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“Not my favorite”

Swiss National Museum
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Swiss National Museum Admission and Classic Trolley Sightseeing Tour in Zurich
Ranked #16 of 209 things to do in Zurich
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The National Museum enjoys a central position just a minute’s walk from the main railway station in Zurich. The museum is one of the attractions of this city on the River Limmat. Gustav Gull’s listed building from the 19th century has been extended with the addition of a new building designed by architects Christ & Gantenbein and completed in summer 2016. The museum showcases the history of Switzerland from its early beginnings until the present day in the permanent exhibitions “Archaeology in Switzerland”, “History of Switzerland” and “Collections Gallery”. Every year, there are also several temporary exhibitions and an impressive fringe programme, offering everything from debates to workshops.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
685 reviews
163 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 253 helpful votes
“Not my favorite”
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
3 Thank a-travelin-foodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Swiss National Museum”
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
Thank A A R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
95 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Chaotic museum”
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
1 Thank AlexandraCCL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
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50 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Switzerland at a glance”
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
2 Thank ICH4239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
69 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Interesting Museum”
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
Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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