Moving/Relocating To Basel: 7 MOST Effective Strategies For A Successful Relocation

Table of Contents

Basel Stadt (Basel City) in Switzerland, is a place where modern life is well blended with fine arts and historical sites.

Moving to Basel will be the best decision to pursue careers in the life science industry or multinational companies. This city also offers city attractions, and beautiful views that make living in Basel more enjoyable.

To make your relocation even easier, we will share the 7 most effective strategies that will help your relocation and survive Basel, Switzerland’s cost of living. There will also be recommendations on where to live in Basel and more tips.

1. Get An Overview Of What It Is Like Living In Basel

Before diving deep into other tips to help you settle in Basel, check out the following overview about what it is like living in Basel, Switzerland. This way, you’ll have an idea of what you’re signing up for when you decide to move to Basel.

The Lovely Weather In Basel

Basel is located within the temperate climate zone. That’s why the weather in this city is friendly.

You can expect snowfall in Basel from January to April and October to December. However, the snowfall is unlikely to be extremely cold or heavy. The coldest temperature in a year is around 30°F (-1.1°C) and rarely drops below 18°F (-7.7°C).

The summers in Basel are short, with temperatures around 79°F (26°C). You may also want to join the locals to swim in the Rhine River during this season.

Local Language Lessons

The official language in Basel is German. Therefore, it will be beneficial for you to take German lessons to communicate better with the local people.

If you want to take German language classes in Basel, this city has many language schools you can attend. There are international schools in Basel with English as the main language if you’re planning to move with children.

Expat Community

Basel has a large expat community. You can find other expats that will help you to adapt to Basel.

This community can be your support system to overcome homesickness or culture shock. You can ask for tips and support from other expats that have gone through the same situations.

brown concrete building near bridge during daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

2. Find Out Where To Live In Basel By Using Our Recommendations

Basel city has 19 neighbourhoods. You can find the area that suits your lifestyle since each neighbourhood in this city offers a different vibe.

These neighbourhoods are family-friendly and have playgrounds and green areas, making it ideal for children.

Below are some neighbourhood areas that may fit your needs, whether you plan to move to Basel alone or with your family.

Altstadt Kleinbasel

This neighbourhood is a good choice if you want vibrant nightlife. Jägerhalle, the biggest club in Basel, is located in this area.

As part of Old Town Basel, Altstadt Kleinbasel also offers many city attractions such as art galleries and restaurants with river views.

This area is also well connected with numerous bus stops. Therefore, it is suitable for young professionals or couples.


Bachletten is a family residential area with kid-friendly attractions nearby, such as a zoo and an indoor swimming pool. There is also Schützenmatt Park, where you can relax and have a picnic with the little ones.

This area also has bicycle hire points, cafes, and family restaurants. On top of that, Bachletten has a laid back vibe yet is still well connected to the city centre.

Altstadt Grossbasel

Altstadt Grossbasel is an area that suits first-timers in Basel. It has transportation networks that cover routes to other areas as well as other neighbouring cities and counties. It is a good area to familiarise yourself with the local transportation.

Additionally, you get to live among buildings with gorgeous architecture. It is also a good idea to try a boat cruise along the Rhine river.

Suppose you want to explore the food scene. In that case, you can head to Schlüsselzunft restaurant to taste Swiss-German cuisine at affordable prices. For shopping, you have Marktplatz, where you can find cheap clothes, souvenirs, and food.

3. Calculate Your Average Monthly Expenses Before Heading To Basel

In general, the cost of living in Basel, Switzerland is expensive. The living expenses in this city are even more expensive than in London, England.

The estimated monthly expenses for a single person is €2,936.60 (3,024 CHF) and for a family of four is €5,776.09 (5,948 CHF).

The estimated cost of living in Basel may spook you. However, there are ways to cut your expenses.

Try the following tips to help you save more money in Basel:

  • Shop during seasonal sales, usually in January and July.
  • Buy furniture from second-hand shops.
  • Buy groceries from the supermarket after 5 pm on weekdays and on Saturdays afternoon for lower prices.
  • Get health insurance with good coverage, so you don’t have to worry when you need any medical care.
  • It will be best to find health insurance that covers dental costs if you have children, as children need dental care more frequently.

4. Learn About The Biggest Industries In Basel To Find Job Opportunities

Basel is home to various industries that provide opportunities for locals and expats. Before diving into the job market, below are the biggest industries in Basel worth knowing:

  • life sciences,
  • financial services,
  • logistics,
  • trading, and
  • manufacturing.

For you who want to pursue careers in international companies, you can refer to this list:

  • Bayer,
  • BASF,
  • Straumann,
  • Roche,
  • Moderna, and many more.

You need to secure a job before moving to Basel. This way, it will be easier for you to apply for a visa since you have an employer.

low angle photo of building

Image Credit: Unsplash

5. Explore The City And Familiarise Yourself With The Public Transport

Basel has an excellent public transport network that is known for its punctuality. You can go around the city by taking a tram, train, and bus.

The public transport in Basel can even bring you to neighbouring countries like Germany and France. On top of that, you can get your dogs to board the public transport.

Once you arrive in Basel, use your spare time to explore the city by public transport. This way, you can familiarise yourself with the routes.

people riding on boat on river near buildings during daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

6. Eat Like Locals! Try The Most Iconic Dishes In Basel

Food is one of the best ways to get closer to culture. Therefore, you need to try the local food when you move to Basel.

To get started, we recommend the following dishes that won’t go wrong on anyone’s taste buds:

  • Basler Mehlsuppe,
  • Schlumberger (picture above),
  • Fastenwähe,
  • Schoggiweggli, and
  • Basler Läckerli.

Basler Mehlsuppe is a flour soup usually found during Basel’s annual carnival. This brown soup topped with grated cheese is a perfect comfort dish.

You should also taste mulled wine at the Christmas Markets. It is an alcoholic drink made of red wine and spices. This drink is Basel’s speciality and will remind you of the holiday season.

white and brown concrete building during daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

7. Make A Bucket List Of Must-Visit Places In Basel

Exploring Basel is fun! This city has many places to visit that offer beauty and knowledge about the local history.

To help you fill your bucket list, here are some of the places in Basel you need to visit:

  • Münsterhügel (Minster Hill),
  • Kunstmuseum Basel (Museum of Art),
  • Old Town,
  • Zoologischer Garten (Zoo),
  • Papiermühle (Paper Mill Museum), and
  • Tinguely Fountain.

Ask your friends or colleagues to show you around to make your exploration journey even more meaningful. This can be your way to make new local friends to help you come out of your expats’ bubble.

Conclusion About Moving To Basel

Basel is a city packed with everything you need. You will find opportunities in various industries while getting to enjoy the nightlife, city attractions, beautiful city views, and tasty food.

This city also offers neighbourhoods that will fit anyone’s needs. Each neighbourhood is well connected to transport networks and has good restaurants, green spaces, and playgrounds.

To lessen your stress while preparing for the relocation, you can contact Sanelo to ship your belongings to Basel. Our team will assist you through the shipment process to get you a smooth relocation process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Basel

Is Basel A Nice Place To Live?

According to the 2019 Mercer study, Basel is one of the top ten cities with the highest quality of living globally. This city is an excellent place to work and live.

It has modern office buildings, museums, playgrounds, restaurants, bars, and family-friendly neighbourhoods.

Is Basel A Safe City?

Basel is a safe city in general. It has a relatively low crime rate.

However, there are still cases here and there. People are advised not to walk alone at night and avoid secluded streets.

Is Basel A Good Retirement Destination?

Yes, it is! Basel is a good retirement destination as it offers high living standards. The senior citizens will have places to visit and activities to destress.

Basel also offers excellent medical services and retirement homes. If you are interested in retiring in Basel, you can apply for a retirement visa.

How Do I Contact Sanelo Fo My Relocation To Basel?

Visit our official website or contact us. You can start your quote or consult us about your relocation needs for more information.

Ideally, it’s best to contact Sanelo three or two months before the moving date. This will give our team buffer time to prepare for your relocation.

You can read our articles about moving to Switzerland and Geneva for more tips.

Check the local and international relocation pages to find out how Sanelo can help your moving process no matter where you’re moving from.


For what moves you