Cost of Living in Basel: A Guide

6 minute read

The beautiful city of Basel on the Rhine River in northwest Switzerland offers a wide range of academic and employment opportunities. The residents of Basel enjoy a high quality of life and an amazing culture. While Basel is a small city with a rural environment, it has a marvellous infrastructure. Basel is known for its excellent medical services, transport system, and education. If you are an international student or an expat, and planning to move to Basel, then you should be aware of its living expenses beforehand. In this blog, we will understand the cost of living in Basel in full detail. 


Why Choose Basel to Study Abroad

Before we dive deep into the cost of living in Basel, let’s understand the reasons for selecting it as your study destination. 

The reasons for choosing Basel to study abroad are as follows:

Home to Prestigious Universities 

Basel houses some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including:

The institutes in Basel offer a wide range of academic programs, such as humanities, life sciences, and social sciences. The universities here provide a supportive learning environment, world-class education, and cutting-edge research environment. 

Amazing Culture

The culture in Basel is very diverse and thriving, with an abundance of art galleries, theatres, and museums. The city is famous for its annual Art Basel fair, one of the premier contemporary art events in the world. Students can explore traditional Swiss art and customs while choosing a variety of cultural festivals and performances.

Swiss Cuisine

Swiss gastronomy is an essential aspect of the Basel study abroad experience. Delicious foods like fondue, raclette, Swiss chocolate, and classic Swiss pastries are available to students. Students can immerse themselves in the flavours of Swiss cuisine and the gastronomic joys of the city by exploring local restaurants and cafes.

Great Location 

Basel’s central location provides students with options for travel and exploration. Students can easily travel to other Swiss towns, explore neighbouring countries, and enjoy Switzerland’s stunning scenery.

Also Read: Cost of Living in France: Rent, Food, Expenses and More

Cost of Living in Basel

A family of four in Basel bears an estimated monthly cost of Fr. 6,056.1 without rent. On the other hand single person’s estimated monthly expenses are Fr. 1,637.6 without rent in the city. Now, let’s understand the cost of living in Basel in complete detail. 


The transportation costs in Basel are provided in the table given below: 

Price of One-way Ticket for Local TransportFr. 3.80
Regular Price of Monthly Pass Fr. 80
Cost of Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)Fr. 6
Cost of Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)Fr. 3.58
Cost of Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)Fr. 70.20 

Grocery Expenses

The table below shows the average expense of groceries you can expect in Basel:

Price of 1 litre Milk (regular)Fr. 1.69
Price of 1 kg Rice (white)Fr. 2.70
Price of Eggs (regular) (12)Fr. 6.65
Cost of Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)Fr. 3.27

Restaurant Costs

The table provided below demonstrates the average restaurant expenses you can expect in Basel:

Price of Meal at an Inexpensive RestaurantFr. 25
Price of Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-courseFr. 120

Utility Costs

Here are the average utility costs in Basel:

Basic (Heating, Electricity, Cooling, Water, and Garbage) for 85m2 ApartmentFr. 215.20
Monthly Plan of Mobile Phone with Calls and 10GB+ DataFr. 54.88
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)Fr. 47.11

Housing Costs

This is what the housing expenses look like in Basel:

Monthly Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment in the City CentreFr. 1,440.62
Monthly Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment Outside of the CentreFr. 1,089.17
Monthly Rent for a 3-bedroom Apartment in the City CentreFr. 2,853.85
Monthly Rent for a 3-bedroom Apartment Outside of CentreFr. 2,183.33
Cost per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment in the City CentreFr. 10,800
Cost per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment Outside of the CentreFr. 9,225.50

Also Read: Cost of Living in London for Students

Average Tuition Fees in Basel

Now that you have understood the cost of living in Basel, let’s see the average tuition fees you can expect to pay at a university in this city. The table given below shows the average tuition fees per year at an institute in Basel. 

Average Tuition Fees for Undergraduate CoursesFr. 850 Per Semester 
Average Tuition Fees for Postgraduate CoursesFr. 1,275 Per Year
Average Tuition Fees for PhD CoursesFr. 350 Per Semester

Also Read: Cost of Living in Italy

Things to Know When Moving to Basel

Living in Basel, Switzerland’s third-largest city, is an experience that most people will never trade for anything else. Here are some of the main things you should consider before moving to Basel:

Fun Activities

Basel hosts a variety of unique and entertaining activities throughout the year, and you will seldom have a dull day here. During the Christmas season, for example, it transforms into a truly fantasy environment, with miniature Christmas houses and marketplaces sprinkled across the city. 

People march around with flutes and other instruments, singing and playing various songs and melodies. Spectacular events, carnivals, and other memorable activities bring the entire city to life.

Medical Services

The medical facilities in Basel are among the best in Europe. Both the suburbs and the city centre feature modern, well-equipped hospitals manned by a significant number of pharmacists and doctors. The city’s healthcare system is set up in such a way that you can select the doctor who will treat you and your family.

However, medical treatment in Switzerland is privately paid, and you must obtain medical insurance during the first three months of your stay, regardless of your visa status. Exempt are only persons having cross-border permission who live in Germany but work in Switzerland.


Basel features an excellent combination of modest boutique shops in the old town’s lovely cobblestone alleyways and sophisticated high-street businesses along the major shopping route (Freiestrasse). Globus in Marktplatz is the most upscale department store, selling everything from premium cuisine and designer garments to fancy household items.

Ideal Location 

Basel, located on Switzerland’s northwestern border with France (Alsace) and Germany (southern Black Forest), offers outstanding retail, cultural, and leisure possibilities. As a result, living in Basel is unlike anywhere else in Switzerland.

Also Read: Cost of Studying in Germany

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Ques 1. Is Basel good for living?

Ans. Yes, Basel residents have a good standard of living despite the high cost of living. Some expats may choose to live in France or Germany and commute to Basel to avoid high living costs while benefiting from generous Swiss incomes.

Ques 2. Is Basel cheaper than Zurich?

Ans. Zurich’s average daily cost (per person) is $269, while Basel’s average daily cost is $237.

Ques 3. Where should I live in Basel?

Ans. Along the Rhine’s banks, the St. Alban area in Grossbasel, Wettstein in Kleinbasel, Gellert with its numerous old and stately homes, and Bachletten near the zoo are the most popular places to live in Basel. Bruderholz is located on the city’s southern outskirts, on a hill.

So, this was all about the cost of living in Basel. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad

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