My Swiss friends tell me that I shouldn’t tip the waiter more than one or two francs. In the States, we generally tip about 20%. What should I tip here?
Dear Needing Help,
Your Swiss friends are right, you’re not expected to tip the waiter 20% since it’s all included in the service. If you want to be nice, you can leave a few francs. Tipping also depends on how long you’ve been sitting at your table, what you’ve consumed, if you’re happy with the service. If you’re not happy, don’t give anything! Once I didn’t like the service and so didn’t leave a tip at all. On the other hand, for a very good meal at a nice, popular restaurant, we paid 90 CHF and left a 4 CHF tip.
For a 64 CHF hairstyle, I usually tip CHF 7 – especially if I intend to keep going back to the stylist.
Taxis will let you know if there are any extra charges, or you can tip them CHF 2.
I only give money to street musicians who are students or have CDs. I never pay musicians on the tram. Actually, this is prohibited.
Also, don’t encourage beggars by giving them money.
At the Weihnachtsmarkt, Herbstmesse, or Flea Markets, don’t tip unless it was fantastic.
When visiting Flea Markets remember they expect you to bargain!
Don’t bargain in shops — except when buying a car!! That’s for another day…
If you’re looking for a concert or any good live music, Basel is the place to find it. It’s very welcoming to musicians of all kinds, from street musicians playing Strauss on Freiestrasse, to independent singer-songwriters at the corner café, to famed bands like Journey at Pratteln’s Z7 Konzertfabrik (Concert Factory). Here are some places you might catch a favorite artist, or discover the next big act in Basel and beyond.
One of Basel’s exclusive restaurants and live music venues, Parterre features musicians and singer-songwriters from all over the world for an up-close-and-personal concert experience. Also hosts Open Mic Nights on Wednesdays.
A main venue for younger fans, featuring rock, punk, alternative, hardcore, metalcore, hip-hop, and ska bands from Switzerland, the US, and the UK, among others. They host free Twenty Plus-Party Tunes parties on Saturday nights for adults 20 years and older.
Another of Basel’s unique venues, complete with disco balls, a sparkling chandelier right above the audience, and a bright, glowing dome topping the building. The lineup is eclectic and inclusive, offering New Wave, Pop, Rock, Disco, Electro, Glam, Indie, and more. Performers include Swiss singer-songwriter legend Roli Frei and Britain’s The Drops.
THE music festival in Basel. Each year, it welcomes some of the top names of all time to its Festival Hall at Basel Fair: Mary J. Blige, Liza Minnelli, P!nk, Tom Jones, Paul Anka, and KT Tunstall to name just a few. This unique festival gives you the chance to see artists up close in a relaxed candle-lit atmosphere, and with only 1,500 seats, you may want to buy your tickets far in advance!
A well-known café serving up cappuccinos, sandwiches, and fresh daily specials, Stoffero also holds live music certain nights of the week. Although quite small, it’s an ideal venue for smaller and acoustic acts from all over the world. Be sure to try their famous panini!
Summer is a prime time for live music in Basel. The weather is perfect for open-air concerts, and music festivals spring up all around the country like wildflowers. On the steps by the Rhein or on the grass under the stars, you’ll hardly find even one night without music. Some events are free…although a generous tip is always welcomed.
Each year from about the last week of July to the middle of August, a barge is set up on the Rhein for Im Fluss Open-air Concerts, featuring a different band each night. The concerts center around local and national acts, though some of the artists come from as far away as the UK, Canada, and the US.
The Rhein River (Outside Café Spitz and Best Western Hotel Merian)
One of the best known places in Basel for all varieties of arts and culture, music, theater, and dance, and a top venue in the city for summer open-air concerts. Their neighboring restaurant, the KaBar, is a popular stop for lunch, evening apéros, and ‘Snack Attacks.’