Swiss National Museum, Zurich

Swiss National Museum, Zurich (must see)

The Swiss National Museum is one of the key art museums of cultural history in the world. The museum was born out of the desire to create a national museum which would be the treasure of the young federal state of Switzerland; however, support for the museum was initially lukewarm. Nation Councilmember Salomon Vögelin proposed the construction of a national museum, and, after much debate, a site in Zurich was selected. The building that houses the museum was constructed in 1989. Gustav Gull, a Swiss architect and teacher, designed the building to look like a French Renaissance city chateau.

The museum features a wide range of art and the visitor will see a sample from ancient times and the Middle Ages up to 20th-century. Some of the more unique collections in the museum include a gothic art section, liturgical wooden sculpture, carved alters and chivalry-related art. There is also a section on the history of Switzerland that displays traditional costumes and clothing. The section on Swiss furniture design is a nice juxtaposition to the older items in the space. The museum features regularly rotating exhibits.

Why You Should Visit:
To learn about all aspects of Swiss history – from religion, demographics, archeology, industry to even topographical evolution and more.
The archaeology exhibition is particularly impressive thanks to the animated/interactive displays.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun: 10am-5pm; Thu: 10am–7pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Zurich, Switzerland within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Swiss National Museum on Map

Sight Name: Swiss National Museum
Sight Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) containing this sight: Museums Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Zurich, Switzerland

Create Your Own Walk in Zurich

Create Your Own Walk in Zurich

Creating your own self-guided walk in Zurich is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Architecture Walking Tour

Architecture Walking Tour

The beauty and individuality of Zurich's architectural heritage is striking. Outstanding samples of traditional styles like Baroque, Classicism, Neo-Classicism are in harmony with the new trends in architecture. Major architectural masterpieces of the medieval period and modern structures blend perfectly to represent the many facets of the city. Don't miss the next list of attractions if...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.5 km
Culture Self-guided Tour

Culture Self-guided Tour

Many of Switzerland's most important cultural venues are located in Zürich. The city has been home to many distinguished figures, including Richard Wagner, Thomas Mann, James Joyce, Carl Jung, Felix Bloch, and others. Zürich’s theaters are famous all over the world. Take the following tour to discover Zürich’s most popular and prominent cultural venues.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Museums Walking Tour

Museums Walking Tour

Zürich has a great number of museums, many of them historical museums displaying the history of Zürich and its citizens and the history of world civilizations. Many exhibit unique objects, documents and artifacts witnessing the past. One of the most interesting is the museum of timepieces from ancient times till the present. Take a look at Zürich's most popular historical museums in this...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.3 km
Kids Entertainment Walking Tour

Kids Entertainment Walking Tour

Zurich offers many activities for kids of all ages. There are shops for those who have just started their life journey with a lot of safe and enjoyable toys and games, boutiques with exclusive clothes, and, of course, sweet shops with original Swiss chocolate. Visiting the city’s museums, kids will learn about the history and culture of Switzerland, and the puppet theater will entertain with...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Zurich without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Zurich, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Walking Tour for Gourmets

Walking Tour for Gourmets

Gourmets from all over the world come to Switzerland to enjoy its splendid tastes. It is famous not only for its high-quality watches, but also for its numerous specialty and confectionery shops offering many delicacies with inimitable flavors. The secrets of making these unique delicacies have been preserved for centuries, passed from father to son. Most of the products are still made by hand....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Distinctively Swiss Things to Buy in Zurich

16 Distinctively Swiss Things to Buy in Zurich

Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city, and although it may feel like a bustling metropolis, the tranquil essence of the Alps flows fervently through the lively cobblestone streets, the buzzing train station, and the frenzied designer boutiques. Most shops in downtown Zurich open at 9 am and close...