The third largest city in Switzerland after Zurich and Geneva, Basel is located on the Rhine River in the northwestern part of the country. It is home to 175,000 people. The city is considered to be one of Switzerland’s cultural hubs as it is home to more than forty museums, several historic sites, theaters, and universities.
Flights to Basel, Switzerland, arrive at EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (MLH; BSL; EAP), an international airport located just over the Swiss border in Saint-Louis, Alsace, France, which is about two miles north of Basel’s city center. The airport is jointly owned and managed by the French and Swiss governments. EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg is one of just a few airports in the world operated by two countries. It also sees quite a bit of traffic annually, with popular flight paths including San Francisco (SFO) to Basel and Queens, New York (JFK) to Basel, Switzerland.
Basel’s medieval city center, which dates back to the 12th century, is popular with tourists. The area is home to the city’s historic Town Hall, a sandstone structure built in the 16th century, as well as to several other historic buildings, restaurants, cafes, and shops. Many of the travelers who book flights to Basel also make sure to visit the Basel Minster, a Gothic cathedral built in the early 11th century. Located on a hill in the heart of the city, the red sandstone church houses the tomb of the Dutch Northern Renaissance scholar and Roman Catholic theologian, Erasmus, which is in itself a major tourist attraction.
Among Basel’s many museums is the Kunstmuseum Basel. Founded in 1661 by the University of Basel, it is the oldest public art museum in the world and is considered to be the most important museum in Switzerland. Basel’s other museums include the Dollhouse Museum, which is home to the largest collection of teddy bears in Europe; the Swiss Architecture Museum; the Natural History Museum of Basel; and the Schaulager museum, which houses a collection of contemporary and modern art.
Art Basel, an international art fair that has been held in the city each year since 1970, is considered to be one of the world’s premier fine art events. Artists and art dealers from across the globe book flights to Basel, Switzerland, to attend Art Basel, along with thousands of art collectors and enthusiasts.
Another popular attraction in the city is Zoo Basel, a zoo located in Basel’s downtown. The zoo is known for its successful endangered species breeding programs and was named to a list of the world’s 15 best zoos by Forbes Travel magazine.
Along with tourists, business travelers from around the world also fly to Basel. Many of these professionals work in the pharmaceutical industry, which has a large presence in the city. Multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Hoffmann LaRoche; Novarits; and Basilea Pharmaceutica are based in Basel. The city is also a European center for biotechnology research and specialty chemical production.
Other important industries in Basel include banking and financial services; television and radio broadcasting and production; and tourism. Basel is also home to the headquarters of Swiss International Airlines.
Many of the people who fly to Basel are sports fans. The city is known for its sports culture and is home to several professional teams. Among the most popular sports in the city are football (soccer); ice hockey; basketball; and tennis. Basel’s sports stadium, Saint Jakob Park, has a capacity of more than 42,000 people.
Notable people from Basel include the Christian philosopher Karl Barth, who was known for his vocal opposition to Hitler and his participation in a resistance movement against the Nazis; and professional tennis player Roger Federer.