As a city, Basel is visited primarily for its urban attractions such as museums and shopping. However, if you'd like to escape the congestion and get out and see some countryside, you're at the right place. On the outskirts of the city are 1,198km (744 miles) of Wanderweg, which are marked trails crisscrossing the scenic highlights of the area. To get you going on your journey, catch bus no. 70 to Reigoldswil. Here you can board the Gondelbahn cable to take you to the mountain peak of Wasserfallen at 922m (3,024 ft.). Once here, you can set off on hikes in many directions. Call tel. 061/927-65-35 for information about the best hikes in the Reigoldswil and Wasserfallen region.
The Rathaus (town hall) on Marktplatz dominates the market square of Basel. It was built in 1504 in the late Burgundian style, but additions have been made since. The sandstone building is decorated with shields of the ancient city guildhall and adorned with frescoes.
You may also want to visit the University of Basel, on the south side of Petersplatz. Founded in 1460, it's one of the oldest academic institutions in Switzerland (the school's charter was signed by Pope Pius II). Its library contains a collection of rare manuscripts, as well as works by Martin Luther, Erasmus, and Zwingli.
Spalentor (Spalen Gate), west of the university, marks the end of the medieval sector. It's one of the most beautiful gates in the country. Built in the 1400s, it was heavily restored in the 19th century, and has a pointed roof and two towers with battlements.
Finally, Dreiländereck (Three Countries' Corner), which juts out into the Rhine, is one of Basel's more unusual sites. If you walk around a pylon marking the spot, in just a few steps you can cross from Switzerland into Germany and then into France -- and you don't even need a passport.
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