Sights in Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich is another major city in Switzerland and has a wealth of museums, churches, parks, and historic sites to explore.

  • Fraumunster (Church of Our Lady)—a beautiful church known for its delicate spire added in 1732 with a Romanesque choir, 1970 stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall, and painted window by Augusto Giacometti; Stadthausquai
  • Graphische Sammlung (Graphics Collection)—the large collection of the Federal Institute of Technology that has a library of woodcuts, etchings, and engravings by Durer, Rembrandt, Goya, and Picasso; Ramistr. 101
  • Kunsthaus—a renowned fine-arts gallery of European art that spans from the Middle Ages to modern times with Old Masters, Alberto Giacometti stick figures, Monet and Van Gogh masterpieces, Rodin sculptures, and 19th and 20th century art; Heimplatz 1
  • Schweizerisches Landesmuseum—an eclectic museum with a permanent collection that provides an overview of Swiss history with objects such as carved painted sleds, domestic and religious artifacts, and an archaeology section; Museumstrasse 2
  • Zoo Zurich—a zoo with over 380 species in natural enclosures such as elephants, lemurs, chameleons, camels, yaks, and penguins; Zurichbergstrasse 221
  • Botanical Garden and Museum—a botanical garden with 8000 plant species including flowers, trees, and mosses as well as 25,000 plants displayed in rotating exhibitions; Zollikerstrasse 107
  • Sukkulenten-Sammlung—a plant collection that consists of one of the largest succulent collections in the world with 4,500 species from more than 78 families, seven greenhouses, and a rockery; Mythenquai 88
  • Focus Terra—an interactive university museum which allows visitors to learn about the earth’s treasures, volcanic eruptions, origins of gems, fossils, and earthquakes; Sonneggstrasse 5
  • Grossmunster—a twin-towered cathedral that sits directly across the river from Fraumunster with an interior featuring stained-glass work by Augusto Giacometti and great views of the city from the southern tower; Grossmunsterplatz
  • Beyer Museum—a small museum located within a watch shop that provides an overview of the history of timekeeping; Bahnhofstrasse 31
  • Haus Konstruktiv (Museum of Constructivist Art)—a museum located within a former electrical substation that provides an overview of the history of constructivist art with a highlight being the Rockefeller Dining Room, a 1963 salon designed by Fritz Glarner, and a collection featuring minimalist art, concept art, and neo geo work; Selnaustr. 25
  • Helmhaus—a museum that has rotating exhibitions of modern and experimental art by Zurich-based artists; Limmataquai 31
  • Kunsthalle (Center of Contemporary Art)—a modern art venue located on one of the top floors of a former brewery with exhibitions of innovative and cutting-edge artwork; Limmastr. 270
  • Migros Museum Fur Gegenwartskunst (Migros Museum of Contemporary Art)—a lofty museum funded by the Migros department store chain, Switzerland’s largest such chain, with exhibitions from the large Migros collection including pieces by Andy Warhol; Limmastr. 270
  • Zoological Museum—a museum featuring some 1,500 stuffed animals including dinosaur skeletons, giant mammoths, and sloths with interactive exhibits that provide visitors with the chance to listen to whale songs and see insects close-up; Karl-Schmid Strasse 4
  • Museum Rietberg—a museum located in three villas in a leafy park with an emerald glass entrance featuring Switzerland’s only collection of African, Asian, and ancient American art including pieces such as a shaman eagle mask, Persian wall hangings, and Chinese cloisonné enameling; Gablerstrasse 15
  • Ethnographic Museum—a museum run by the University of Zurich that has temporary exhibitions on non-European cultures; Pelikanstrasse 40
  • FIFA World Football Museum—a newer museum opened in 2017 that takes soccer enthusiasts through the history of FIFA and the World Cup with hands-on displays, the original World Cup trophy, and a pinball machine; Seestrasse 27
  • Archaeological Collection—a museum run by the University of Zurich that has a large collection of original pieces and plaster casts that allow visitors to learn about neo-Babylonian kings, ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans; Ramistrasse 73
  • Museum fur Gestaltung—a museum dedicated to graphic and applied arts with works by classic photographers and advertising for old furniture designs; Pfingsteweidstrasse 96
  • Schweizer Finanz Museum—a museum that opened in 2017 that provides insights into the economy, stock exchange, and financial security of Switzerland; Pfingsteweidstrasse 110
  • James Joyce Foundation—a museum with Europe’s largest James Joyce collection as Zurich was where Joyce spent most of World War One; Augstinergasse 9

Sights in Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva is a major city in Switzerland and has majestic cathedrals, great museums, gardens, and historic sites worth exploring.

  • Cathedrale St-Pierre (St. Peter’s Cathedral)—an imposing cathedral with a large neoclassical façade, 12th century Romanesque-Gothic walls, stained glass windows, the tomb of the duke of Rohan, choir stalls, and the 15th century Chapel of the Maccabees; Cour St-Pierre
  • Centre d’ Art Contemporain (Center for Contemporary Art)—an art gallery that has displayed works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and Shirana Shabhaz with annual exhibits that are interdisciplinary displays that highlight emerging artists who examine art in a cultural context; 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
  • Fondation Baur (Baur Foundation)—the well-preserved collection of Albert Baur that consists of far Eastern art including Chinese ceramics and jade, Japanese smoking paraphernalia, prints, lacquerware, and sword fittings; 8 rue Munier-Romilly
  • Fondation Martin Bodmer (Martin Bodmer Foundation)—a museum that is filled with texts from cuneiform tablets, papyrus scrolls, and parchment to a large collection of first edition and religious texts such as the Koran and Gutenberg Bible; 19-21 Martin Bodmer
  • Horloge Fleurie (Flower Clock)—a 16-foot-wide garden with 6,500 plants in the shape of a timepiece to highlight Geneva’s role in the Swiss watchmaking industry; Quai du General-Guisan and Pont du Mont-Blanc
  • Jardin Botanique (Botanical Garden)—a 69-acre botanical garden with tropical greenhouses, beds of irises and roses, rock gardens, an aviary, a deer park, a sensory garden, medicinal and economically important plants, a seed bank, and a research institute; 154 rue de Lausanne
  • Maison Tavel (Tavel House)—Geneva’s oldest house now converted into a museum with vaulted cellars, ground-floor kitchens, medieval graffiti, 15th century tiles, a guillotine, and other features that focus on life in Geneva from 1334 to the 1800s; 6 rue du Puits-St-Pierre
  • Monument de la Reformation (Wall of the Reformers)—a granite monument dedicated to the 16th century religious reformation led by John Knox, Jean Calvin, Guillaume Farel, and Theodore de Beze with smaller statues of significant Protestant figures, bas-reliefs, and inscriptions; Parc des Bastions
  • Musee Ariana—this museum known as the Swiss Museum of Ceramics and Glass has stoneware, earthenware, porcelain, and glass from 700 years of East-West exchange and modern works in the basement; 10 Av. De la Paix
  • Musee Barbier-Mueller—the expansive collection of the Mueller family featuring sculpture, masks, shields, textiles, and ornaments from six continents and dating from seven millennia; 10 rue Jean Calvin
  • Musee International de la Croix-Rouge et Du Croissant-Rouge (International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum)—a museum that focuses on major challenges in humanitarianism—defending human dignity, restoring family links, and reducing natural risks—and explores these topics through artifacts, artwork, and personal testimonies; 17 av. De la Paix
  • Musee International de la Reforme (International Museum of the Reformation)—a museum that explores the reasoning behind the Protestant Reformation through period artifacts, well-preserved documents, and audiovisual displays; 4 rue du Cloitre
  • Musee Militaire Genevois (Geneva Military Museum)—a museum that examines the Swiss military with uniformed models, weapons, prints, and documents on display; 18 chemin de I’Imperatrice
  • Musee d’Art Moderne Et Contemporain (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art)—an industrial museum focusing on art from the 1960s to the present with temporary exhibits that include works by contemporary artists; 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
  • Musee d’ Art et D’ Histoire (Museum of Art and History)—an art and history museum with Switzerland’s largest collection of Egyptian art, Escalade-era weapons, Alpine landscapes from the 19th century, and modern art; 2 rue Charles-Galland
  • Musee d’ Histoire des Sciences (Museum of the History of Science)—a museum that shows the evolution of modern science with sundials, astrolabes, microscopes, telescopes, barometers, and decorative globes; 128 rue de Lausanne
  • Musee des Suisses A L’Etranger (Museum of the Swiss Abroad)—a small museums with rooms highlighting the accomplishments of Swiss people outside Switzerland with rooms filled with models, paintings, documents, and artifacts; 18 chemin de I’Imperatrice
  • Musee d’ Histoire Naturelle (Museum of Natural History)-a large museum with wildlife dioramas with sound effects, fossils, crystals, precious stones, and polyhedrons as well as exhibits on Swiss geology, the history of the solar system, and temporary exhibits; 1 rte. De Malagnou
  • Palais des Nations (Palace of Nations)—a compound that was built between 1929 and 1936 for the League of Nations and became the European office of the United Nations in 1946 with rooms such as the Assembly Hall where the UN General Assembly and world leaders have met and the Council Chamber that is home to the Conference on Disarmament with symbolic murals; 4 av. De la Paix
  • Parc la Grange—an expansive bright park that was once the private grounds of an 18th century villa overlooking a lake and now has 240 different types of roses and performances during the summer; Quai Gustave-Ador
  • Patek Philippe Museum—this museum displays the collection of Patek Philippe, one of Geneva’s most renowned watchmaking companies including items such as gold watch cases, watch innards, portrait miniatures, pens, fans, pocket knives, and telescopes; 7 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
  • Site Archeologique—an underground archaeological excavation site set upon the foundations of the Cathedrale-St-Pierre under which remnants of two 4th century Christian sanctuaries, mosaic floors from the Roman Empire, three early churches, and an 11th century crypt were discovered; 6 cour St-Pierre

Sights in Bern, Switzerland

Bern is the capital of Switzerland and is home to beautiful churches, interesting museums, and historic sites worth checking out.

  • Bearpark—a park with three bears in a closed-off area filled with a forest, shrubs, and cave with photos and plaques describing the bears and their lifestyle; Grosser Muristalden 6
  • Bernisches Historisches Museum (Bern History Museum)—a museum with a fine Islamic collection; Indonesian shadow puppets; Japanese swords; Polynesian masks; Indian figurines; Celtic jewelry; armor and arms from the Bernese; church treasures including sculptures from the Munster; silver; tapestries; and fountain statues; Helvetiapl. 5
  • Einsteinhaus (Einstein’s House)—a small apartment where Albert Einstein, then a young, poorly paid, and recently married postal clerk developed and published his Special Theory of Relativity; Kramg. 49
  • Kunsthalle Bern (Bern Art Gallery)—a contemporary art gallery with exhibitions of works by living modern artists and famed artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Henry Moore, Jasper Johns, and Grandma Moses; Helvetiapl. 1
  • Kunstmuseum (Museum of Fine Arts)—a renowned art museum with a large and diverse permanent collection featuring Italian artists such as Duccio and Fra Angelico, Swiss artists such as Niklaus Manuel and Giovanni Giacometti, Impressionists such as Manet and Monet, works by Picasso, and modern artists; Hodlerstr. 8-12
  • Museum Fur Kommunikation (Museum of Communication)—an interactive museum focused on communication through exhibits examining intercultural body language, Switzerland’s minorities, the history of the Swiss postal service, and the evolution of telecommunication to the Internet as well as the world’s largest collection of postage stamps; Helvetiastr. 16
  • Munster (Cathedral)—Switzerland’s most significant cathedral that was originally built in 1421 with construction continuing for about 180 years with the octagonal 328-foot steeple added in 1893 and Switzerland’s highest church tower that provides panoramic views of Bern and its surrounding mountains; inside is a 15th century depiction of the Last Judgment where archangel Michael stands between angels with gilt hair on the left and green demons on the right, carved pews and choir stalls, and 15th century stained glass windows; Munsterpl. 1
  • Naturhistorisches Museum (Museum of Natural History)—a natural history museum with the stuffed body of Barry, a St. Bernard who rescued over 40 people in the Alps between 1800 and 1812; Alpine minerals, diamonds, and fossils; wild animals; birds’ nests and skeletons; interactive temporary exhibits; and wildlife dioramas; Bernastr. 15
  • Schweizerisches Alpines Museum (Swiss Alpine Museum)—a museum that provides an overview of mountaineering, climbing in the Himalayas, surveying methods in the Andes, and Alpine cuisine; Helvetiapl. 4
  • Zentrum Paul Klee (Paul Klee Center)—a bright complex inspired by the work of Paul Klee with the world’s largest collection of works by Klee and temporary exhibits focusing on his artistic environment and legacy as well as a creative art space for artists of all ages; Monument im Fruchtland 3