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Denim – stylisch, praktisch, zeitlos
Denim – stylisch, praktisch, zeitlos

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

Denim – stylish, practical, timeless

Today: 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

17 October 2020 - 04 April 2021

Blue fabric with a history

Denim is an essential part of many people’s basic wardrobe. Almost everyone owns at least one denim item. Today, however, denim is much more than just a fabric for clothing. One might think that denim and art have nothing to do with each other. Far from it. Many artists around the world have discovered denim as a material in its own right. This unique special exhibition shows the versatility and history of this popular material. It includes paintings by The Master of the Blue Jeans from the end of the late 17th century, jeans, denim jackets, bags, shoes, furniture and everyday objects, as well as sculptures or installations such as The Secret Garden by Ian Berry and the Panthers from the Milan Art & Events Center.

The most widely used material in the world has a fascinating history that probably began in Italy before reaching America and its gold miners and movie stars. Have you ever wondered who invented the material from which the jeans you wear every day are produced? The story is quite captivating and there is an ongoing dispute between Italy and France about which city this hard-wearing fabric was born in. Now the most famous and most widely used material in the world, denim soon went from being a fabric for workwear to the undisputed star of contemporary fashion.

But what are jeans actually made of and where does the name come from? De Nîmes or rather Gênes? Over the years, historians have identified two fabrics outside the United States that could be the precursors of jeans: a durable fabric from the southern French city of Nîmes, from which the name denim is said to derive, and a cotton fabric from Genoa, Italy, which may have led to the English word jeans evolving from city’s name as pronounced in French, Gênes. However, there is no historical evidence for either explanation.

It has been more than a hundred years since blue jeans were invented as practical and robust work trousers. Nobody could have imagined it back then, and certainly didn’t plan for it to happen, but blue denim trousers have become a fashion item. Although they are newly styled and redesigned every year, the trousers worn by gold miners and cowboys have retained their most important features. They are comfortable and durable. But blue jeans did not just become trendy clothing, they are also considered a cult object. Because of their history, they have already served as a status symbol for a wide variety of movements. Today they are a part of the standard wardrobe of both workers and their bosses. Even heads of state, models and actors pose in front of the cameras in this comfortable leg attire. Nowadays blue jeans are available for both men and women, and for almost every occasion.

In this exhibition, which features approximately 200 objects, visitors are taken on a journey through the facets of this fascinating material. This special exhibition was created in collaboration with Ms. Liza Snook from the Virtual Shoe Museum in The Hague. We have succeeded in collecting and bringing together items on loan from various European museums, private collectors and installations from galleries and artists all over the world. The exhibition can only be seen in this form in Basel.

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

OpenClosed | 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

Steinenvorstadt 1,  4051  Basel

Opening Hours

Mo Closed  |  Tu 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  We 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  Th 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  Fr 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  Sa 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  Su 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

Museum, Ristorante and Boutique:
Tue. to Sun. from 10 to 18, in December, daily from 10 to 18

Christmas/New Year 2022/2023

24 December 2022: 10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

25 December 2022: Closed

26 December 2022: Closed

27 December 2022: 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

28 December 2022: 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

29 December 2022: 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

30 December 2022: 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

31 December 2022: 10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

01 January 2023: Closed


Toy Worlds Museum Basel

With over 1,000 m2 on four levels, the museum is one of a kind in Europe. lt is located at the heart of downtown Basel and houses the largest collection of antique teddy bears in the world, together with historic dolls, toy grocery stores, dollhouses, carousels, and contemporary miniatures. Visitors from around the world come to marvel at the museum. Special exhibitions on select, fascinating topics are always being featured at the museum. Your own smartphone or tablet can be used as an interactive museum guide. ln-house Wi-Fi makes this service free of charge.


Standard entry CHF 7.00
Children and youth up to 16 years of age are free
Children up to 12 years of age only when accompanied by an adult

Discounted entry CHF 5.00
Persons with disabilities (persons accompanying persons with disabilities who can’t visit the museum on their own qualify for free entry)

The entire building, including the boutique and Ristorante La Sosta, is accessible by wheelchair.

Museums-PASS-Musées Free admission

Swiss Museum Pass Free admission


Barfüsserplatz is just a short stroll of about fifteen minutes from the SBB train station.

Another convenient alternative is the tram – take SBB Tram No. 8 from the train station to Barfüsserplatz or tram No. 11 to the Theater or Barfüsserplatz stop. From Badischer Bahnhof train station, take tram No. 6 to the Barfüsserplatz or Theater stop.

For visitors arriving by car, the carparks near the SBB train station (Centralbahnparking), Elisabethen, Steinen, or Parkhaus Badischer Bahnhof, are highly recommended.


The Museum, Restaurant and Shop are wheelchair-accessible. Access to the restaurant from the entrance area is via a 440 cm long, 110 cm wide ascending ramp (9.41% / 6.24°). A portable ramp can be set up from the entrance area to the shop.

All museum floors are accessible via a lift (door width 79.8 cm, depth 115 cm) with no thresholds or obstructions. The disabled toilet on the 1st floor is wheelchair-accessible: door width 79 cm, sitting height 41 cm, hinged handles and hand-rails are provided. The washbasin is designed for wheelchair users and the mirror positioned lower accordingly.

Floor surfaces:
All museum rooms have parquet floors.
The restaurant and shop have stone floors.

The restaurant presents no problems for wheelchair users and is accessible via a 440 cm long, 110 cm wide ascending ramp (9.41% / 6.24°).

A special mobile, collapsible ramp with side rail (200 cm long, 82 cm wide) is available.

How to get here:
The use of public transport is recommended: From the SBB station, tram No. 8 to the “Barfüsserplatz” stop or tram No. 11 to the “Theater” or “Barfüsserplatz” stop. From the Badischer Bahnhof station, tram No. 6 to the “Barfüsserplatz” or “Theater” stop.

You may also come by car or use the Basle Municipal Disabled Persons Transport Service (Tel. 061 666 66 66, advance notification required!). Stopping briefly in front of the museum to allow passengers to get into or out of the car is permitted. Disabled parking spaces are available in the nearby “Steinen” and “Elisabethen” multistorey car parks.

Special points:
Two wheelchairs are available in the museum for wheelchair users and persons with walking difficulties.

The interactive information systems on the various floors can be pulled down to sitting height.

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

Arte popolare napoletana

Permanent exhibition

One area of our museum's collection of miniatures is dedi- cated to the Neapolitan folk art of nativity-scene making. The exhibition with its scenes of typical everyday Mediter- ranean life conveys a unique insight into the life of the citizens of 18th-century Naples. The ...
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Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

Fascinating World of Teddy Bears and Dolls

Permanent exhibition

The respect shown to every exhibit on display is evident both within the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel (Toy Worlds Museum Basle) and in its show windows in the prominent pedestrian precinct in the centre of Basel. Adequate space has been given to the displays throughout the ...
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Guided Tour

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

Guided tours including current special exhibition

03 December 2022 | 2.00 PM - 3.00 PM

Additional guided tours
Guided tours through the museum, including the special exhibition, in German, French, English and Russian can be booked through Basel Tourismus: T +41 61 268 68 32 or +41 61 268 68 68

Entry fee with tour CHF 9.00
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Exhibition Children

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

celestial, terrestrial, animalic - Christmas tree animals

12 November 2022 - 19 February 2023

More than 600 animals crawl, fly, swim and hop through this year’s Christmas exhibition at the Spielzeug Welten Museum – a testament to the variety of creatures that enlivened Christmas trees as early as 100 years ago.
Filou the Christmas dog guides our youngest visitors ...
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Special Children

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

Weihnachtskino - «Pinocchio», 2002 (FSK 6)

Tomorrow 27 November 2022 | 11.00 AM - 12.30 PM

Eintritt: Freikarte kann im Kino bei Vorweis einer Eintrittskarte vom Museum bezogen werden; mit dem Kinoticket hat man am 27. November freien Eintritt ins Museum.
Ort: Stadtkino Basel
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