Ten unique and unusual museums you didn’t know existed in Switzerland

Switzerland is an enigma for many, a country filled with adventure, grandeur, serenity, glamour and a lot more! Known for its stunning snowcapped Alps, gorgeous lakes, the melt-in-mouth chocolates and gastronomy, Switzerland is also known for some of the world’s most unique museums! With over 900 museums showcasing art, history, science, literature, transport, sports and more, visitors can experience a lot of interesting things at the must-visit museums!  

Here is a list of the 10 most unusual museums that you will find only in Switzerland!

The Middle-Earth Museum - ‘Greisinger Museum’, Grisons, Jenins

Photo courtesy: Switzerland Tourism
The Middle-Earth Museum - ‘Greisinger Museum’, Grisons, Jenins. Photo courtesy: Switzerland Tourism

The Greisinger Museum is the ultimate homage to the English fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien (Author of Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit). The extraordinary museum takes you on a journey to the fantasy world of Middle-earth in Jenins, in the heart of Eastern Switzerland. The Greisinger Museum houses the largest collection on the topic of Middle-earth with artwork, literature, and all kinds of collectors’ items. A must visit for the fans of LOTR franchise, visitors can enter the museum through a Hobbit Cave’s door leading to all the underground rooms!

Volkswrecks Museum - Jura & Three Lakes Region, Saint-Sulpice

Photo courtesy: Switzerland Tourism
Volkswrecks Museum - Jura & Three Lakes Region, Saint-Sulpice. Photo courtesy: Switzerland Tourism

If you are a car enthusiast, this museum cannot be missed! Volkswrecks is a fascinating museum, exhibiting a private collection of vintage cars dating from 1950 to 1979 spread over 3 levels. Located in Saint-Sulpice (NE), this unique museum has a skillfully staged collection of 154 vintage Volkswagen beetle cars. The visit to this museum is an entertaining way to rediscover old gems of Volkswagen! 

Spielzeug Welten Museum, Basel (Toy Worlds Museum)

Spielzeug Welten Museum, Basel (Toy Worlds Museum)
Spielzeug Welten Museum, Basel (Toy Worlds Museum). Photo courtesy: Switzerland Tourism

Located in Basel, Spielzeug Welten is a doll museum like no other in the entire world! If the movie Toy Story struck a chord with you, you are sure to enjoy their exhibit as all the toys are displayed as if they are interacting with each other- Large dolls playing in shops, Teddy bears on pedal cars engaging in a race- and an entire amusement park can be set in motion at the push of a button. The collection of over 6,000 dolls, dollhouses, teddy bears and other toys, some dating back to the early 20th century are a testament to their commitment towards high-quality craftsmanship.

Extraball - Museum for Pinball Machines & Tapas Bar - Jura & Three Lakes Region, Solothurn

Extraball is a museum and a gaming paradise all under one roof! Opened in 2007, in Solothurn, the museum provides an incredible space for an interactive display of the kinetic art.  It also doubles up as a Tapas Bar and even after all these years is still a popular meeting place for locals! One can find many different pinball machines to play on, with captivating themes like The Hobbit, Space Pilot, Wizard of Oz You can also experience the limited edition machines like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Avatar, Batman, Game of Thrones and more!!

Museum for Gasoline Pumps - Jura & Three Lakes Region, Gänsbrunnen

The town of Gänsbrunnen is a one-of-a-kind museum in Europe, that houses the product of over 20 years devoted to the collection of petrol (gas) pumps and vintage cars. The museum exhibits gasoline pumps in all shapes and colours and takes you down the memory lane. The museum is easily reached by train, 5 minutes from the Gänsbrunnen Railroad Station (Solothurn – Moutier Line).

WOW Museum, Room for Illusions – Zurich Region

In the WOW museum, nothing is as it seems! The rooms in the museum are full of surprising illusions and new perspectives! A visit that will be appreciated by young and old alike, WOW museum has twelve rooms that include immersive experiences like Vertigo, Optical Illusion, Infinity that leave everyone amazed! The museum also offers entertainment for all age groups and encourages interactive participation in some of the best magic shows, Flickr photobooth and more!

Swiss Witchcraft Museum - Zurich Region, Auenstein

Swiss Witchcraft Museum - Zurich Region, Auenstein
Swiss Witchcraft Museum - Zurich Region, Auenstein. Photo courtesy: Switzerland Tourism

This museum for witches is a first; Spread across six rooms, on around 200 square meters, the Swiss witchcraft museum in Auenstein shares a detailed overview of the folk religion, remedies to protect and to heal, medicinal and magical herbs, witch animals, supernatural characters, ghosts and witch in Switzerland and Europe. There is also a room with films and various listening stations.

The Hangman's Museum - Basel Region, Sissach

The Hangman's Museum also known as Henkermuseum is Switzerland’s first and only museum of its kind. The museum displays shackles, torture instruments and execution paraphernalia across three floors. A collection that displays authentic medieval devices, wide history on the original objects and visual material to know more about the grey past.

Swiss Bottle Museum - Lake Lucerne Region, Willisau

This museum showcases a unique collection of 40,000 bottles and 40,000 stories is owned by Sepp Stadelmann, who is famously known as Fläsche-Sepp in Willisau. The collection comprises every imaginable category of bottles like tiny vials for storing medicine compete to giant wine bottles. Each bottle has a unique colour and shape. 

HR Giger Museum, Gruyères

HR Giger Museum, Gruyères
HR Giger Museum, Gruyères. Photo courtesy: Switzerland Tourism

HR Giger - the Oscar-winning Swiss Artist known for his work in the movie ‘Alien’ turned the Château St. Germain castle into an extraordinary exhibition after his success! His surreal work- the famous film decor, pictures, sculptures and furniture come alive inside the beautiful castle! Equally fantastic as the rooms of the museum are the furnishing of the affiliate HR Giger Bar where you can take a seat in and sip martinis in a vault of bone.

Author
CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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