Where to stay in Basel for first time: 3 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Basel as a first-time visitor can be a headache. That’s why, in today’s article,  I will help you to find safe places to stay in Basel for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Basel for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Basel and recommend some of the best hotels for visitors with various budgets.

Basel is a city in northwestern Switzerland, situated where the Swiss, French, and German borders meet. It is Switzerland’s third-most-populous city, after Zurich and Geneva. 

Basel is known for its vibrant cultural scene, particularly in art and music, with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters. The city hosts Art Basel, one of the world’s premier contemporary art fairs. 

Additionally, Basel is a major hub for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, with several multinational companies headquartered there. The Rhine River flows through the city, adding to its scenic charm.

Is Basel safe to visit?

Yes, Basel is overall a safe place to visit. But, it’s wise to take common sense and normal safety precautions to ensure an enjoyable visit. The area around the train station is generally safe during the day, but it’s advisable to avoid walking alone at night, as you would at any station in the world.

Where to stay in Basel for the first time?

The best and safe places to stay in Basel for first-timers and tourists include Old Town Grossbasel, Old Town Kleinbasel, and Near Central Train Station. It’s advisable to take standard safety precautions, regardless of where you stay. 

Remember that Basel is a relatively compact city with an excellent public transportation network, so you’ll have no trouble getting around and exploring all that it has to offer. Just choose one hotel that suits your budget, then you’ll set to go.

Old Town Grossbasel is the historic heart of Basel, known for its charming medieval streets, historic buildings, and landmarks such as the Basel Minster and Town Hall. Staying here puts you close to many of the city’s main attractions, including museums, galleries, and the Rhine River.

Old Town Kleinbasel, across the Rhine River from Grossbasel, offers a more laid-back atmosphere with trendy cafes, shops, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Staying in this area gives you easy access to Exhibition Center Basel, Kaserne Basel Performing arts theater, and Museum Tinguely art museum.

If you prefer convenience and easy access to transportation, staying near the central train station (Basel SBB) is a good option. This area offers a wide range of hotels, and it’s well-connected to the rest of the city and beyond by train, tram, and bus.

During my trip to Basel, I stayed at the HITrental Marktplatz Apartments. It was a great 3-star hotel in the heart of Basel Old Town, close to everything. My room was clean with a fully equipped kitchen. Easy walk to tram stops at Marketplatz and Barfusserplatz. There are many restaurants around.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Basel for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Basel first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Basel first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Basel, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Basel have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

3 Best/ Safe areas to stay in Basel for first-timers and tourists:

1. Old Town Grossbasel

Old Town Grossbasel is undoubtedly the best area to stay in Basel for first-timers and tourists. It is the historic heart of the city, offering easy access to major attractions, the river, and the main train station.

You’ll be within walking distance from iconic landmarks such as the Basel Minster, the Rathaus, and Marktplatz (Market Square). Staying here allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and architecture.

Old Town Grossbasel is home to numerous museums like the Kunstmuseum Basel (Museum of Fine Arts) and the Basel Historical Museum. You’ll also find quaint squares, narrow cobblestone streets, gardens, and promenades where you can relax and soak in the local atmosphere. 

While staying in Grossbasel, you’ll have easy access to the Rhine River, where you can enjoy scenic walks along the riverbanks or take a leisurely boat cruise. The views of the river and the city skyline are particularly stunning, especially during sunrise or sunset.

Grossbasel offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional Swiss cuisine to international fare. You’ll also find plenty of charming cafes and bakeries where you can indulge in Swiss pastries and coffee. 

Additionally, the area is dotted with boutique shops, art galleries, and markets where you can shop for souvenirs and unique gifts.

Best places to stay in Basel in Old Town Grossbasel:

Luxury ($$$): Grand Hotel LES TROIS ROIS, 5-star historic hotel, centrally located in the heart of Basel’s Old Town, on the banks of the Rhine. Famous people have stayed here including Napoleon, Elizabeth II, and Pablo Picasso. It has 2 restaurants, beautiful rooms overlooking the Rhine, and paid airport transfer. Guests will receive a BaselCard for free use of public transport in the city.

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Märthof Basel, 4-star hotel conveniently located in Old Town Grossbasel, It features a 24-hour front desk, currency exchange, a fitness center, and very good breakfast. Easy access to major sights including Marktplatz Basel, Blue and White House and Jewish Museum of Basel.

Mid-range ($$): ART HOUSE Basel – Member of Design Hotels, popular 4-star stunning hotel in central location on the street with bars, in Vorstädte. 10 mins walk from the train station and bus to the airport. Lots of restaurants, shops, and a theater nearby. They provide a free Basel card for free public transport and discounts on local museums. Note that it can be a little noisy because of its good location.

Budget ($): Motel One Basel, popular 3-star hotel in central Basel Old Town, easy walk from many attractions including the Architectural Museum, Basel Cathedral, and Pfalz Basel. Good base to move around on foot. Easy access to the train station, shops, and Christmas markets. 

Hostel ($): Basel Youth Hostel, grea backpacker hostel, featuring dorm rooms with shared bathrooms. It is located near banks of the River Rhine, and the old city gate of St. Alban. Within walking distance to several sights including Basel Paper Mill, St. Albantal ferry dock and Hardstrasse tram stop. It has free airport transfer, and Very Good Breakfast.


2. Old Town Kleinbasel

Old Town Kleinbasel, located on the north side of the Rhine River, is a great base for those who want a central location, easily walk or take public transportation to explore Old Town Grossbasel, museums, shopping districts, and other points of interest in Basel.

Old Town Kleinbasel is connected with Old Town Grossbasel via several bridges. These include the historic stone Mittlere Brücke, Wettstein Bridge, and Johanniterbrücke. You can get a good view of the city from the bridge. 

Best places to stay in Basel in Old Town Kleinbasel:

Mid-range ($$): Boutique & Design Hotel Volkshaus Basel, great 4-star hotel in Old Town Kleinbasel, 10 mins walk from Messe Basel. Rooms are spacious with comfortable bathrooms. Near to the tram station for easy access to the airport and the train station.

Mid-range ($$): Krafft Basel, 4-star beautiful hotel conveniently located in the heart of the city, right on the bank of the Rhine river with its Mediterranean-style promenade. Great base to explore Basel and the Christmas markets.

Mid-range ($$): HYPERION Hotel Basel, popular 4-star hotel in Basel City center, situated right next to the Basel Messe trade fair center and a short stroll from the Old Town. Easy access to major sights on foot/tram. The hotel provides a free public transportation card.

Budget ($): Hotel Wettstein, 3-star hotel in central Basel, in a quiet residential area, easy access to the old town and the river. Within walking distance to Tram number 2 for services to the SBB train station and the Messe fairgrounds. The Badischer Bahnhof station is also nearby. 


3. Near Central Train Station

Basel SBB is one of Switzerland’s busiest train stations and a major transportation hub in Europe. Staying nearby provides easy access to trains to reach other Swiss cities like Zurich, Bern, and Geneva, as well as neighboring countries like France and Germany.

This area is also a convenient base to explore the city as it is only a few minutes walking/ train ride to the old town and its major sights. The Zoo Basel and Basel Botanical Garden are also in this area, offering plenty of outdoor activities for visitors of all ages.

Best places to stay in Basel Near Central Train Station:

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Victoria, popular 4-star hotel located in Basel city center, next to the main train station (SBB). It features 24-hour reception, laundry services, and a Basel Card for free use of public transport. Easy distance from major sights, the Basel ZOO, and exhibition center. Practical base for those who need to catch early trains!

Mid-range ($$): Mövenpick Hotel Basel, 4-star hotel conveniently located close to the main train station, the old town, and Basel Zoological Garden. Rooms are large and comfortable with great views of the city.

Mid-range ($$): Novotel Basel City, popular 4-star hotel only 2 stops from the main train station via light rail, within walking distance/ short tram ride from all major sights including the Kunstmuseum. It also has family rooms, Excellent Breakfast and onsite parking.

Budget ($): VISIONAPARTMENTS Basel Nauenstrasse – contactless check-in, popular aparthotel near the train station, featuring accommodation with a fully equipped kitchenette. Perfect for a short stay.


In conclusion, Old Town Grossbasel, Old Town Kleinbasel, and Near Central Train Station are the safe and best areas to stay in Basel for first-timers and tourists. When choosing accommodation, it’s always a good idea to check reviews and ratings to ensure a comfortable stay. 

You can continue reading about Basel and Switzerland in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Basel. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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