Take in Switzerland’s dramatic landscapes and fine museums as you travel from Geneva to Zürich. June travelers have access to Art Basel—one of the international art world’s most anticipated events. Those on the September departure will enjoy exclusive visits to the Vitra Design museum and a close-up look at the Swiss art of watchmaking.

Starting at: $5,195 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Hildy and Ernst Beyeler Museum in Riehen.  Credit: MySwitzerland.com  The Oskar Reinhart Museum in Winterthur, showcasing some of the finest European art.
 Credit: MySwitzerland.com  Oskar Reinhart Museum in Winterthur, Switzerland. Credit: MySwitzerland.com  Mittlere Brücke Bridge in Basel.  Credit: Alex Beaudette  Inside the Kunstmuseum Basel, one of the most significant public art collections in Switzerland.  Credit: MySwitzerland.com  A view of historic Bern  The Kunstmuseum Bern, home to Switzerland's oldest permanent art collection.  Credit: MySwitzerland.com  The Kunstmuseum Bern.  Credit: MySwitzerland.com  The Musée de l'Élysée in Lausanne, Switzerland. 
 Credit: MySwitzerland.com  Lavaux Vineyard. Credit: Sudipto Das

Art Across Switzerland

8 days from $5,195

Take in Switzerland’s dramatic landscapes and fine museums as you travel from Geneva to Zürich. June travelers have access to Art Basel—one of the international art world’s most anticipated events. Those on the September departure will enjoy exclusive visits to the Vitra Design museum and a close-up look at the Swiss art of watchmaking.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I have been with various travel groups but this trip was better than any I've ever been on. Everything was well planned; these guys had it to down to a science. On most tours at least one thing goes wrong, but not with Smithsonian. They're total experts and professionals and I can't think of anything that they could have done better.

- Valerie, M.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

The art of Switzerland reflects a sweeping range of cultural and regional influences. During this new journey, delve into the arts—both past and contemporary—by exploring cultural venues in the breathtaking regions surrounding Lake Geneva, including Lavaux, medieval Bern, and of course Basel, a center for the region’s heritage.

Highlights Include

  • Art of Switzerland: Enjoy Switzerland’s finest museums, including Lausanne’s Musée de l’Élysée, Bern’s Museum of Fine Arts, and Winterthur’s Oskar Reinhart collections. You’ll also tour Basel’s Kunstmuseum, Switzerland’s largest and most important public art collection, and the Fondation Beyeler with its classic modernist collection that is home to pieces from Van Gogh and Picasso to Calder and Warhol.
  • Cultural Sites: Take a cruise on Lake Geneva to the terraced vineyards of Lavaux for a wine tasting and tour of this World Heritage site.
  • Departure Highlights: In June, attend the highly anticipated Art Basel, an annual showcase for the best in contemporary and modern art. In September, view modern and contemporary design at the renowned Vitra Design Museum in Basel and learn about the famous Swiss art of watch-making in Geneva. 
  • Visit Smithsonian.com to read more about the "Five Must-Visit Cities in Switzerland for Art Lovers"

I have been with various travel groups but this trip was better than any I've ever been on. Everything was well planned; these guys had it to down to a science. On most tours at least one thing goes wrong, but not with Smithsonian. They're total experts and professionals and I can't think of anything that they could have done better.

- Valerie, M.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

June 12-19, 2017 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S for Geneva

Day 2 — Geneva, Lausanne

Arrive at the airport in Geneva and meet with your group. En route to Lausanne, stop in at Mamco, Geneva’s museum of modern and contemporary art. Transfer to Lausanne, also located in the French-speaking region of Switzerland and on the shores of Lake Geneva. Enjoy a welcome reception followed by dinner. (R,D)

Day 3 — Lausanne, Lavaux

Begin the day with a guided visit of the Musée de l'Élysée, a museum dedicated exclusively to photography with a collection of over 100,000 images. Head to the port of Ouchy and board a boat to Lavaux. As you cruise towards the picturesque Lavaux region, see why the miles of terraced vineyards have been declared a World Heritage site. Wine has been produced here for nearly a millennium. Spend the afternoon exploring the vineyards on foot and sampling local wines. Return to Lausanne for an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 4 — Bern

Depart Lausanne for the charming city of Bern. The historic city center’s layout has barely changed since medieval times, and forms a World Heritage site. Take a guided tour of the Kunstmuseum Bern. Its collection contains works by key figures like Paul Klee, Ferdinand Hodler, and Pablo Picasso. Have lunch at a local restaurant, then enjoy a walking tour of Bern’s medieval Old Town. The evening will be at leisure. (B,L)

Day 5 — Bern, Basel

From June 15-18, the city buzzes with the energy of Art Basel, a showcase for the best in contemporary and modern art. Hundreds of artists have come together every year since the 1970s to see what’s new and what’s next. The show includes media from film to gallery shows to magazines to boundary-pushing performance art. Explore the show with the group or independently. Enjoy a reception this evening followed by dinner. (B,R,D)

Day 6 — Basel

Basel is also home to a concentration of excellent permanent collections. Tour the Fondation Beyeler, home to the collection of Hildy and Ernst Beyeler—two of the original founders of Art Basel. Visit the Kunstmuseum Basel on a private guided tour of the biggest and most important collection of public art in Switzerland. With so much to see and do, you’ll want time to explore independently. Continue the museum theme with visits to the Kunsthalle Basel or Tinguely Museum, or enjoy the outdoors and take time to relax along the river banks or in one of the many local cafes. (B)

Day 7 — Winterthur

Set off for Winterthur to explore the life and works of Oskar Reinhart, a key collector and patron of Swiss arts. Today, his extensive collections are housed in two museums in his hometown of Winterthur. Visit both the Museum Oskar Reinhart and the “Am Römerholz” Reinhart collection. The museums hold a range of European art including many excellent French Impressionist pieces, and several dozen works by renowned Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler. (B,R,D)

Day 8 — Winterthur, Zürich

Transfer to the airport in Zürich and depart on individual flights home. (B)

September 3-10, 2017 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S for Geneva

Day 2 — Geneva, Lausanne

Arrive at the airport in Geneva and meet with your group. Visit one of Geneva’s local watchmakers for a close look at one of Switzerland’s most famous art forms. Transfer to Lausanne, also located in the French-speaking region of Switzerland and on the shores of Lake Geneva. Enjoy a welcome reception followed by dinner. (R,D)

Day 3 — Lausanne, Lavaux

Begin the day with a guided visit of the Musée de l'Élysée, a museum dedicated exclusively to photography with a collection of over 100,000 images. Head to the port of Ouchy and board a boat to Lavaux. As you cruise towards the picturesque Lavaux region, see why the miles of terraced vineyards have been declared a World Heritage site. Wine has been produced here for nearly a millennium. Spend the afternoon exploring the vineyards on foot and sampling local wines. Return to Lausanne for an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 4 — Bern

Depart Lausanne for the charming city of Bern. The historic city center’s layout has barely changed since medieval times, and forms a World Heritage site. Take a guided tour of the Kunstmuseum Bern. Its collection contains works by key figures like Paul Klee, Ferdinand Hodler, and Pablo Picasso. Have lunch at a local restaurant, then enjoy a walking tour of Bern’s medieval Old Town. The evening will be at leisure. (B,L)

Day 5 — Bern, Basel

Depart Bern for Basel this morning. Your first stop is the Vitra Design Museum. Designed by Frank Gehry, the museum is dedicated to the research and presentation of design and examines design’s relationship to architecture, art and everyday culture. Afterwards, embark on a guided walking tour of this artistic city.  Enjoy a reception this evening followed by dinner.  (B,R,D)

Day 6 — Basel

Basel is also home to a concentration of excellent permanent collections. Tour the Fondation Beyeler, home to the collection of Hildy and Ernst Beyeler—two of the original founders of Art Basel. Visit the Kunstmuseum Basel on a private guided tour of the biggest and most important collection of public art in Switzerland. With so much to see and do, you’ll want time to explore independently. Continue the museum theme with visits to the Kunsthalle Basel or Tinguely Museum, or enjoy the outdoors and take time to relax along the river banks or in one of the many local cafes. (B)

Day 7 — Winterthur

Set off for Winterthur to explore the life and works of Oskar Reinhart, a key collector and patron of Swiss arts. Today, his extensive collections are housed in two museums in his hometown of Winterthur. Visit both the Museum Oskar Reinhart and the “Am Römerholz” Reinhart collection. The museums hold a range of European art including many excellent French Impressionist pieces, and several dozen works by renowned Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler. (B,R,D)

Day 8 — Winterthur, Zürich

Transfer to the airport in Zürich and depart on individual flights home. (B)