The Best Museums in Basel, Switzerland

Learn the historic art of printing and paper-making at the Basel Paper Mill | © cocoparisienne/ Pixabay
Learn the historic art of printing and paper-making at the Basel Paper Mill | © cocoparisienne/ Pixabay
Photo of Sean Mowbray
12 August 2017

The city of Basel, in the northwest of Switzerland, is home to over 40 museums. Here, we’ve brought together the best and most unique among them, so you can get the best out of your trip to this historic city along the Rhine.

Basel Paper Mill Museum

Try your hand at making paper at the Basel Paper Mill, otherwise known as the Swiss Museum for Paper, Writing and Printing. The museum is housed in a historic paper mill that first began making paper over 500 years ago. You’ll be taken on a tour of the machinery and see techniques used to dip and print paper and learn the art of bookbinding. This highly interactive museum boasts some collections that are nearly one thousand years old.

St. Alban-Tal 37, Basel, +41 61 225 90 90

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel (Basel Toy Museum)

Take a step back into your childhood at Basel’s Toy Museum. With over 6,000 teddy bears, dolls, toy trains and miniature figurines, the museum’s impressive collection boasts the largest number of teddy bears anywhere in the world. A tour through the museum’s four floors will spark memories of long forgotten toys and likely delight younger members of your family. Don’t forget to pass through the museum shop which is a must-visit for any toy collector.

Steinenvorstadt 1, Basel, +41 61 225 95 95

Pharmazie-Historisches Museum (Museum of Pharmacy)

If you’re interested in medicine or are just looking to kill a little time during your trip to Basel, there’s no better way to do so (while learning a whole lot) at the Museum of Pharmacy, tucked away in the city’s historic centre. The museum hosts one of the world’s largest collections of pharmaceutical products, some of which may surprise you. There’s even a herbarium where you can browse through old cosmetic products lined up just like in the olden days.

Totengässlein 3, Basel, +41 61 207 48 11


You’re bound to laugh at the Cartoonmuseum Basel, the only museum of its kind in Switzerland that is devoted to the art form of satirical cartooning. No subject is safe from the wit of the cartoonists here, and you’ll see political and social subjects, and many more, depicted in a way which you are not likely to forget in the museum’s collection of over 6,000 pieces.

St. Alban–Vorstadt 28, Basel, +41 (0)61 226 33 60

Naturhistoriches Museum

Delve into the “Archive of Life” at the Basel Natural History Museum which holds over 7.7 million items covering zoology, entomology, paleontology and more. The museum is excellent for a day’s stroll through the living history of the Earth, from the very beginnings, all the way up to the present day.

Still here #naturhistorischesmuseumbasel #justinbieber

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Museum der Kulturen Basel (Museum of Cultures)

During the 19th century, citizens of Basel with some extra cash toured the world and brought back artifacts, many of which were donated to the Museum der Kulturen Basel. Today, the museum is one of the most important ethnological collections in Europe, with an impressive 300,000 pieces that span the globe. Among its interesting collection are also some 50,000 historic photographs, captured moments of history that are waiting to be discovered. The museum often has exhibitions featuring pieces related to the life and times of Basel, such as the one on Basel’s famous carnival, Basler Fasnacht.

Muensterplatz 20, Basel, +41 61 266 56 00

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