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Northwestern Switzerland

Tucked in a corner against the French and German borders, northwestern Switzerland, comprising the cantons of Basel and Aargau, boasts an enticing mix of cultural attractions.

Basel, the recommended base for your explorations, has a wealth of avant-garde architecture that juxtaposes with its enchanting Old Town, and is both built for business and deeply cultural. The city itself boasts a diverse collection of almost 40 museums, but a host of lesser-known treasures awaits in the surrounding verdant countryside.

A short excursion outside Basel leads to Switzerland’s finest Roman ruins at Augusta Raurica. Further east along the Rhine, the pretty medieval city of Aarau was the original homeland of the Habsburgs, the clan that eventually came to rule over the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Here, a journey around the Aare and Limatt valleys takes in the craggy castles of Habsburg, Wildegg, Lenzburg and Hallwyl, along with a collection of pretty villages and the fetching thermal spa-resort town of Baden.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Northwestern Switzerland.