The Basel Tourist Office is at im Bahnhof, the main rail station at Centralbahnplatz (tel. 061/268-68-68; www.baseltourismus.ch), open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm, and Sunday 9am to 3pm.
An Open Sesame to Discounts in Basel -- While at the tourist office , you can purchase a Basel Card for 20F, good for 24 hours and entitling you to a guided walking tour, discounts at some restaurants, and admission to all city museums. It's a worthwhile investment.
The Mobility Ticket -- Any tourist staying in Basel at paid accommodations is entitled to a mobility ticket, which allows free use of Basel's public transport for the duration of your stay. The reception desk at your hotel should provide you with your ticket upon check-in.
Dating from the Middle Ages, Fasnacht is the most exciting time to be in Basel. All the city seems caught up in the revelry beginning the Monday after Ash Wednesday (usually in late Feb or early Mar). Motorized and horse-drawn parades highlight the activities, along with music from dozens of bands -- fifes, trumpets, trombones, and drums.
The Basel Art Fair in mid-June (tel. 058/200-20-20 for more information) grows larger every year, with 260 dealers displaying the work of some 1,000 artists. The fair also generally hosts more than two dozen solo shows. Basel's most traditional festival is Vogel Gryff Volksfest, when a griffin, a lion, and a "wild man of the woods" float down the Rhine on a raft. This event occurs either on January 13, 20, or 27 (it changes every year). The event is followed by street dancing. The Wilder Mann, the lion, and the griffin are traditional symbols for the three main neighborhoods of Basel.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.