The Swiss Transport Museum, Verkehrshaus, Lucerne, is said to be the museum with the maximum footfall in the country. Designed for children and adults, there is something here for all age groups. If you are an automobile enthusiast,or are simply looking for a unique way to spend a day this winter, visit the museum and check out the interactive displays that cover nearly all modes of transport by road, rail, air and water.
The museum is well connected by public transport. From the Lucerne main station, you can take a bus, a boat to ‘Verkehrshaus-Lido’ or a local train to ‘Luzern Verkehrshaus’. If you are driving, you can park along the Lidostrasse and opposite the lakeside Lido.
The museum is open 365 days a year, making it an ideal destination for a day trip on holidays. Children under 6 (accompanied by parents) can enter the museum for free. Aside from the museum, there is also the Swiss Chocolate Adventure, the Media World – a Film theatre -and a Planetarium. Entry to all of these can be combined in a single day pass, or can be paid for separately.
Entry to the museum is priced at CHF 32 for adults, CHF 22 for students and CHF 12 for children (between 6 and 16). There are added discounts for groups and Swiss Travel Pass holders. For more details on prices, take a look here.
Sights to see, things to do
The museum is home to more than 3,000 displays, simulators, multimedia shows and interactive exhibits, and spans an area of around 20,000 square meters. As with most museums and tourist spots in the country, the entire museum is wheelchair and stroller friendly.
Signage at all displays are provided in four languages: German, French, English and Italian. Displays and exhibits can be broadly categorised as follows: road transport, rail transport, space travel, aviation, tourism, aerial cableways and navigation by sea.
Grouped in sections or pavilions, you can begin your tour in any of the pavilions, once you enter the museum. The ‘Road Transport Hall’ is notable for the unmissable traffic sign facade. Here, visitors can experience a ‘Car Theatre’, where a robotised parking system picks and delivers a car to a turntable, while an audio-visual show explains the history of the vehicle to the audience present. A mirror maze featuring reflectors and lights provides insights into accident prevention.
In the ‘Aviation’ pavilion, visitors can try their hand at a helicopter simulator, browse the many model planes on display, and older kids can learn more about concepts of flying from hands-on interactive panels.
In the ‘Space’ themed pavilion, visitors can experience the Space Transformer, a walk-in cube that revolves at a slow speed, emulating a space capsule emulator. You will need to queue up for this exhibit so plan your visit here accordingly.
The ‘Rail’-themed pavilion is steeped in Swiss history. Railways are an intrinsic part of country, with Switzerland being the country with the highest rail usage and one of the densest rail networks in the world. The exhibits here range from steam and cog railways to electric locomotion. There is a 1:87 scale replica of the Gotthard mountain line and the Gotthard Base Tunnel, said to the longest of its kind in the world. There are also railway simulators, where kids (and adults) can pretend to be a driver on the SBB rail network.
For younger kids, in the outdoor courtyard, there is a boating activity area (open during summer time), several toy aircrafts, buses and vehicles for the kids to ride. There is also a child-sized construction area for children to play in.
If you have enough time in the day to explore beyond the museum of transportation, you could also visit the Hans Erni museum, watch a movie at the Filmtheatre in IMAX format, visit the Planetarium or participate in the Swiss Chocolate Adventure show. All these attractions are in the museum premises. However, you would need to make another trip to cover all attractions as just one day will not suffice!
For more details on various programs offered by the Verkehrshaus, visit: https://www.verkehrshaus.ch
Images courtesy Verkehrshaus, Switzerland
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