Basel, Switzerland Celebrations and Events

By | August 13, 2021

Celebrations and events

Art Base
This world’s most important art fair has been held once a year in June since 1970. Since 2002 there has been an offshoot of this fair called “Art Basel Miami Beach” in Maiaml Beach in the US state of Florida

Basel Autumn Fair
The two-week Basel Autumn Fair begins on the last Sunday in October and is celebrated with fun at several locations within the city.

City Run
This public and street run in Basel takes place every year on the last Saturday in November.

Basel Christmas market

In the last week of November, the Basel Christmas market will open its doors on Barfüßerplatz until December 23rd. Check to see more about Switzerland on payhelpcenter.


This is an international watch and jewelry fair that starts once a year in late March.

On Carnival Tuesday, visitors – especially children – can enjoy the hustle and bustle in the city. The center of these activities is the Münsterplatz, where around 200 lanterns can be admired as a kind of art exhibition. The whole thing lasts until the morning hours of Wednesday.

Car and prop exhibition

At the car and prop exhibition on the barracks area in Kleinbasel, their carriages and props are on display from the evening of Carnival Monday until Wednesday morning. During the exhibition, activities such as guggen music concerts, trips with the “pram” etc. take place – but the physical well-being of the visitors is also taken care of.

The Gugge Concerts (Guggemusig)
On Tuesday evening, the city center is mainly dedicated to the Gugge music. Thousands and thousands of fans can be cast under their spell by their deafening, weird, but also classy open-air concerts from 8 p.m. on the market square, Barfüsserplatz and Claraplatz.
The Guggenmusik originally comes from the Alemannic region, i.e. Switzerland and southern Germany. This type of music is particularly rhythmic brass music that is deliberately played “incorrectly” in a special way. In addition to the actual melody, the actual melody is often “played past” in such a way that one can easily recognize the melody despite its “weird” sound. The musicians are disguised and masked. There is also Guggenmusik at the Swabian-Alemannic Carnival or the Carnival in Lucerne and Bern.
In Swiss German the term “Gugge” is used for all kinds of brass instruments.

Das Gässle
This tradition means to accompany the piccolo flute and drummers in slow, measured lockstep in the old town and to indulge in a special carnival atmosphere for a while.

How to get to the city center?
The “smart” visitor comes into town by train and takes a hotel near the city center – book well in advance! But if you arrive by car, it is best to leave it in the outskirts of the city, for example in a multi-storey car park, or of course in a hotel car park. But the Basel public transport company offers a special timetable with their trams and buses during Carnival, so that you can comfortably get from the outskirts to the city center and back – even during the night.

Current information – “Rädäbäng”
Information about the current carnival can be found in the official carnival guide – the 100-page “Rädäbäng”. This carnival guide appears two weeks before the carnival and can be purchased for a fee from the carnival committee or from Basel Tourism as well as from numerous kiosks

A few rules of conduct
There are almost no official regulations or prohibitions at Carnival. But there are unwritten rules of consideration and politeness – and some things just make sense. So you give priority to children, the elderly and the disabled. The oranges or other objects thrown into the audience by the groups passing through should not be thrown back under any circumstances. In general, the often noisy German style does not exactly meet with sympathy with the Swiss. You can and should therefore enjoy the carnival rather cautiously – the Basel carnival is not a German street carnival.

The carnival plaque should be worn clearly visible, it is a sign of solidarity with the hustle and bustle and its accents. As already mentioned, made-up faces, cardboard noses, fool’s caps are frowned upon – but this also includes swaying and loud singing, which are popular in Germany. The people of Basel are also very reluctant to see drunk people.

Since masks, instruments or other utensils can restrict the freedom of movement of active people, care should be taken not to hinder or bother them. Throwing confetti (called räppli) at them should also be avoided. And the well-behaved and polite visitor lets them go first during their well-deserved breaks in the restaurants.

Basel, Switzerland Celebrations and Events