Zurich stands as the biggest city population-wise in all of Switzerland which already makes it an important place, despite the fact that it is also the country's financial leader. Furthermore, the city is a fantastic place for research and development with many international corporations calling it home. If you ever take a trip here you may never want to leave as it is ranked as one of the top five places to live in the whole world, and one of the happiest cities on the globe!
Interested in learning more about this fantastic city? Explore its neighborhoods or shop like a local and find gifts for those back home. And there are lots of Zurich museums that can teach you about the local history and so many more topics, from contemporary art to the natural world and other interesting themes. Below we've gathered just a few of them that you can visit while you are in town, so start planning your trip now! Some museums don't allow bags so you should find a place to store your luggage or large backpacks in Zurich while you are out.
Kunsthaus Zurich is an art museum that focuses on artwork from both Swedish and internationally known artists, including one whose work dates back all the way to the Middle Ages! Some artists that you might recognize include Holder, Rist and Alberto Giacometti as well as more famous names like Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh.
The museum itself is stunning and was first opened to the public in 1910. The museum boasts an impressive collection of art mainly from the 20th and 21st centuries, although older works are also featured. This is one of the biggest museums of its kind in the city and should be the first stop for art lovers!
Address: You can find the museum at Heimpl. 1/5, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland.
FIFA World Football Museum
Zurich even has museums dedicated to sports enthusiasts! The FIFA museum is a great place to go if you are passionate about Football and chances are that you will get to learn something new. In total, the building has about 3,000 square meters of space and around 1,000 exhibits and displays for you to explore. There is even a café, sports bar and bistro on site.
The main attraction of the museum is the FIFA World Cup Gallery where you can see the FIFA World Cup Trophy in person! Other attractions include audiovisual displays with around 500 videos to watch. Come see how this fantastic sport has brought people together and united fans around the world!
Address: Its address is Seestrasse 27, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland, just across from the train station.
Swiss National Museum
Within the city, you might hear this Zurich museum being called Landesmuseum. It is one of the best museums of its kind and should be the first place that you go if you want to learn more about Switzerland and its people. The exhibits featured in the museum span the entire history of the country, from prehistory times to the present day. There is an extensive selection of permanent displays as well as temporary exhibits that pop up now and then.
The building houses all sorts of artifacts, homewares, artworks, handicrafts and even an armory tower that will help teach you about the cultural history of the country. Even the building itself is part of Swiss history; it is a clash of a medieval castle and modern architecture.
Address: It is one of the most visited museums in Zurich so come see what it is all about at Museumstrasse 2, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland.
This museum is housed in the Toni-Areal Zurich University campus and it is one of the top museums of its kind in all of Europe. Inside you will find nearly 500,000 items and displays about posters, graphics, applied art and, of course, design! There is no surprise as to why Zurich has one of the best design museums since Switzerland is one of the world's leaders in visual and design work.
As you wander through the exhibits you will be looking at works belonging to a timeline between 1875 all the way until the 20th century. A number of well-known names are featured in the exhibits including Freitag, Max Bill René, Le Corbusier, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Herbert Matter.
Address: This museum, locally called the Museum für Gestaltung, can be found at Ausstellungsstrasse 60, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland.
This is another one perfect for those who are passionate about art, although it is different than the city's other art museums. In fact, this is the only art museum in all of Switzerland that focuses on non European art and you can see some really unique masterpieces here if you pay them a visit.
Most of the artworks originate from Asia, Oceania, America and Africa. Make sure that you take your time to look around and don't miss the display of Chinese Buddhist sculptures, some of which are estimated to be built back in the 6thc century. The beautiful museum is hard to miss; it is located in a stunning 19th century villa with a modern, 21st century glass pavilion.
Address: Museum Rietberg is situated inside of Rieterpark to the west of Lake Zurich at Gablerstrasse 15, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland.
The Zoological Museum is another museum housed at Zurich University and it will definitely be a favorite among those who are interested in animals. Most people who visit argue that it is the best museum of its kind in the entirety of Switzerland so you better check it out while you are in town!
Inside you will get the opportunity to see animals that are native to Zurich and others that are found in every other corner of the world. Reserve a couple of hours for walking around the exhibits, since there are over 1,500 of them! Some of the displays are interactive so you can get hands on with looking at specimens through microscopes, listening to hundreds of different animal recordings, and seeing how much you know by testing yourself at the stations.
Address: The museum is located at Karl-Schmid-Strasse 4, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland.
Migros Museum Für Gegenwartskunst
The Migros Museum Für Gegenwartskunst is another modern art museum that calls Zurich home. This is a museum dedicated to conceptual art and contemporary art, but it goes about its exhibits in a light-hearted way. Overall it is just a fun place to visit whether you have a taste for modern art or not!
Migros is the financer for the museum and also the biggest retailer in Switzerland. It features many Swiss artists like Pamela Rosenkranz, John Armleder and Richard Jackson.
Address: To see their permanent collections just make your way to Limmatstrasse 270, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland.
Our planet is incredible, and this museum focuses completely on Earth science and related topics. It is run by the Department of Earth Sciences at ETH and they have done a great job of creating an educational environment for everyone. You should pay them a visit, especially if you are traveling with kids!
After your visit, you will be knowledgeable in rocks, minerals, precious stones, plate tectonics, volcanoes and everything else to do with geology. FocusTerra also boasts interactive projections that will help you have fun while you learn. The way that the museum is built is very interesting since you will be moving through the layers of the Earth as you go up each floor! Make sure that you check out the earthquake simulator as well.
Address: Their address is Sonneggstrasse 5, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland.
Zurich Tram Museum
Trams are the main source of transportation in the city which is why they've made an entire museum dedicated to them. Not only will you get to learn about the history of the trams but you will also get to see up to 20 real life trams as well! Some of them are as old as 1897 and others include more modern models. Interested in seeing the oldest running tram in the city? It is still making rounds on the Museum Line!
Everyone who visits the Zurich Tram Museum has a great time, whether they are old or young. Kids can get hands-on with the different activities and climb into old trams to see how they work up close. At the shop, you can buy souvenirs, postcards and miniature models to take home with you.
Address: Make your way to Forchstrasse 260, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland to visit the museum.
Beyer Clock and Watch Museum
Have you ever been interested in horology? The way that humans have managed to measure time is impressive, and it has actually changed quite a bit over the years. If you've ever been interested in the topic then this is your chance to learn more! The Beyer Clock and Watch Museum in Zurich offers an impressive display of clocks and other time-keeping devices dating between 1400 BC all the way until today.
Try to not focus on how much time you spend at the museum exploring the 260 unique exhibits! You will get the chance to see many different kinds of watches and clocks, from sundials and water clocks to pendulums, pocket watches and automatic watches. The museum takes things even further to explain a little bit about scientific navigation devices as well!
Address: Come see what other cool kinds of displays they have at their location which is found at Bahnhofstrasse 31, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland.
What are the best free museums in Zurich?
Traveling can be expensive which is why it is nice to save money when you can. The Kunsthaus Zurich museum is one of the places that you should keep in mind since it offers free admission every week on Wednesdays! Certain individuals like children under the age of 16 and students can visit for free at any time.
FocusTerra is an incredible museum to visit, and a big bonus is that the museum is free for everyone, every day! Make sure that you stop by while you are in the city since it won't cost you a penny.
Which are the best museums in Downtown Zurich?
Beyer Clock and Watch Museum
If you ever find yourself in central Zurich you will notice that there are a few museums in the area. The Beyer Clock and Watch Museum is one of them, so add it to your itinerary!
Another museum situated close to the city center of Zurich is the Zoological Museum. It should be easy to get to and is well worth a visit; try stopping by it while you are already downtown!
Are there any cheap museums in Zurich?
Zurich Tram Museum
Looking for a fun but affordable activity for the whole family? The Zurich Tram Museum is a great choice with tickets at around CHF 12 (about an equivalent price in USD) for adults, CHF 8 for teens and CHF 6 for kids. There are even discounts for families as well as reduced prices for the elderly and those who have accessibility issues.
Another option for those who don't want to spend unnecessarily is the Design Museum. Tickets are around CHF 12 for regular entry and there is a reduced fare of CHF 8 for those who are eligible.
Seeing the Best of Zurich Museums
Flying into Zurich Airport and ready to see the city? Whether you are interested in arts, photography, science, architecture, the local culture or more, this city will have a museum for you. Listed above are some of the city's top museums but there are actually even more of them scattered around the Old Town and city center.
Each exhibit and display tells a different story, and all museums are important when it comes to preserving the history and culture of a city. Visiting museums can bring people together and also helps us to understand each other. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Switzerland and try to visit as many Zurich museums as you can!