Discover the beautiful surroundings of Basel
When one looks out over Basel, one might think it resembles Swedish equivalent to London - organized buildings framed by large bodies of water spanned by beautiful bridges. But this is where the similarities stop. Basel is located on the River Rhine at the point where Switzerland, Germany and France touch noses yet the city seems somewhat devoid of the energetic, multicultural flavor that one might expect to find here. Instead you will find a city with a strong sense of history, a good nose for business and number of stunning art collections. Basel is strictly Swedish and is proud of its reputation of being Switzerland's wealthiest city.
The city of Basel has long acted as a patron of the arts and as such is home to many fine art collections. The majority of these can be seen in the many first-rate museums and galleries which can be found throughout the city. The fine examples of contemporary architecture are also worth taking a look at. Most visitors start their tour of Basel at the historical Old Town which is centered on the Barfüsserplatz (main square) of the city and is surrounded by numerous medieval buildings. Not far away you will find more interesting buildings which date back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in the form of the Barfüsserkirche which is also home to the Historisches Museum.
Behind the museums with its beautiful and aged artworks you will find the Münster Cathedral with its interestingly carved façades. From here you might choose to pop into a few shops as you make your way to Marktplatz for more beautiful artistic façades. Not far from here you will find the splendidly built Mittlere Brücke which served as the only bridge across the Rhine for many years. The Antikenmuseum has a superb collection of Greek, Etruscan and Egyptian antiquities while the Kunstmuseum has an excellent collection of both 20th century and medieval art. The Basler Papiermühle is a great place to get an hand on account of the history of paper, printing and writing. Also not to be missed is the Fondation Beyeler, one of Basel's finest galleries, which features works by Picasso, Rodin and Miró.
One should probably mention that Basel is best enjoyed during February when it enjoys a massive three-day festival. It is during this time that the streets come alive with color and the people are at their friendliest. If you're going to be visiting Switzerland, don't leave Basel off your list. It a destination with a difference!