Basel, or the Basel Compound as locals refer to it, is where the aristocrats of Tel Aviv society come to see, be seen, and drink coffee. Its old-world, European atmosphere is only a few minutes’ walk from the vibrancy of Dizengoff, but you could be a million miles away. It's the perfect place to escape the sea of tourists and catch your breath.
City Builders' Square is the heart of Basel, to the extent that everyone calls it ‘Basel Square.' It's an oasis of small coffee shops, shady trees, and well-placed benches where you can sit and watch the beautiful and elegant residents pass the time.
During the week, Basel is unhurried and mostly empty, but on Fridays and Saturdays it fills up with local residents chatting, shopping, drinking coffee, and watching each other.
Don’t miss: Shopping in Basel. Basel’s many small shops are treasure troves for fashion-seekers. This is where you’ll find one-of-a-kind high-end clothing items and little-known designer boutiques.
What is the best time of year to visit Basel?
Spring and summer months from March till August are the best times to lounge on Basel’s shady benches and enjoy cooling smoothies. In the winter, the weather is often rainy and chilly, but in early fall most days are still warm and bright enough to enjoy Basel compound’s atmosphere.
How much does Basel cost?
It’s free to sit on the benches and enjoy Basel’s calming atmosphere, but you’ll probably want to sip a coffee at the same time. Prices in Basel are higher than other areas of Tel Aviv, so bring your credit cards, especially if you’re planning to hit the fashion stores.
What to eat on Basel?
Basel offers plenty of coffee shops, charming cafes, and elegant restaurants. On weekends there are lines outside the most popular eateries, so make sure that you make a reservation.
One of the most famous of Basel’s restaurants is Cafe Rustico. Many Tel Avivians will tell you that this is the best Italian restaurant in the city, so don’t miss their delicious pizzas and pastas. Or try something different at Cafe Hamanya, which serves vegan, organic, and raw dishes.
Why visit Basel?
Basel compound introduces you to one of the many contrasts of Tel Aviv. It’s a tiny, green, and classy area just a few hundred yards from Tel Aviv’s bustling center, but it serves up a mega dose of relaxation and calm. Make sure to discover this gem hidden among Tel Aviv’s tall towers and busy streets.