Life in Basel for Tax Professionals

Middle Bridge over Rhine in Basel

History of the City

Basel is Switzerland’s third largest city and smallest canton. It has been part of the Swiss Federation since 1501 and the region has always been influenced by its location on the Swiss border. Presently the Greater Basel Area is referred to as the ‘Tri-national Euro-district of Basel (TEB).’ This term introduces the fact that Basel leads to France, Germany and Switzerland meeting and coming together. The most common language spoken in Basel is German, however it is easy to travel across the city and communicate with locals if you speak English or French. 

Expat Life

Basel is well-known for its high quality of living amongst locals and expats. Around one third of the city’s 174,800 residents are not Swiss nationals. There is a mix of expat communities and residents originating from 150 countries proving that the Basel lifestyle has much to offer.

Until the 19th century Basel was an industrial town, although now offers countryside landscapes for all residents. The city’s contemporary style, transport, commerce and wholesale trade have grown significantly. Even though Basel is not the largest city and is in a rural location, it offers a wide range of infrastructure such as education, transport and medical services. 

Many expats may choose to live just outside Switzerland instead of directly moving to Basel. The benefits of living outside the city are well documented and reduce living costs, although local prices remain relatively high when compared to other European cities. 

Life in Basel

On average, individuals which are permanent residents within the city rated their life a 7.7 out of 10, which assures that both locals and expats are satisfied with their quality of life but are also very content that their needs and wants have been met sufficiently. With Switzerland known to be one of the safest places in the world, Basel represents this category well. It is an extremely multicultural, tranquil and a passive place to live. Although the city is not as well-known as some others, there are plenty of things to do and enjoy all year round.

There are many Basel tourist office organisations; these organisers are English spoken and arrange many tours around the tranquil city. The tours also allow you to see the ancient cathedrals where the humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam is buried.

If you have an interest in art and the history of different cities, Basel gives you the opportunity to go to over 30 museums. However, if you are more interested in performing arts and theatre, Basel offers a range of entertainment and events. The Basel Symphony Orchestra and the Basel Chamber Orchestra are a major feature of the city; Basel certainly has a strong core in Classical music. If this sounds appealing to you then why not attend one of the popular concerts performed by the Basel Bach Choir – it is sure to be an unforgettable experience. 

A lively and busy nightlife is another feature of Basel, with vibrant bars and live music clubs. Throughout the summer you can go swimming in the river or hiking in the Jura Mountains which are less than an hour away; this area is great for people who have an interest in the outdoors or sport. There are nature reserves, mountain-biking trails, kayaking and canoeing, as well as the picturesque Three Lakes.


The website ‘Eventbrite’ is a popular site for expats looking for things to do and places to go in Basel specifically. This is also a good website if you are a new expat to the city, as you can keep up to date with upcoming events and improve your familiarity within the city.

Another networking group that is very empowering is the ‘Professional Women’s Group of Basel’ which is a voluntary organisation. The organisation has over 130 members from more than 25 countries. The majority of members both live and work in the city or neighbouring communities. Despite the official language of the group being English, the diversity and multicultural status allows them to gain more members that speak many different languages. This networking group has numerous social events throughout the year for all women in Basel, allowing them to experience new understandings and institutions but also to make new friends and professional relationships in a social environment.

If you are interested in a move to Basel or anywhere else in the world and would like to speak to Kingpin International about international tax opportunities, please contact a member of the team. Alternatively, please browse our current international tax vacancies.