Basel, Switzerland – Designers’ Hotspots

Basel, Switzerland – Designers’ Hotspots

But those who think that Basel is all about art underestimate the quality of life in this city at the bend in the Rhine. Located directly where Germany, France and Switzerland meet, Basel fosters a cosmopolitan and modern atmosphere. Lots of new and original hotels, restaurants and bars as well as a vibrant theatre and music scene mean the problem is almost that there are too many attractions to choose from. Not a day goes by without something unusual going on somewhere in the city. Below, designer Jean Jacques Schaffner presents his tips for Basel, the cultural heart of Switzerland.

The tips

New building at Kunstmuseum Basel

In April 2016, a third building opened up across from the main building that is connected to the main building via an underground passage. The new building was designed by Basel-based architecture firm Christ & Gantenbein. It is designed to house special exhibitions and to present collections.

Basel Paper Mill – Swiss Museum for Paper, Writing and Printing

In the walls of a medieval paper mill, visitors can find out everything about the journey from handmade paper to the finished book and also have the opportunity to try out papermaking for themselves.

Teufelhof Basel – guesthouse and cultural centre

Teufelhof is located in the centre of the Old Town and incorporates an art and gallery hotel, a variety theatre, two restaurants, a bar and a café as well as a wine shop, housed in two historical townhouses that have been knocked into one. The house combines history and tradition with an artistic and urban atmosphere. It is a popular spot for meeting up.


Sevensisters sells unusual items for day-to-day use: home accessories, fashion, small gifts and souvenirs from newcomers and brands from all over the world. But Sevensisters is mainly a forum for young Swiss design. This is where you will find what you can’t buy in a department store.

Hotel Krafft

Hotel Krafft located on Basel’s Rheingasse allows you to dine with a breath-taking view of the Rhine. In nice weather, you can also sit on the large terrace directly at the water’s edge. The stylish smoking lounge with a fireplace and the wine bar Consum round off the restaurant’s offering. In summer, there is also an alternative music festival called “Musik im Fluss”.

The Right Bank of the Rhine – Basel’s riviera

Kleinbasel, the part of town on the Right Bank of the Rhine, is know as Basel’s riviera. You can walk over two kilometres up the Rhine from the three-country border to France and Germany. In summer, the major attraction is to then swim back. Lots of people who live in Basel take this opportunity to swim to work.

STAMPA gallery

STAMPA gallery presents contemporary art from Switzerland and around the world. A key component of the gallery’s concept is the bookshop, which offers a highly specialised range of publications on art, photography, architecture, design and fashion as well as videos, books on artists and editions.


This large restaurant serving European and Asian cuisine in various dining and lounge areas has a really good sushi bar where the food is prepared fresh by the sushi master chefs in the centre of the bar.

Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein

If you are in Basel, you should plan a detour to Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein. It’s just a stone’s throw from Basel, further along the Rhine, and offers wonderful changing design exhibitions. The main building was designed by Frank Gehry and features impressive architecture.

These tips are from:

Jean Jacques Schaffner, Schaffner & Conzelmann, Basel, Switzerland

Jean Jacques Schaffner was born in Switzerland in 1954. He studied graphic design at the Kunsthochschule (Academy of Art and Design) Jean Jacques Schaffner was born in Switzerland in 1954. He studied graphic design at the Kunsthochschule (Academy of Art and in Basel. He then trained as a TV music director and photographer and studied abroad in Paris, London, San Francisco and at the University of Utah. He founded Schaffner & Conzelmann Designersfactory in 1976 in Basel. This full-service communication and design agency is one of Switzerland’s highest-profile agencies. Clients include all business sectors, public institutions, NGOs and cultural organisations. From 2000 to 2003, he was President of the European Packaging Design Association. Jean Jacques Schaffner is also a jury member for many design competitions, having served for several years on the jury for the Red Dot Award: Communication Design.

By the way, you can also find these and other tips for Basel and its environs from Jean Jacques Schaffner in the Red Dot Design App in Red Dot Maps.

More about Schaffner & Conzelmann:

Posted on 08.06.2017

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