Things to do in Basel

Things to do in Basel | Basel Guide August 2021

Swimming outside, green spaces, festivals, Swiss National Day, What's on and new, wet weather activities and days out from Basel.

Summer in Basel

Summertime in Basel is one of my favourite times of the year, the town comes alive with Summer festivals, outdoor swimming, lots of pop up bars and restaurants whether that be our Rhine side buvettes, brunch outdoors on a Swiss farm or a day on the beach at Sandoase.  We also, get to celebrate Swiss National Day on the first of August, there are no fireworks this year which is a great shame however, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

We are having some weird weather this summer time and we are expecting quite a bit of wet and stormy weather over the next few weeks so, I suggest a few wet weather Things to do in Basel as well.

Read on from some tips of the best Things to do this summer, what’s new in town and some dates for your diary for the early Autumn too!

Swiss National Day

Swiss National day falls on 1st of August and signifies the formation of the Swiss Confederation of Helvetica in 1891, the dawn of Switzerland as we know it today.  On this national holiday the weather is usually great so, the Swiss tend to celebrate their national day with grilled food or a brunch outdoors.

Here’s a video on Swiss National day celebrations from two locals…

Click here to read my blog article about Swiss National Day, written in 2020.

What's new, what's on....

Outdoor Cinema in Munsterplatz

5-29th August

Open air cinema on Munsterplatz in Basel for the month of August.  The open air cinema has a street food zone for dinner first then, experience cinema on a truly big screen…  Not to be missed.

Proffix Swiss Bike Cup

21-22 August

Register to bike through Basel in this leg of the Prefix Swiss Bike Cup.  Or if you’re me, just watch as a spectator!!


Summer festivals Basel

Summer Blues and Bebby sy Jazz, read more here...

Gannet 1954

The new restaurant on a boat in Holz Park

Not had chance to visit this new restaurant but from what I have seen in the newspapers and social media it look like a cool new venue….anyone tried the food yet?

New Garden at VITRA design museum

Piet Oudolf, Dutch Garden Designer

The new VITRA garden by Dutch designer Piet Oudolf has opened infant of the VitraHaus in Weil am Rhein.  Oudolf is know for his sweeping grass and perennial gardens and has designed gardens all over the world.  With all of the rain we have had recently I bet it’s growing well.

Maize labyrinths

Go in but can you find your way out?

Labyrinths can be found all around our region, there are number maize labyrinths on our local farms

1)  Mathishof

2)  Obere Wanne, Leistal

3) Ettinbuehl Gardens have a box maze too!!

Summer pop-up venues

Sandoase, Deck 57

Sandoase the Basel beach bar venue offers a great holiday destination without leaving Basel.  They have wonderful party nights with DJ’s providing the best beats until the early hours of the morning.

Deck 57 an old boat moored at the four corners of Basel is beautifully decorated as a venue for live music whether that’s DJ/Dance music of classical plus they have a terrace restaurant where I had the best steak sandwich ever last year.

Wet Weather Fun in Basel

A few ideas to beat the tropical weather we seem to be having recently….  Some of the down pours have been incredible.

Kaffe Kuchen, Bistros and Bars

There is a huge and thriving cafe culture in Basel or as the Swiss call it Kaffee und Kuchen, coffee and cake.  Cafes are a great place to meet friends, read books or the paper or just take a break to rest your legs after sight seeing or shopping.  They can also be an option to WFH if you need a change of scene.

Here are some of my favourite cafe/bars that have really special interiors:


Mercedes Cafe - a very unique coffee shop

This sleek modern looking cafe  that is inspired by Mercedes Benz cars, there’s even a car show room in the back of the cafe!!  The coffee is good but their cake is limited.

ONO and Campari Bar - beautiful interiors and great service

I suppose more bar than cafe per se however, the interiors of both of these venues are very esteically pleasing.  Campari is an italian inspired bistro and ONO a modern contemporary feel.  Both great places to hang out dodging the rain.

CONSUM and Flore - for foodies and wine lovers

Two of my favourite wine bars that sell coffee too!!  Can you see a trend here?  I am in love with CONSUM, the mosaic floor, the warm staff, delicious platters 

Finkmueller - great for vegan cakes

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Markthalle and Klara

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Patricia Stadler's Wall Mural's

I particularly love Patrizia Stadler’s art work her, wall murals are a feast for the eyes, they can be found at Matt and Elly in Erlenmatt and in the newly opened Maerthof Hotel on Marktplatz.  Order a drink and enjoy her beautiful wall murals.

Basel Zoo

The zoo has a number of indoor animal houses, one of the best being the monkey house followed by visiting a giraffe or too or some reptiles.  Yearly family abos work out very economical if you family are keen to visit regularly.


Indoor Rollerskating/skate parks/climbing

Indoor skate and roller skating can be found at Trend Sport an indoor bike and skate park

Indoor climbing walls?  Not sure, if anyone knows add a comment below

Sports Bars

Ok, I admit this isn’t my forte however, the sports are often at Flanagans Irish Bar whenever, I have been in there, the Guiness is good and they have a great burger on the menu too.  What’s your favourite sports bar? Feel free to add this to the comments below.

Explore the city by Tram

Years ago when, I was new in Basel I’d jump on one of Basel’s trams and take a ride o the end of the line just to see more of Basel.  To be honest, I was surprised what I found on my adventures and I realised how quickly I could leave the city and be in Basel’s countryside.

There are special ‘old timer’ trams that can be hired for parties or old timer trams that offer a round of Basel on Sundays.  Click here for more information.

Gin Tasting in Basel, Nginious

Spend an hour or too with the Nginious team and learn more about their Gin’s from around the world as well as tasting the Gin the distil here in Basel.

Wet weather day trips from Basel

Here’s a few links to Things to do in the region on rainy days plus how long to takes to get to each venue.

  • WOW museum in Zurich, enter the world of optical illusion, 1 hour
  • Callier, chocolate tours, 2 hours
  • Kambly, tours of the biscuit factory, 1.5 hours
  • Bade Paradis, tropical wave pools, sides and more.  1 hour
  • Gin Tasting in the Black Forest, Monkey 57, learn just how the botanicals are mixed at this Black Forest Gin distillery   Tours in English and German on Saturday mornings.  2 hours
  • Butterfly House, Alsace, enjoy the warm dry atmosphere in the butterfly house at Hunawihr, 1 hour from Basel.

Upcoming events, dates for your diary

Thanks for reading the Things to do in Basel blog.

Love, Louise

Blogger @ Things to do in Basel

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