Old masters and newcomers Basel. The cultural capital of Switzerland.

An unrivalled concentration of museums, the most important art fair in the world, internationally acclaimed architecture and creative hot spots: Basel is an unalloyed joy for culture aficionados.

Whether in the globally respected Kunstmuseum Basel or the equally popular Fondation Beyeler, in one of the many different theatres or at one of the lively music festivals: Welcome to the cultural metropolis of Switzerland!

Basel is nicknamed the "cultural capital of Switzerland". The city lives and breathes culture, and promotes and celebrates the arts. Despite its small size, Basel has an exceptional cultural offering, and many of its institutions and events enjoy an international reputation.

Art Basel

In addition to showing exciting works by world-renowned artists, Art Basel is always innovating, thus expanding its platform for new artists who represent the vanguard of the visual arts. Its worldwide reputation – earned over the last forty years – for showing work of the highest merit, and attracting the world's leading gallerists and collectors, has made Art Basel the place where the artworld meets.

More about Art Basel

A feast for the eyes …

The city's almost forty museums display visual arts from antiquity to the present. The prestigious exhibitions hosted by Fondation Beyeler, the Kunstmuseum (Museum of Fine Art) and Antikenmuseum (Museum of Ancient Art) draw international attention.

The quality of the exhibitions was also recognised by the respected art critics of London-based newspaper 'The Times' who nominated the Kunstmuseum Basel as the fifth best museum in the world in 2013. The city's Fondation Beyeler is a further well-known art museum.

But art in Basel is not limited to the indoors. On a stroll through the city, there is something to admire around every corner: "Intersection" by Richard Serra, Jean Tinguely's "Carnival Fountain" and Bettina Eichin's "Helvetia" are just a few of the many works of art to be discovered.

More about Basel's museums

Tinguely fountain

… and ears

Sinfonieorchester BaselWhen your eyes have had their fill, there still remains plenty to listen to. The internationally renowned symphony orchestra, the chamber orchestra and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (an institute of the Musik-Akademie) account for Basel's reputation as a centre for classical music. But lovers of jazz, rock or pop will also find something to suit their taste at the many concert venues.

More about Basel‘s music scene


"Aida"? "One of a Kind"? Or "The Wild Duck"? Theater Basel captivates the imagination with drama, opera and ballet. It is in fact the largest theatre in Switzerland that features all three genres. In 2009 and 2010, it was named "opera house of the year".

Basel also has a thriving independent theatre scene. And finally, those who prefer the screen to the stage will find a film to suit their taste, whether it's the latest blockbuster, art-house cinema, or a timeless classic.

More about Basel's theaters

Visionary architecture

Basel is considered a mecca for architecture aficionados. Buildings by famous architects greet the visitor at every turn. Fondation Beyeler by Renzo Piano, for instance, Herzog & de Meuron's Schaulager or the banking building (initially belonging to UBS, today home of the Bank for International Settlements) by Mario Botta.

More about Basel's architectural highlights

Fondation Beyeler  

Photos: © Art Basel; www.basel.ch; Andreas Hidber; Klaus Brodhage

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