gate, the Spalentor, serves as an entrance to Basel’s historic city center. Admire the medieval architecture and enjoy the pleasant ambiance of the surrounding area.

11. Basel Historical Museum:

Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history through its extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits. 1st Day of the month and last hour of the day (except Sundays), the Basel Historical Museum opens its doors to visitors free of charge. Please check the updated information before visiting the museum, as free entry days may be subject to change.

12. Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum:

Indulge your sweet tooth at the Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum. While entry to the museum itself requires a ticket, the shop offers free chocolate samples that are sure to delight chocolate lovers.

13. St. Peter’s Church:

Visit St. Peter’s Church, a beautiful Protestant church with an impressive interior. Take a moment for quiet reflection or attend one of the free concerts often held here.

14. Fondation Beyeler:

While the Fondation Beyeler requires paid admission, its extensive sculpture park can be enjoyed free of charge. Explore the outdoor exhibition, featuring works by renowned artists set amidst lush greenery.

15. Natural History Museum:

On the first Sunday of the month, explore the Natural History Museum of Basel without spending a penny. Discover fascinating exhibits showcasing the diversity of the natural world. Please check the updated information before visiting the museum, as free entry days may be subject to change.

16. Merian Gärten:

Discover the enchanting Merian Gärten, a botanical garden and park with a diverse range of plant species. Enjoy leisurely walks, picnics, and the tranquility of this hidden gem.

17. Kannenfeldpark:

Escape to Kannenfeldpark, one of Basel’s largest parks, for a relaxing day surrounded by nature. Enjoy the picturesque landscapes, walking paths, and tranquil lakes.

18. St. Johanns-Park:

Discover the charming St. Johanns-Park, a delightful green space with a pond, sculptures, and a playground. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely picnic or a game of frisbee.

19. Museum Tinguely Garden:

Adjacent to the Museum Tinguely, you’ll find the Museum Tinguely Garden, a delightful outdoor space filled with sculptures and installations. Take a peaceful stroll and enjoy the art amidst nature.

20. Basler Fasnacht – Basel Carnival:

If you’re lucky enough to visit Basel during the annual Basel Carnival, you’re in for a treat. Join the colorful festivities and witness the unique traditions and lively atmosphere that make this carnival one of a kind.

Free Things to Do in Basel

21. Basel Historical Walking Tour:

Join a free historical walking tour of Basel and delve into the city’s past. Knowledgeable guides will lead you through the streets, sharing intriguing stories and anecdotes along the way.

22. Sankt Alban-Tal:

Escape the city center and explore the charming Sankt Alban-Tal district. Admire the beautifully preserved medieval houses and discover quaint shops, cafes, and art galleries.

23. Rhine Swimming:

During the summer months, cool off by taking a refreshing swim in the Rhine River. Join the locals as they float downstream, enjoying the unique experience of swimming in the heart of the city.

24. Münchenstein Park

Discover the enchanting Münchenstein Park, a serene oasis near Basel. Immerse yourself in nature’s beauty as you stroll through picturesque landscapes , vibrant gardens and a dinosaur statue. With its rich biodiversity and captivating scenery, the park offers a perfect escape. Embrace tranquility, explore walking trails, and experience the charm of Münchenstein Park, an idyllic destination for a picturesque day out.

25. Grüttpark & Rötteln Castle:

Venture just outside Basel (in Lörrach, Germany) to explore Grüttpark and the ruins of Rötteln Castle, a medieval fortress offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Both destinations can be reached via a short train ride.


Basel offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences that don’t have to break the bank. From architectural marvels and world-class art to serene parks and fascinating museums, the city provides a myriad of free activities to suit every interest. So, whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking to enjoy the beauty of nature, Basel is sure to captivate your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories, all without spending a dime. Embark on a journey of discovery, and let the best free things to do in Basel enchant you.

Click on the following link if you want to read more about The Best Free Things to Do in Zurich.

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