How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Basel is very well equipped for infants and toddlers. There are plenty of playgrounds and parks for the young ones and many museums have special programs for small children. All major shopping areas are equipped with baby feeding and changing rooms.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Childcare facilities are available as well as Day Mothers (Tagesmutter) where one mother looks after several children. For further information or to obtain a list of childcare providers, contact Crown Basel.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Basel is a safe environment for children, though it is recommended that you speak to your local school to find out whether there are any particular concerns specific for your area. Children should always be accompanied and supervised by an adult and should never talk to strangers.
Exercise reasonable caution around heavy traffic areas.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Kids love to spend a day in the mountains skiing or in the river swimming. But other fun and cool places to spend the day are:
- Castle Chateau de Chillon – This is a very famous castle, which was built many years ago. It is still in excellent condition. When you visit, you will see there are lots of things to see, including the tower, courtyards, dungeons and numerous other rooms.
- The Swiss National Park – This is one of the first national parks in Europe and is the only national park in Switzerland. This is a great park because it has many trails for hiking and sightseeing. There are many different kinds of animals that you normally wouldn't get to see. The park is approximately 4 1/2 hours from Basel, but well worth the trip.
- Zoo Basel – This wonderful zoo has approximately 6,000 animals and approximately one million people visit the zoo every year. When you visit, be sure to check out the woolly monkeys with their serious faces and long grasping tails.
- The Rhine Falls – This is Europe's largest waterfall and is located in Schaffhausen. Directly above the falls, sitting on the edge of a cliff, is the castle called Schloss Laufen. It is beautiful here and a must to see!
- ConnyLand Amusement Park – This is a big and fun amusement park located in Lipperswil. It is full of many fun things to do and see! Some of those things are bumper cars, an air castle, wild water log ride, children's petting zoo, pony rides, live dolphin shows in the gigantic dolphin pool and much more.
- Alpamare – This is considered one of the biggest water parks in all of Europe. It is known for having the longest water slide. You can't help but have a good time when visiting this fun-filled park!
- The Doll Museum – This is a fun museum filled with thousands of dolls and teddy bears.
- Technorama – Located in Winterthur, this is a wonderful interactive science museum that encourages children to touch the exhibits and take part in experiments.
- Europa Park – Located in Rust bei Freiburg, Germany, this is Germany’s largest amusement park. The park is organized into a series of “villages,” each representing a European country with its own attractions, shows and restaurants. Only one hour away from Basel, the park is suitable for children of all ages and adults love it too!
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Kids in Basel are very involved in after-school activities and sports. They also enjoy going to the movies, game arcades and shopping with friends. In the winter, one of their favorite things to do is skiing; in the summer, they love to go hiking and swimming in outdoor pools as well as in the Rhine river. Like most kids, they also like to just hang out with their friends at each other’s homes.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Being a teenager in Basel is similar to other places. As mentioned above, they love to spend time with their friends and do fun things. Many of the teens in Basel love to get the Dreiland pass, which is a card that gives access to many sporting events. If they are not into sports, there are many cultural opportunities, such as theaters and museums.
Adjustment to any new place takes time, but we feel once they get settled in and meet new friends, they are going to love it here!
The drinking age in Switzerland is 16 for beer and wine and 18 for spirits.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Local schools and churches are good sources for getting all youth group and activity information for your area. A very popular choice for boys, ages 6 – 18, is the Boy Scouts of the canton Basel. It offers adventure, amusements and activities, which also develop a sense of responsibility.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
The local culture is taught in the school system. Additionally, there are several local events that occur on a weekly basis that teach young people all about the local culture.
As for learning the language, young people can either learn it at school or take special language courses at one of the many language schools. The best way to learn the language, however, is to be surrounded by people who speak it. This is also a good way to assimilate into the local culture.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.