Basel is almost too beautiful to be believed. Its buildings look like they were pulled straight out of a storybook. But while the scenery is certainly charming, the town’s appeal runs much deeper. Located along the Rhine River, at the juncture between France, Germany, and Switzerland, Basel offers residents a safe and prosperous environment, close to nature, where they can travel freely, expand their cultural horizons, and participate in civic life. For anyone curious about central Europe, here are just a few reasons why you’ll love living in Basel, Switzerland.
Basel is one of the richest cities in Europe and one of the most resilient. Its educated workforce, competitive tax rates, and strong industrial base have made it a hotbed for both startups and multinationals. The area is part of a major logistics network that stretches through Central Europe to the North Sea ‒ making it a natural hub for shipping, trade, manufacturing, and financial services.
The city is also home to the University of Basel, one of the oldest universities in Switzerland and one of the best ranked schools in the world. Its graduates have helped fuel the city’s life sciences industry, one of the fastest-growing sectors of its economy. There are over 700 medical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies in the area, as well as two hundred separate research facilities, employing more than 33,000 specialists.
Experts in crop science, consumer health, and oncology are in particularly high demand from both established brands, such as Bayer and Moderna, as well as local start-ups like T3 and Monte Rosa. The city’s unique mix of blue-chip corporations and innovative R&D has drawn investment from some of the top venture capitalists in Europe and America, creating a thriving, productive ecosystem for workers at all stages of their careers.
Basel has some of the lowest crime rates in the world. Its incidence of drug dealing, vandalism, robbery, burglary, theft, and violent assault are well below most major cities in Europe and America.
Basel’s bus and tram system is famous for its cleanliness, punctuality, and speed. Residents can travel quickly from one end of town to the other ‒ even to the French and German borders. Wait times are short and stops are rarely more than a few minutes’ walk from your office or front door.
Basel is a modern city, built around a Medieval core. Yet, drive southwest for forty-five minutes and you’ll find yourself surrounded by thick forests, towering peaks, and deep river valleys. There are miles of hiking, biking, and cross country trails to explore just outside of town. Or, if you’d prefer to hang out at the beach, head a few miles further south and swim, waterski, or paddleboard along the shores of Lake Biel, beneath Switzerland’s snow-capped mountains.
But you don’t have to leave the city to experience nature. The Rhine runs through the center of town. It’s Switzerland’s only link to the sea and a major avenue for trade, but also one of the city’s largest swimming pools. As temperatures rise, shores are packed with people, floating along with their iconic “Wickelfisch” swim bags.
The city also provides a number of parks and recreation facilities for the benefit of its citizens, all immaculately cultivated and free to use. There’s all kinds of fun to be had, especially at:
People living in Basel don’t spend their days cooped up at home. On the weekends, they join running, swimming, and soccer clubs, or go out horseback riding with their friends and neighbors. But what they look forward to most are the public festivals held throughout the year, which transform the city into a fantastic and colorful dream world. A few of the most famous include:
Basel has been collecting art since the 16th century and has one of the largest assortment of paintings, sculptures, and avant-garde designs in the world. In fact, the city has an average of four museums per square mile. Learn about world culture, Rhenish history, Medieval bookmaking, ancient medicine, and human anatomy, or study prestigious works from the classical and modern period at:
Basel also hosts one of the largest art shows imaginable. Visitors can explore works from over 4,000 established and emerging artists - a giant showcase for some of the most exciting and creative minds in the world.