The Newly Expanded Rheinbad Breite has Reopened

© c. aeberhard

After 9 months of renovations, Basel’s Rheinbad Breite has fully opened its doors again on August 1! The 125-year-old swimming pool in the Rhein has now been expanded back to its original size and returned to its glory.

The Rheinbad Breite was founded in 1898 as the fourth bathing establishment on the Rhein. The building, which was further expanded in 1929, was ordered demolished in the late-1980’s due to its dilapidated condition. At that time, a preservation committee collected donations as well as 10,300 signatures to ensure the preservation of the, at the time, nearly 100-year-old landmark. In 1992, half of the facility was demolished and the other half was renovated, thanks in large part to the Christoph Merian Foundation, which assumed a large part of the renovation costs.

In 2019, the canton approved the expansion of the Rheinbad to its original size.  In close cooperation with the Department for the Preservation of Monuments, the renovation of the existing facility was completed in May 2023, allowing the Rheinbad and it’s fabulous “Le Rhin Bleu” restaurant to resume their usual operations in time for the start of the bathing season this spring. Now, they have also completed the additional expansion of the Rheinbad and celebrated its official opening on August 1. The expanded facility offers more changing rooms, cloakrooms, showers, and toilets.  Spacious areas for sunbathing, get-togethers, chatting, and relaxing after a swim in the Rhein now span two levels. The attached sauna, which used to be housed in a container on the embankment, has now found a place on the new platform as well with a view of the Rhine.

From mid-May to September, everyone is welcome to enjoy the sun and the unique ambience of the Rheinbad Breite; entry tickets are CHF 6 (lockers can be rented for the day for an additional CHF 2 plus deposit). Note, however, that swimming in the Rhein is only for good swimmers and is at your own risk (there is no lifeguard on duty). Furthermore, for structural reasons (eg, an open platform and railings that comply with monument preservation), the Rheinbad is not suitable for small children; parents and caregivers are responsible for the continuous supervision of their children. If you plan to visit often, consider purchasing a season subscription, which entitles you to free entry to the upper and lower platforms throughout the bathing season and use of the entire bathing facility.

The separately owned and operated new sauna, which operates from late October to late March, has all of the ingredients for an intensive sauna experience, with regular infusions, cooling off with a dip in the Rhein, relaxing in a yurt or outside by a fire bowl, as well as hot and cold drinks from the bistro.