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Trips

33 great experiences on a budget

Trips don’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some unique destinations for action-packed, relaxing or educational trips in Switzerland that you can visit for free.

From
Barbara Scherer
Date
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Tip

Aargau

Thermal springs in Baden

Fed by natural thermal water, the springs on the Limmat are free to visit every day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. The water temperature is between 37 and 43°C.

Habsburg Castle

This castle is part of the Aargau Museum and shows the history of the Habsburgs – probably the most powerful dynasty in the history of Europe. The museum is open all year round.


Appenzell Innerrhoden

Roothuus Gonten

This centre for Appenzell and Toggenburg folk music houses a collection of instruments and exhibitions on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The historic building is open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11.30 am.


Bern

Federal Palace in Bern

Free guided tours in four languages are provided at the Federal Palace on Tuesdays and Saturdays when Parliament is not in session. These tours need to be booked online in advance, and there are only 30 spaces available per tour.

Cité du Temps in Biel

The Omega Museum, which tells the story of the Swiss watch brand, is located on the first floor. On the second floor, Planet Swatch provides an insight into the development of the Swatch brand.

Petting zoo in Saanen

Visitors can stroke rabbits, dwarf goats and sheep at the Alpenruhe Experience World in Saanenland. There are also llamas, alpacas, ponies and other animals to marvel at; however, due to construction work, not all the animals are currently at the petting zoo.

Gurten – Park im Grünen

This experience park on the Gurten is supported by Migros Commitment. It has 10 hectares of green space, a viewing tower with magnificent views of the city of Bern and a small lake for swimming; however, charges apply to the toboggan run.


Basel-Landschaft

Augusta Raurica in Augst

The outdoor area at the Roman archaeological site is open all year round; however, you need to pay an admission fee to visit the museum and Roman house.

Park im Grünen Grün 80

The Park im Grünen Grün 80 was created in 1980 as part of the national horticultural exhibition “Grün 80” and has since been maintained for the public by Migros Basel. The park is well known for its life-size model of the Seismosaurus – the largest known dinosaur. You need to pay a charge to play minigolf.

Ermitage Arlesheim

This landscaped garden is open all year round. In addition to a natural arch and caves, there’s also a consecrated site and Birseck Castle to see. It is only open to visitors from Easter to 31 October on Wednesdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Fribourg

Natural History Museum in Fribourg

This museum hosts permanent and special exhibitions, covering a wide range of scientific topics.


Geneva

CERN in Meyrin

The European Organization for Nuclear Research is one of the world’s largest and leading centres for basic research in physics. All guided tours are free of charge; however, they need to be booked in advance.


Glarus

Naturzentrum Glarnerland

This centre housed in the Glarus railway station building provides an insight into nature in Glarus. The exhibition’s theme changes at regular intervals.


Grisons

Castello Di Mesocco

Mesocco is one of Switzerland’s largest castles. The ruins stand in the middle of the valley.

Leaning Tower of St. Moritz

The tower of the destroyed St. Mauritius Church is 33 metres high and leans at an angle of 5.5 degrees – more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Admission is not possible, as it’s leaning at such an angle. After your visit, you can take a stroll through St. Moritz.


Jura

Le Roselet in Les Breuleux

This retirement home for horses accommodates around 60 horses, donkeys and ponies. Visitors can take a guided tour of the centre or a stroll around the pastures and watch the animals from the sun terrace.


Lucerne

Hirschpark deer park in Lucerne

This wildlife park is open to the public and currently has around 19 animals, including young ones.


Neuchâtel

Le Martel cheese dairy in Les Ponts-de-Martel

In addition to Gruyère, other varieties, such as Blechâtel blue cheese, are also produced here; however, charges apply to the tasting sessions. The cheese dairy is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 12 noon and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Sundays, it’s open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Zoo du Bois du Petit-Château in La Chaux-de-Fonds

This wildlife park is home to almost all the larger mammal and bird species that are or were once native to the Jura mountains.


Nidwalden

Glasi Hergiswil

Visitors can watch the glassblowers free of charge from the glassmaking platform. The artisans work Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a break from 1 p.m. to 1.30 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a break from 12.30 p.m. to 1 p.m. There is an admission charge for the museum and the glass labyrinth.


St. Gallen

Wildpark Peter und Paul

This wildlife park is open all year round. Deer, chamois, lynx, marmots, wild boar and ibex live here in a natural environment.


Schaffhausen

Munot

This 16th century fortress is a major landmark in Schaffhausen. The Munot’s warden, who lives in an apartment in the tower, rings the Munot bell every evening at 9 p.m.


Solothurn

Natural History Museum Solothurn

This museum features the animals, plants, rocks and fossils of the Solothurn region, and provides visitors with information on current topics in special exhibitions.


Thurgau

Frauenfeld Castle

The castle exhibition covers the period between the Council of Constance in 1414 and the Reformation in 1517. The castle is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Ticino

Lugano Skatepark

This public sports facility is open every day from 9 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.


Uri

Gotthardtunneldorf in Göschenen

The tour of this Gotthard Tunnel village in Göschenen was created as part of the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in 2016. On the tour, guests gain an insight into the history of the longest railway tunnel of the 19th century and the development of traffic passing through the Gotthard.

Schloss a Pro in Seedorf

This castle in the canton of Uri was built between 1555 and 1558. The adjacent farm building is home to the Uri Mineral Museum, where admission fees apply.


Vaud

Parc Pré Vert du Signal de Bougy

The Pré Vert du Signal de Bougy foundation, set up in 1970, was and is supported by the Migros Culture Percentage. Admission fees apply to the minigolf course on the grounds.


Valais

Schaukäserei Rhone show dairy in Glis

“Transparent production” allows visitors to watch the cheese dairy’s specialities being made free of charge. The cheese dairy is open Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.


Zug

Seesicht sculpture in Zug

The Seesicht sculpture, which visitors can actually enter, by the artist Roman Signer is a kind of public aquarium. A staircase leads below the water level on the promenade by the shores of Lake Zug, providing clear views of the underwater world.


Zurich

Archaeological window in Zurich

This multi-site Zurich city museum encompasses Ehgraben, the Lindenhof-Keller, the Stadtmauerkeller, Brunngasse and the Wasserkirche. Visitors can obtain the key to these buildings free of charge from the city hall. You simply leave your ID as a deposit and can keep the key for a maximum of three days. Advance booking is not available.

Migros Museum of Contemporary Art

Admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art is free for all exhibitions until 17 September.

Park im Grüene Rüschlikon

Known as “Dutti Park”, this park dates back to the social commitment of Migros founders Gottlieb and Adele Duttweiler. In 1946, they opened up their private property to the public. There are charges for the train and donkey rides.


Churches, parks and hiking trails

Churches can be visited free of charge throughout Switzerland; however, admission fees sometimes need to be paid when visiting crypts or church towers. Parks and hiking trails are almost always free, too.

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