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What You Need To Know About Living In Basel, Switzerland?

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What You Need To Know About Living In Basel, Switzerland?

Basel is situated in the north western part of Switzerland, close to the German and French border. It is renowned for its culture, education and research institutions, which makes it an attractive destination for foreign nationals looking to move there.

Basel-Stadt or Basel-Landschaft is the canton or state of Basel. It has two major cities, Basel and Greifensee, as well as several small surrounding towns. The canton also includes Basel towns such as Allschwil, Liestal, Pratteln, Reinach, and Therwil.

In Basel, you can find a variety of settings from rural to urban. There are many outdoor activities in the region such as skiing, cycling and hiking. There are also many cultural attractions including museums, galleries and theatres. The city is well known for its vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene.

Living in Basel is reasonably affordable compared to other European cities. However, it is important to note that the cost of living can differ well depending on the neighborhood you live in. For example, the prices for things like rent, food and entertainment can vary greatly.

The main language spoken in Basel is Swiss German though it is also possible to find people speaking French and Italian as well. The official currency used in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF).

The city of Basel is well-known for its cultural attractions such as museums, galleries and theatres. Of these, one of the most popular is the Museum Tinguely which is dedicated to Swiss artist Jean Tinguely. Also in Basel is the Zoologischer Garten or Zoo Basel which features a wide variety of animals from around the world.

For those looking for education, there are a number of universities in Basel such as the University of Basel and University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland. Additionally, there are also many primary and secondary schools which teach both in Swiss German and English.

Basel’s public transportation system is efficient, running regularly and on time. The main means of public transportation are the trams and buses running throughout the city and connecting various neighborhoods together with one another.

The city of Basel is one of Switzerland’s top cities to live in as it has something to offer everyone. It is cosmopolitan, vibrant and has plenty of attractions to explore. The cost of living may be higher than some other parts of Switzerland but it is still highly competitive with other European destinations. Buying a property in Basel can also be quite expensive and prices vary depending on the neighborhood. Whether you want to escape the hustle and bustle or be part of it, Basel offers something for everyone and is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a home away from home. For more information on living in Basel, Expatica has many useful resources available to help you out.

An Insider’s Guide to Living in Basel, Switzerland

Basel is one of Switzerland’s most picturesque cities, nestled at the northwestern corner of the country where the Rhine river flows into Germany and France. The city is known for its art, culture, and rich history that dates back to the Roman times. If you’re planning to visit Basel, this insider’s guide will help you get to know the city better and make the most of your trip.

Local Attractions

Basel has an abundance of architectural, historic and cultural landmarks, which can cater to every taste. Below are some of the top attractions that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Basel Minster: A Gothic-style cathedral built between the 12th and 15th centuries and is renowned for its stunning red sandstone exterior and soaring twin spires that dominate the city’s skyline.
  • The Basel Historical Museum: A must-visit place to learn about Basel’s history from the Stone Age to the modern era, it houses precious artifacts and exhibits of the city’s development over centuries.
  • Beyeler Foundation: A world-class collection of modern and contemporary art featuring works by Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso among others.
  • Basel Zoo: One of the oldest and most famous zoos in Europe, the Basel Zoo is home to over 600 different species of animals, making it a fascinating place for wildlife lovers.
  • The Rhine Promenade: A pleasant spot to take a leisurely stroll, the promenade offers a panoramic view of the medieval town center of Kleinbasel just across the river.

Dining Spots

Basel offers a wide variety of culinary options, and you can find everything from traditional Swiss cuisine to international dishes. Below are some local dining spots that are worth a visit:

  • Rossmarkt: A classy restaurant serving Swiss/Basel-style food like rosti, venison, and Spätzle.
  • Osteria Ticino: A family-owned Italian restaurant tucked away in the Old Town, offers authentic homemade pasta, risotto, and mouth-watering desserts.
  • Bodega Zum Strauss: This popular local eatery serves authentic Spanish-style tapas, including many vegetarian and vegan options.
  • Markthalle: A large food market in the city center with stalls selling everything from fresh veggies and fruits to local wines and cheeses. Perfect for food lovers looking for a bite.
  • Labyrinth: A quirky vegan and vegetarian café popular for its mouth-watering salads, bowls, and smoothies, is frequented by locals and tourists alike.

Cultural Experiences

Basel’s cultural scene is unparalleled, and you can experience a wide range of cultural activities in the city. Here are some of the must-visit cultural highlights in the city:

  • The Basel Theatre: A world-renowned theater that hosts opera, ballet, and theater performances, and is considered one of the best in Europe.
  • Kunstmuseum Basel: This is Switzerland’s oldest and most extensive public art collection, featuring notable works by famous artists from the 15th century to the present day.
  • Inseli Park: A beautiful park surrounded by the Rhine river and boasts a open-air theater, plein-air paintings, swimming pool, and a large playground for children.
  • The Jewish Museum of Switzerland: This museum presents the 2600-year history of the Jewish communities of Switzerland, featuring artifacts, photos, and immersive exhibits.
  • The Swiss Architecture Museum: A center of modern architecture, the museum documents the development of modern architecture in Switzerland and internationally.

Local History

Basel has a rich history that dates back to the Roman era and played an important role in Swiss history. Here are some historical landmarks and museums that will give you insights into Basel’s past:

  • Augusta Raurica: An ancient Roman settlement and archaeological park, where you can explore the amphitheater, forum, and the only surviving aqueduct bridge in the world.
  • Munsterplatz: The central square of Basel’s old town, surrounded by historical buildings like the Basel Minster, the Town Hall, and the Market Hall.
  • Tschudi Palace: An iconic Renaissance palace built in the 16th century and home to many cultural and political institutions over the centuries.
  • The Basel Historical Museum: As mentioned before, the museum houses a vast collection of artifacts and documents from Basel’s history, including the period of the Reformation.
  • Rathaus: The Town Hall of Basel built-in 1504, it is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful Renaissance buildings, famed for its ornate murals, frescoes, and stained glass.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

The best way to genuinely experience the city’s atmosphere is to go beyond the guidebook list and explore the city’s hidden gems. Here are a few suggestions for off-the-beaten-path activities in Basel:

  • Puppenhausmuseum: A charming doll and toy museum that houses an extensive collection of antique dolls, dollhouses, model trains, and other toys from various cultures.
  • Migros Museum for Contemporary Art: A contemporary art museum housed in an old brewery, adjacent to a modern shopping mall.
  • Braun-Vogelstein: A vintage store that sells unique and classic clothing items, shoes, jewelry, and accessories.
  • Kaserne: An alternative cultural center offering live music concerts, creative performances, art exhibitions, and pop-up events.
  • Birsfelden Hydroelectric Power Plant: A functional power plant transformed into an innovative work of art, exploring the relationship between humans, technology, and nature, is a fascinating place to visit.


Basel is a city that offers a rich and diverse cultural experience, it has something to offer everyone from art lovers to nature and history buffs. Hopefully, this insider’s guide has provided you with some useful travel tips and ideas to help you make the most of your time in Basel. So pack your bags and get ready to explore this magnificent city.

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What You Need To Know About Living In Basel, Switzerland?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!