The entrance of Photobastei represents the place well; you push a door that might seem like one from a private building and end up in a stairwell where direction indications aren’t so clear. It feels artsy, with a lot of flyers laying around for all sorts of events. I recommend going up to the second and third floor of the building, where you will find exhibitions and a place to sit with either a photography book or a drink. Once again, the entrance might feel weird, but you really just have to walk in.
On the second floor, there is an exhibition space dedicated to independent artists that wish to share their experiments in contemporary art and non-commercial photography. Next to it, there is a library with a lot of photography books that can freely be skimmed through on one of the couches. If you come in the afternoon, there is a chance that nobody’s there to guide or watch you – a real immersion in the Swiss culture of trust.
One floor up also hosts an exhibition space. Depending on the current exhibition, it might be either free or with an entrance fee. Even if the exhibition doesn’t interest you, I still highly recommend popping to this floor which also features a large open space with lots of couches, mats, pictures, and mirrors on the wall… Everything to make you feel cozy, with a drink that you can order at the bar. Something in this place feels underground, alternative.