Discover the life of the Swiss people from prehistoric times to the present day while wandering among the rooms of a grandiose riverside castle.
See a slice of Switzerland’s age-old history at the Swiss National Museum (Landsmuseum Zürich). Learn about prehistoric lifestyles, national arts and crafts, present-day history and up-to-date social issues. The Swiss National Museum has a collection of more than 840,000 original artifacts as well as interactive and audiovisual displays. The exhibits are spread throughout the halls of a fairy-tale chateau built in 1898 by the revered architect Gustav Gull.
See exhibits of embroidery techniques from the 13th to 21st centuries, an evolution of clothing trends, examples of traditional costumes and historic flags. Marvel at the display of antique carriages, sleds and wagons. Browse well-preserved furniture items that represent all furniture types made in Switzerland from the 1400s to 2000. Be amazed by archaeological pieces that date back to 100,000 B.C.
Find a numismatics room, which features about 100,000 items such as banknotes, Celtic coins and medals. Observe antique globes and scientific tools in addition to hunting weapons, military arms and regalia. Marvel at Carolingian frescoes, medieval woodcarvings and drawings by Swiss masters. Don’t miss the huge model of the Battle of Murten, a clash between the Swiss Confederation and Burgundy, France in the 1470s.
Visit between late November and early January for the Christmas and Cribs event. Have fun walking among the recreations of nativity scenes set in an enchanted wonderland. Let children enjoy making Christmas souvenirs under the supervision of an artisan.
Find the museum at the northern tip of Zurich’s Old Town. It’s adjacent to Zürich Hauptbahnhof, the city’s main train station. An alternative way to get here is to catch one of the passenger ferries that cruise up and down the Limmat River. After visiting the museum, relax amid the peaceful surroundings of Platzspitz Park.
The Swiss National Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and has an admission fee. Entrance is free for children under the age of 16. Purchase the ZürichCARD for free or discounted admission to this and other major Zurich museums. Tablets with built-in multimedia tours are available to rent at the museum’s reception area.