On a train from Basel Badischer Bahnhof to Basel SBB there is an automated announcement shortly before departure:

Cross the border only with valid travel documents and without goods and foreign currency that need to be declared.

Grenzübertritt nur gestattet mit gültigen Reisedokumenten und ohne deklarationspflichtige Waren oder Devisen.

What border is it talking about, though? Both stations are in Basel, Switzerland, aren't they?

  • 1
    The border at Basel, one presumes. Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 11:58
  • 4
    It's the Swiss/German border. A fun thing to do is to stand with one leg in each country!
    – Hilmar
    Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 12:24
  • 4
    @WeatherVane not very helpful, if one is in a train that stays inside the city. mdewey gave the correct answer below.
    – LoremIpsum
    Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 12:31
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    @WeatherVane There are multiple possible borders at Basel, the urban area includes territory of three countries.
    – Nobody
    Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 21:30
  • 1
    @Nobody exactly. I didn't get why it is a problem to hear an announcement about border crossing. Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


Despite its location in Switzerland it is an enclave of the EU for customs purposes. The train services are also run by DB (the German operator).

See the wikipedia entry Basel_Badischer_Bahnhof which also gives the history and more detail about which parts are under Swiss rules and which EU.

  • Ah so that is it! I wonder why there is no corresponding announcement for Lörrach -> Riehen and Riehen -> Basel Bad Bf.
    – LoremIpsum
    Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 12:29
  • 5
    Note that likewise, a part of Basel SBB is considered part of the French customs territory, and conversely, part of the Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg EuroAirport, which is in France, is part of the Swiss customs territory, along with a road from Switzerland to the airport.
    – jcaron
    Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 20:44
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    @LoremIpsum Riehen, Niederholz, Trasadingen, Wilchingen-Hallau, Neunkirch, Beringen Bad Bf, Beringerfeld, Neuhausen Bad Bf, Schaffhausen Bad Bf (partly), Herblingen and Thayngen are other German-owned/operated stations in Switzerland, but I don't think they have a similar customs status (not sure).
    – gerrit
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 9:13
  • 1
    @LoremIpsum There aren’t that many tourists on the regional train lines, and the locals know.
    – nohillside
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 21:13

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