People from some 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. People from some 160 countries live in Basel today.

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 Anglo-Swiss Club Basel organises weekly meetings for English speakers from all nations.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Pickwick Pub Basel: a large selection of beers and traditional pub food and a unique pub atmosphere - the place where people meet.
  • Voltabräu: this brewery and pub is very popular among expats.

English is spoken in most restaurants and cafés.