People from 160 Nations

Two women from different backgrounds chatting on Barfüsserplatz in Basel.
The City of Basel is characterised by its multicultural population.

Due to its proximity to France and Germany, cross-border contacts have long been a part of life in Basel. And the major international corporations headquartered in Basel attract highly skilled professionals from all over the world. The city is colourful and diverse, its integration policy progressive. Today, people from more than 160 different countries live in Basel.

New arrivals are met with a welcome event organised by the Department of Presidential Affairs, where they receive helpful information and support. All new residents are encouraged to learn German, although there are many opportunities for expats to explore Basel in English. Centrepoint, for example, provides a library as well as counselling and information services that help expats get settled in Basel and make new contacts. In addition, many locals speak foreign languages, especially English and French.

Additional services for expats:

  • The website www.you4basel.ch encourages the integration of expats through social commitment. It is operated by the «Komitee Sozialkonferenz Basel» (Basel Social Conference Committee).
  • BaselConnectsPeople is a mentoring programme for recent arrivals and people living in Basel who want to get together and exchange ideas.
  • The Spouse Career Centre offers advice for partners of people who have moved to Basel for a new job.
  • Women who want to start their own business can turn to Crescenda for advice. Here, they will find support for their move into entrepreneurship, meet people and build up a network.
  • The Professional Women's Group is an English-speaking networking group for women from all cultural and professional backgrounds.
  • Bookshops selling foreign language books are Bider&Tanner (English), Thalia (English, French, Italian), Olymp & Hades (English, French) and La Libreria (Italian).
  • Associations: The comprehensive «Integrationsdatenbank» is the place to look for services and associations by or for foreigners.

    Cafés, pubs, bars The following bars and restaurants are especially popular with expats.
  • Paddy Reilly’s Pub: Real Irish beer and plenty of homesick Brits.
  • Starbucks: Coffee in all possible and impossible variations – especially well loved by folks from the US.
  • Bar Rouge: For a hint of New York and fantastic views of the city, visit the Bar Rouge on the top floor of the Messe tower.

English is spoken in most restaurants and cafés.