Basel – The small metropolis
Basel lies at the heart of the three-country-triangle where Switzerland, France and Germany meet. Cross-border relations have always been a part of life here. Basel collaborates closely with its neighbours on all sides of the borders on issues such as transport, environment, education and culture.
Image film of Basel
A major junction on the North-South transit routes, Basel serves as a stepping-stone into the European market for many international companies. The binational EuroAirport, just three kilometres from the city centre, offers direct flights to most European cities as well as connections to airports with intercontinental flights. The Rhine port of Basel is one of Europe’s most significant inland ports. Finally, Basel lies at the intersection of the French, German and Swiss rail and road networks. High-speed trains connect the city with Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Milan.
Basel is the fastest developing economic region in Switzerland and one of the most productive and innovative worldwide. It is home to BASELWORLD and Art Basel, the most important international trade fairs for watches and jewellery and modern and contemporary art, respectively. Global leaders in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry – Novartis, Roche, Syngenta, Clariant and others – are headquartered in the Basel area. Basel is considered a first-rate location for life sciences and nanotechnology. This stimulating environment has given rise to a plethora of innovative research firms, for example in medical and biotechnology. Other industries also contribute to Basel’s reputation: finance and insurance, information technology, architecture and design. They all create rewarding jobs and attract highly skilled workers from all over the world. Last but not least, liberal employment laws, low taxes, an efficient administration and political stability are Switzerland’s traditional strong points that also benefit companies in the Basel area.
Centre for research and education
Basel is well known for its research and education institutions. The University of Basel, founded in 1460, provides a diverse academic environment and strives for excellence in teaching and research. The oldest university in Switzerland, it features among the 100 top-ranked institutions of higher education in the world. Its renowned Center for Molecular Life Sciences (Biozentrum) performs basic research in molecular biology that meets the highest international standards. Research in medicine is a further area of strength, driven mainly by the Department of Biomedicine and the clinical research conducted at the University Hospital. The Swiss Nanoscience Institute, also affiliated with the university, has an international reputation. In a unique way, the institute links the University of Basel, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland and the federal Paul Scherrer Institute, thus forming a powerful and innovative network. In addition to the University of Basel and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, the business sector is provided with highly qualified specialists by the ETH's Biosystems Science and Engineering department and leading vocational colleges.
Culture with a capital C
The quality and quantity of Basel’s cultural offering is mind-boggling: no other European city has a comparable density of outstanding museums. There are almost forty of them – some with a global reputation, such as the Fondation Beyeler or the Kunstmuseum Basel (Museum of Fine Art). Basel is also a mecca for architecture enthusiasts: buildings by star architects such as Herzog & de Meuron (who actually are from Basel), Richard Meier, Renzo Piano and Zaha Hadid attract architecture lovers from far and wide. An excellent theatre that includes opera and ballet, a world-class concert hall and a multitude of festivals create a unique and inspiring atmosphere.
Quality of life
- Photo: Andreas Zimmermann
Basel is among the ten cities with the best quality of life in the world. More than 200,000 residents and more than a million tourists value the excellent quality of life in Basel every year. Beyond its rich cultural palette, clean public spaces and security, Basel also offers an invaluable sense of «savoir vivre». People gather on the banks of the Rhine or in one of the many bars and cafés for an after-work drink, go for a stroll along the river or enjoy the picturesque old town. The many activities for children and families make life pleasant and turn holidays in Basel into an adventure. Nature lovers are only minutes away from recreational areas, all accessible by public transport.