Museum Rietberg (Zurich): Some of Europe’s most interesting collections were amassed by gifted amateurs with enough money to pursue their hobbies. This museum honors the acquisitive skill of Baron von der Heydt, who donated his collection to the city of Zurich in 1952. It includes sculptures and artworks from the Americas and North and South Asia, archaic Buddhist art, carpets from Armenia, and masks from Africa and Oceania.
Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum, Zurich): This museum traces the growth and development of Swiss civilization from prehistory to the modern age. The collections include prehistoric artifacts, mementos from the Roman and Carolingian empires, and artworks from Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance periods. There are also unusual collections of Swiss clocks, Swiss armor and weapons, and folk costumes from each of the country’s cantons.
Museum of Communication (Bern): It’s fascinating to see how our means of keeping in touch have changed and continue to develop. Though sensory-overload can be an issue here, this modern and clever museum is fun for all ages.
- Einstein Haus (Bern): It’s only a couple of rooms, but here you can see how Einstein lived during his time in Bern while learning more about his awkward personal life as well as his contributions to science.
- Fondation Beyeler (Basel): Out in the Basel suburbs, another Renzo Piano edifice houses the astonishing private collection of Ernest and Hildy Beyeler, including works by the likes of Warhol, Pollock, Rothko, Miró, Van Gogh, and many more.
- Musée d’Ethnographie (Geneva): Given an eye-catching modern makeover in 2014, Switzerland’s premier ethnographic museum houses over 70,000 objects from 1,500 cultures across five continents, from costumes to religious artifacts to musical instruments.
- Platforme 10 (Lausanne): At the heart of Lausanne’s newly created arts district is this train station turned architectural gem of a museum, housing a panoply of contemporary works from the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts.
- Matterhorn Museum (Zermatt): Learn all about how Switzerland’s most famous peak shaped this history of the village around it, before visiting the next-door cemetery to pay your respects to the climbers who died scaling the summit.
- Museum of Transport (Lucerne): Founded in 1959, this collection pays homage to the railway, auto, and airplane industries that helped propel Europe into the modern age. It contains more than 60 historic locomotives, 40 automobiles, 50 motorcycles, and dozens of other conveyances. Other exhibitions are devoted to cable cars, steamships, and spaceships. There’s even a planetarium, though it costs extra.
- Glacier Garden (Lucerne): Beautifully presented, the main attraction is stunning, yet the indoor sections are full of surprises as well, like pre-historic skeletons, ornate woodwork, interactive scientific exhibitions and impressive 3-D reliefs.
- Muzeum Susch (Engadine Valley): Ingeniously designed and unapologetically feminist, this brazen new modern art institute makes brilliant use of its location, a former brewery in the tiny Engadine village of Susch, as well as the collecting prowess of its Polish owner.
The Paul Klee Collection (Bern): Lying 3 miles east of Bern's Altstadt, more than 4,000 works of the great artist Paul Klee, born here in 1879, have been assembled under one roof. Today, his magnificent art has been brought together as the finest example of "a Bern son who made good."
Kunstmuseum (Fine Arts Museum, Bern): This museum showcases the great art that the capital of Switzerland acquired up until the end of the 1800s, beginning with a collection of medieval Italian primitives. The museum also has a collection of the leading Swiss artists of today, but focuses on old masters from Cézanne to Matisse.
Musée d'Art et d'Histoire (Art and History Museum, Geneva): Geneva's premier museum devotes equal space to exhibits on the history of civilization, the civic history of Geneva, archaeology, and world-class painting -- everything from medieval to modern art.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.