A Mediterranean atmosphere on the sun-drenched Rhine bank and lots of life in the area’s squares, streets, bars and restaurants. There are many reasons for getting to know Kleinbasel. New in the district, for example, is Restaurant Trio, right next to the Hotel Basilisk with a view of the lively Klybeckstrasse. The restaurant, with cocktail bar and café, has become a popular new meeting point. Insider shopping tip Bäckerei Kult is also worth a visit. Not only does the world’s oldest bakery constantly produce ever-changing creations, the Kult views itself as a participatory baking hangout and offers a platform for swapping and trying out everyday recipes.
It makes no difference whether to the so-called Mustermesse to view new products, Art Basel or Basel World – when half the world makes its way to Basel to experience the newest trends, they are sure to gather on Basel’s famous Messeplatz. And the spacious area at the heart of Kleinbasel, with its impressive buildings and over 140,000 m2 of exhibition space, comprising a hall and typical clock dating back to the 50’s, the 105-meter high tower and new Herzog & de Meuron construction lend the ensemble an unmistakable identity.
Reason alone to pay the region a visit even when there’s no large-scale exhibition. Besides the eye-catching architecture, the “Bar Rouge” on the 31st floor also lures guests. Here at lofty heights you can enjoy a drink with far-reaching cross-border views. Funnily enough, those in the know suggest guests take a trip to the “ smallest room in the house” - from where views are apparently most spectacular!
Basel is noted for its modern architecture, with many prime examples of how former industrial sites are being developed into vibrant districts today. Basel boasts an impressive density of buildings by famous architects such as Mario Botta, Herzog & de Meuron and Richard Meier.
Those wishing to learn a little more about the architecture beyond its pure aesthetic appeal should first head to the tourist office to collect the “Architecture in Basel” brochure, choosing from three themes: “Tradition and modernity”, “Big buildings in Kleinbasel” and “Living and working in Grossbasel”. All three trails can be explored on foot or by public transport. The tours take between two and three hours to complete and are a chance to experience the architecture in action as part of everyday urban life.
Particularly worth seeing at the town hall are the council chambers, the beautiful inner courtyard, the romantic arcades and the tower. It was built after the great earthquake as a replacement for the former seat of government. After Basel’s accession to the Confederation the front part of the town hall was replaced with a prestigious new building. The battlements were adorned with the arms of the 12 cantons that constituted the Confederation. At the beginning of the 17th century the town hall was expanded and artist Hans Bock decorated its facade with painted trompe. In 1900, the wing on the extreme left and the tower on the right were added to the town hall.
Each corner features buildings from the 15th century as well as those designed by contemporary, internationally renowned architects. Due to its small size, the city is easily explored on foot. Here you will discover that although this rather unusual combination of tradition and modernity makes this an exciting city environment, it is harmonious nonetheless.