Things to do in Basel

Things to do in Basel | Basel guide October 2021

The Autumn fair and lots more great things to do...

550th Basel Autumn Fair

23rd October -5th November

The Basler Herbstmesse or the Basel Autumn Fair is back in the diary this October so we will see the Messe platz fill up with a noisy, exciting fair ground, Muensterplatz will see the hustle and bustle of the autumn fair’s food stalls where you can decide whether to try a cup of spiced wine, molten cheese in a baguette or some caramelised nuts, spiced bread or other candies/rock.  There’s chance to browse the craft stalls on Peterplatz and Barfuesserplatz and view Basel in a new way from the top of the Ferris wheel on Muensterplatz.

The Herbstmesse is located in 8 places in town some locations check the Herbstmesse website for more information and look out for my Herbstmesse report later this month.


Herbstmesse website

Learn more about the traditional Herbst messe treats in my How to recreate the Herbstmesse at Home blog post written in October 2020.

Flyers for Basel events in October and dates for your diary


Thanks to everyone who has sent flyers for events in October.  If you have upcoming events send your flyer by PM on facebook or instagram or email

Enjoy the Autumn sunshine in Basel

Autumn walks in Basel

If you’re looking to see great autumn colours here are a few places to head to to see the splendour of autumn in all of it’s glorious colours. Here’s a few tips from me, some that have been mentioned before, some new…

Finding Dinosaurs and other animals in Basel

Lange Erlen

A wonderful woodland area perfect for walking, running and biking.  Paths are well sign posted and this is a safe place to be during the day with the entire family.  Lange Erlen also boasts a great little animal park which is a win with toddlers and young children what’s more is that it’s free to enter so, if you have a child who is an avid animal spotter you can visit as many times as you like.

Lange Erlen website

Gundeli Trail

This 6 km trail, starts at the back of the SBB in Gundeli this trail will take you from Gundeli into the woods of Bruderholz then, onto the Bruderholz wasserturm and observatory then, back to Gundeli.

Gundeli trail map

Merian Garten and Gruene 80

Merian Gaerten is a composite of multiple gardens and green houses that encompass the Merian Villa.  Whether you are a garden enthusiast and are interested to spot the vast numbers of rare species growing in the Merian Gaerten this is a great place to see Autumn colours.  Behind Merian Gaerten is Green 80 a huge park with a mn made lake, great for scooters, roller blading and buggies, right at the back of the park are some dinosaurs, for you to play with…

Merian Gaerten blog post

Gruene 80

Landskron Castle - France

Walk from the tram in Flueh up through the village and soon you will see a road on the right hand side with a sign for Landskron Castle.  The Castle is in France so you will cross the border on the way before you walk through some beautiful pastures dotted with Cherry orchards and then a wood before getting to the castle gate.  The castle was built before 1270 and is now a partial ruin, it does have well kept barbecue pits so, bring a few barbecue coals and some sausages to cook if you like to eat outdoors.  The view from the castle tower is amazing, as you get a panoramic view of the Basel region, France on the left, Basel in the foreground and the Black Forest in the background on the right hand side.  The walk from Flueh to the castle and back takes around 2 hours.

Autumn indoor fun!!

As the nights get darker and we see some Autumn rain then, what are the Things to do in Basel indoors?  It goes without saying that there’s always a museum to visit in Basel, this Autumn and winter we see new exhibitions at the Fondation Beyler and Kunstmuseum but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  The website is the place to go to keep upto date on the latest Museum Exhibitions plus read my blog post about the Museums pass, that get you and your family into a series of museums for free.

What's on at Markthalle and Klara?

Two great indoor venues in Basel are Markthalle an old market hall, near the SBB station that hosts a series of small shops and bar plus a Saturday market, evening courses and workshops.  

My top tips for events in the next month or so are:

Apple day  or Apfel Tag (16th October) peruse and buy an amazing selection heritage and newer variety apples grown in Switzerland

 IWI Bake Off (24th October)- International Women’s Institute offer you the chance to compete in their very own bake off or to buy/try the Bake Off goods.  20/40 CHF to enter the Bake Off.

Craft Fair (24th October) – Meet local artisans, there is also a chance to buy surplus craft materials.

Klara is an amazing place for coffee, catch ups, meeting colleagues and friends and has a good selection of food on offer my favourite being Bug A Thai, Non La – Vietnamese Corner and Fish and Chips by Werk 8.


What's on at the Theatre

Did you book your ticket for this seasons play, opera or maybe some live music?  If you are fully vaccinated then you can enjoy live theatre once more.  My three top tips for this months are:

Halloween and Oktoberfest in Basel

Oktoberfest is being celebrated in Zic Zac (23rd Oct-9th Nov) and Restaurant Park 25-26th October), grab your dirndl and lederhose and party!

There’s a special halloween Park organised by the Basel’s Children’s Trust and Break Out, Basel has a special scary escape events.

Click on the pink highlighted words to go to each venue/event.

Blickfang, Comic Con and the Wein Messe

The Messe in Basel hosts some great events this month with the Design Messe this weekend that host designers of clothes, furniture and other decorative items.  Then, Fantasy Basel the festival for movies, games, cosplay and comic fans finishing October with the Wein Messe.

Messe Basel website

Featuring Semi-Circle Basel

Semi-Circle is an amateur theatre club that has brought English-language theatre to Basel since 1975, staging two productions year on year as well as other plays and workshops.

I love going to the Semi Circle plays they are really well done, the Calendar Girls, Blythe Spirit were particular favourites of mine,  I even checked tickets at the door a few years…. yeah, they let me do that!!

The beginning of 2021 Semi-Circle got a much-needed re-boot with plenty of new shows, events and workshops for members to join in and learn to how to make some great English language theatre, whether they are an aspiring actor, director, producer, stage manager or crew.

I am so glad to see the reignition of Semi-Circle as they play an important part in the performing arts scene in Basel and have built a wonderful community which has a great future ahead of it.

Each month there is an opportunity to get involved in Semi Circle, check out the clubs website for upcoming events.  The next play in Twosomes.

Semi-Circle website

More Autumn Blog Posts...

Things to do in Basel, Louise Haughton Blog

Do you love English rose gardens, scones and cream?

Ettenbühl Gardens located near Bad Bellingen in Germany around 30 mins drive from Basel.  They boast an impressive 1,000 variety rose collection plus a 5 hectare garden with 20 different themed zones to wander through.  If you are interested in photography the gardens offer a lot of amazing vistas for portraits.  Take a picnic blanket in the summer months and while away the hours in the most idyllic setting.

Read More »
Things to do in Basel, Louise Haughton Blog

The very beautiful Merian Gärten

What better way to spend a few hours on a Summer or Autumn day than wandering around the immaculate, beautiful and vast Merian Gärten in Basel.  Villa Merian was gifted to Christoph Merian on his wedding day in 1824 by his father.  The villa was used as Christoph and his wife Margaretha Burckhardt as a summer residence and was gifted to the Christoph Merian Stiftung in 1886.  In 1968 the Christoph Merian Stiftung gave Merian Gärten to Basel City so, we can all say we own a small piece of this amazing house and garden.  

Read More »

Painting shoes with Mau Pavillon

A shout out to @mau_artisit_pavillon who taught a group of us how to up cycle or personalise a pair of shoes.  His fun and easy to follow instruction helped me make some cute little shoes for my niece.  We spent 4 hours painting in the sunshine at Matt and Elly.  The workshop cost 100 CHF plus we needed to bring our own shoes to paint.  Coffee, tea and water were provided as part of the workshop.

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Thanks for reading the Things to do in Basel blog.

Love, Louise

Blogger @ Things to do in Basel

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