Basel is Switzerland's oldest university city. Historic landmarks include the large market square with its richly decorated red sandstone town hall and the late Romanesque-Gothic cathedral. During a walk through the Old Town, past small boutiques, antique book shops and modern design outlets, a visit to the 'Läckerli Huus' to try the traditional Basel honey cake is well worthwhile. Basel is tradition-conscious and open-minded at the same time, a fact borne out by several modern buildings designed by renowned architects such as Herzog & de Meuron, Mario Botta, Diener & Diener and Richard Meier.
With almost 40 museums, Basel has the highest density of museums in the country. Internationally known museums, such as the Basel Art Museum, a museum devoted to the iron sculptor Jean Tinguely, the Beyeler Foundation and the Museum of Cultures attract a great many visitors, as do the many galleries and playhouses.
Basel is among other things home to a symphony orchestra and a chamber orchestra as well as a musical theatre featuring international productions. A wide range of classical and contemporary productions are shown on the stages of Basel's theatre and playhouse.
Basel is a green city. The Botanical Gardens, several parks and the banks of the Rhine are perfect places to relax and linger for a while. And the Etosha house at the zoo offers spectacular insights into the Namibian savannah.
At nearby Augusta Raurica, near Augst, impressive ruins and a great many finds bear testimony to the busy lives of the Romans in the region in the past. The charming countryside of the Basel region with its many cherry trees in spring boasts a particularly beautiful display of blooms. Germany and France, the Black Forest and Vosges mountains are only a stone's throw away from the border city of Basel.