Getting Around in Basel & Switzerland
Basel is very well connected and developed in terms of transportation:
As a European motorway and railway hub Basel is hosting three railway stations (a Swiss one/SBB, a French one/SNCF and a German one/DB); it is further more a city of navigation thanks to its location at the river Rhine and could be, last but not least, ideally reached by air via the Euroairport.
Like everywhere in Switzerland, Basel's public transportation system has an excellent infrastructure, is very punctual and runs frequently. Transportation across the borders is also good and continues to undergo expansion. Due to its compactness, the many one-way streets and environmental policies that yield more space to public transportation and bicycles, Basel is not easy territory for car drivers. Choose walking, cycling or public transporation whenever possible.
Walking, cycling and car sharing
Walking, biking, using the public transportation (train, tram & bus), perhaps e-bike, e-cargo bike or even motorcycle is mostly the fastest and best way to getting around and especially for commuting between the various areas of the university. Parking is designated accordingly with signs throughout the entire city.
Important: when using streets and roads, it is important to know that cyclists are permitted to travel in both directions on many one-way streets (designated by the sign Einfahrt verboten – ausgenommen Velos). It is also important to note that trams have right of way, especially at crosswalks. Traffic on certain streets and places in Basel can be complicated when trams, buses, motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians converge within a relatively small space. It is therefore important to be attentive! Many people wear bicycle helmets. They are especially recommended for children. Cyclists are encouraged to consult the city map for cyclists to determine the best route. The city map for cyclists in German and English is also available as hard-copy at the Welcome Center, at bookstores and the Basel tourist offices. The website Basel unterwegs informs about means of transportation and provides great tips in terms of mobility and tour suggestions, while Bike Citizens suggests best routes, e.g. from home to work. Also, the University Hospital provides a public pump station which can be found in front of the Zentrum für Lehre + Forschung at Hebelstrasse 20.
Rent a bike, Publibike and Pickebike provide a simple way (partly via App) for renting bicycles, e-bikes and partly even e-scooters. Last but not least carvelo2go offers an attractive alternative for those who aim to transport children or goods ecofriendly: A web-/app-based system allows renting e-cargo bikes at various spots in town on an hourly basis.
Motorists should remember that parking spaces and parking garages for cars are limited and expensive. Best advice: Use the ParkSmart-app! There are numerous car parks, out of which 5 state owned ones offer City park-and-ride options with an attractive price. In Switzerland, you will generally incur costs for maintaining a car as well as for taxes and insurance. A vignette sticker is required for driving on highways (CHF 40 to drive on highways and certain federal roads). Beginning in 2014, drivers are required to drive with their headlights on during the daytime. A life practically free of cars is quite common in Basel; thanks also to the large network of car sharing systems as well as e-carpooling. Delivery services offered by the two major distributors in Switzerland (supermarket chains Coop and Migros) are also very well established and inexpensive. This way, you can have large purchases conveniently delivered to your home.
The Welcome Center provides advice in matters relating to transportation and parking.