8 Beautiful Towns Near Basel, Switzerland

Basel – this city in Switzerland boasts excellent weather year-round, a thriving lifestyle, and a vibrant artistic scene. In addition to being a great place to visit and live, this city along the Rhine is an excellent place to begin Rhine river cruises. As a cultural city with many international guests, Basel is also a good starting point for exploring other beautiful towns in Switzerland nearby.

In this article, we will discuss 8 nice towns you can visit near Basel, Switzerland.  

1. Rheinfelden

Image by Remy Frank from flickr

Known for its medieval center, church, and picturesque scenery, Rheinfelden near Basel is well worth a visit. Rheinfelden, Switzerland is located on the left bank of the river Rhine across the German town of the same name. Once a member of Kingdom of Burgundy and Further Austria, it later joined what was known as the Helvetic Republic in 1802.

How do you get from Basel to Rheinfelden? From Basel, take the direct train to Rheinfelden. The train journey from Basel to Rheinfelden takes 17 minutesRheinfelden is accessible from Basel in 22 minutes by car.

Alternatively, you can take a big lock boat trip from Basel to Rheinfelden and enjoy the wind, scenery, and food onboard. Visit the website of Basler Personenschifffahrt for more information.

Don’t Miss in Rheinfelden
* Medieval town center
* Town Hall from 1531
* Fricktaler Museum
* St. Martin Church
* Feldschlösschen Brewery
* Saline Riburg

2. Olten

Image of Olten from wikimedia

Olten is a well-connected town between Aarau and Solothurn. The town Olten near Basel is one of the most important railroad junctions in the country.

Olten has a small but beautiful old town on the banks of the Aare river with narrow late Gothic houses. It is also known for its wooden bridge, its churches, and its museums. 

How do you get from Basel to Olten? From Basel, take the direct train to Olten. The train journey from Basel to Olten takes between 25 to 39 minutes, depending on which train you take. Olten is accessible from Basel in 48 minutes by car.

Don’t Miss in Olten
* Wooden bridge of 1803
* Gothic Bell Tower from 1521
* St. Martin’s Church and City Church
* Old Townhall from 1701
* Art Museum (Kunstmuseum Olten)
* Historic Museum of Olten (Historisches Museum Olten)
* Natural History Museum (Haus der Museen)

3. Laufenburg

Image by TouringSwitzerland.com

Laufenburg, in Switzerland, is a charming town that can be found in the west of the country Rhine River. On the other side of the Rhine River is the town of Laufenburg, Germany. Both towns near Basel, Switzerland share a common history.  

In Laufenburg, you will find a mild, sunny climate. Throughout this medieval town are beautiful alleyways, fountains, and towers. 

How do you get from Basel to Laufenburg? From Basel, take the direct train to Laufenburg. The train journey from Basel to Laufenburg takes 36 minutes. One direct train leaves Basel for Laufenburg every hour. Laufenburg is accessible from Basel in 33 minutes by car.

Don’t Miss in Laufenburg
* Courthouse at Gerichtsgasse 86
* Power Plant of Laufenburg
* Ruins of Laufenburg Castle
* Ruins of the Roman Rhine fortifications.
* Saint John the Baptist Church
* Aargau Jura Park nearby
* Erwin Rehmann museum

Laufeburg, Switzerland is quite close to Basel and definitely worth a visit.

If you would like to read more about Laufenburg, Switzerland, check out our article here: Laufenburg, Switzerland: One Town, Two Countries.


4. Delémont

Image of the Prince-Bishops’ Castle in Delémont via wikimedia

Delémont is another beautiful town near Basel worth visiting. It is a small town in Switzerland that was once home to a bishop. Delémont is an excellent starting point for exploring Ajoie, Doubs Gorge, Fribourg Jura, and Bernese Jura. It also has a rich history.

Delémont is the main capital of the canton of Jura. It lies in the northwest of Switzerland. Delémont has a beautiful old town within a wide valley. A good place to start in the town is the Rue du 23 Juin.

As a beautiful and historic town in Jura, Delémont is definitely a good place to visit from Basel.

How do you get from Basel to Delémont? From Basel, take the direct train to Delémont. The train journey from Basel to Delémont takes 34 to 40 minutes, depending on which train you take. Delémont is accessible from Basel in 49 minutes by car.

Don’t Miss in Delémont
* Medieval City Center
* Delémont Castle –  Prince-Bishop Jean-Conrad de Reinach’s Castle
* Musée Jurassien d’Art et d’Histoire
* St-Marcel Church
* Vorbourg Chapel
* Historic Turntable for locomotives

5. Aarburg

Image by Werner Hense from Pixabay

Along the river Aare lies a small town called Aarburg, which is dominated by its fortress once owned by the Habsburg family. Located in the district of Zofingen, the town Aarburg connects the Olten region with the rest of inner Switzerland.

Aarburg lies along the river Aare, where a fortress once owned by the Habsburg family dominates the town. Located in the Zofingen district, Aarburg is a gateway to the Olten region from the rest of inner Switzerland. Aarburg is quite easy to reach from Basel.

The Aarburg fortress is a nationally recognized cultural asset and is currently used as a youth center. The old town of Aarburg in Switzerland is recognized as a Swiss Heritage Site. Additionally, there is a baroque museum from 1750, as well as wonderful hiking trails along the river Aare.

How do you get from Basel to Aarburg? From Basel, take the train to Olten. In Olten, you have the option to take the train or bus to Aarburg. The train and/or journey from Basel to Aarburg takes approximately 40 to 50 minutesAarburg is accessible from Basel in 40 minutes by car.

Don’t Miss in Aarburg
* Aarburg’s Old Town
* Aarburg fortress
* Baroque Museum from 1750
* Hiking Trails along Aare River

If you would like to read more about Aarburg, Switzerland, check out our article here: The Picturesque Town of Aarburg, Switzerland.


6. Solothurn

Image of Solothurn by Martin Hilber from flickr

Solothurn is situated on the banks of the River Aare in the northwest of Switzerland. It is a charming town that got its name (Salodurum) in Roman times. It is known for the impressive baroque architecture in its old town.

18 of Solothurn’s buildings are listed as national heritage sites. Among the noteworthy sights in Solothurn are the Waldegg Castle and Solothurn Cathedral.

Solothurn is fairly easy to reach within an hour from Basel. It is definitely one of the most beautiful towns that you can visit that is close by.

How do you get from Basel to Solothurn? From Basel, take the train to Olten. In Olten, change to the connecting train to Solothurn. The train journey from Basel to Solothurn via Olten takes 56 minutesSolothurn is accessible from Basel in 54 minutes by car.

Don’t Miss in Solothurn
* Waldegg Castle
* St. Ursus Cathedral
* Zytglogge Clock Tower
* Jesuit Church
* Old Arsenal Museum
* Art Museum
* St. Peter’s Chapel
* Blumenstein Castle
* St. Verena Gorge and Hermitage
* Weissenstein Mountain

If you would like to read more about Solothurn, check out our article: Solothurn – 9 Best Things to Do in this Beautiful Baroque City.


7. Saint-Ursanne

Image by Susanne Stöckli from Pixabay

Near the Doubs river lies Saint-Ursanne, a picturesque medieval town nestled between Porrentruy and Delémont. St. Ursanne was named after Saint Ursicinus, an Irish monk who lived in the 7th century. It takes about an hour to reach Saint-Ursanne from Basel.

Saint-Ursanne is located in the Jura canton, bordering France. You can step back in time as you explore this medieval little town with its cobblestone streets and charming houses. For example, there’s a beautiful bridge that leads to this historic old town.

The little town of fewer than 1,000 people has many historic buildings. Saint-Ursanne is also home to an abbey church, a church of the collegiate order, and a hermitage. 

How do you get from Basel to Saint-Ursanne? From Basel, take the direct train to St-Ursanne. The train journey from Basel to Saint-Ursanne takes 1 hourSaint-Ursanne is accessible from Basel in 1 hour 6 minutes by car.

Don’t Miss in Saint-Ursanne
* Cloître de St-Ursanne – Romanesque Abbey Church
* Collégiale catholique romaine Saint-Ursanne – Collegiate Church
* Pont St-Jean Bridge
* L’ermitage

8. Porrentruy

Image of Château de Porrentruy from wikimedia

Porrentruy is the economic and cultural center of the Ajoie region.  It is a beautiful town worth visiting if you are based in Basel, taking only around one hour to get there.

Awarded a Wakker Prize in 1988 for the preservation of its architectural heritage, Porrentruy definitely deserves this achievement. It has a beautiful and well-maintained baroque town, as well as a majestic castle.

Porrentruy, as the economic and cultural center of the Ajoie region, is the site of many important institutions of canton Jura. Among these institutions are the cantonal courts, the formal Episcopal See of Basel, as well as the Université Populaire Jurassienne. 

How do you get from Basel to Porrentruy? From Basel, take the direct train to Porrentruy. The train journey from Basel to Porrentruy takes 1 hour 13 minutesPorrentruy is accessible from Basel in 1 hour by car.

Don’t Miss in Porrentruy
* Château de Porrentruy Castle
* Church and College of the Jesuits
* St-Pierre Church
* Hôtel de Gléresse
* Hôtel-Dieu
* Jura Natural Sciences Museum and Garden

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