Zürich has a network of museums where visitors can learn about the past, present, and future of the city, the country, and even the world.
Be it about history and culture, or science and technology, Zürich’s museums are designed to entertain and enlighten children and adults.
Here are 9 of the best museums in and around Zürich that will get your entire family excited:
#1- University of Zürich’s Zoological and Paleontological Museum
Established in 1833, the University of Zürich’s Zoological and Paleontological Museum showcases life on Planet Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. It takes pride in its 50-specimen fossil collection, plus a vast exhibition of about 1,500 extinct marine and land animals.
While most of the objects are strictly for viewing, the exhibition offers awesome interactive experiences for kids. There are animal puzzles to solve and even a sandbox aimed to awaken the inner archeologist in your child.
Entrance is free for anyone and everyone. The facility is open Tuesdays through Thursdays, and it’s wheelchair-accessible.
Kulturama is the “Museum of Man” (Museum des Menschen in German and Musée de l’Homme in French) founded in 1978 as one of the world’s first museums focusing on evolution. It prides itself on fossils found in various areas of the European continent, and it features models of humans and animals that existed ages ago.
The “Discovery Trail” area offers guests a host of interactive experiences. You and your child may be up for living life during the Stone Age, who knows?
Kulturama is open all week long except Mondays and certain holidays.
#3- Swiss National Museum
Built in the nineteenth century, the Swiss National Museum (or Landesmuseum Zürich) boasts an impressive collection of items that speak of Switzerland’s heritage. Some of the 860,000-plus objects are wagons, sledges, and carriages that are likely to amuse kids.
Families with children who are four years and older can enjoy the once-weekly exhibition “A Magic Carpet Ride Through History.” Here, you and your little one can go back in time to explore some of the most memorable eras in history.
Open five days a week, except Mondays and Wednesdays, the institution offers free admission to children 16 years old and below. Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are available.
#4- Zürich Tram Museum
Founded in 1967, the Zürich Tram Museum (Tram-Museum Zürich, or TMZ, in German) illustrates the evolution of the marvelous tram system that’s part of the city’s charm. The collection includes at least a dozen well-preserved tram cars, one of which is an 1897 marvel in the original green livery.
The “Cobralino” tram is something your child will love. This highlight of the exhibition, after all, isn’t just a sight to behold; it’s also a kiddie ride to hop onto!
Visits may be made on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons. Meanwhile, Museum Line 21 runs every last weekend of the month, from January to November.
#5- Beyer Clock and Watch Museum
The Beyer Clock and Watch Museum (Uhrenmuseum Beyer in German) opens the family’s eyes to mankind’s timekeeping tradition, which began almost three and a half millennia ago, in 1400 B.C.
While kids may be too young to appreciate the complications of timepieces, they will absolutely enjoy listening to stories about sundials, hourglasses, grandfather clocks, pocket watches, and even the shadow sticks used in the days of yore.
Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the establishment offers free entrance to kids 12 years old and below, and it’s wheelchair-accessible.
#6- FIFA Museum
Formerly called the “FIFA World Football Museum,” FIFA Museum celebrates the global association-football culture and heritage. It features more than 1,000 objects related to the sport, including the original FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Guests are treated to multimedia presentations and interactive installations. So, whether or not your child is keen on football, he or she is sure to revel in the games and tasks that are part of the guided tour.
The exhibit area, located about 15 minutes away from the FIFA headquarters, is open Tuesdays through Sundays (except on certain holidays). Children who are aged six and below are entitled to free entrance.
#7- Zürich Toy Museum
The Zürich Toy Museum (Zürcher Spielzeugmuseum in German) showcases an amazing array of playthings that date back to eighteenth-century Europe. The collection includes steam engines that represent the technical revolution, dollhouses that reflect domestic living in the earlier eras, tin figures, wooden toys, and even old board games.
While small in size, this history-rich place is a true wonderland for the whole family. It has a quaint play area, where your child can interact with other visiting youngsters.
Opening times are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons. Children aged 16 and below get free admission.
#8- WOW Museum Zürich
As its tag line says, WOW Museum Zürich is a “room full of illusions.” It isn’t really filled with artifacts, but it has a collection of astonishing tricks for the human eye.
The young and the young at heart, including toddlers and seniors, are treated to immersive art here. Your entire family can look smaller or bigger than your actual size. And you can even appear powerful enough to defy gravity!
This magical room is open every day, except Tuesday.
#9- Lindt Home of Chocolate’s Museum
Inaugurated only in the second half of 2020, the Lindt Home of Chocolate’s Museum is the latest addition to the Zürich metropolitan area’s network of fantastic exhibition halls. It celebrates—What else but?—chocolate, as well as the city’s distinction as the world’s chocolate capital.
The tour is chock full of facts and anecdotes about chocolate, plus activities such as unlimited chocolate tasting and lessons in chocolate making. When your family comes over, don’t forget to snap a photo by the 30-foot-tall chocolate fountain, which is said to be the most impressive one of its kind that’s known to man.
This happy place is open all year round, except on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and maintenance days. For families with small children, changing tables and buggies are available.
Museums are fascinating and fun, so make the most out of your family outing through delightful learning. Do remember, though, that most of the items are fragile. Unless the staff says that it’s all right to touch or even go near the exhibition objects, have your family stay within guest limits. And before your trip, check the current requirements for admission.