5. Basel, Aarau and Olten

#5 North West Switzerland.




One of Switzerland’s underrated tourist destinations, Basel has a beautiful medieval old town centre, a vibrant Carnival, and several world class art museums built by architects like Renzo Piano, Mario Botta and Herzog & De Meuron. Basel is also rich in architecture old and new, with a Romanesque Münster (cathedral), a Renaissance Rathaus (town hall), and various examples of high quality contemporary architecture, including more buildings by Herzog & De Meuron, Richard Meier, Diener & Diener, and various others.

Located in the Dreiländereck (three countries’ corner), Basel is a gateway to the Swiss Jura mountains and nearby cities of Zürich and Lucerne, as well as the neighbouring French region of Alsace and the German Black Forest. There are a number of things to see and do if you have a few days to spend.

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With its natural landscape shaped by the Aare and the Jura, its picturesque old town centre, and its central location between Zurich, Basel and Lucerne, Aarau is regarded as one of Switzerland’s most attractive cities.

The people of Aarau enjoy a high standard of living. Visitors come from far and wide to this capital of Canton Aargau to enjoy and admire its rich cultural and natural offerings and its many surprising sights. One of Aarau’s special features is its many so-called “Dachhimmel” – these are the carefully painted undersides of the eaves of the houses in the old town centre.

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Olten is a town in the canton of Solothurn in Switzerland and capital of the district of the same name. Olten’s railway station is within 30 minutes of Zürich, Bern, Basel, and Lucerne by train, and is a rail hub of Switzerland


The small town of Olten lies between Solothurn and Aarau at the southern foot of the Jura on the river Aare. Thanks to its central location in the Swiss Mittelland, the town is a popular venue for conventions and meetings. The unspoiled nature of the nearby Jura heights however also makes the area an attractive leisure region.

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