The first Basel Autumn Fair took place in 1471 – it was the beginning of a unique success story. Today, Basel is a world-renowned trade fair and congress city and is also considered a top address for international cultural and sporting events. With its central location, diverse range of hotels and restaurants and state-of-the-art infrastructure, Basel is one of the most attractive hosts for major events in Switzerland, if not in the whole of Europe.
Among the musical highlights of the year are the top-class Baloise Session in autumn, Jazzfestival Basel in the spring and Em Bebbi sy Jazz, the largest jazz festival in Switzerland, during summer. Also in summer, Basel Tattoo, which is the second largest open-air tattoo in the world after the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, attracts thousands of visitors from all over Europe. When it comes to sports, Basel has just as much to offer. Tennis fans get their money’s worth at Swiss Indoors, held at the St. Jakobshalle every autumn. Year after year, this internationally renowned indoor tournament brings the best tennis players in the world to Basel. In mid-March, the world’s top badminton players meet here to compete in the Badminton Swiss Open. Also in the St. Jakobshalle, the world's best show jumpers compete for the Indoor Grand Prix at the Longines CHI Classics Basel in January. Apart from these large-scale events, there is also a wealth of smaller festivals and fairs as well as concerts, theatre, ballet and opera performances.
Important trade fairs
Basel's strength as Switzerland's leading city for trade fairs and conventions, with more than 140000 square metres of exhibition space, is known far beyond the country's borders. The trade fair business is currently undergoing a structural change. The exhibition centre owned by Messe Basel is smack in the middle of town. Excellent public transportation means that visitors from far and wide reach their destination quickly and comfortably. Highlights in the annual calendar include Art Basel major global shows for modern and contemporary art and Swissbau, the most important meeting place for the construction and real estate industry in Switzerland and one of the biggest trade fairs in Europe.
Video: Basel Tourismus
Outdoor markets and fairs
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the whole city sparkles with lights and decorations. The Christmas market, where arts and crafts and many culinary delicacies are offered for sale, is a veritable feast for the senses. Basel’s Autumn Fair (Herbstmesse) is the largest and oldest amusement fair in Switzerland. The atmosphere on the fairgrounds in the centre of town is unique. Finally, there are several food and flea markets all year round in different locations throughout the city.
Superb traffic links
These advantages plus excellent traffic links by rail, road and air in the three-nations triangle formed by Switzerland, Germany, and France make the city the perfect choice for any type of Event.
Culture and cuisine
The Canton of Basel-Stadt has a diverse and attractive hospitality industry. The sector comprises around 900 restaurants, snack bars, cafés, bars and clubs as well as some 60 accommodation establishments with a total of almost 5,000 hotel rooms. Basel also has an enormous density of top restaurants: With Cheval Blanc by Peter Knogel, Basel is home to one of only four restaurant in Switzerland with three Michelin stars. Then there are the two-star restaurants roots and Stucki and other top addresses.
The perfect infrastructure for any event
Basel's modern, high-quality infrastructure, its exhibition centre (Messe Basel), the new St Jakob Park stadium, its well-established St Jakobshalle -one of the most modern event halls of Europe-, and many generously sized theatres and concert halls meet the most demanding international requirements. The various public halls are equipped with the latest technical installations, offer a wide choice of seating capacity, and are all in easy-to-reach central Locations.