●Hotel Les Trois Rois – 8 Blumenrain; 011-41-061-260-5050; lestroisrois.com; 1844 grande dame on Rhine River, ask for room facing Rhine River and/or in 1904 Art Deco wing.
●Hotel Der Teufelhof – 49 Leonhardsgraben; 011-41-061-261-1010; teufelhof.com; hotel-theatre-art gallery-restaurant; like sleeping in art exhibition; each room individually designed; all rooms comfortable and well-equipped; terrace, good food and extensive wine list; even in-house theater.
●Hotel Au Violon – 4 Im Lohnhof; 011-41-061-269-8711; au-violon.com; once 12th Century cloister for priests; from 1835-1995, famous prison; comfortable and graceful; ask for bedroom fronting courtyard for prison cell feel (space is tight); rooms with windows open onto Altstadt are larger and more comfortable.
●Bel Etage – 49 Leonhardsgraben (at Hotel Der Teufelhof); 011-41-061-261-1010; teufelhof.com; good bistro fare.
●Brasserie Au Violon – 4 Im Lohnhof (at Hotel Au Violon); 011-41-061-269-8711; au-violon.com; charming old-world brasserie with classic French cuisine; tables placed outside on terraced garden in fair weather.
●Chez Donati – 48 St. Johanns-Vorstadt (at Hotel Les Trois Rois); 011-41-061-322-0919; Basel’s best Italian restaurant; ask for table with Rhine River view.
●Kunsthalle Restaurant – 7 Steinenberg; 011-41-061-272-4233; restaurant-kunsthalle.ch; elegant with Kunsthalle (art gallery) work on walls; chandeliers, handsome rugs, stone arches leading into bar, and murals on walls; in main dining room, cold specialties served buffet style and white-jacketed waiters will take your orders for hot courses; try double entrecôte with risotto or grilled sea bass served with potatoes; also supper in bar available from same a la carte menu as in main restaurant.
●Stucki – 42 Bruderholzallee; 011-41-061-361-8222; stucki-bruderholz.ch; Michelin-starred restaurant in house with long lawn and garden; local products with Asian touches, plus superb wine list, in sophisticated way.
●Die Zwei – 72 St. Johanns-Vorstadt; 011-41-061-261-2904; rositanotter-gigirindlisbacher.ch; atelier in back and showroom up-front; womens’ wear.
●Bernadette Koch – 23 St. Johanns-Vorstadt; 011-41-061-261-3765; bernadettekoch.ch; made-to-measure womens’ wear.
●Matrix – 38 St. Johanns-Vorstadt; 011-41-061-281-5454; matrixdesign.ch; scarves in all fabrics.
●Showroombasel – 1 Vogesenplatz (at Stellwerk Bahnhof St. Johann); 011-41-061-313-4056; stellwerkbasel.ch; clothing and home accessories.
SIGHTS & SITES
●Fondation Beyeler – 101 Baselstrasse; 011-41-061-645-9700; beyeler.com; building designed by Renzo Piano; Ernst Beyeler is among world’s most renowned gallery owners and collectors; over 180 modern classics, including Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, and Bacon.
●Kunstmuseum Basel – 16 St. Alban-Graben; 011-41-061-206-6262; kunstmuseumbasel.ch; largest and most significant public art collection in Switzerland; nationally significant heritage site; collection distinguished by wide historic span, from early 15th Century to present; contains largest collection of works by Holbein family; also, Lucas Cranach (“Elder”), Rubens, Rembrandt, Jan Brueghel (“Elder”), Manet, Monet, Gauguin, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Braque, Gris, Munch, Kokoschka, Léger, Klee, Giacometti, and Chagall; note, see Caravaggio’s John the Baptist (1600).
●Museum Tinguely – 2 Paul Sacher-Anlage; 011-41-061-681-9320; tinguely.ch; museum unlike others; here, things rattle, squeak, crash, and thump; colorful scrap rotates, multi-colored lights flicker; place of vitality, laughter, amazement, and discovery.
●St. Johann Neighborhood – at least 14 “star-architect” structures, including buildings and statues designed by Tadao Ando (28 Fabrikstrasse), David Chipperfield (22 Fabrikstrasse), Frank Gehry (15 Fabrikstrasse), Adolf Krischantiz (16 Fabrikstrasse), Vittorio Magnano Lampugnani (12 Fabrikstrasse), Fumihiko Maki (Square 3), Jose Rafael Moneo (14 Fabrikstrasse), Richard Serra (Wenken Park), and Yoshio Taniguchi (10 Fabrikstrasse).
●Stellwerk Bahnhof St. Johann – 1 Vogesenplatz; 011-41-061-313-4056; stellwerkbasel.ch; creative incubator that holds 25 young fashion, furniture, and product design firms.
●Vitra Design Museum – 1 Charles-Eames-Strasse (Weil am Rhein, Germany); 011-49-7621-702-3200; design-museum.de; internationally renowned, privately owned museum for design, founded in 1989; focuses on furniture and interior design, centered around bequest of U.S. designers Charles and Ray Eames, as well as numerous other designers’ works.
●Wenken Park – Bettingerstrasse (Riehen); 011-41-061-645-9511; riehen.ch/natur-und-umwelt/parkanlagen-und-friedhoefe/wenkenpark; spacious park with manicured lawns, surrounded by some rare trees and shrubs; charming ponds and broad paths; worth visit; “Wenkenpark” part of ensemble “Wenkenhof,” oldest part dating back to medieval times; expanded in 1736 to French baroque garden pavilion with geometric garden.