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Old 17.04.2016, 12:28
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New to Basel!

Hi all,

I will be arriving to Basel at the end of May to start a new job on the airport. I am a 26 yo Spanish engineer who loves mountain biking, alpinism and snowboarding.
I also play the guitar and like to go out for a beer or two.

I will be navigating through the forum but I have already seen people interested in MTB and crossfit (which I've noticed it's ridiculously expensive..!).

I haven't decided yet whether I'll be moving to St Louis for the proximity to the airport and cheaper accommodation or to Basel in order to enjoy a more active social life. I've seen also that there is public transport going into St Louis town, so maybe worth renting there for short term and then decide. Any advice from young people looking for an active social life that has gone through the same situation? Is St Louis too quiet and not recommended? I have seen all types of opinions on it...

I will be taking my MTB with me (Scott Scale hardtail) and I would love to join any of you on the trails as soon as I get there!

Regards,
Manuel
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Old 17.04.2016, 14:32
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Re: New to Basel!

Welcome Manuel,

I haven't been to St. Louis, but there is an excellent bus from Basel SBB train station to the airport. Maybe that will help with your decision.
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Old 17.04.2016, 17:33
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Re: New to Basel!

Welcome. About 80% of the airport workers are French or living in France. St. Louis is ok with a few bars and good restaurants, plenty of shops and a bus which drives over the border. However, you have to be careful late at night if you're alone, and I really mean that. I don't know which company you're going to but there are quite a few Spanish at the airport, especially at SRT. If you're going to be on the Southside like me then you'll need a car.
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Old 17.04.2016, 17:58
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Re: New to Basel!

Does St. Louis have a nightlife ??
I have seen only shops/supermarkets or restaurants/Hotels.
The nightlife in basel has a few hotspots, but some venues will close in summer
or relocate(Nordstern for example).
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Old 17.04.2016, 18:37
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Re: New to Basel!

Quite normal for clubs to shut down during the summer, at least in switzerland, people go party outside or on vacation.
As for distances, st louis is maybe 15-20 minutes by bike from basel?
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Old 17.04.2016, 18:51
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Re: New to Basel!

That's right.
There is a busservice to St.louis as well from Schifflände, Bus 604 from
Metrocars St.Louis.
Tram No.03 will be extended to St.Louis as well(currently in construction,completion End of 2017).
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Old 17.04.2016, 20:16
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Re: New to Basel!

Thank you all for your help!

I am aware of the bus coming from Basel to the airport but I believe the main reason most of the people lives in France is finances. Do you know if they live en St Louis or maybe other places (mulhose, colmar..)??

I thought St Louis was a good option as it is really close to Basel so I could go on a weekday or weekend for a drink, concert, crossfit... but also be really close to the airport and have cheaper accommodation?

Stupot, I am would probably buy a second hand car, so if I go out in Basel maybe come by car and avoid walking alone on St Louis streets? Is it really a dangerous place? I was in Basel a couple of weeks ago for the interview and it didn't felt really safe either on the north part of the river on a Sunday night.

Any idea of where the spaniards live? Is there a good young community? I keep reading on every forum that Switzerland and Alsace is the perfect place for a family and I am starting to get scared about not finding any plans at all!!

Thanks all again for the help!
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Old 17.04.2016, 21:02
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Re: New to Basel!

Can't make any comments to St.Louis at Night.
Here in Basel itself, it is completey safe to walk through Gross Basel at night.
Be vigilant in Klein Basel at the Claraplatz Area, as well the Parcs around the
the mainstation (Basel SBB).
Most suspects look for easy targets, like drunk , tired people
to snatch a mobile/wallet very easily.
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Old 18.04.2016, 12:20
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Re: New to Basel!

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Thank you all for your help!

I am aware of the bus coming from Basel to the airport but I believe the main reason most of the people lives in France is finances. Do you know if they live en St Louis or maybe other places (mulhose, colmar..)??

I thought St Louis was a good option as it is really close to Basel so I could go on a weekday or weekend for a drink, concert, crossfit... but also be really close to the airport and have cheaper accommodation?

Stupot, I am would probably buy a second hand car, so if I go out in Basel maybe come by car and avoid walking alone on St Louis streets? Is it really a dangerous place? I was in Basel a couple of weeks ago for the interview and it didn't felt really safe either on the north part of the river on a Sunday night.

Any idea of where the spaniards live? Is there a good young community? I keep reading on every forum that Switzerland and Alsace is the perfect place for a family and I am starting to get scared about not finding any plans at all!!

Thanks all again for the help!
I wouldn't want to over exaggerate, it's also basic common sense but I did have a friend who got hospitalised a few years ago and late night robbery is not uncommon, also around kleinbasel like blackbird said.
Most of the newcomers seem to live in St.Louis or close by. The ones who've been here longer often buy property, usually a bit further away like Kembs, Hésingue, even as far as Colmar. I have a few friends in Hésingue, it's a nice village. Do you have the option of living in Switzerland?
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Old 18.04.2016, 14:29
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Re: New to Basel!

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I wouldn't want to over exaggerate, it's also basic common sense but I did have a friend who got hospitalised a few years ago and late night robbery is not uncommon, also around kleinbasel like blackbird said.
Most of the newcomers seem to live in St.Louis or close by. The ones who've been here longer often buy property, usually a bit further away like Kembs, Hésingue, even as far as Colmar. I have a few friends in Hésingue, it's a nice village. Do you have the option of living in Switzerland?
Hi stupot. I have the option of living in Switzerland, and that's what I am trying to figure out.
It looks like France it's a better option according to my new colleagues, I was told by HR that 90% of the employees live in France (I have seen new apartments with garage for less than 600€), so I guess finances are better. Also cost of living, supermarkets, etc. It would be also useful for me in order to have a car as it looks like parking is easier and car insurance cheaper. I am aware of the fact that living in Basel you don't need a car but it is my intention to be travelling around quite a lot as I love alpinism and climbing so I'd need a car to be close to the walls early in the morning.

What I like about Basel is that maybe by spending a little more in accommodation and travelling to France for groceries every now and then, I could have a better social life and by the looks of it, a safer environment. It is difficult to calculate and understand what the difference would be, as the higher insurance, gym memberships, probably getting a garage??, and the accommodation price are higher, but taxes lower...

Do you think it would be too quiet for me in St Louis? I've seen Alsace is a perfect place for a family but maybe not for a 26 year old guy just arrived and with no friends there?
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Old 18.04.2016, 16:37
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Re: New to Basel!

We lived in Claraplatz for 10 years and never once had a problem. Though the Kiosk at the entrance to the Migros café was once robbed at gunpoint as was opening up early morning.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 18.04.2016, 18:05
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Re: New to Basel!

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Can't make any comments to St.Louis at Night.
Here in Basel itself, it is completey safe to walk through Gross Basel at night.
Be vigilant in Klein Basel at the Claraplatz Area, as well the Parcs around the
the mainstation (Basel SBB).
Most suspects look for easy targets, like drunk , tired people
to snatch a mobile/wallet very easily.
The no crime line barrier doesn't exist yet so to say it's completely safe 1 side of the river and the other side not is a dreamland.

Be vigilant everywhere. Examples that I personally know of that happened in the last ten days.

Woman groped on tram 10 last week. Guy robbed and got a good kicking. Woman hassled and groped in street.
All in gross basel


As for living in St. Louis... I used to.live there and honest answer. Not a f****** chance !! It's a s**** hole. Choose a smaller and far nicer village.
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Old 18.04.2016, 23:30
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Re: New to Basel!

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The no crime line barrier doesn't exist yet so to say it's completely safe 1 side of the river and the other side not is a dreamland.

Be vigilant everywhere. Examples that I personally know of that happened in the last ten days.

Woman groped on tram 10 last week. Guy robbed and got a good kicking. Woman hassled and groped in street.
All in gross basel


As for living in St. Louis... I used to.live there and honest answer. Not a f****** chance !! It's a s**** hole. Choose a smaller and far nicer village.
Good to know your opinion about St. Louis... only thing about going further is that I won't enjoy any social life in Basel am I right? I was only thinking about St. Louis because of the lower cost of living but proximity to Basel. I don't want to move to a quiet Alsatian town (yet!).

Is it really a big difference living in St. Louis compared to Basel taking into account tax, rent & insurance?? I would be doing most of my groceries in France or Germany and 100% buying a car (so insurance and parking higher?)

I know you'll say use the search function but honestly I can't find anything really relevant. Most of the stuff it's old or related to Geneva and apparently Basel has different agreements with French government.

I will be single and renting a 1/2 room apartment. Any advice with this?
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Old 18.04.2016, 23:56
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Re: New to Basel!

If I were you, I'd move to Basel. Honestly, what on Earth you think you'd be doing in St. Louis on Friday night or Saturday night?

(yes, yes, you can take the bus/cycle, etc. But if you want really social life, Basel is better 100 times than St. Louis).

I lived in Kleinbasel for 5 years. Great area; proximity to Rhein, lots of small shops, great bars, lots of students. Not once have I seen anything remotely "dangerous" or even close to that.
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Old 19.04.2016, 23:02
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Re: New to Basel!

Any other opinions on this? Where could I find more information??
Is it true that car insurance is up to double in CH than France? Also, how is parking around SBB or in Kleinebasel? Any chance to park or not possible without a parking space?

I am really struggling to get information, all posts that I found have an answer saying "this has already been spoken many times in the forum, use the search", but never get to the actual post where I can get the information..!

Could any of you guide me through it? I expected St. Louis to be kind of a s*** hole, but is really that inconvenient that you can't go out in Basel on a Friday or Sat night and then come back home? It looks pretty close on the map... but that's why I am asking you guys as it might look closer / easier on the map than it is on reality!

Thanks in advance
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Old 20.04.2016, 06:49
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Re: New to Basel!

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Any other opinions on this? Where could I find more information??
Is it true that car insurance is up to double in CH than France? Also, how is parking around SBB or in Kleinebasel? Any chance to park or not possible without a parking space?

I am really struggling to get information, all posts that I found have an answer saying "this has already been spoken many times in the forum, use the search", but never get to the actual post where I can get the information..!

Could any of you guide me through it? I expected St. Louis to be kind of a s*** hole, but is really that inconvenient that you can't go out in Basel on a Friday or Sat night and then come back home? It looks pretty close on the map... but that's why I am asking you guys as it might look closer / easier on the map than it is on reality!

Thanks in advance
I certainly don't have all your answers. Some things to consider:
  • private parking is notoriously expensive (200 CHF/mth)
  • City parking permit is more affordable but crowded, i.e. tough to get a space in some areas (200CHF/yr)
  • car insurance in CH is not that bad, esp with a small car (500 CHF/yr)
  • There are other towns in France near to Basel, e.g Hegenheim
  • There are other towns in Germany near to Basel: Weil am Rhein, Lorrach, or Grenzach Wyhlen
  • Have you made a budget to see if having a car is worth it? If you're planning to drive to travel outside the area, it may be worth it or not. Plenty of people get by without one and use trams and trains and a bike. Living alone (i.e. no children) certainly can help make the case without one.
  • Don't underestimate cost of health insurance
  • Life in Germany or France probably does boil down to saving money, but life in Basel is more international with more going on and I guess closer to your work.

I suppose this boils down for you to request a cross border working permit or not. I chose to have the Swiss experience and live in Basel. You have to decide for your own reasons. Let us know!
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Old 20.04.2016, 08:32
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Re: New to Basel!

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Could any of you guide me through it? I expected St. Louis to be kind of a s*** hole, but is really that inconvenient that you can't go out in Basel on a Friday or Sat night and then come back home? It looks pretty close on the map... but that's why I am asking you guys as it might look closer / easier on the map than it is on reality!

Thanks in advance
St Louis isn't exactly a shithole, but it isn't as pleasant as other towns/areas. As for distances, the easiest thing for you to do is go to googlemaps, put in two places and check travel time via transit.

In this example, I chose a popular social area in Basel, and the center of St Louis (as I know it).


Google map link (Basel - St Loius)

Using this feature, you can get an idea of travel time based on where you think you might want to live, etc.


I have been here for three years and still don't need a car. I would seriously consider "doing without" for the first months/year and then re-evaluate your needs.
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Old 20.04.2016, 08:46
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Re: New to Basel!

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Good to know your opinion about St. Louis... only thing about going further is that I won't enjoy any social life in Basel am I right? I was only thinking about St. Louis because of the lower cost of living but proximity to Basel. I don't want to move to a quiet Alsatian town (yet!).

Is it really a big difference living in St. Louis compared to Basel taking into account tax, rent & insurance?? I would be doing most of my groceries in France or Germany and 100% buying a car (so insurance and parking higher?)

I know you'll say use the search function but honestly I can't find anything really relevant. Most of the stuff it's old or related to Geneva and apparently Basel has different agreements with French government.

I will be single and renting a 1/2 room apartment. Any advice with this?
I would look at hegenheim or hesingue instead of St. Louis if you don't want to be in basel. St.louis looks fine but after a while you realise it's not really.
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Old 20.04.2016, 21:23
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Re: New to Basel!

I think as you're still young and single then Basel is definitely better for socialising. If you don't know anyone yet and don't speak French then France could be difficult. Depending on where you will be working at the airport a car could be a must. Will you be working shifts?
in Basel you should expect to pay 150chf plus for a parking space at an apartment block but without it can be a nightmare finding a roadside space. A lot of the lads I used to work with rented around Brausebad which is handy for the city and bahnhof. Health insurance will be around 250 - 300chf a month. Car insurance for a cheaper car will possibly be around 1000chf a year.
You should find an apartment for around 900chf a month.
To be honest if you can afford it I wouldn't concentrate too much on saving money, in my first year I pretty much lived in Paddy's and Pickwick's, had a great time, met loads of people, met my wife and settled down to be right boring git. Now I try to watch the pennies! (kid and own house ain't always cheap!).
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Old 22.04.2016, 12:51
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Re: New to Basel!

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I think as you're still young and single then Basel is definitely better for socialising. If you don't know anyone yet and don't speak French then France could be difficult. Depending on where you will be working at the airport a car could be a must. Will you be working shifts?
in Basel you should expect to pay 150chf plus for a parking space at an apartment block but without it can be a nightmare finding a roadside space. A lot of the lads I used to work with rented around Brausebad which is handy for the city and bahnhof. Health insurance will be around 250 - 300chf a month. Car insurance for a cheaper car will possibly be around 1000chf a year.
You should find an apartment for around 900chf a month.
To be honest if you can afford it I wouldn't concentrate too much on saving money, in my first year I pretty much lived in Paddy's and Pickwick's, had a great time, met loads of people, met my wife and settled down to be right boring git. Now I try to watch the pennies! (kid and own house ain't always cheap!).
Thanks stupot. Apparently the 1st month's accommodation will be covered by the company I will work for, so I should have a good chance to see around and make a decision on where I want to live (although it seems that Basel would be best option).

Some more information I'd like about Basel...
Are there any rock pubs / clubs where I could pop to meet some people? I've looked in meetup and places like that but there's not a lot of young people and all info I got was for a concert hall in the way to Zurich!
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