World-class art, theatre and music
Kunsthaus Zürich is a must for all friends of the fine arts – it is home to one of the most significant collections in Europe and notable temporary exhibitions. Highlights at the gallery include the largest Munch collection outside Norway, paintings by Picasso, Monet and Chagall and by expressionists such as Kokoschka, Beckmann and Corinth, as well as works by Alberto Giacometti. Also on display are pop art pieces and works by Rothko, Merz, Twombly, Beuys, Bacon and Baselitz.
Swiss National Museum
The Swiss National Museum, which is located next to the Hauptbahnhof, contains Switzerland’s largest collection of artefacts detailing the cultural history of Switzerland. The museum building is over 100 years old, and the exhibits housed within it bring the past to life, with material legacies – from works of art to everyday objects – providing an insight into how Switzerland’s past generations lived. The museum also regularly addresses socially relevant issues in its special exhibitions.
The Museum Rietberg takes visitors on a trip around the world – the museum’s treasures range from “magical” sculptures from Africa to Buddhist art from Asia and cultural artefacts from the South Pacific and the Americas. A series of fascinating special exhibitions is held at the Rietberg Museum to provide interesting insights into individual cultures. In summer, the café offers visitors picnic baskets for an enjoyable afternoon in one of Zurich’s most beautiful parks.
Museum für Gestaltung
As a partner to the Zurich University of the Arts, the Museum für Gestaltung maintains four important collections covering the areas of design, graphic design, applied art and posters, as well as a library that is open to the public. Temporary exhibitions are held to make visitors aware of how design permeates every aspect of our daily lives. An internationally renowned collection of applied art is housed at the Bellerive Museum in the Seefeld district.
Zurich Opera House
Seating around 1,100 guests, the Zurich Opera House is one of the world’s smallest great opera houses, and at the same time one of the best – in 2014, it was named Opera Company of the Year at the International Opera Awards. The diverse schedule encompasses not only well-loved operas and operettas, but also the premieres of new works, children’s operas and ballet evenings. International stars such as Cecilia Bartoli, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Anna Netrebko, Emily Magee, Nina Stemme, Stephen Gould, René Pape, Matti Salminen and Klaus Florian Vogt, as well as conductors such as Marco Armiliato, Fabio Luisi and Carlo Rizzi, are regular features at the Zurich Opera House.
This used to be a place where steamboats and motorboats were built. Today, the former factory dominates the lively cultural scene in the west of Zurich. In addition to its main stage at Heimplatz in the city centre, the Schauspielhaus Zürich has three more theatre stages in this listed building, and the diverse programme on offer at the Schiffbauhalle, the Box and the Matchbox is renowned throughout Europe. The Moods jazz club, LaSalle restaurant and Nietturm bar can also be found at the Schiffbau.
Theater Neumarkt in the centre of Zurich’s old town focuses on contemporary performance art. Three times a season, the theatre turns its attention to a new thematic area, which it proceeds to analyse in a range of different pieces. This temporary focus enables the theatre to examine its chosen themes from various perspectives.
The Tonhalle Zürich concert venue has some of the best acoustics in the world. The famous concert hall, which can seat 1,455 people, was built in 1895 and inaugurated in the presence of Johannes Brahms. In recent years, the Tonhalle Orchestra has developed into one of Europe’s leading ensembles. The orchestra comprises around 100 musicians and has been conducted by Lionel Bringuier since 2014. It performs around 100 concerts every season with approximately 50 different programmes.