Parks and Amusement in Basel, Switzerland

Zoological Garden

Basel Zoological Garden (“Zolli”)
According to naturegnosis, this 11 hectare zoological garden has existed in Basel Switzerland since 1874. Around 6,000 animals from 600 species can be admired in it, which, along with the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen, makes it the most visited attraction in Switzerland. The highlight of the zoo is the so-called “Etoschahaus”, an area that was modeled on a Namibian savannah and introduces the animals that are typically found there.


The city of Basel is considered a very green city. Every single quarter offers at least one park or green area.

Botanical Garden
In 1589 the Botanical Garden was founded. At that time it still functioned as a university institution on the Rhine terraces. After being relocated a few times, it has been spreading at its current location near the Spaltentor since 1898. It is one of the oldest parks in the entire German-speaking area.

The Merianpark, which was created in 1968, extends over more than 135,000 m². This botanical garden is located entirely in the middle of a residential and industrial area and therefore functions as a quiet place within the city.


St. Jakobshalle
This multi-purpose hall was officially opened in 1976, although it had already been used for the first time the year before. In the building, which consists of halls and rooms of different sizes, events of all kinds take place, such as rock concerts, live television shows, international tennis tournaments, opera performances and much more. The most famous sporting events that have taken place in the St. Jakobshalle so far were the Swiss Open in Badminton (1991), the Ice Hockey World Championship (1998) and the Men’s Handball European Championship in 2006.

St. Jakob-Park (Joggeli)

The SJP is currently the largest Swiss football stadium and home to the local FC Basel (FCB). In addition to the Stade de Suisse, it is the only stadium in Switzerland to have four stars. It was completed in 2001 and is currently to be expanded from the original almost 32,000 to 42,500 seats. St. Jakob-Park is also used for major musical events.
At the European Championship 2008, the opening game, all other group A preliminary round matches with Swiss participation as well as two quarter-finals and one semi-final took place in the St. Jakob Park football stadium:
June 7th, 6:00 p.m.: Switzerland – Czech Republic (0: 1)
June 11th, 8.45 p.m.: Switzerland – Turkey (1: 2)
June 15, 8.45 p.m.: Switzerland – Portugal (2: 0)
June 19, 8:45 p.m.: Quarter-finals: Portugal – Germany (2-3)
June 21, 8:45 p.m.: Quarter-finals: Netherlands – Russia (1: 3)
June 25, 8:45 p.m.: Semi-finals: Germany – Turkey (3: 2) )

Basel, Switzerland Parks

Rhine bridges, ferries

Since 1225 it has been possible to cross the Rhine in Basel via a bridge. In the meantime another seven have been added. The last one was built in 2006. Of the eight bridges, five are intended for public and private traffic. The other three bridges are used by pedestrians and one is also used by the railroad.

  • Dreirosenbrücke (for tram, motorway and individual traffic)
  • Pedestrian bridge between Weil am Rhein and St. Louis
  • Johanniterbrücke (for individual traffic)
  • Birsfelden power plant (with a footpath over the weir)
  • Middle bridge (for trams and private transport)
  • Black Forest Bridge (for motorway and local traffic)
  • Connecting railway bridge (railway bridge and footpath)
  • Wettsteinbrücke (for trams and private transport)

Furthermore, Basel’s four ferries are also referred to as Rhine bridges, but as “floating Rhine bridges”. They only move with the help of the current and are often used by tourists.


This 73-kilometer tributary of the Rhine rises in the Bernese Jura and, with its lower reaches, forms the border between the two Swiss cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft. (It forms the city limits of Basel and Birsfelden). The Birs flows into the Upper Rhine at the Birskopf.


Basel stretches on both sides of the Rhine, with this 1,320 km long river making a right-angled bend between the Black Forest foothills and those of the Swiss Jura. This is known as the “Baseler Rheinknie”. There the Upper Rhine replaces the High Rhine. The important commercial Rhine ports of both Basels are located on this river. The river also provides an important link from Basel to the North Sea. You can easily cross the Rhine in Basel via the eight Rhine bridges.


The Wiese is the fourth longest river in the Black Forest and rises on the Feldberg at an altitude of 1,200 meters. After 55 kilometers the river flows into the Rhine between the two Basel quarters of Kleinhüningen and Klybeck.


The inland ports of Basel, which are so immensely important for Swiss imports and exports, extend for around 7 kilometers along the Rhine across the two cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft. More than 15% of Switzerland’s total foreign trade is handled through these Rhine ports, as well as around 35% of Switzerland’s annual mineral oil consumption. We are talking about the following ports:

  • Auhafen Muttenz (left bank of the Rhine)
  • Rheinhafen Birsfelden (left bank of the Rhine)
  • Rheinhafen Kleinhüningen (on the right bank of the Rhine)
  • Rheinhafen St. Johann (left bank of the Rhine)

More about the Basel Rhine ports:
Rheinschifffahrtsdirektion Basel Hochbergerstrasse 160 4019 Basel Tel.: 0041 – (0) 61 – 631 45 45 Fax: 0041 – (0) 61 – 631 45 94 Email: