Bild: BVB /
Bild: BVB /
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Steinenberg closed: a survival guide

Starting on Saturday 9th September, there will be no tram service for Basel’s inner city, as the Basel Transport Services (BVB) are going to begin with the renewal of tram tracks at Steinenberg. Our guide shows how to get to Barfüsserplatz and beyond until 30th September.

The Barfüsserplatz will turn into a ghost town as of Saturday 9th September: The Steinenberg will be closed for road works by the BVB from 9th September to 30th September. Old tram tracks have to be renewed. The consequences: No trams will run through the inner city, a bus is the only public transport service for the Barfüsserplatz, commuting to Schifflände and back. wants to survive this closure like every Basler – and therefore offers a survival guide for the Steinenberg.


First rule: Leave the walking assistance at home. Really.

People who have difficulty walking are going to suffer if they want to reach the Barfüsserplatz. With no trams and merely one bus from Schifflände, it will be hard. If you are coming from Gundeli or Bruderholz, you need to take a massive detour. With the bus no. 36 around Cityring, for example. Therefore, we advise everyone using rollators or other walking assistances to take a break from going to the inner city. Why not go to your local shopping centre than to the Pfauen at 8 in the morning? The sloping hills that lead to Basel’s inner city are very long and dangerous especially for elderly people.


Second rule: No matter how much you dislike cyclists – use a bicycle

It is not just the trams that are denied access to the inner city – cars are also affected. Transporters as well as taxis will need to circle quite a bit to evade obstructions. We don’t need to talk about private cars with the debate about a car-free inner city. The best remedy is a bicycle. Scooters are also an option, although you will have to fight for a parking spot, and e-bikes (if you really have to use one). Generally, do not get a tram ticket but hop on your bike instead. Saves money and time.


Third rule: Go for a drink where you live, not in the centre

Do you want to get home by tram after a night out at Barfüsserplatz? No chance. And Heuwaage, the entrance to the popular clubbing area Steinenvorstadt, also offers little access by public transport. Thus, your options are to either go there and get back home again on foot – or to find a good pub where you live. The “Viertelclub” in Gundeli, for example, the “Nordstern” in Klybeck, or “Kaserne” in Kleinbasel. Give your own city quarter a chance.


Fourth rule: Shopping is for tough guys and gals

There are lots of shoe stores that offer sturdy footwear in Basel’s inner city. You will need it in September. Fortunately, Freie Strasse is still accessible by tram via Bankverein, and you can get to Spalenberg by bus via Universität. Other than that, you will have to walk. Time to plan ahead when shopping. Or to buy things on the Internet, even if the shop owners of the inner city prefer to have their customer base come by personally.


Fifth rule: Enjoy the calm and keep your nerve

It’s so nice to enter the calm inner city – if there wasn’t all this construction noise even on weekends! But the BVB want to finish the track renewal as soon as possible. This is good and will bring back tranquillity to this part of town. Already in the summer of 2016, there was no tram traffic through Falknerstrasse, and we really could have enjoyed eating in restaurants if it hadn’t been for all the noise. For this year, the trick is to keep your nerves and to appreciate the obstructions: Be it when riding your bike, when shopping with a plan, or when enjoying a quiet moment whilst dining. Not only is this better for your nerves, but it also helps you see Basel’s inner city from a different perspective.


Here is an overview of the obstructions: