In 1980 Basel hosted a garden show with the not very imaginative title of Green 80. This name stuck in the public's imagination and was also applied to the botanical gardens. The original name comes from a homestead, the remains of which are still visible. The small nearby castle, which served as Christoph Merian's summer residence, is now a cafe. The huge area of the park is ideal for sports, and kids love the enormous dinosaur statue (affectionately known as Dino), who quietly lets everything pass over him.
Who knows if Jean Tinguely would have believed, had you told him that his creations would once be housed in such noble rooms? The museum building was opened by Mario Botta in 1996, and is sponsored by the local chemical company, Hoffman La Roche. Even the garden of the tower houses work by Tinguely in the shape of a fountain. A bigger version can be found on the Theaterplatz. Tinguely loved to make things, and the museum is full of his moving machine sculptures, and sculptures that you can sometimes walk through. Children and adults alike love this museum and various exhibitions which highlight works by other artists similar to Tinguely complement the permanent exhibits. Check website for more details.
Built in the middle of a lake, the charming and historic castle of Bottmingen offers customers a beautiful and romantic experience unlike any other. Dating back to the 14th Century, this Swiss mansion has been carefully preserved and elegantly renovated in the past few years with the opening of a fine dining restaurant, a wedding venue and lovely terrace gardens. Famous for its sumptuous French cuisine, the castle's restaurant offers a prix fixe menu along with a normal one, with dishes such as the Vivers lamb, Chateaubriand, Marinated Loch Fyne salmon, Porcini flan with parsley and the lip-smacking desserts sure to leave your taste buds in amazement and wonder. It also an excellent location for functions such as weddings, parties, corporate dinners and other events with lavishly decorated rooms seating 8 to 300 guests and an attentive, courteous service by the friendly staff. It is especially worth visiting during Christmas when the castle is lit up with stunning decorations.
The Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural history museum) has been located in this former Augustine monastery since 1849. What began as a collection of curiosities is now a center for science and research. Most of the eight million objects in the colletion are on display, and the museum's strengths lie in paleontology, mineralogy, zoology, entomology and anthropology, but you don't need a degree to visit. The other exhibits, including early man, dinosaurs and insects, will appeal to visitors both young and old.
As you enter Palazzo Basel, the beautiful and ornately done up interiors are sure to catch your attention. But that is not the only attention-drawing factor of this 'gourmet theatre'. The delectable delights that feature on the menu put together by celebrity chef Peter Moser is sure to be a hit with any conoisseur. But the real treat is enjoying some fantastic performances as you appreciate the thoughtful four-course meal! Palazzo Colombino, the popular event, is as extravagant as it gets; acrobats and magicians, musicians and artists, all come together for a spectacular show full of color and excitement. All in all, the Palazzo Basel rates high on fantasy, high on entertainment and high on culinary satisfaction!
Ernst Beyeler is without doubt one of the world's most renowned gallery owners and collectors. Rarely do you find the work of so many masters under one roof. Beyeler, with the help of his wife Hildy, has accumulated over 180 modern classics. Important works by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol and Bacon highlight the collection. The museum shop offers a wide range of high quality books, art cards and special design objects.
The Botanischer Garten is nothing less than a verdant oasis of the city. Home to a variety of flowering plants, trees and shrubs, this garden is a visual delight. The place is divided into three parts, the garden itself which is perfect during warmer months, the greenhouse which is explored by many during winters and the Infostand where you can sip a cup of coffee while browsing through reading material. Whether you are in the city with your family, a loved one or you are on a solo trip, this free park is a great spot to visit.
An intriguing yet extraordinary museum of art, Skulpturhalle Basel features some of the most popular statues and sculptures. While most of what is housed here are replicas of the originals that can be found around the world, the installations found here are not any less fascinating than their original counterparts. With a collection of over 2,200 casts of Roman and Greek masterpieces, this is believed to be the largest of its kind. While catching a glimpse of the original works might cost you much more time and money, this museum enables you to experience it all in a single visit.
Wildt'sches Haus is placed right in the center of Basel city in close proximity to the university of Basel. This baroque style mansion was built in the year 1764 by Johann Jacob Fechter for Wild's daughter Margaretha. The mansion is well maintained and still retains some of the original furniture and artwork. Beautiful paintings adorn the walls and elegant chandeliers hang from the ceilings, giving the mansion a very regal air. Today the Wildt house is the seat of the Swiss academy of medical sciences and also hosts local events and functions.
Jewish Museum of Switzerland pays a fitting tribute to the Jewish culture by way of exotic displays that illustrate old world Jewish charm,thanks to a plethora of artifacts and objects. Explore the Jewish calendar, their way of dressing, facets of their daily life, tombstones among other interesting facts of their life. Glimpse into their historical-social backgrounds as you trace their development as a religious group.
Basler Kinder Theater hosts educating and entertaining plays for children with an aim to introduce these young minds to the entertaining world of theater. And the whole experience does not end at merely watching a play. In fact, a small talk is conducted between the theater manager and the children at the end of each play. Besides letting the children's imagination run wild, this activity also improves the socializing skills of these kids at a very young age. All in all, a fun package for these tiny tots!