The Art Basel 2024 everyday carry

Tuesday 11th June, 2024 - Bruce Sterling

*Why not a “Swiss Army Knife”?


Once your week starts at Art Basel, it’s unlikely to stop. A portable phone charger was recommended among the must-pack items from most people Artsy spoke to. “Once you leave your hotel, you can really be out and about all day and all night,” said Patricia Amberg, head of the UBS Art Competence Center and a longtime Art Basel attendee.

Loading up on snacks is another thing to be mindful of during busy periods. Sara Fitzmaurice, CEO of the arts PR firm Fitz & Co and an Art Basel attendee for more than two decades, recommends a preliminary stop at a Coop supermarket. “Long days with little time for breakfast or lunch mean having healthy snacks in my room is a must,” she noted. “I also load up on bottled water to stay hydrated throughout the week.”

Other things to pick up between the plane/train and the fair include:

A day pass for the tram—the preferred and most efficient way to get around town. If you have an Art Basel VIP pass, tram travel is free.

Bookmark the online city map, which contains a handy index of local landmarks. You’ll thank yourself later.

Ahead of the fair, it’s always useful to do some reading to earmark the booths and areas that you might want to check out. Here are some handy ways of doing so:

Check out Art Basel’s guide to the galleries and sectors at the fair. Download the PDF floor plan of the fair to highlight which galleries you want to see.

Read Artsy’s preview of the 10 shows to see during the fair.

Sign up for the local magazine Bebbi Zine’s daily digest, a recommendation from Basel locals Hester and Stefan von Bartha: “A newsletter each morning during Art Basel with all the best events, openings, and parties.”…


“I do not follow a specific strategy when navigating the booths. I always make a point to systematically explore every booth at the fair, aisle by aisle, keeping my mind open for discovery,” said Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, an esteemed art collector and president of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo…