Information about Basel

© Robert Hausmann

Basel, with a population of around 190, 000 is situated in the north-west of Switzerland on the border with France and Germany. The city developed as a busy trading centre through the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance it was one of the great cities of the Humanist movement (Erasmus lived and died here). At that time the University of Basel was founded (1460) and the town has since developed into one of Switzerland’s thriving business locations. This success story has been built upon the global achievement of its pharmaceutical and chemical companies, among them two of the world’s top five. In their wake, a whole cluster of life sciences start-ups create a very dynamic economic climate.  Basel is also a successful exhibition and congress city, is home to over 20 museums (including the world’s first public Art Museum) and Switzerland’s reigning football champions, FC Basel.

Climate

Its position in the Rhine Valley gives Basel an exceptionally mild climate. In September temperatures are in average at around 18 degrees Celsius or 64 Fahrenheit.

Currency

The currency in Switzerland is Swiss Francs (EUR 1 = CHF 1.21). All major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. For taxi rides we recommend to bring Swiss Francs in cash as not all taxis accept credit cards.

Language

The official language of Basel is Swiss-German. French and English are widely spoken.

Restaurants – Swiss Cuisine

Basel offers a wide range of international restaurants (Italian, Chinese, Japanese, French etc.) as well as typical Swiss cuisine (such as Roesti, Fondue and Raclette). People usually have lunch between 12:00 and 14:00 and dinner between 18:00 and 20:00.

Shopping

Shops in Basel are usually open Monday through Friday from 09:00 – 18:30, Saturday from 09:00 – 17:00. Several larger department stores are open until 20:00. On Thursdays most of the stores in the city center are open until 21:00. All major credit cards are accepted.

Tipping

Service is almost always included in hotel and restaurant bills. A further tip of a few coins is appropriate (Restaurants 5 – 10%).

Travel within Basel

The EuroAirport Basel is located only 15 minutes away from the Congress Center (by bus or by taxi).

The Congress Center (tram stop "Exhibition Square") is easily accesible from all three railway stations: At the Swiss Railway Station (SBB) and the French Railways Station (SNCF) take tram No. 2 in the direction of Riehen. From the German Railway Station (Basel Bad Bf) take tram No. 2 in the direction of Binningen. From Basel downtown take tram No. 6 or 14.

Mobility Ticket

Each guest staying in a hotel in Basel, receives Mobility Ticket upon check in. This allows free use of the public transportation system in the city of Basel and its environs (zones 10, 11, 13 and 15, incl. the way to and from the Airport). The ticket is valid for max. 30 days. On the day of arrival, the reservation confirmation form the hotel guarantees a free transfer by public transport from the train station or the EuroAirport. So please don't forget to print your hotel confirmation and to take it with you on the tram or bus!

Taxis

As a rough guide, from the city center to selected destinations, a taxi will cost approximately as follows:

EuroAirport: CHF 40
Swiss Railway Station: CHF 20
German Railway Station: CHF 20

Please note that there may be surcharges for trips in the evening or Sundays. Contact details for Basel's taxi firm can be found below:

33er Taxi AG: +41 61 333 33 33

Taxiphon Genossenschaft: +41 61 444 44 44

Useful Links

Basel Tourism
www.basel.com

Parking
www.parkhaeuser.bs.ch

Public Transportation in Basel
www.bvb.ch

Swiss Railway
www.sbb.ch

German Railway
www.bahn.de

French Railway
www.sncf.com

Airport Basel
www.euroairport.com

Airport Zürich
www.flughafen-zuerich.com

Congress Center Basel
www.congress.ch