Swimming or floating down the rushing Rhine and sunbathing on its banks are popular summer pastimes. You can purchase a 'Wickelfisch' at Basel Tourismus offices and local boutiques – it's a watertight plastic 'fish' to put your clothes in to keep them dry as you whoosh down the river!

24 Stops: Rehberger-Weg

Running between Fondation Beyeler and the Vitra Campus, this 5km-long path crosses the Swiss–German border and winds through suburbs and countryside with 24 unique waypoints, or stops, designed by Tobias Rehberger – think quirky, colourful, interactive, postmodern public-art installations. It's a must-do for art and architecture fans.

You can pick up a delightfully fun and informative walking map at either of the galleries, Basel Tourismus, or download an interactive app for your smartphone.

Go with the Flow

For one of the cheapest activities you'll find in Basel, take a ride on one of the city's four atmospheric old ferries, which ply the Rhine attached to cables that span the river. These age-old motorless boats are deftly guided across by expert ferry operators who use a rudder to engage with the Rhine's strong currents.

The two boats that will be of benefit to most are the Klingentalfähre, located west of Mittlere Brücke, and the Münsterfähre, whose patch of river is just beneath Münsterplatz.

The ferries (adult/child Sfr1.60/0.80, day passes not valid) shuttle back and forth all day from about 9am till dusk, departing from picturesque docks that are often adorned with sunflowers in summer: sehr romantisch!