Walking Tour of Basel, Switzerland
This thriving city, at bend in the Rhine River where France, Germany, and Switzerland meet, is a major center of commerce and is also known for its many museums and festivals.
The Old City is mostly pedestrian-only so it is very conducive to walking. Either before or after the walk, be sure to take a river cruise on the Rhine for a different and very pleasant perspective on Basel.
This walk begins at the Mittliere Rheinbrucke (Middle Rhine Bridge). Cross the historic bridge (the wooden predecessor of today’s stone bridge dated to 1225) into Klein Basel (Lesser Basel). Note the statue of Helvetia (the Roman name for Switzerland). Continue straight, into the pedestrian zone ahead and wander the streets of Kleinbasel before returning across the same bridge into Gross Basel (Greater Basel).
Take an immediate left along the river on Rheinsprung which leads to Munsterplatz where you will find Basel’s large Cathedral (the Munster0. Notice the richly decorated façade and the paintings on the ceiling of the Crypt.
Continue southeast on Rittergasse, then turn right onto St Albangraben, then a half-right again onto Sternenberg. This road changes names several times but eventually leads to the Spalentor (Spalen Gate), one of Switzerland’s most beautiful city gates.
From here, go northeast on Spalengraben to Petersplatz where you will see the University and St Peter’s Church. Walk behind the church to Petersgasse and take the Totengasslein, a small street with stairs leading down the hill. Follow onward to Eisengasse, then turn right into Market Square, the Old Town center. Admire the distinctively red Rathaus (Town Hall) which is attractively adorned with frescoes.
Head back to Eisengasse, turn right and continue to the river and the starting point of the walk.