Family vacations in Basel, Weil am Rhein and the country triangle of Germany, Switzerland and France
The Art City of Basel offers a wide range of exhibitions and activities that will amaze both adults and children. Kids can experience the arts and design techniques in the famous “Vitra Design museum”. As Basel is located right on the river Rhine, the beautiful landscapes surrounding the city offer many attractive destinations for an excursion. The region is the perfect setting for outdoor activities with the whole family. We have assembled some of the most interesting excursions for you below.
Instead of booking a guided tour to see the most important sights of Basel, which would certainly bore your kids, why not go on a City Treasure Hunt? Pick up all the most important documents such as a city map and various location descriptions at the tourist information and you are ready to go. Every location on the tour presents you with challenging tasks or riddles, which you need to solve in order to find the next location. Thus, you will embark on an individual tour through Basel’s hidden spots and streets with your family and discover the city in a playful and active manner.
For those preferring passive entertainment, Basel offers a vintage tram tour. The guided trip aboard the vintage tram from the 1920s will last up to one hour and takes you across the city to see Basel’s most beautiful sights.
Getting to know a city by boat is always a special experience. The shipping company Basler Personenschifffahrt takes you on a boat trip through Basel or the area surrounding the city on a number of different routes. The trip to Rheinfelden is particularly exciting as the route leads through two sluices.
Museums and Culture
Basel is internationally renowned for its passion for arts. The Tinguely Museum is definitely a must-see in Basel as it is no ordinary art museum where you have to admire the exhibits in silence. In fact, the exhibits make the most noise. Every Wednesday afternoon, the museum organizes the Kids Club, which offers the most exciting activities. The Kunsthalle Basel, one of the city’s many art galleries, lets children discover art in a playful manner. Children can experience the exhibitions on a special tour for kids, while their parents join a tour for adults or visit the museum on their own.
This way, every family member can experience art depending on their personal interests and needs. The Vitra Design museum in Weil am Rhein is one of the world’s leading design museums. The building’s architecture alone gives a glimpse of what the museum has in store inside its walls. Children are encouraged to actively take part in the tour or participate in monthly design workshops.
The antique Roman city of Augusta Raurica invites children to touch, experiment and actively take part in the exhibitions. The facility offers special tours for families on a regular basis. You can also discover Augusta Raurica by following a trail of scents as part of a mystery tour. Every Sunday, the city holds a workshop, where visitors can bake bread together, craft Roman writing equipment or do their own pottery like in ancient times.
The Museum of Natural History in Basel organizes monthly workshops based on different topics from the natural world. The museum intends to raise children’s awareness of the fascinating diversity and phenomena nature has to offer. A similar program for adolescents is currently being developed. Special exhibitions are launched by means of a family Sunday, which introduces the topic of the exhibition to both children and adults. In the Basel Paper Museum, children and adults can learn how to produce their own colored paper during the weekend and receive an overview of the history of paper manufacturing in the museum’s permanent exhibition.
Music and Theater
Gare des Enfants will delight your ears with family concerts during the winter semester. The concerts are not only designed for children from the age of 5 – some children even actively participate in the music productions. From September to June, the Arlecchino Theater offers an exciting program for children. Children from the age of 4 as well as the whole family will feel enchanted by theatre pieces based on fairytales as well as musicals and concerts. In the past, the program included pieces such as Pippi Longstocking in Taka-Tuka-Land, the Junglebook and The Magic Flute – we can’t wait to see what is playing next. Basel’s Children’s Theatre offers a similar program, with children performing classical pieces for children.
Basel Zoo, simply called “Zolli” by the locals, is Switzerland’s oldest zoo and houses more than 600 different species at the moment. Kids from the age of 8 can help out at the kid’s zoo for one day, by feeding and taking care of different farm animals. Basel Zoo is worth a regular visit as well and provides everything you need for an exciting day with the whole family. As the zoo is famous for its breeding programs, visitors can watch a large number of cute and fascinating baby animals. The Lange Erlen Zoo also houses a great number of animals. Among the nearly 80 different species living at the beautifully designed park are donkeys, goats, sheep, geese and capuchin monkeys. The entrance is free. If you want to refuel, the zoo also offers a snack bar and the Lange Erlen Restaurant. Visitors can also bring a picnic.
Watch wild Barbary macaques at Monkey Mountain (Montage des Signes) in Kintzheim, France. Visitors can come into direct contact with the monkeys and children can participate in a quiz. Their name is then entered into a lottery, where they can win a stuffed animal in the shape of a monkey at the end of every month.
The Rhine path, which leads from Augst to Basel, is perfect for a relaxing hike alongside the river. A large number of info panels posted along the way provide many interesting details and facts about the river Rhine as well as the flora and fauna surrounding it. At the end of your 13 km hike, you might enjoy taking a swim in the river. The best way to reach Augst is by train.
Cyclists can follow the entire Rhine route, which has been divided into 9 stages, from Andermatt to Basel. The ninth and last stage from Rheinfelden to Basel is embedded in a beautiful landscape and easy to master even with children due to its moderate ascent. The 24 km trip is particularly pleasant if you have enough time. The easiest way is to take a train to Rheinfelden and then continue by bike.
A different way to travel on two wheels is the scooter trip or “Trotti-Plausch” at the Jura Mountains. Take the Wasserfallenbahn cableway in Reigoldswil to reach the station on top of the mountain. At the top, you can rent a scooter (“Trottinett” in Swiss German) and let the fun begin. Enjoy a 4 km race downhill on these fantastic scooters. Children from the age of 12 can drive their own scooter, kids younger than 12 have to share a scooter with their parents.
The winter allows for more graceful activities as children can go skating on the ice rink in Margarethenpark.
Whether it’s summer or winter – water always has a special appeal for young and old. Basel offers many opportunities to satisfy this longing for water. As soon as the days get warmer, the natural swimming pools in the river Rhine, such as the Rheinbad St. Johann or the Rheinbad Breite located right in the city center, invite visitors to take a swim. The Rialto indoor swimming pool in Basel or the Laguna Badeland waterpark located on the German side of the Swiss border in Weil am Rhein are the perfect places to spend an afternoon with the family on a rainy day or during winter.
Basel as well as Weil am Rhein offer a great variety of beautifully designed playgrounds. Here you will find a list of the Robi playgrounds spread across the various districts of Basel. The remaining playgrounds are shown on the Kid’s Map and the Website of Weil am Rhein. Both maps also show a series of other attractions that are particularly interesting for children and adolescents. Older children will find it useful to check out the maps as well and assemble their individual tour program.
Climbers that are not afraid of heights will feel at home in Lörrach’s Adventure Climbing Forest, where they can master new challenges at every station of the course. The park offers courses at 1-2 meters height for beginners who still have to get familiar with the ropes. Due to the ample selection of courses, every family member will have fun mastering the different stations – even if you have to overcome your own personal limits from time to time.
Excursions near Basel
Europa-Park is Germany’s largest and most famous theme park as it offers numerous attractions and shows for all age groups. Whether you want to take a wild ride on the Wodan Timburcoaster or a relaxing Viking boat trip – you will certainly not feel bored here. It will barely take you 1 hour to reach the park in Rust by car. Have a look at our special offer >>
The Steinwasen-Park in the south of the Black Forest is known for tamer entertainment. It offers several rides such as a bobsled run, the RiverSplash log ride as well as an adventure playground and many wild animals to watch.
The Black Forest located close to the theme park is one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations as it has a large variety of year-round activities and attractions to offer. Apart from breathtaking hiking and biking routes, the website of Hochschwarzwald Tourismus lists some great recommendations for a family excursion.
Railway enthusiasts should consider taking a ride on the Kandertalbahn train on Sunday. The train, which consists of an historic steam engine and original wagons from the 19th century, will take you on a breathtaking trip from Haltingen to Kandern and back again.
We hope that you will find our tips useful when choosing from the large variety of attractions Basel holds for the whole family. The carathotel Basel/Weil am Rhein is happy to welcome you and your family anytime. As of now, we also offer superior family rooms for parents with children. Apart from our caratbed superior, these spacious suites feature a convertible sofa and can be upgraded with an additional bed to host a family of 2 adults and two children. As an alternative, you can also book one of our 3-person bedrooms as well as a separate room for your children. For more information, check out the item “Rooms & Beds”.
Family rooms at carathotel Basel / Weil am Rhein
If you are travelling with the whole gang, our superior family rooms are exactly the right choice. In addition to all the comfort you will find in our superior rooms, the room is spacious enough to let four people find rest after a long and exciting day.
How to book our family rooms: In order to book a family room, please choose the option “superior room” and add a baby cot (free of charge, suitable for babies and toddlers up to the age of 2) or an additional bed (EUR 40 per night, suitable for one child, teenager or adult) to your booking.