As with most places in Switzerland, Basel is best enjoyed outdoors. However, there’s always a chance it’ll be foggy, uncomfortable, or even rainy. While rain shouldn’t stop you from exploring outdoors, sometimes it’s just easier to stay indoors. There are many things you can do in Basel on a rainy day. If it’s raining nonstop, here are a few fun ideas.
Without further ado, here are eight of the best things to do in Basel on a rainy day.
1. Fondation Beyeler
Our list of rainy day ideas starts with a trip to the Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland’s most visited art museum. Located in Reihen, a 25-tram ride from the city center of Basel, it is a modern and contemporary art museum set in a lush garden surrounded by trees.
Fondation Beyeler was founded by Swiss collectors and philanthropists Ernst and Hildy Beyeler. Ernst Beyeler created the foundation with his wife to showcase the $1.85 billion private collection he accumulated over the course of his career.
Taking in all the art in this museum is a pleasure thanks to its sleek white decor, high ceilings, and room to move around. If it’s raining, this is definitely a good place to go. You can spend a lot of time looking at the fantastic pieces of art inside.
If you would like to read more about Fondation Beyeler, you can check out our article Fondation Beyeler – Among Switzerland’s Most Visited Museums.
Address: Baselstrasse 101, 4125 Basel
2. Zoo Basel
Another great rainy day activity in Basel is going to Zoo Basel. Zolli is a small, but enjoyable, zoo in Basel that’s around ten minutes walk from Basel’s train station. Basel Zoo contains 7,554 different animals from 543 different species. And despite its relatively small size, over a million people visit this Zoo annually.
What makes Zoo Basel a good rainy day activity? While most animals are in outdoor enclosures, there are a few indoor enclosures at the zoo.
For example, both the aquarium and vivarium are indoors, right near the entrance. Also indoors are the monkey house, antilope house, Gamgoas, and bird house. (Note: The bird house will reopen in 2023 after renovations).
If you would like to read more about Zoo Basel, you can check out our article Zoo Basel – An Honest Review.
Address: Binningerstrasse 40, 4054 Basel
3. Basel Minster
It’s also worth checking out the Basel Minster on a rainy day. Prior to the Reformation, Basel Minster was the church of the bishop and the main church of the Diocese of Basel, whose metropolitan bishop was the Archbishop of Besançon.
The former Catholic church, built between the years 1019 and 1500 in Romanesque and Gothic styles, is nowadays a Reformed Protestant Church. The Basel Minster (in German Basler Münster) was built using red sandstone, similar to other Cathedrals like Carlisle, Chester, and Mainz.
It’s also possible to climb the tower of Basel Minster. Getting to the top of the tower takes around 250 steps up a narrow staircase. The towers can only be visited by 30 people at a time. There’s a great view of Basel and the Rhine from the top.
Address: Münsterpl. 9, 4051 Basel
4. Kunstmuseum Basel
On a rainy day, you can check out the Kunstmuseum Basel, one of Switzerland’s most important art museums. As well as housing some of the oldest, publicly owned artworks in the world, it’s also a national heritage site.
Kunstmuseum Basel has artwork from the early 15th century to the present. You can expect works from Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Ferdinand Hodler. There are also pieces by Picasso, Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti, and Marc Chagall.
Address: St. Alban-Graben 16, 4051 Basel
Indoor water parks are fun to visit when it’s raining. You can go to one called Aquabasilea in Pratteln, Basel Land. Located only 20 minutes from Basel center, it’s easy to get to.
Aquabasilea is a big indoor water park that’s perfect for rainy days. Especially when it’s rainy outside, this is a great place to spend some time because it has 7 slides, a wave pool, several pools, and diverse saunas.
Both kids and adults will have fun here. There’s also an outdoor area in case the sun comes out. An on-site poolbar restaurant offers a variety of food options.
Address: Hardstrasse 57, 4133 Pratteln
6. Museum Tinguely
Another cultural attraction to check out while it’s raining in Basel is Museum Tinguely, a museum dedicated to Jean Tinguely’s works. Museum Tinguely was designed by the Ticinese architect Mario Botta and opened on October 3, 1996.
Over four decades of Tinguely’s work are on display. Some of the sculptures presented were donated by his wife, Niki de Saint Phalle, a well-known female sculptor and artist.
Address: Paul Sacher-Anlage 2, 4002 Basel
7. Self-Guided Food Tour of Basel
A fun rainy day idea is to go on a self-guided food tour of Basel. The tour can start whenever you want and last however long you want.
At the four places listed, you’ll discover Basel while enjoying a drink or snack: Bäckerei KULT – Elsi, Basel unverpackt, KLARA, and Jakob’s Leckerly at Spalenberg. Jakob’s Leckerly features Basel’s oldest Läckerli, made from a recipe dating back to 1753.
Start before 11:00 AM, though, so you can get lunch at the KLARA food court. All the directions you need to find at each stop are on the tour voucher.
Address: Bäckerei KULT – Elsi, Elsässerstrasse 43, 4056 Basel
8. Self-Guided Craft Beer Tour
It’s a fun rainy day idea to take a craft beer tour around Basel. This self-guided tour lets you taste some of Basel’s best craft beers and see traditional and contemporary spots.
The Fischerstube is the perfect place to try traditional brews. You can also enjoy Voltabrau, a brewpub. You’ll get to try seven different beers all over Basel on this fun craft beer tour. Anyone over 16 can join.
Fischerstube Restaurant and Bar 4056, Voltastrasse 30, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
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