Introducing: Basel Life
YBI Basel is pleased to partner with Basel Life. Read all about their evolution in this article by one of their founders, Christine Pesold.
When my family first arrived in Basel, with no German to speak of, I would spend my
days exploring the streets of this beautiful city with my toddler in hand and my
baby in a stroller. I consistently would come across workers, busily taking down what
looked like the infrastructure to a fun family event—a fair, circus, market—and
perpetually felt frustrated that I was only learning about happenings as they were
At the time, there was no resource that helped to connect the English-speaking
community of Basel with the city’s generous offerings. So, driven by a desire to fill
this void, I teamed-up with German-speaking expat and fellow parent at the Swiss
International School (SIS), Susanne Hiller, and created a bilingual parent newsletter
to help inform other school families about all the wonderful things available to them
in the region.
Basel Life is Born
After 5 years of creating the SIS-parent newsletter, we decided to make the
information accessible to the greater English-speaking community of Basel. We
paired up with a graphic designer and created the free English-language magazine
called, at the time, Basel Family Magazine.
At first, the magazine was entirely supported by advertisements of small businesses that were of particular interest to our expat community. Very quickly however, the popularity of Basel Family Magazine grew such that we could no longer meet the print demands on advertising income alone. Therefore, in its second year, the magazine became available by
subscription or could be purchased as individual issues. Also, as the content was by
no means restricted to topics relevant only to families but included events and
information for every age and interest, the name was eventually changed to Basel
Basel Life Goes Online
The magazine enjoyed a successful 9-year run—until Covid hit. The cultural sector
was struck hard by the pandemic, and as a publication focused on everything there
is to do and see, Basel Life Magazine also struggled to survive. Between last-minute cancellations, venue shut-downs, the closure of purchase locations, and the repeated loss of entire issues, we could no longer continue in this format. Thanks, however, to
popular demand and a successful crowdfunding campaign, we received the financial
backing to create the current digital platform, now simply called Basel Life, which
went live in January 2022.
Like the magazine, Basel Life is an English-language guide to living in Basel with
up-to-date information about events, museum exhibits, fairs, markets, sports, and
excursion ideas, as well as culture, history and practical tips for living in Basel and
Switzerland. An easy-to-use calendar lists events for all age groups and interests
that you can share or download to your electronic calendar with a simple click. On
the homepage, you can remain up to date on the latest information about Basel, like
new bicycle or driving rules, tram re-routing, results of the latest elections and
referendums, and other tidbits of general interest.
Remaining true to our mission to help other expats find everything they need to
make the most of their stay in Basel, the Basel Life website is available free for
everyone to use; there is no subscription, registration, or fee; so check it out at
And if you are part of a nonprofit organization or similar and would like us to publicize
an event that is open to the general public, or if you are a business owner and would
like to promote your products or services to Basel’s English-speaking community
through advertising on our site, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Susanne Hiller & Christine Pesold
Susanne and Christine been working together on Basel Life and its predecessors for more than 14 years.
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Christine moved to Basel with her family in 2002 and has been an active volunteer in the expat community since her arrival in Switzerland. She is responsible for selecting, researching, and writing most of the content of Basel Life.
Susanne grew up in Germany but hasn’t lived there for more than 30 years and therefore considers herself an expat. She spent 12 years in the United States before coming to Basel with her family in 2003. She also contributes some of the content of Basel Life and is responsible for quality control as well as serves as advertising manager.