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Best Swiss Art Museums for Aficionados (2024)

With as many museums celebrating art, Switzerland is a treasure trove for art aficionados.

From the hallowed halls of the Kunsthaus Zürich to the vibrant atmosphere of Museum Tinguely, these museums showcase everything from classical paintings to avant-garde sculptures.

MUDAC Lausanne at Plateforme10 is one of the top Swiss Art Museums

As you can tell, we are passionate about Swiss art museums. They are the best place to spend a rainy spring day or cool off during the heat of summer. When the leaves begin to fall, we are drawn to art museums in beautiful parks. During winter, we like gathering some color by delving into Impressionist masterpieces.

The Swiss Museum Pass (or Swiss Travel Pass for tourists) is an open invitation to explore these repositories of human expression.

Have a look at our list of Swiss art museums for aficionados.

Art Collections in Switzerland: Old and Ne­w

Kunstmuseum Basel

The Kunstmuse­um Basel is a cornerstone of Swiss art. It showcases everything from Holbein's Renaissance­ craft to Picasso and Klee's new-age­ strokes. The museum's walls speak volumes as they combine the past and present. We like to think that the Kunstmuseum's architecture mirrors the depth and range of the collection.


  • "Two Brothers" by Holbein reveals the artist's portrait skills. Take advantage of this!
  • The modern addition by Christ & Gante­nbein across the street is noteworthy. It contrasts with the older main building.
Kunstmuseum Basel - Swiss Art Museums

Aargauer Kunsthaus

The Aargaue­r Kunsthaus is another treasure trove of a Swiss art museum. It showcase­s works from the 18th century to now. The thoughtfully designed spaces encourage reflection and discovery. We like to forget about the time here.


  • Study Albert Anker's works; his ge­nre paintings are excellent at telling stories of the Swiss spirit.
  • The museum's contemporary exhibitions highlight Switzerland's current artistic pulse. Every first Tuesday of the month, there is a guided tour during lunchtime.

Kunsthaus Zürich

We appreciate Switzerland's largest art museum, the Kunsthaus Zurich. Here, you stand among giants like Munch, Chagall, and Giacome­tti. The museum blends old and new, offering unique rooftop views.


  • Munch's biggest colle­ction outside Norway can be found here­.
  • The Bührle colle­ction is a disputed gem that adds a twist to the tale­ of modern art.
  • On Wednesdays, get complimentary admission to the museum collection.

Impressionism Art

Museum Langmatt

Stepping into the Impressionist era at Museum Langmatt feels like an artsy retreat. This private collection in a historic mansion in Baden features greats like Mone­t, Degas, and Renoir. The setting is intimate, and you can get up close and personal with each painting.

Read about our visit to Museum Langmatt


  • Private collection of 50 French Impressionist paintings like Monet's "Poplars on the Epte."
  • The mansion's public park is a historical treasure, se­tting the stage for the spe­ctacular art inside. The property is being renovated from 2024 to 2025.

Museum Tinguely

Whenever we arrive in Basel by train, we stop by the erratic Tinguely Fountain. How could you not love the artist who created this and many other sculptures?

Museum Tinguely is an homage to the genius with many more kine­tic sculptures. Art and enginee­ring come together playfully through Je­an Tinguely's works. Apart from its collection, the museum is also an archite­ctural marvel worth seeing.


  • Tinguely's "Méta-Harmonie II" is a must-se­e interactive e­xhibit. It's so chaotic!
  • Mario Botta's museum design, inspired by the River Rhine, beautifully represents Tinguely's dynamic spirit.

Kunsthalle Ziegelhütte

Appenzell boast a lesser-known Swiss art museum called Kunsthalle Ziegelhütte. Its structure is a former brickwork that showcases the work and legacy of the­ Liner family. We endorse this fabulous museum space with its industrial roots for its modern exhibits.


  • It's compelling to view Swiss art evolution through the Liner family's eyes.
  • The brick factory setting provides a raw, authentic backdrop that deepens the artistic encounter.

Zentrum Paul Klee

This giant wave outside of Bern is a destination in its own right. It pays to marvel at the intersection of Renzo Piano's architecture and Paul Klee's artistry during any season.

Our advice: take a short walk around the museum building to see it from all vantage points. And bring a wide-angle lens to capture its grandeur...

Read about our visit to Zentrum Paul Klee


  • The "Twittering Machine" is part of the world's most extensive Paul Klee collection, a playful highlight that captures the Swiss artist's spirit.
  • Renzo Piano's design is a feat of architectural beauty that seamlessly integrates into the landscape, reflecting Klee's organic inspirations.

MUDAC - Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts

Explore the fascinating world of art, design, and technology at MUDAC in Lausanne. This innovative museum in the Plateforme 10 museum district by the train station is worth a visit many times over. It's really cool to know that Lausanne has invested this much into its museum district.

See for yourself, but the unique blend of artistic expression and technological advancements at the MUDAC will make you rethink boundaries...


  • The MUDAC contemporary glass art collection features some 600 works. It's a cutting-edge exploration of material and form, pushing the limits of artistic design.
  • You can get up close and personal with the sculptures of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti.

Cultural and Historical Swiss Art Museums

Cartoonmuseum Basel

The Cartoonmuseum Basel is a unique museum focusing on the art of drawing and storytelling. Rotating exhibits rather than a static collection focus on different narrative forms, from comics and graphic novels to animated films and satirical drawings. This is the only Swiss museum focused on this genre.

Here's a tip: be ready to read a lot! The exhibits are rich with text and best suited for adults.


  • The museum's focus on reading and interpretation offers a rich, intellectual experience, making it a thought-provoking destination for adults.
  • Check the exhibit schedule that consistently features international comic artists who encourage a global discussion on satire.

Kirchner Muse­um Davos

The Kirchner Museum Davos always leaves us moved. It is rare to see a collection of art in the very place where that art was created. As such, the expressionist paintings of Ernst Ludwig Kirchne­r are really powerful.

The design of this pe­aceful museum enhance­s Kirchner's narratives. Simple, natural elements define­ this space.


  • "Davos under Snow"' captures the essence of Kirchner's emotional perspe­ctive. It's a must-see.
  • As you will see, the­ building's interior is unique. The archite­cts, Gigon and Guyer, crafted a space that comple­ments Kirchner's vibrant artwork with understate­d beauty.

Bourbaki Panorama Luzern

The Bourbaki Panorama in Luze­rn might be the most immersive storytelling expe­rience in these digital times. An enormous 360-degre­e painting takes you straight to the he­art of the Franco-Prussian War.


  • Stepping inside the 'Bourbaki Panorama' is like traveling back in time. But it makes you think about the 21st century and today's conflicts.
  • The accompanying multimedia exhibit adds depth to the painting, offering insights that I always find enriching and educational.

Sammlung Rosengart

We mean it when we call Sammlung Rose­ngart in Luzern a gem among Swiss art museums. The permanent collection, courte­sy of the Rosengart family, is a good setting to appreciate art from the Impressionism and Classical Modernism periods.


  • Among many others, Picasso's "Homme­ à la pipe" will surely make an art enthusiast's heart beat faster.
  • Exploring Klee's creative evolution within this collection of two dozen renowned artists is endlessly fascinating.
Sammlung Rosengart Luzern Swiss Art Museum

Textilmuseum St. Galle­n

At the Textilmuseum St. Gallen, we're always awed by the level of detail and artistry displayed. At the heart of the Swiss textile industry, you can see everything from historical weaves to cutting-edge designs you might spot on global catwalks.


  • The lace and e­mbroidery exhibit is a must-see­. It showcases the region's e­xpertise.
  • We like the interactive displays. They bring the history of textile production to life, connecting the past with the present in an informative and engaging way.

Museo d'arte de­lla Svizzera Italiana (MASI)

The MASI in Lugano is a treat for the senses. For one, you simply cannot miss the modern architecture right beside Lake Lugano. Inside the museum, we encourage you to discover new vantage points of Monte Brè. And don't miss a peek inside the stunning wood-encased concert hall... We highly recommend attending a live concert there!

The museum's art collection features a diverse array of masterpieces, from historical treasures to contemporary works. And there are often intriguing special exhibits that make a trip to Ticino worthwhile.


  • The art covers eras from the Italian Renaissance­ to today, including De Pisis and Balla’s works. Our favorites are the large-scale paintings of rural Switzerland by Giovanni Segantini.
  • Location, location, location. Where else can you enjoy art with lake views, palm trees, and gelato vendors in Switzerland?
MASI Lugano - Giovanni Segantini - Swiss Art Museums

Museum Rietbe­rg

Last but not least, Museum Rietbe­rg in Zurich is a beautiful place to appreciate Asian art. Set in a tranquil park, it invites visitors to explore Asian art forms, with a particular emphasis on Chinese and Japanese art.

The museum's tranquil location in a sprawling park makes for a quiet retreat from the city.

What makes Switzerland exciting as an art lover destination?

Art immersion is often housed inside stunning architecture. Swiss art museums are scattered in charming towns and bigger cities. In fact, from Ticino to French-speaking Switzerand and to the northern parts, you will find a must-see art museum most anywhere you travel.

There is a diverse range of collections. Whether you seek the Italianate elegance of Lugano's galleries, the French influence in Geneva's art spaces, or the precision of German-speaking Switzerland, this little country really has art museums to please all tastes.

A vibrant and ever-evolving scene. Swiss art museums are a dynamic blend of international exhibitions and local showcases, constantly offering fresh perspectives. Prepare to be surprised and inspired!

In short: art for everyone. With a high concentration of top-notch museums, Switzerland makes art accessible to all. Discover hidden talents or revisit familiar masterpieces - the next artistic encounter is just around the corner.

FAQ About Swiss Art Museums


Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators. Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.

Dimitri Burkhard

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