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Basel Events

'Vogel Gryff' Festival

'Vogel Gryff' Festival is a traditional festival during which the three heraldic figures (Vogel Gryff (Griffin), Wild Maa (Wild Man) and Leu (Lion) parade through the city, accompanied by drummers and jesters who collect money for the needy. The event marks the start of the carnival season. The ritual, which is derived from military inspections, has been performed since 1838.

Date: 13 January 2020 - 13 January 2020
Venue: Various venues around Basel.

Fasnacht (Carnival)

The biggest party on the Basel calendar, a three-day non-stop carnival of parties and parades. It begins on the Monday following Ash Wednesday with the “Morgestraich” lantern parade at 4am, when the city is plunged into darkness.

Date: 02 March 2020 - 05 March 2020
Venue: Various venues.

Jazz Festival

This annual spring jazz festival is marked by performances from celebrated international musicians who perform at a variety of locations throughout Basel.

Date: 19 April 2020 - 17 May 2020
Venue: Various venues.


Three Country Run (Dreiländerlauf)

Over 1,000 runners are expected to take part in the Three Countries Run (Dreiländerlauf) in Basel encompassing Switzerland, France and Germany. The 21km (12 miles) Dreiländerlauf starts at 11am but is preceded by a 10km (6 miles) run starting from the Marktplatz at 1045am. 

Date: 17 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Venue: Throughout the region.

Free to spectate. 

Art Basel

The international art show features almost 300 carefully selected exhibitors for around the world featuring work from established names to new fresh talent. Every artistic medium is represented: paintings, sculpture, installations, videos, multiples, prints, photography, and performance. The events draws tens of thousands of fans every year

Date: 18 June 2020 - 21 June 2020
Venue: Messe Basel (fair place Basel).

Swiss National Day

Swiss National Day precedes 1 August in Basel when more than 100,000 people flock to the river to watch sports events on the Rhine and visit numerous riverside stalls, before the evening ends with a magnificent fireworks display at night.

Date: 01 August 2020 - 01 August 2020
Venue: Various venues.


Basel Herbstmesse

The country's largest and oldest amusement fair is a centuries old tradition drawing around a million visitors. Dating back 540 years, expect lots of traditions and amusement rides for all the family to enjoy.

Date: 26 October 2020 - 10 November 2020
Venue: Various squares in Basel.

Christmas Market

More than 180 lovingly decorated stands selling festive gifts, decorations, mulled wine and gingerbread. Widely accepted as one of Europe's finest and most extravagant Christmas markets. The market is held on Münsterplatz – one of the most beautiful squares in Basel – and Barfüsserplatz.

Date: 26 November 2020 - 23 December 2020
Venue: Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz.


Featured Hotels


Hotel Rheinfelderhof

A few minutes' walk from the city centre (and even closer to the Messe Basel trade fair venue), this is a well-priced hotel with almost 50 rooms. It's nothing fancy but has all the basics covered, from free wifi to satellite TV. There's a traditional restaurant on site.

Swissotel Le Plaza

The Swissotel Le Plaza, graded as four-star superior, is a stylish option a few minutes' walk from the Rhine and the Old Town. The hotel has 238 rooms and offers 24-hour room service, as well as a gym with a sauna and steam room. Its Grill25 restaurant serves up the classics in smart surroundings.

Les Trois Rois

One of the oldest city hotels in Europe, Les Trois Rois is Basel's grandest residence. Over the years, its luxurious rooms and suites on the banks of the Rhine in the Old Town have accommodated such luminaries as Napoleon, Charles Dickens, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Mann and Queen Elizabeth II. It also has a fitness centre and various top-notch restaurants and bars.

Courtyard Basel

Part of the Marriott Group – and consequently a reliable if rather vanilla option for an overnight stay – the Courtyard Basel Hotel is set on the southern outskirts of the city and has 175 rooms and suites with the usual amenities and plenty of meeting space.

Hotel Basel

Situated in the heart of the old city for the past four decades, this 4-star hotel has 70 rooms and three suites, all comfortably furnished and equipped with the standard mod cons. There are three restaurants, including a brasserie, and a couple of small meeting rooms.

Teufelhof (Devil's Court)

This enjoyably quirky establishment comprises two hotels: the Kunsthotel (Art Hotel), with nine rooms each designed by a local artist, and the larger Galeriehotel (Gallery Hotel), in which both the rooms and public spaces function as exhibition spaces for artists. Prices can vary greatly according to demand.