The Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel preserves Europe’s largest collection of dolls, teddy bears, miniatures, carousels, and other vintage objects of childhood play.
Opened in 1998, the four-storey, 11,000-square-foot museum traces play through the decades. The core of the collection features toys from between 1870 and 1920, though some older pieces — such as a Steiff bear from 1904 — are also among the more than 6,000 objects in the museum’s care.
The museum hosts temporary exhibits curated around specific themes, and the annual Christmas exhibition is a beloved tradition for many visitors.
Visitors are welcome to tour the museum on their own. Guided tours are offered in English, German, and French for those who want a more educational experience. A portion of the collection is available online for those who can’t attend the museum in person.