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“Not my favorite” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Swiss National Museum

Swiss National Museum
Museumstrasse 2, Zurich 8023, Switzerland
41 (0)44 218 65 11
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Ranked #20 of 96 Attractions in Zurich
Type: History Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Situated in an historic castle, this museum displays a collection of interesting artifacts from throughout Swiss history.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
346 reviews 346 reviews
92 attraction reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
139 helpful votes 139 helpful votes
“Not my favorite”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

I'm not sure how to explain my feelings about this..... The museum is HUGE. There's a ton of information in a very large amalgamation of rooms. Someone else used the term chaotic - that's pretty close to what I felt. Instead of going by time period, the rooms go by subject/category; i.e. you might be viewing political information and history that ends with the current day political structure in one section, then the next section reverts back to the impact of industry on the country; again, starting in the middle ages, ending in current times. And this continued to happen from room to room, so for someone with absolutely zero Swiss history, it was a bit disorienting. In many rooms, there are English explanation boards that you have to pick up and hold from the beginning of the room's exhibit through the end. I'd say that covers maybe 60% of what you'll see, maybe not as in-depth as you want. I did not get the audio guide here, maybe that would help. Although, by the time I got to the Waffen Turm (weapons tower), I had about had it - was pretty bored and did not feel much enlightened about the Swiss. But I went up the tower anyway, and wow - what a great collection of old swords/lances, and an amazing number of old guns (think dueling pistols, the first rifles, etc), even uniforms through the ages -- don't miss this section! I did also enjoy the rooms that had been reassembled from old abbeys/monasteries/churches. I wasn't much interested in the furniture, but that was at the end and I really couldn't wait to get out of there. I almost hate to say how disappointed I was, because it's clear that a ton of effort has gone into the displays, and there is so much there. Perhaps my best advice is to skip what doesn't interest you and move on to the next room - there might be something in there that grabs your attention. I did not get to the two special exhibitions. Remember, if you use your Zurich Card, it's free.

Visited March 2013
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London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Swiss National Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

Well worth going to - just walk through Bahnhof HB and it is right there. It gives an insight into the history of the Swiss - some fab textiles too. Well designed and fab experience

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Chaotic museum”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

Museum of Swiss cultural history from prehistory to 20th century, located in a beautiful 19th century castle near the central station. You can see that a lot of work has been put into the display of the collection (the part on the history of Switserland), but it didn't work for me. I got a chaotic impression of it all, which gets worse when you tend to get lost wandering through the big building (to see the period rooms) and wishing there was some more explanation. Entrance was 10 CHF, which includes the temporary exhibition. Until 14 July 2013 it's "Animali - Animals and mythical creatures from antiquity to modern age", nice exhibition. Explanation in German, Enlish, French and Italian.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Athens, Greece
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Switzerland at a glance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

A visit to this museum lets you get a glimpse of Swiss history and tradition. Very interesting the rooms and furniture area of the museum as well as the current periodical exhibition ANIMALI on until July 14, 2013.

Visited March 2013
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Zuerich
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Interesting Museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

A very well organized museum with rotating exhibits and lots of depth and well explained and categorized items.

Visited April 2012
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