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Jewel for Art and Culture Connoisseurs

Museum of Fine Arts

Fine Arts Museum Basel Paris has the Louvre. Berlin has Nefertiti, but the pocket metropolis city of Basel in Switzerland, where the Rhine River shares borders with France and Germany is one of the secret cultural centers of Europe. The Museum of Fine Arts in Basel is Europe’s oldest public municipal museum, where the visitor can stroll through European art history and marvel at the works of Holbein, Rembrandt, Rubens, van Gogh, Kokoschka or Picasso.

With nearly 40 museums, some of worldwide reknown, from Tinguely to its unique Paper Muhle, Cartoons and mechanical musical instruments. And yet, this city on the Rhine only counts less than 200,000 residents. Visitors to Basel can enjoy a maximum of urban life and international culture within a minimum of space sprawl, easy for walking the old town, and an extensive ever running tram systems to take you where you need to go In short order. And for adventures outside the city bounds, the Swiss mountains, the French Alsace or Germany’s Black Forest are a short train ride away, in the Upper Rhine Valley region. Beyond its museums, Basel keeps in touch with the latest trends, just like Paris, Milan or London - but life is so much more relaxed. In June the world’s leading gallery owners and their artists gather for a visit of the Art Basel Art Fair, when the entire city changes into a catwalk for the glitterati and a market place for art. The Fondation Beyeler and the Tinguely Musuem, regularly break attendance records.

What to Do Beyond Art

Rhine River Cathedral View BaselWith all its urban charm Basel offers casual resting points. Street cafés in the bustling street life invite you to stay for a short visit or linger awhile. Stroll to river bank for a spectacular view over the city and the Rhine towards the French Vosges mountains and the hills of the Black Forest from the ancient Münsterberg Cathedral hill. Take a leisurely boat ride or dinner cruise on the Rhine as it flows through the heart of the town, or take a trip to the past with a crossing on one of the Baseler Boatmen ferries only powered by the rivers flow current. In the regions regular good weather, the riverbanks are filled with locals on a stroll, and bathers in the river allowing the current to carry them - one of the favorite pastimes during summer in Basel. At the end of the day people gather in traditional pubs or fine restaurants with cuisine ranging from international to hearty home cooking. Set ij a region of the influence of three country cultures, Basel offer a variety of flavors to a discerning palate.

A Prize for Architecture Enthusiasts

While exploring the idyllic historic part of the city with its winding alleyways, passing colorful town houses, the great cathedral and the small medieval churches, one repeatedly encounters highlights of modern architecture. The eyes of the world are on Basel whenever something new is being built here. The museums, the Messeturm trade fair tower, office buildings, entire streets can be seen as an architectural who’s who. Even when Basel’s citizens commission a railway switch tower, or even the monkey house or the city’s zoo, the implementation merits the selection of star architects to do the job. Buildings by Herzog & de Meuron, Renzo Piano or Diener & Diener have come to define the city. Right next to Basel, in Weil am Rhein on the German side of the river, the world-renowned Vitra Design Museum stands amid blooming cherry trees: A unique collection of design and at the same time an ensemble of world-class architecture. Famous architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Tadao Ando completed their first buildings in Europe here. An exhibition pavilion by Basel’s own Herzog & de Meuron was just recently added.

Basel has always been a cosmopolitan center for the wealthy and international due its place as a main trade route. 500 years before Christ, the Celts controlled this trading hub on the Rhine, where goods from all parts of the existing known traveled by boat. The Romans followed. Just outside of town by 15 minute train ride, the Augusta Raurica attests to this heritage with a remaining amphitheater and recreated villa.

Getting to Basel

Basel is located in the northwest corner of Switzerland, an hour by train from Zurich, with a direct train right from the Zurich Airport. Basel is also served by the EuroAirport, with European air carriers like Easyjet and AirBerlin with connections from a variety of European cities and the UK. Basel is also easily reached by TGV high speed rail service from Paris and ICE high speed trains from Germany.

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