This FSF guide has been produced ahead of Liverpool's Europa League final fixture against Sevilla in Basel on Wednesday 18th May. It will be updated as and when we receive new information from Uefa or local sources.
If you have any specific questions about the city, how to get there, where to stay or anything else then simply email us your questions. Through our extensive network of contacts at Football Supporters Europe and experience of travelling throughout Europe ourselves, we will be able to answer just about any query you have.
UPDATE - Public Viewing Areas - Big Screens
We've received confirmation today (Monday 16th) that there will be two big screens (50m sq) showing the match in the city centre on matchday. These will be in Barfusserplatz (the Liverpool fans' meeting area) and in the neutral Fan Zone at Munsterplatz.
Working in co-operation with our affiliate members at Spirit of Shankly, along with the Liverpool Supporters Committee, we will be operating a fans' embassy in Basel on the day of the game. These 'by fans, for fans' services have been a fixture at international games for many years, and this isn't the first time we'll have had a fans' embassy for a Liverpool final (we were also in Athens in 2007).
Fan volunteers will be handing out fanzines on the streets and squares of Basel on matchday, and manning a 24 hour helpline to assist supporters in Switzerland. Full details can be found by downloading the Europa League Final Away Goals Fanzine, or simply pick one up in Basel on Wednesday.
Getting Around/Matchday Info
If you have a match ticket for the final, you can use Basel public transport free of charge in zones 10 and 13 (the city centre). You can use buses and trams for free all day on 18 May. The zone 10 ticket covers both fan meeting points, the neutral fan zone and the stadium, as well as all connections between car parks.
Getting around town, if not on foot, is best done using the city's cheap public transport network of trams and buses. Daily tickets can be bought for around 8CHF (about a fiver) and you can hop on and off as you please.
Swiss ticket inspectors police the public transport network, and there is a zero tolerance policy on those without tickets - we'd advise you not to risk it, because there are hefty fines if you are found bunking on the tram. You'll be marched to the nearest cashpoint, or possibly police station, and forced to cough up 100CHF.
Pre match - the tram is the best way to the ground, and we're told that there will be extra trams laid on for the match. To walk to the stadium from Barfüsserplatz (where Liverpool fans will be congregating in the city centre) takes around 40 minutes. Take the Tram 14 to M-Parc (the final stop on the line) from where it's a short walk to the stadium.
We've produced a handy Google Map showing the main places of interest for Liverpool fans getting to, from and around Basel.
Day trips/coach passengers
Those fans arriving on flights on the day of the game and getting a coach transfer to the city centre will be parking at UAG Areal (a short walk from the stadium). To get into the city from here, it's a 10 minute walk west to Grosspeterstrasse, from where you can catch the number 14 Tram to Barfüsserplatz and other destinations in the old town.
After the match, you are requested to walk back to the bus parking areas where food and drink stands and portable toilets have been organised. Buses will depart in order of the flight schedules.
About the Stadium
The ground is located on the south bank of the Rhine, east of the main medieval town centre. It is easily reached by tram and bus, and is close to major roads, too. Entry will be by electronic scanning of the ticket and then body search by stewards. Turnstiles open at 1745 (kick-off is 2045 local time) and supporters are advised to arrive in good time to get through security checks and turnstiles.
Liverpool's allocation is located at the western end of the stadium, in blocks B3 to B7, C1 and C2, and G1 to G4. This is broadly the same end of the ground as the usual away allocation at Basel, although in Champions/Europa League fixtures away fans are allocated the corner sections of B1 and B2.
Fans should note that a no-smoking policy will be in operation across all internal and external areas of St Jakob Park for the Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla. Once fans have passed through the turnstiles they will not be permitted to use tobacco or e-cigarette products in the stadium.
Post-match - if you are in possession of a valid match day ticket, there are free scheduled bus and tram services back to the city centre.
Update - Extra train services - post-match
There are two extra services between Basel Dreispitz (close to the stadium) and Basel SBB (the main station) after the match. These are at 2332 and 0032. The final service between the two stations is at 0055, which should allow plenty of time even in the case of extra time and penalties. There are also numerous trams and buses to ferry supporters back to the city centre.
If the match finishes on 90 minutes, the last train back to Zurich leaves Basel SBB at 0013 (arriving 0124) and the last service to Bern/Luzern leaves at 0002 (arriving 0102 and 0112 respectively).
If the game goes to extra-time, the last train to Zurich will leave at 0028 (arriving 0154) and the last service to Bern leaves at 0031 (arriving 0147).
If the game goes to penalties, the last trains to Zurich and Bern will both leave at 0045, arriving at 0211 and 0201 respectively.
Supporter Meeting Area
On the day of the final there will be two separate fan meeting points – one for each team. Both will be in the city centre, close to numerous bars, restaurants and shops. Barfüsserplatz has been allocated to Liverpool FC fans. For those who travelled to Basel in the Champions League in 2014, it's the main square in the old town that most fans congregated in before the match, next to the tram stop with services to the stadium.
UPDATE - Barfusserplatz will be one of two public viewing places showing the matches on a big screen (5om sq). The other will be in the neutral Fan Zone at Munsterplatz.
Carrying fireworks, drinks, weapons, laser pointers, sound-emitting devices such as megaphones, klaxons or vuvuzelas, suitcases, sporting bags, large backpacks and bags (maximum bag size permitted is 25x25x25cm) or any other items that are on the prohibited items list or could disrupt public order is forbidden. The complete ground regulations and ticketing terms and conditions are available in English here.
The fan zone will be in Münsterplatz – one of Basel’s most famous squares, in the heart of the old town – and all fans are invited to come and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Fans will be able to have their picture taken with the trophy, practise their skills with professional freestylers and challenge their friends in the 1 v 1 battle arena, and UEFA partners will provide further entertainment.
The fan zone will be open on 17 May from 1200 to 2200 and on 18 May from 1100 to 1900.
UPDATE - The Fan Zone will be one of two public viewing places showing the matches on a big screen (5om sq). The other will be in Barfusserplatz.
If you are ticketless we would advise against heading to the stadium (there isn't much around St Jakob Park in terms of places to watch the game), and that you're better off finding a bar or cafe in the city centre to hole up in to watch the match.
British Embassy Berne
Telephone: +41 (0)31 359 7700 (also for out of hours emergencies)
Office hours: Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm
For more information and detailed Travel Advice for Switzerland, please visit British Embassy Berne website: https://www.gov.uk/government/world/switzerland
Eating and Drinking
Basel is home to over 1000 restaurants, and just about every cuisine from around the world can be found within the town. The local cuisine forms a mix of the best of French, German and even Italian cooking. The excellent Basel Restaurant Guide is your best bet for finding your way around the city gastronomically. It even includes helpful interactive maps, which we definitely recommend you have a look at before you get there.
It wouldn't be an FSF Guide if we didn't recommend a few drinking dens and spots to grab a bit of grub, however, so here goes.
Zum Roten Engel on Andreasplatz is a great spot to stop for a light bite during the day, and the food is pretty cheap, too.
Cargo Bar at 46 St Johanns-Rheinweg offers a lively night out, with live music 3 nights a week. A lovely spot down by the riverbank, it's one to check out. If you're looking for something hip and trendy, visit Eoipso on Dornacherstrasse, which is a converted factory complex that now houses a great bar. They serve Basel's own Unser Bier (literally Our Beer) on tap, which is worth a try.
You'll likely pay around £4-£5 or so for a pint in most bars in Basel.
Even in Basel, you can't escape the curse/joy of the English/Irish bar. And there's more than one, so expect to see these places full of replica shirts come matchday. The Nelson Pub is not far away from Barfusserplatz, in the town centre on Rümelinsplatz. Mr Pickwick's has its own website to peruse before you land in Basel, and they can be found at 13 Steinenvorstadt, just off Barfusserplatz.
Of course, if those aren't to your taste, then you could always try Paddy Reilly's Irish Pub, which describes itself as "a genuine Irish pub; Irish owned, Irish managed and Irish staffed, excelling in all the traditions of an authentic Irish pub". We think it's an Irish pub, but we're not quite sure they've made it clear.
England also recently played a qualifier for Euro 2016 in Basel - you can check out the Free Lions England fanzine for this fixture here, which includes maps and some further information on the city.
For Basel tourist information, head to www.basel.com
About the City
Basel sits in the north west corner of Switzerland, and the town actually shares borders with both France and Germany.
The river Rhine flows through the town and divides it in two - the south and west bank of the river is known as Grossbasel (or Greater Basel), which includes the old medieval town centre. Kleinbasel (or Little Basel) sits on the north/east banks of the river, and is more modern, and features more bars/nightlife than the old town.
As for language, the locals speak a variant of German, although being so close to France you'll find that a lot of people will understand some French, too.
Most of Basel's sights are located in the old town, and are all easily reachable on foot. The Basel Munster, or cathedral, is located just off the main square, Marktplatz. Built between 1019 and 1500 it's a striking piece of architecture, and you can pay a small fee to climb the tower for some excellent views over the town.
Marktplatz still holds markets 6 days a week, selling fresh food and flowers, but is at its busiest on a Saturday morning rather than through the week. The Rathaus (town hall) is also located on the Marktplatz, and guided tours are available. If you don't fancy paying, then you're still allowed to have a wander round its courtyard for free.
Some of the gates to the old medieval city still remain - constructed after the earthquake of 1356 you can find the old fortifications at Spalentor (take the no.3 tram Barfüsserplatz in the towards Burgfelden Grenze), at St. Alban Tor, near Aeschenplatz (by taking the no.3 tram towards Birsfelden), or at St. Johanns Tor, near the Rhine, by taking the no.11 tram towards St. Louis Grenze.
Of course you'll have to take a walk along the Rhine, too.
If you're into your art, then Basel has the museums for you. In the city centre you can visit the Kunstmuseum Basel (found at St. Alban-Graben 16), which features a large permanent collection of Picasso, as well as renaissance art from the likes of Holbein.
If you prefer your contemporary art, head to the Museum für Gegenwartskunst (St. Alban-Rheinweg 60) around ten minutes walk from the main museum.
The Antikenmuseum Basel, across the road from the Kunstmuseum, houses a large collection of Egyptian and Greek art and antiquities. Or, for big kids, you could try the Puppenhausmuseum Basel, which is full of teddy bears, doll houses and other related items. Get along to Steinenvorstadt 1, at Barfüsserplatz, to find out more.
Basel Zoo is also reasonably centrally located, and is the second largest in Switzerland. Monkeys, elephants and all that, can be found at Binningerstrasse 40.
Thanks to Marco Kortman for the photo used in this blog, reproduced under Creative Commons licence.