Culture – facts and figures

Thanks to its location at the crossroads of three major European cultures (German, French and Italian), Switzerland has a rich and varied arts and culture scene. This situation is also a reason why the country’s artists tend to be outward-looking and incorporate influences from other countries in their work.

A woman explaining a picture to a group of children
Art teaching at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern. © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

  • There are 1,142 museums in Switzerland, and they attract around 20 million visitors every year.
  • Basel University Library is Switzerland’s largest library, with holdings totalling 8.4 million.
  • With 55 theatres, the city of Bern has the highest cinema density in Switzerland. There are a total of 272 cinemas in Switzerland.
  • Public spending on culture works out at CHF 337 per person, per year.
  • Zurich, Geneva and Basel are Switzerland’s major cultural centres. Between them, these three cantons and their respective communes contribute around 40% to total public arts funding.
  • Cantonal lottery funds support Swiss arts and culture every year to the tune of CHF 159 million.