Moving to Basel – Part III: Furniture and appliances for your flat
Furniture and Electronics Shops
So, now you’ve taken possession of your flat (I hope it’s a nice one) and moved in your personal effects! Congratulations!! Chances are, especially if you’re moving abroad, that you didn’t bring all your furniture and electronics. This post will let you know where you can get these things in and around Basel. I’m not sure what your sense of style is, what you want, or what your price limits are, so I’ll point you at a few places, and let you do the rest! Please note, that the list of stores I’ll talk to you about is definitely not exhaustive, and that you should confirm what I’m telling you here, with the shops themselves! Its been a few years since I shopped for this kind of stuff, so things may have changed!
There are two main chain stores in Basel: MediaMarkt and Interdiscount. They both have online shops and numerous big-box shops all over town. MediaMarkt has a superstore at the Basel SBB, and Interdiscount has one at Marktplatz. I prefer MediaMarkt, as the set-up of the stores seems more logical to me, but they both sell similar products (electronics, appliances, DVDs/video games, cables, etc.).
If you have a Migros loyalty card, you might want to try melectronics, the Migros electronics chain.
The first place I’d recommend for inexpensive furniture is Ikea. If you’ve never been to Ikea, it carries lots of housewares, furniture, kitchen and bathroom stuff, light fixtures, but no electronics, bicycles, etc. The website is not in English, but it’s possible to visit an Ikea site in the UK (or wherever your home country is) to identify exactly what you need, and then order it from the Ikea Switzerland site. Ikea will deliver and assemble your furniture, if you’re willing to pay extra.
Ikea has a shop in Pratteln
If you’re not comfortable ordering online from Ikea, or they you can’t order what you want online, they have a physical store in in Pratteln! How’s that for easy? You can get to Pratteln either on the train, or via the number 14 tram. After that it’s still quite a walk (or you can call a cab)! The number 80 bus from Aeschenplatz also goes there, and lets you off closer than the train or the tram. Be sure to check the store hours before you head up there, and factor in the time it takes to go and come back. If you have a car or get a ride, parking is free… I always seem to come back from those two shops carrying way more things than I planned to buy and stuffed full of those Ikea hot dogs!
If you still haven’t found what you need for your flat by this point, I do have some more suggestions. If you’re still missing something, you can try the Postshop. In fact, even if you do have everything you need, you might still want to go to the Postshop site. It’s very user friendly, in English and the prices are surprisingly good ! They sell a really eclectic mix of products, including paperback books, mobile phones, sporting equipment, jewelry and household goods. I’ve bought a few things from the Postshop and was quite pleased. Imagine the Postshop as Switzerland’s answer to Amazon!
Interio and Pfister
If you are willing to pay higher prices, you can look at the furniture and household shops like Interio and Pfister. To be honest, I’ve never been into either of these shops, so what I can tell you is extremely limited! The websites both look very nice, but they are only in German, French and Italian. Go ahead and have a look for yourselves!
If you’re looking to spend less, there are small second-hand shops all over Basel, that are willing to provide you with second hand items at an excellent rate! Make sure you whatever you buy is in good condition both inside and out, and from what I understand, you can try to haggle a bit with these shops to get a good deal! Another idea is to try and find someone leaving the city, perhaps via the English Forum. People come and go from Basel reasonably often, so ask around. Usually, people are happy to sell everything together for a very reasonable price, even though it could be sold off piece by piece for much more. This gives you an opportunity to get great bang for your buck (I mean Franc!).
Finally, if you need to get things for your home office, Office World is your best bet. The site is not in English, but translates well in enough using your browser’s translate function. They sell the standard office supplies, furniture, pointers, binders and the like.
I hope this helps you in getting the things you need for your flat. There are many, many other shops in and around Basel that can also provide you with what you need. Good luck getting your flat set up!