MEG – Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève (GENEVA)

[ note: due to current COVID-19 stipulations, you must buy your ticket online ]

One of MBFF’s 🖼 favourite museums in Geneva is the MEG (Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève) . . . we watched as it was being built and we were excited when it opened its shiny new doors to the public!

The adventure starts before you even enter the museum – the architecture is modern and audacious (designed by Graber Pulver Architekten AG) and there is a 🌷 pretty landscaped garden (Hager Partner AG) just in front of the museum, that changes with the seasons. And, when your little ones need some fresh air, there is a 🌈 fantastic playground just next door – perfect!

[ good to know: the MEG won the prestigious award European Museum of the Year 2017! ]

Audacious underground design © MEG

Temporary exhibitions

The 🖼 temporary exhibitions at the MEG change yearly. We had a terrific visit to the « Rois Mochica » exhibition a few years ago, and we even managed to be there when there was a FREE Mochica temple building workshop for the children. And we listened to some wonderful storytelling too. Late in 2016, we visited the 🦜 « Amazonia » exhibition and we were immersed in the sights and sounds of the Amazon rainforest; the boys had sticker books to accompany their visit (offered by the museum) and they took part in a wonderful FREE feather workshop. In 2017, we visited the fabulous « L’effect boomerang: les arts aborigènes d’Australie », and took part in the fascinationg workshop of making a barracuda ghostnet. 2018 saw the exhibition « Afrique: les religions de l’extase ». And in autumn 2019, we visited the atmospheric « La Fabrique des Contes », where we were immersed in some unknown (to us) fairytales, and listened to some improvised storytelling!

« Amazonia » – feather workshop MEG  ©

🖼 current temporary exhibition: « Injustice Environnementale: alernatives autochtones », ⇒ until 21st August 2022 / about this exhibition: ” Le thème abordé est l’urgence climatique, l’un des enjeux majeurs de notre époque. Le parcours présente les perspectives et les savoirs et savoir-faire de peuples autochtones pour faire face aux dégradations de leurs territoires accélérées par les changements de climat. ” / MEG website information;


Permanent exhibition space

As well as the temporary exhibitions, there is also a 🖼 permanent exhibition displaying artefacts from all of the continents: Exposition de référence: Les archives de la diversité humaine. Here, there are some interactive activities, like listening to music from around the world (this part of the museum is FREE to visit, irrespective of when you visit).

Exposition permanente « Archives de la diversité humaine » © MEG
Exposition permanente « Archives de la diversité humaine » / Scénographie Atelier Brückner GmbH, Stuttgart / © MEG MEG–Atelier Brückner, Daniel Stauch

For children and families

The MEG museum is well adapted for a visit en famille. There are plenty of 🎨 creative workshops and storytelling sessions (especially on the first Sunday of each month!), for example:

  • 🎵MEG à portée de bébé: éveil sensorielfor 0 to 2 year olds, offered by l’Espace musical – école de musique spécialisée / when? one Wednesday per month, 15h until 16h30 / more information here;
  • guided visits and workshops / see here for a full list for families;
MEG à portée de bébé: éveil sensoriel © MEG

There are also helpful booklets (FREE!) offered to make a visit to the exhibitions more interactive for the children (do ask at reception!).

Free children’s pack for « L’effet boomerang » © MEG

For families with babies and small children, you will also find:

  • 🍼 a special breastfeeding room (ask at reception);
  • 🚼 toilets with baby changing facilities;

And, as stated above, when you need some fresh air there is the wonderful 🌈 playground outside! (NB – this playground is used by the adjacent school, so it is ONLY open to the public at the weekend! MBFF was once told off for making too much noise on a Toussaint visit, when it was a journée congé in France, but not in Switzerland! 😉).

Restaurant & Bookshop

The MEG has an excellent ☕️ café and restaurant and it is a popular spot in Geneva to meet, eat and drink (an especially popular meeting place for Geneva parents with babies!).

There is also a 🍏 covered picnic area by the playground.

There is a lovely 📚 bookshop in the entrance hall.

MEG café and restaurant © MEG

Eating Options nearby

If visiting on a Sunday (the museum is FREE on the first Sunday of the month), many of the nearby restaurants will be shut (though not all). Open on a Sunday:

  • 🍩 Loops & Coffee for amazing US-style donuts (on same road as MEG);
  • 🥢 Umamido (Japanese ramen, same road as MEG);
  • 🥢 Chen, Panda Express (Chinese food, same road as MEG);
  • 🇮🇳 Restaurant Punjabi (Indian food, same road as MEG);
  • 🥞 Birdie Food & Coffee (brunch, rue des Bains 40);
  • 🍔 Holy Cow (hamburgers, rue de Carouge 14);
  • 🍕 La Pignata (pizza, avenue du Mail 3);
  • and streetfood from Plainpalais market on a Sunday;
Loops & Coffee near the MEG ©
Loops & Coffee near the MEG ©

Things to do nearby

This fabulous museum is located a short distance away from the Plainpalais central square, which is HUGE and has a great playground and 🛹 skatepark (so pack scooters, push bikes and skateboards! And helmets, obviously!):

Playground Plainpalais ©
Skatepark Plainpalais ©

Also a short walk away are the fabulous MAMCO and Contemporary Art Museum of Geneva (see here for more information).

🧬 Exploracentre (Geneva) is a 🧬 children’s exhibition & interactive centre in Geneva, where the only rule is that it is “ FORBIDDEN to NOT TOUCH ”! / informative, “ludique”, for the whole family / 🌍 to learn about the world, science, how things work! / 🗓 opening hours: currently only open for private bookings!

address: chemin de la Gravière 6, 1227, Genève / website;​

Exploracentre ©


🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 11h to 18h / CLOSED on Mondays, 25th December and 1st January;

🎟 price: adults: 9 CHF / under 18s: FREE / FREE: first Sunday of the month (including temporary exhibitions) / you must currently purchase your tickets online;

🅿️ parking: nearby is the Parking de Plainpalais, an underground (paying) car park, or there is free parking on adjacent streets at the weekend;

🗺 address: Boulevard Carl-Vogt 65-67, 1205, Geneva, Switzerland / ☎️ tel: +41 (0)22 418 45 50;

website and FB page

6 thoughts on “MEG – Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève (GENEVA)

  1. Pingback: Chamonix Museums

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.