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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Basel 2024
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Muensterplatz in Basel, Switzerland


Cost of Living in Basel

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: If you're moving to Basel, understanding the the cost of living in Basel helps you know what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Apartment Rentals Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Basel is around 1,500 CHF (1,400 USD) per month. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the city center is around 2,500 CHF (2,300 USD) per month. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center is around 1,000 CHF (900 USD) per month. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment outside the city center is around 1,800 CHF (1,600 USD) per month.
Apartment Purchases The average price per square meter for an apartment in the city center of Basel is around 8,000 CHF (7,200 USD). The average price per square meter for an apartment outside the city center is around 6,000 CHF (5,400 USD).
Transportation A monthly public transport ticket in Basel costs around 70 CHF (63 USD). A one-way ticket costs around 3 CHF (2.70 USD). A taxi ride from the airport to the city center of Basel costs around 50 CHF (45 USD).
Groceries A liter of milk costs around 1.50 CHF (1.35 USD). A loaf of bread costs around 2.50 CHF (2.25 USD). A dozen eggs costs around 4 CHF (3.60 USD). A kilogram of local cheese costs around 15 CHF (13.50 USD). A kilogram of apples costs around 3 CHF (2.70 USD).
Restaurants A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs around 20 CHF (18 USD). A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs around 80 CHF (72 USD). A cappuccino costs around 4 CHF (3.60 USD). A beer at a bar costs around 7 CHF (6.30 USD).
Utilities Basic utilities for an 85m2 apartment in Basel cost around 150 CHF (135 USD) per month. This includes electricity, heating, water, and garbage. Internet costs around 50 CHF (45 USD) per month.
Private School Tuition Preschool tuition in Basel costs around 1,500 CHF (1,350 USD) per month. Elementary school tuition costs around 2,000 CHF (1,800 USD) per month. Middle school tuition costs around 2,500 CHF (2,250 USD) per month. High school tuition costs around 3,000 CHF (2,700 USD) per month.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Basel

"The cost of living in Basel is generally considered to be high. Prices for basic necessities such as food, housing, and transportation are all relatively expensive. However, the city is known for its high quality of life, and many people are willing to pay the higher costs for the amenities and lifestyle that Basel offers," said one expat living in Basel.

Can I live in Basel on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Basel for a while now, and I can tell you that living comfortably on $1,500 a month as an expat might be quite challenging, especially if you're used to modern amenities. However, it's not impossible if you're willing to make some sacrifices and adjustments to your lifestyle.Firstly, you'll need to find affordable accommodation. The city center and neighborhoods like Kleinbasel and Grossbasel are quite expensive, so you might want to consider living in more affordable areas like Birsfelden, Muttenz, or Allschwil. These neighborhoods are well-connected to the city center by public transport, so you won't have to worry about commuting.Next, you'll need to be mindful of your spending on food and groceries. Eating out in Basel can be quite expensive, so you'll want to cook at home as much as possible. Shop at discount supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, and try to buy seasonal produce from local markets to save money.When it comes to entertainment and leisure activities, you'll need to prioritize and choose wisely. Going out for drinks or attending events can quickly add up, so you might want to limit these activities and look for free or low-cost alternatives. Basel has many beautiful parks and outdoor spaces where you can spend your time without spending much money.You'll also need to be conscious of your utility usage, as electricity and water can be quite expensive in Switzerland. Make sure to turn off lights and appliances when not in use, and try to conserve water as much as possible.Lastly, you might need to cut back on some of the modern amenities you're used to. For example, you might not be able to afford a gym membership or cable TV subscription, so you'll need to find alternative ways to stay fit and entertained.In conclusion, living comfortably on $1,500 a month in Basel is possible, but it will require some sacrifices and adjustments to your lifestyle. By being mindful of your spending and prioritizing your needs, you can make it work," commented an expat living in Basel.

Can I live in Basel on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Basel for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live on $3,000 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find an affordable place to live. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods like Gundeli, St. Alban, and Gellert might be out of your budget. Instead, consider looking for an apartment in more affordable areas like Kleinbasel, Klybeck, or Allschwil. These neighborhoods are still nice and well-connected to the city center, but the rent is more reasonable.Next, you'll need to be mindful of your spending on groceries and dining out. Eating out in Basel can be quite expensive, so try to cook at home as much as possible. Shop at discount supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, and look for sales and deals at other grocery stores like Coop and Migros. You can also save money by buying fresh produce at local farmers' markets.Transportation is another expense to consider. Public transportation in Basel is excellent, but it can be pricey. To save money, consider getting a monthly pass for the tram and bus system, which will give you unlimited rides for a fixed price. If you're up for it, biking is another great way to get around the city and save money on transportation costs.As for entertainment and leisure activities, there are plenty of free or low-cost options in Basel. Many museums offer free admission on certain days, and there are numerous parks and outdoor spaces where you can enjoy nature without spending a dime. Keep an eye out for free events and festivals throughout the year, as well.In summary, living comfortably on $3,000 a month in Basel is possible, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, cooking at home, and taking advantage of free or low-cost activities, you can make it work," said one expat living in Basel.

Can I live in Basel on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Basel for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, but you'll need to make some adjustments and be mindful of your spending. The cost of living in Switzerland is generally high, but there are ways to make it work.First, you'll want to find an affordable neighborhood to live in. Some of the more expensive areas in Basel include St. Alban, Bruderholz, and Riehen. I'd recommend looking for an apartment in neighborhoods like Kleinbasel, Gundeldingen, or St. Johann, which are more affordable and still offer good access to public transportation and amenities.When it comes to housing, you might have to settle for a smaller apartment than you're used to, or consider sharing an apartment with roommates to save on rent. Utilities and internet can also be quite expensive, so make sure to factor that into your budget.Groceries can be pricey in Switzerland, but you can save money by shopping at discount supermarkets like Aldi or Lidl, and by cooking at home more often instead of eating out. Restaurants and bars can be quite expensive, so limiting how often you go out will help you stick to your budget.Public transportation in Basel is excellent, so you might not need a car, which can save you a lot on expenses like gas, insurance, and parking. If you do need a car, consider getting a smaller, fuel-efficient model to save on costs.Health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland, and it can be quite expensive. Make sure to shop around for the best deal and consider choosing a higher deductible to lower your monthly premium.Finally, be prepared to cut back on some of the luxuries you might be used to, like frequent vacations or high-end electronics. There are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in and around Basel, like hiking, biking, or visiting museums on their free admission days.Overall, living in Basel on $5,000 a month is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. It's a beautiful city with a high quality of life, so I think you'll find it's worth the effort," commented an expat living in Basel.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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Muensterplatz in Basel, Switzerland

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