Museum Night is held once a year in Basel: almost 40 museums open up their doors outside the usual opening hours and invite visitors to marvel at some 200 offers – a highlight not to be missed.
But apart from Museum Night, Basel offers museums to suit every taste: art lovers, technology enthusiasts, scientists, historians, children – there is something for everyone. And with the BaselCard, you save 50% on the admission prices – feel free to ask us about it.
The Anatomical Museum is part of the University of Basel Faculty of Medicine. In the permanent exhibitions of historical and original preparations, visitors can take a look at genuine specimens of parts of the human body. The prenatal development of the human body is also presented in a clear and understandable style. The brave at heart can admire an original 16th-century skeleton. There are special workshops available for the little ones, making Basel's Anatomical Museum a great place to visit with children.
The Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel boasts more than 6,000 exhibits: dolls and dolls' houses, play shops and some 2,500 teddy bears – the largest teddy bear collection in the world. It's not just children who will enjoy this museum; adults will feel young at heart again here too. Guided tours and interactive points bring the exhibits to life, and you can of course purchase souvenirs to take home with you from the museum shop.
Old masters meet contemporary art in this Basel museum dedicated to art. The city can pride itself on having collected some of the most important works in the history of art: Picasso and van Gogh are represented here, along with Holbein, Rousseau and Klee. An array of lectures, workshops, performances and even concerts guarantee that the children won't get bored either. Incidentally, Kunstmuseum Basel has been in existence since the 17th century, making it one of the most important places of interest in Basel.
If you love journeys through history, you definitely shouldn't miss out on the Antikenmuseum on your way around Basel's museums. The only museum in Switzerland dedicated to ancient Mediterranean art and culture, the Antikenmuseum in Basel presents Roman and Greek, Egyptian, Italian and Etruscan art – and in such a way that children can enjoy it too. Changing exhibitions and workshops bring the ancient world to life, while the museum shop sells gladiator swords and Roman jewellery.
The whole world comes together in the border city of Basel: the Museum der Kulturen boasts a collection of more than 300,000 items that offer visitors a new perspective on the world and their ethnology. This change in perspective poses social questions which three permanent exhibitions attempt to answer. All of which makes visiting this museum a fascinating journey through different cultures.
Swiss artist Jean Tinguely came from Basel. The museum, which is dedicated to his art, brings his love of machines to life: wire sculptures and kinetic reliefs whisk visitors away to the world of mechanisms. More than four decades of Tinguely's art is exhibited here – kinetic artworks that are strangely lifelike.
Another museum in Basel to be inspired by the medical world is the Pharmacy Museum. It began with a private collection by the pharmacist Josef Häfliger who lived in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. He gave his collection relating to pharmaceutics and the history of pharmaceutics to the university so interested visitors can still find out all about the production of remedies in this Basel museum today.
For lovers of the ancient world who still haven't had enough after the exhibitions in Basel's museums, a trip to Augst is recommended. There you can find the well-preserved Roman settlement of Augusta Raurica and marvel at a genuine Roman theatre, the Roman villa and the largest hoard of silver from ancient times. The theatre seats around 2,000 spectators and hosts a variety of events. A large Roman festival is held each year in August. Augst is easily accessible from Basel by public transport – which is free of charge with the BaselCard.
The Cartoon Museum is a rather unusual museum in Basel which delights adults and children alike. It has more than 10,000 exhibits: comics and cartoons, parodies and caricatures, works with and without text. The focus is on humour and entertainment as well as on social criticism – and Mickey Mouse is featured too, of course, to make even the youngest visitors laugh.
The Jewish Museum of Switzerland in Basel was the first Jewish museum to be opened after the Second World War – in 1966. The museum tells the story of Jewish people in Switzerland, but also moves far beyond the Swiss border: the collection includes items from the German-speaking countries as well as from North Africa and Israel. Medieval tombstones and Hebrew books printed in Basel count among the particularly outstanding exhibits.
Another quirky museum can be found tucked away in a tiny street around Nadelberg: the Hoosesagg Museum exhibits lovingly gathered collections of items such as bells, snow globes, Pokémon characters or strawberries – colourful, inspiring and unique. Ever-changing mini exhibitions mean the city's smallest museum is well worth a second or third visit. A very special insider's tip!