Street art is ubiquitous in Basel. If you stroll through the city, you will see impressive contemporary and street art almost everywhere. Particularly in recent years, urban art has become firmly established in Basel, and it's hard to imagine the city without it. Basel has been one of Switzerland's graffiti hotspots since the 1980s, and for this reason various international big names in street art are invited to adorn the city with their work.
Graffiti is, without a doubt, one of the best-known forms of art in Basel's public spaces – and one piece of graffiti in particular by artist Marc Bellé: a huge wall on Gerbergässlein depicting world-famous musicians. Requests can be submitted to the landlord of the "L'Unique" rock bar opposite, enabling this Basel street art to be progressively enhanced. You can also find some particularly attractive graffiti along the "Line", which runs next to the railway tracks between the main railway station and the Schwarzwaldbrücke. The area around Schänzli by the St. Jakob Stadium also contains many urban art works that are worth seeing.
The French street artist with the mysterious name of "Invader" has located 25 of his well-known space invaders in Basel. Made from tiles, these art works inspired by the video game of the late 1970s adorn Barfüsserplatz and Rümelinsplatz, for instance, and are definitely worth a visit.
If you want to discover the city's creative street art, you can book an authentic urban art and graffiti tour through Basel via the Artstübli. You will be accompanied by experts from Basel's urban art scene, and will see the city centre from a completely different point of view. The tours begin at Clarastrasse 46 and end at the Artstübli at Steinentorberg 28.
"Art Basel" is one of the leading international art fairs. With events in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong, it attracts visitors from all around the world and acts as an important meeting point for artists, art enthusiasts and many celebrities. The fair is organized by the participating galleries and includes a parallel programme that is compiled in conjunction with the local city authorities. The festival brings modern art in Basel to life, and is always extremely popular.
Basel is considered to be the architectural capital of Switzerland. Apart from the beautiful old town, architectural masterpieces by major international names such as Richard Meier, Frank O. Gehry and Mario Botta enrich the cityscape. Deeply embedded in the historic fabric of the city are the pre-eminent Roche Towers designed by Herzog & de Meuron, for example. Mario Botta has also created two highlights of modern architecture in Basel, namely the BIS Building and the Tinguely Museum.
The buildings on the Novartis Campus are real eye-catchers. Each one was built by a different architect, and plays its part in creating an exciting overall impression. The City of Basel offers regular tours through the site, which is currently not open to the public. The familiar face of the city is rounded off by the new building at the Basel Kunstmuseum, the façade of which consists of grey hand-finished tiles and is the work of architects Christ & Gantenbein.