We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great experience”

Ballenberg, Swiss Open-Air Museum
Ranked #3 of 13 things to do in Brienz
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: More than one hundred centuries-old buildings from all over Switzerland, 250 farmyard animals, traditional, old-time gardens and fields, demonstrations of local crafts and many special events create a vivid impression of rural life in days gone by. Ballenberg is indeed unique.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Lockers / storage, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed July 23, 2013

My children loved watching the various craftsman at work. They particularly enjoyed watching the blacksmith hammering and making iron nails from scratch. When the blacksmith gave one to my little girl, we were thrilled! We enjoyed entering the various authentic Swiss houses and the scenery is beautiful. The cheese that was produced at the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum was exceptionally tasty. We wished we had bought more. This museum is spanned across a huge piece of land and so if you really want to enjoy the entire place you need a whole day. We chose to explore one half of the museum in half day and went off for a boat ride on Lake Brienz. It was an unforgettable experience!

Thank Eileen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (786)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"open air museum"
in 49 reviews
"farm animals"
in 25 reviews
"cheese making"
in 21 reviews
"swiss history"
in 14 reviews
in 14 reviews
"west entrance"
in 10 reviews
"large area"
in 8 reviews
"traditional crafts"
in 7 reviews
"different areas"
in 10 reviews
"live demonstrations"
in 6 reviews
"petting zoo"
in 5 reviews
"walking shoes"
in 5 reviews
"merry go round"
in 5 reviews
"rural life"
in 5 reviews
"old days"
in 6 reviews
"step back in time"
in 4 reviews
"period furniture"
in 4 reviews

269 - 273 of 786 reviews

Reviewed July 7, 2013

This is more than an open air museum, as well as over 150 old buildings (most of them reconstructed original buildings), there are 250 farm yard animals, gardens, exhibitions, demonstrations of crafts etc. The buildings are arranged in regional groups and between each area there are delightful walks. If you have the energy you could easily spent eight or more hours there and still not see everything. Most of the buildings are farm houses and farm buildings, the majority furnished and full of artefacts.
A map and brief guide is provided, eating places including picnic areas) and toilets are available without having to walk far. For those who want it guided tours are available.
It is easy to reach by bus from the railway station/ boat landing stage at Brienz.
Certainly the best open air museum I have ever visited. Well woth a visit.

Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

The open air museum is easy to get to by bus from Brienz.
There is a lot of walking and stair climbing and some of the paths are a bit tricky but well worth the effort.
The map, which they sell for 2 francs, is a must to have if you want to make the most of your visit. It is well signposted as well but the map helps
The old houses and buildings tell a great story of Swiss history.

Thank SAK56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

This is a great open-air museum, and adds great depth and understanding to Switzerland and Swiss traditions.

Caught the train from Lucerne to Brienz, and then bus to Ballenberg West. Great train trip - beautiful and typically Swiss chocolate-box scenery. Used my Swiss Flexi Pass - hence entry free (as was the bus and train)! Spent most of the day here. It was superb, informative, and lived up to what was in the brochure. Very big, very tiring, lots of steps inside each chalet, and it is quite hilly. However, inside each chalet/structure is always something very interesting and something to experience. Good live demonstrations of crafts and cooking, and traditions. The cooking demos often were accompanied by free samples. The staff are easily approachable and explained everything in good English. For lunch I had a lovely bowl of soup, which was supplied on a donation basis. Ballenberg could be broken up into sections on different days if you have time - that is - there is enough here to keep one going for a number of days. If you are doing this with children it would be best to break over 2 or 3 days (into 2 or 3 discreet sections) to get the most benefit. Ballenberg East is also accessible by bus, to Brunig, which is how I returned.

Departed from Lucerne at about 9 am, and returned by 5 pm. Being on a Swiss Pass, meant the whole day cost me 1 CHF - which was the donation fro my bowl of soup! This would not be an easy trip for a wheelchair or stroller.

Thank Renee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed June 16, 2013

There are 2 entrances - East & West. Better to do some research first and decide which part you want to visit, as a walk from East to West is up and down the hills and very taxing for elderly and children. I did that and really regretted it. It was so tiring. After 5 hours of walking, we were still way off from the next entrance, and had to hire a horse carriage to take us there. Lol.
Very big place with architecture of Swiss historic housing over the centuries. But after a while, they all look similar. Perhaps I'm not so into it.
We had lunch there. Very good food (Spaghetti / pies) at reasonable prices.
Free for full swiss pass holders.

3  Thank hlmh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Ballenberg, Swiss Open-Air Museum also viewed

Brienz, Bernese Oberland
Brienz, Bernese Oberland
Brienz, Bernese Oberland
Meiringen, Bernese Oberland

Been to Ballenberg, Swiss Open-Air Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing