Phase 1: April 27, 2020:
Reopening of hair salons, cosmetic studios, doctors’ and physiotherapist practices, garden centers, and home improvement stores.

Phase 2: May 11, 2020: to be confirmed April 29, 2020
Reopening of compulsory schools (1st – 9th Grade), all other shops including department stores, and open-air markets.

Phase 3: June 8, 2020: 
to be confirmed
Reopening of education institutions, museums and zoos and libraries.

To read more via usembassy.gov, click here.

Coronavirus from CNNMoney Switzerland:

Switzerland’s army will distribute 1 million masks to leading retailers every day for two weeks starting Monday, the government said, even as it insisted people don’t need to wear them. Daniel Koch, director of the division of infectious diseases, said making masks mandatory could give people a false sense of security and they might not follow rules on keeping their distance and washing hands. To read more via cnnmoney.ch, click here.

Coronavirus: The Situation in Switzerland:

The federal government announced on April 16 an easing in three steps of measures aimed at combatting the pandemic. The deliberate approach to loosening the lockdown is based on recommendations from experts and the weighing of a number of factors, the government said, including the need to continue protecting the public, particularly those at high risk, and the economic benefits of a gradual lifting of measures. In the first phase, which will begin on April 27, hair salons, physiotherapists, hospital outpatient services, medical and dental offices, florists, DIY shops and garden centres will re-open with precautionary measures in place. This may include wearing protective face masks. To read more via swissinfo.ch, click here.

Coronavirus Lockdown Extended in Swiss Canton of Ticino:

The coronavirus lockdown will be extended in the heavily-hit Swiss canton of Ticino, despite being rolled back across the rest of the country. Ticino cantonal authorities on Wednesday applied to the Federal Council for an exemption to the first round of lockdown relaxations, which are set to take place from April 27th across the country.  The application was approved late on Wednesday afternoon.  In Ticino, hardware stores and garden centres are set to open on May 3rd at the earliest. Construction sites in Ticino will also remain closed until at least that date, although minor work with a maximum of 15 people – up from ten currently – will be allowed. To read more via thelocal.ch, click here.

Ending Switzerland’s Coronavirus Lockdown: The key questions

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset laid out the way in which the country will emerge from lockdown.  Restrictions will be gradually eased in three stages: on April 27, May 11 and finally on June 8, the government said. To read more via thelocal.ch, click here.

Latest News from: Baselworld 2015 Press Conference—Live Report

The undisputedly premier event that unites key players from all sectors of the global watch and jewellery industry under one roof, Baselworld 2015 commenced this morning with the inaugural press conference. The conference hall was filled with key players representing the print, TV and digital media from every continent who were eagerly awaiting the Baselworld press conference which marks the start of the landmark event in the annual calendar of the watch and jewellery industry: the show that will unveil the trends of tomorrow.

Please visit Baselworld.com for information on daily schedules, lodging, things to do!

What is Baselworld?

Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show is a trade show of the international watch and jewelry industry held every Spring in Basel, Switzerland. It hosts approximately 2,100 exhibitors from over 45 countries, including the leading watch and jewelry manufacturers, as well as companies specializing in precious gems. The show attracts nearly 150,000 visitors (4,000 press) making it a one of the top watch and jewelry shows.

For a brief history of this trade show, check this information from Wikipedia:

The history of the show dates back to 1917 with the opening of the first Schweizer Mustermesse Basel (muba), of which a section was devoted to watches and jewellery.
•    1925 muba invited several watch manufacturers
•    1931 the Schweizer Uhrenmesse (Swiss Watch Show) was first held in a dedicated pavilion.
•    After 1972’s Europe’s meeting place exhibition, companies from France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom were also invited.
•    1983 the show changed its name to BASEL and two numerals denoting the exhibition year, e.g., BASEL 83.
•    1986, companies from outside Europe were included for the first time, reflecting the increased number of visitors from outside Europe.
•    1995 the show was renamed to BASEL 95 – The World Watch, Clock and Jewellery Show.
•    1999, a new hall with 36,000 square meters exhibition space was added. The year 2000 saw an increase of 6 per cent in trade visitors.
•    2003 the show was again renamed to Baselworld, The Watch and Jewellery Show.
•    2004, with the introduction of a new hall complex, the exhibition area extended to 160,000 square meters, attracting more than 89,000 visitors.

What Watch-Next is recommending: Basel beauties: Baselworld Watch Fair Preview – The giant Baselworld show, headed by the likes of Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, Patek Philippe, Girard Perregaux, Hublot, and Breitling, approaches fast. To read more, click here.

Basel Community also recommends reading A Question of Pickpockets.


Photo by Kevin Kyburz via Flickr

Looking for something to do to celebrate 2015 in Basel? Here are a few of our picks around the city!

If you’d like to celebrate with a crowd, downtown has its annual festivities, which start at 23:00 hrs with Glühwein served until 01:00 and fireworks at half past midnight.

At the Münsterplatz, enjoy a lively brass band performing from the towers, starting at 23:30. And for the official ringing in, the large bell at the Münster’s Martinsturm (St. Martin’s Tower) rings out the old year from 23:45 to 23:55, until midnight, when all the church bells of the city playfully welcome the new year together. There is also a special worship service at the Münster from 00:15 to 00:30 hrs.

Plan public transport in advance by visiting the official BVB website: http://www.bvb.ch/en/timetable-network/online-timetable.

Happy New Year from Basel Community!

Looking for a fun way to ring in the New Year in Basel? Called ‘Silvester’ in Switzerland, there are plenty of events and places to celebrate: bars, restaurants, clubs…and, of course, private parties!

But if you find everything booked out, are looking for some company, or just want to try something new this year, you could join the many by the Rhein for Basel’s official public New Year’s Bash and watch the region’s most spectacular New Year’s fireworks display.

The festivities begin at 23:00 hrs with free ‘Glühwein’ served until 01:00 at two locations: Café Spitz (Mittlere Brücke in Kleinbasel) and Cargo Bar (Johanniterbrücke). Fireworks start at 00:30 hrs.

For another authentic Basel celebration, bring your family and friends (and your favorite bubbly!) to Münsterplatz. The Münster (Cathedral) has its own tradition beginning at 23:30 when you can hear a lively brass ensemble perform from the towers. Standing and listening to the trumpets, you’ll be transported back to medieval times!

And then there’s the big moment — the official ‘ringing in’. The large bell at the Münster’s Martinsturm (St. Martin’s Tower) rings out the old year from 23:45 to 23:55. At 00:00, the city sounds off as all the church bells in Basel ring together in playful New Year’s mayhem.

For those interested in ringing in the new year in a very special way, there is a worship service at the Münster from 00:15 to 00:30 hrs.

If you’re planning on using Basel’s fantastic public transportation system, you can find out when the last tram leaves for your destination at the official BVB website: http://www.bvb.ch/en/timetable-network/online-timetable.

Note to New Year’s Party-goers: Please remember there are pickpockets around, and many who want to take advantage of happy tourists!

It may be the time of year for making resolutions or revising old ones, for remembering the past or looking ahead to the future. But most of all, it’s a time to celebrate!

Have a safe and very happy New Year!

No one can forget a Christmas in Basel. From the brilliant Christmas market to the lights and treats of specialty boutiques and chocolate shops, the city itself becomes a sparkling ornament to adorn the year’s brightest season. It’s all your favorite holiday traditions, new and old, in one of Europe’s most picturesque Christmas destinations.

A Sparkling Christmas Market

The Basler Weihnachtsmarkt is the largest Christmas market in Switzerland, and the city boasts the longest illuminated Christmas street in Europe. This year the market runs from 24 November to 23 December at Barfüsserplatz (the city’s famous centre), Claraplatz in Kleinbasel, and for the first time at Münsterplatz in front of the historic cathedral. It’s a kaleidoscope of colors, flavors, and crisp holiday scents, offering something spectacular to look forward to every day of the week: a Robi-Spiel-Aktionen playground for children, around 170 stalls displaying the finest artisan wares and crafts, and of course holiday pick-me-ups like Glühwein (spiced mulled wine), Christmas cookies, and famous fondue.

A celebration both inside and out, day and night, rain or shine, just walk down any street in the city centre to find yet another hub of activity with its own unique stalls and atmosphere. The Münsterplatz this year will be home to a gorgeous Christmas tree decorated by Johann Wanner of Basel’s famous Johann Wanner Christmas House. It is the largest manufacturer of handmade Christmas decorations in the world, serving customers such as the Queen of England and the White House. Wanner keeps the Christmas cheer going year-round at his magical shop on Spalenberg.


Christmas shopping? You won’t have to wonder what to buy for anyone on your list. Whether you’re looking for something specific or just need a little inspiration, there are stalls for everything you can imagine: handmade jewelry, luxury soaps, handcrafted toys, colorful scarves and sweaters, candles, glassware, and much, much more. You can even pick up your own tree to trim at home from the tree lot at Münsterplatz.

Christmas Treats

And then there’s the cuisine. All that you find at the Basler Weihnachtsmarkt is gourmet. Visitors look forward each year to sweet Magenbrot and gebrannte Mandeln (roasted almonds) from outstanding local bakeries like Jonasch. Then there are fresh hot waffles and crêpes with a variety of fillings like hazelnutty Nutella, or cozy options like Bailey’s Irish Cream or Cognac; bite-sized Danish popovers and chocolate-covered fruits; spicy frosted gingerbread unlike any other; and a unique Swiss specialty called Biber filled with marzipan. Many stands also offer all kinds of traditional Swiss Christmas cookies: chocolate Brünsli and cinnamony Zimtsterne, for starters. After tasting these, you’ll want to make them part of your holiday baking tradition every year.

The Weihnachtsmarkt is a fail-proof dinner option too: you can dine on sausages and fresh local bread, a chäschëchli (cheese quiche), traditional Swiss fondue, or Raclette, another seasonal favorite of potatoes smothered with melted cheese and topped with a special mix of seasonings. For a lighter snack, try fried Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancackes with applesauce) or a variety of soft pretzels.

Keeping Warm with Christmas Fun

If you get cold browsing the stalls at Barfüsserplatz, you can stop to warm your hands around a cup of Glühwein, and your hearts around an old-fashioned puppet show at the Basel Puppet Theatre. They have entertainment for children in the afternoons and evening performances for adults. And there’s plenty more to do in Basel this winter to keep warm while you soak up the season: a Basel City Run, Samichlaus Tag (Santa Claus Day), Santa Clauses on motorcycles, and guided tours through the city. Step inside the foyer of Basel Theatre for their 3D ‘advent calendar,’ where each evening from 1 to 23 December visitors can enjoy a poetic or musical surprise. Do you have a special Christmas wish? Write it in the Basel Wish Book at City Hall, open from the beginning of Advent to the 12th day of Christmas.

The city’s tourism website hosts a comprehensive page devoted to Christmas in Basel, with a special pop-up online brochure about the Weihnachtsmarkt and all its trimmings. The tourism center also offers a Christmas package with the hotel of your choice, breakfast, a gift certificate for the Johann Wanner Christmas House, a complimentary cup of Glühwein, and more.

Home for the Holidays

From the city’s official lighting at dusk on 24 November, to the last day of the market on the eve of Christmas eve and all throughout the 12 Days of Extraordinary Christmas, a holiday season in Basel will always hang above your memory like a favourite photo above the hearth. Whether you’re passing through, relocating, or celebrating yet another year in beautiful Switzerland, let Basel be your home for the holidays.

Location! Location! Location!

That may well be the first thing that jumps to mind when you look at how strategically Basel is situated. How much better can it get?

Actually…a lot better.

From Basel, thanks to an incredible transportation system (think car, train, plane, and boat) you can get anywhere in Europe…and the world. Not only does it have the Basel Bahnhof (Swiss Railway Station), but it also has the Basel Badischer Bahnhof (German Railway Station). If you’re really adventurous, you can bike or even walk to neighbouring countries!

Through years of tradition, the city of Basel finds itself divided by the river Rhine in two parts—Grossbasel (Great Basel) on the left bank, and Kleinbasel (Little Basel) on the right. Bridges and ferries link the two parts together. Years ago, as lore has it, the Lällekönig (literally “Tongue King”) on the Grossbasel side would stick his tongue out at the “lower” people of Kleinbasel. In return, the “lower” people would…well, turn their backs to him! Check on the Grossbasel side of the Mittlere Rheinbrücke and you’ll see a bust of the Lällekönig with his tongue sticking out.

Rich in history, in AD 374 Basel grew from a Roman military camp, Basilia, associated with the Roman colony of Augusta Raurica (now Augst). However, recent finds of Celtic settlements predate the Roman castle.

Later, Basel became the seat of a bishop and was ruled by prince-bishops. In 1019, the German Emperor Heinrich II began building the famous Basel cathedral known as the Münster.

An earthquake in 1356 brought a massive amount of destruction to the city. In 1500, the construction of the Basel Münster was finished and Basel became the eleventh canton to join the Swiss Confederation in 1501. At the start of the Reformation in 1529, Basel became a refuge for victims of religious persecution and contributed to Basel’s golden age in the 18th century.

Basel is home to many international fairs (Messen) and fun activities. It also is home to leading pharmaceutical companies as well as banks and bankers’ banks! The University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland founded in AD 1460. Erasmus taught at the university and is buried at the Münster.

Baseldytsch, Basel German, is the way native locals communicate. They also speak German, French, and English. In fact, it’s becoming very common to find English spoken in many places around the city. Many locals will prefer to communicate with you in English than in “high German,” proper German, or French.

Photo credit: By Taxiarchos228