In northwest Switzerland, Basel’s nightlife is outstanding. Luxury cocktail bars with breathtaking views over the city, exquisite wine bars and and small hidden bars form the center of Basel’s nightlife. Here are 10 of the best places.
At a 105-meter height, Bar Rouge invites its guests into a relaxed atmosphere with breathtaking views of Basel. The sophisticated cocktail bar has a modern interior with large glass fronts that enable guests to enjoy a view over the city at night and day. Bar Rouge regularly features fantastic DJs for both after-work apéros and exclusive party nights. Every Thursday, Bar Rouge does a great clubbing night and Fridays are dedicated to disco vs salsa evenings. Bar Rouge also offers special events, such as a cocktail-making workshops and salsa dancing classes.
Club 59, located in the heart of Basel, has been a fixture in the city’s nightlife since 1959. It has managed to keep its traditional past alive while adding modern ideas to the concept. Club 59 is a bar, lounge and club all in one and is thus the ideal location for both a relaxed after-work drink from the bar’s varied menu and for dancing the night away to 80s and 90s beats by local DJs. Club 59 incorporates Basel’s two passions, art and culture, into its concept and reflects it in its diverse event schedule, where everything from live bands to poetry slams are represented.
Cargo Bar, located just a few steps away from the Rhine River, near the famous Johanniterbrücke in Basel, is a funky pub and bar that acts as a platform for new artistic talent in the city. Cargo Bar gives local artists the opportunity to showcase their talents in a relaxed and informal setting. Besides its outstanding art exhibitions, the bar pays a lot of attention to good music, which covers everything hip from house to salsa and RnB. The bar’s upcoming live music events, as well as art exhibitions, can be found online and on a blackboard in the bar. Their guests can explore the bar’s special drink of the day and wine of the week at great value.
Volkhaus Basel is a bar and brasserie, designed by renowned architects Herzog and De Meuron, that combines classic brasserie-style elements with ideas of modernity. The bar’s diverse menu, which includes high-quality Swiss, French and Spanish wines, beer from a nearby microbrewery as well as tapas-type nibbles, can be enjoyed in both the bar’s elegant interior and traditional beer garden. Every Thursday, from 5pm onwards, Volkhaus Basel invites guests to a special apéro evening with live music from local DJs. It also features other special music events, such as a Brazilian jazz night or an evening dedicated to blues music.
Consum Basel is a sophisticated wine bar and deli that is located on a quiet side street of Basel’s old town, in the immediate vicinity of the Rhine River. With a fantastic selection of more than 100 wines from all over Europe, Consum attracts both locals and tourists. This makes it a great place to merge yourself into Swiss culture and socialize with locals over a great glass of wine. The Swiss, Spanish, French, Italian and Austrian wines are accompanied by delicious snacks, such as Swiss cheese nibbles, salumi and pata negra.
The Café des Arts is more than just a simple cafe; it is an arts lounge, champagne lounge, cocktail bar and brasserie with a beautiful terrace all at once. The stylish interior of the bar is decorated with iconic art images and outstanding paintings that create an alluring atmosphere. Café des Arts, with a cocktail menu of more than 200 authentic drinks, is the perfect setting for classy after-work cocktails that can be enjoyed on the summer terrace if the weather allows. Besides its wide variety of sophisticated drinks, Café des Arts also provides special entertainment in the evenings. Every Thursday, Café des Arts features live piano performances and jazz sessions; regular club nights can also be found in the bar’s diverse event schedule.
Concierge Bar is an intimate bar with local flair, just a few steps away from Basel’s Mittlere Brücke. Its cozy interior houses just half a dozen tables where guests are served grappa and Schnapps creations and other local drink specialties. Concierge Bar, committed to supporting the local art scene, also exhibits paintings by local artists and features readings by aspiring and established writers. The bar creates its own online magazine, focusing on arts and culture, that is ready to download on Concierge Bar’s website.
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Jägerhalle, located in one of Basel’s new residential neighborhoods, was created as a platform for a young creative art scene in the city. The establishment wants to showcase emerging and established artists of the music scene, visual arts, literature, street as well as digital arts and encourage an exchange between the different art movements. Music events range from classics such as house and 80s and 90s disco to inventive hip hop, reggae dance hall and UK bass and garage music. Check Jägerhalle’s event schedule for a detailed account of upcoming events.
Sääli is located on the upstairs floor of Goldenes Fass, one of Basel’s most well-established and exquisite restaurants. Sääli acts as a bar area and events venue for concerts by local, as well as international, artists and other live music events. Acts include the Thee Watzlovers, a German voodoo rhythm artist, US Girls and Sound8Orchestra, who create an outstanding acoustic experience.
Invino, located right in the heart of the city, is one of Basel’s most exquisite wine bars that pays a lot of attention to the wine’s origin, grape types as well as specific cultivation methods in the vineyards. Invino serves a fine selection of five hand-picked red wines and white wines that are changed every five weeks. Guests also have the opportunity to have a say in the bar’s wine menu, as they are invited to tasting evenings before a special wine gets added to the list.