Cultural creativity in Switzerland

Switzerland is a cosmopolitan country whose four languages and regional diversity are a source of creativity in architecture, the arts, dance and literature.

A display of bronze sculptures with elongated human forms such as 'l'Homme qui Marche'.
Switzerland's museums and galleries are a must see for visitors, for example the Kunsthaus Zürich, which exhibits the world-famous figures of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. © Wikimedia, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung

Swiss designs such as the world-famous Swiss army knife, the 'Helvetica' font and the Swatch are known the world over for their quality, precision and timeless design. Fertile ground for architecture, Switzerland has produced some of the world's most famous architects such as Le Corbusier, Mario Botta and Herzog & de Meuron. Swiss painters and sculptors have shaped various artistic movements. Among the best known are Ferdinand Hodler, Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti and Jean Tinguely.

Switzerland has a rich literary heritage in all four of its national languages. Major Swiss literary figures include Max Frisch, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Johanna Spyri. Swiss music has something to suit every taste – from folk to classical, jazz, 'Schlager', pop and rock, and a lively dialect music scene. There are some 300 professional classical and contemporary dance companies. Switzerland has an unusually high density of museums, and some 70% of Swiss residents go to the museum at least once a year.

The Swiss film industry is best known for award-winning documentaries. Among the Swiss films to have achieved international acclaim are the documentary 'More than Honey' and the feature film 'Journey of Hope'. Switzerland also boasts world-class theatres and a long theatrical tradition that engages with the French, German and Italian-speaking theatrical worlds.


A station concourse with a large railway clock
The SBB station clock by Hans Hilfiker is a Swiss design classic combining functionality, precision and a sober aesthetic. © SBB/CFF/FFS


Interior of the church with contrasting grey and white geometric patterns
Despite its small size, Switzerland has produced a considerable number of internationally renowned architects, including Mario Botta, who designed the church of San Giovanni Battista in Mogno (Ticino). © mightymightymatze

Painting and sculpture

Detail of a painting by Sophie Taeuber-Arp with circles and writing '1920 DADA'
The painter and sculptor Sophie Taeuber-Arp was one of the founders of avant-garde Dadaism, which ushered in the Bauhaus style. ©


Woman reading a book by Friedrich Dürrenmat
Some classic works of Swiss literature that are famous all over the world: D'The Visit', the 'Heidi' children's books and contemporary picture book 'The Rainbow Fish'. © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

Film and cinema

Bees taking off
Documentaries, such as the award-winning film about the disappearance of honey bees 'More than Honey' by Markus Imhoof, are the traditional staple of the Swiss film industry. © Frenetic Films AG


Singer Luca Hänni with two dancers on a red-lit stage
Newcomer Luca Hänni represented Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019 and went on to make several gold-selling records. © Martin Fjellanger, Eurovision Norway, EuroVisionary


Scene from the ballet "The Rite of Spring"
'Le Sacre du printemps' (en: The Rite of Spring, choreographed by Maurice Béjart © Béjart Ballet Lausanne


A boy and his dad operate the Zeppelin simulator.
Visitors to the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne can discover and interact with different forms of transport. The Zeppelin simulator is a popular attraction at one of Switzerland's most-visited museums. © Johanna Unternährer/Verkehrshaus


Scene from the play 'Les Misérables' at the open-air lakeside stage in Thun
'Les Misérables' at the lakeside stage in Thun: each linguistic region has a vibrant dramatic arts tradition. © Thunerseespiele