top of page

Swiss National Museum Zürich / Landesmuseum Zürich

Updated: Feb 1

The Swiss National Museum with a family section, interactive exhibits and an adventure in a suitcase. Zürich, Switzerland.

The "it" factor

Happyland Cherokee

What makes it special:

What needs to be considered:

Don't feel like reading? Watch a video instead!

The fun factor

The National Museum Zürich beautifully showcases the history of Switzerland from its origins to the present days, providing insights into the Swiss identity, history and culture. While most exhibitions are geared towards adults and touching is not allowed (we learned this the hard way when our toddler was eager to play with historical cannons), there's also a wonderful kids section. It features four interactive rooms and a suitcase filled with engaging activities that kids can enjoy in the main part of the museum.

This makes it a fantastic destination for families with kids.

1. Sail into the pirate's cove

When you step into the National Museum Zürich (Landesmuseum), head straight to the top floor—it's a paradise for little ones. With just four rooms, it's a compact space filled with interactive fun. The first room is a pirate's den, which was perfect for our 4-year-old, absolutely obsessed with all things pirate (she even insisted on a pirate-themed birthday party). We immersed ourselves in exciting pirate stories, explored digital fishes in a magical chest, practiced knot skills, and delved into the fascinating world of ships.

2. Embark on a train

The second room at the National Museum Zürich is all about trains. In fact, it is a room designed like a train car, with giant screens displaying outside views, as windows of a train going through the mountains. We sat down and picked up an earphone handle to listen to the cute kids stories whilst watching beaufitful views.

3. Experience pirate dress-up, origami competitions, and more

Unlock the fun in the third room with a chest full of costumes for role playing, a mystery box to guess hidden objects, a drawing and colouring table with templates, and a surprisingly engaging origami table that became a family favorite as we competed to see whose paper airplane could fly the farthest. (Spoiler: Mum won!)

4. Fly magic carpets

Step into the Arabian Nights-themed final "Oriental Palace" room, with flying carpets for imaginative play, a small screen tucked under the carpet with "A Thousand and One Nights" stories, a charming play table, and again earphone handles, so one can sit and be mesmerized by exotic tales in this beautiful atmosphere. This room, filled with magic, also became the testing ground for our paper planes

5. Discover adventures in the suitcase

When you get to the ticket office, ask for a family activities suitcase - it's free! After exploring the upper family floor, take your suitcase down one level and follow the map in the booklet (available in English and German). It'll guide you to 6 different spots in the museum, turning a regular visit into an interactive adventure. Open each bag to discover a unique activity like object hunts, scent tests, or dexterity games, transforming your museum visit into an engaging experience. Perfect for kids from four years old and our soon-to-be 4-year-old loved every moment of it.

For even more engaging exploration, ask about The Family Bag (free of charge), featuring puzzle books that guide you through the museum. It is designed for kids aged 7 and above and we unfortunately couldn't try it out.

6. Navigate with caution through the main exhibitions

The museum also houses traditional, adult-focused permanent and temporary exhibitions covering history, culture, art, environment, customs, politics, and life in Zürich and Switzerland. While some include interactive elements, most are traditional displays, and the staff closely monitors children to prevent touching (and breaking). We learned this the hard way when our toddler tried to examine a cannon in one medieval section. If you're visiting with younger kids and want a stress-free experience, it might be wise to consider skipping these sections.

The food factor

There is a small bistro in the foyer for basic food and drinks. If you're looking for more substantial options, numerous restaurants and cafés surround the area. We recommend the Bridge Food Court, just a few minutes away, offering diverse food choices and a small play corner (closed on Sundays)

The value factor

Ravensburger Spieleland

In 2023 the prices were as follows:

  • Adults: CHF 13.00

  • Children up to 16 years: Free

  • Discovery suitcase and family bag: Free

If you arrive by train you get 10% discount. The discount is given by the train company when you buy a combined ticket for the train and the museum.

We spent around 2 hrs at Landesmuseum.

Swiss National Museum Zürich / Landesmuseum Zürich - practical info

bottom of page