There are over 900 Switzerland museums, which roughly equals out to one museum per every 7,500 people who live there. Switzerland has one of the most dedicated, museum-going populations in the whole world. There are Switzerland museums that celebrate the old Swiss Confederacy, the Middle Ages and castles, technology and science, art, history, and more.
A trip to Switzerland offers the opportunity to take part in countless outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking. Tourists also enjoy the luxurious dining, shopping, and lodging. Many may not be aware of the range of options available in terms of museums in Switzerland. Even a quick survey of the country’s museums reveals that any topic of interest is covered. Museums in Switzerland also obviously benefit from their positioning within the greater region and the concomitant cultural influences that pervade all facets of life throughout the country.
Every Swiss museum is distinct in its own way, but each one has most certainly been influenced in one way or another by the cultures and traditions of the countries that border Switzerland. Some museums are dedicated to featuring the achievements and accomplishments of people born in Switzerland, while others feature works from surrounding countries such as France, Italy, and Germany, whose artists lived in and contributed to the culture and development of Switzerland.
Verkehrshaus, or “Swiss Transport Museum,” was founded in 1959 and remains one of the most popular attractions for tourists interested in the history and development of Switzerland’s transport systems. It is appropriate to dedicate a full museum to transportation and communications, as the Verkehrshaus does, in a country so intricately and necessarily connected by train, cable car, and boat. The Verkehrshaus is a highly regarded Swiss museum because it gives a unique glimpse into the history of Switzerland by displaying planes, locomotives, ships, and other craft that were integral and momentous in the country’s development.
For art lovers, the Tinguely Museum is an eclectic, post-modern building, dedicated to the art of Jean Tinguely. Tinguely grew up in Basel and was considered to be an important part of the Paris avant-garde in the 1950s and 1960s. In an attempt to challenge the conventions of art, Jean Tinguely crafted works of art that were quite literally static, involving kinetic energy. This point alone makes this particular museum one of the most unique and intriguing museums in Switzerland. So, besides being able to view his sculptures and drawings, visitors to the museum can see Tinguely’s famous machine-sculptures and some of his other works involving static electricity and kinetic energy.
Another one of the most popular Switzerland museums is the Kirchner, located in the Swiss Alps of Graubunden near the border of Germany. The Kirchner Museum celebrates the life and work of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and other important and notable Expressionists who he influenced, and was in turn, influenced by. Any fan of mid-twentieth century Expressionism should put the Kirchner on their to-do list for museums in Switzerland dedicated to art.
It is not the easiest task to choose one Swiss museum, or even just two or three when you’re planning a trip to Switzerland. If you can balance your time between visiting other attractions, outdoor activities, and relaxation, then a carefully planned agenda for a day or two at the museum may turn up an unexpectedly gratifying surprise. In fact, some of Western Europe’s finest works are on display in various museums in Switzerland. Take a little time to do your research on exactly which of the Swiss museums is right for you, and you will not be disappointed.