Geneva, Cluses & Annecy – FREE museums on first Sunday of the month!

Throughout the year in Geneva, and from October until May in Cluses & Annecy, many of the museums/temporary exhibitions are FREE on the FIRST Sunday of the month!  In addition, the museums often put on some wonderful workshops/guided tours for children and families (also FREE) on this day.

The next FREE Sunday will be this Sunday 4th November!


Cluses FREE first Sunday of the month at the Musée de l’Horlogerie et du Décolletage

This museum, dedicated to telling the industrial and social history of the area, is located in the Espace Carpano & Pons, the old industrial site next to the river / the story of the watchmakers of the XVIIIth century through to the emergence of décolletage during the industrial revolution / there are regular guided visits, films and workshops, see here for more details / jeu de piste for families: «Drame au Musée» / opening hours on Sunday: 14h to 18h / address: Espace Carpano & Pons, 100 place du 11 Novembre, 74300, Cluses / tel: 04 50 96 43 00 / website;


 Annecy’s FREE first Sunday of the month

From October until May, on the first Sunday of the month, it is FREE to visit:

  • the Château d’Annecy and its temporary exhibition – classified as a historical monument since 1959, the Château d’Annecy was once the residence of the counts of Geneva in the 13th and 14th centuries / today, the castle houses temporary exhibitions, as well as a permanent collection of art of cultural importance, and objects associated with the lake / upcoming exhibition:De mémoire d’habitants – Au cœur de la vieille ville d’Annecy“, from 3rd December 2018 until March 2019 / *good to know: Mercredi en Famille (guided visits for families, children 6+ years, on Wednesdays at 14h30, 6€)* / opening hours on Sunday: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h / address: Place du Château, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 87 30 / website
Château d’Annecy © montblancfamilyfun
Upcoming exhibition: “De mémoire d’habitants – Au cœur de la vieille ville d’Annecy” © Château d’Annecy
  • the Musée du Film d’Animation (always free, but open on Sundays October until May) – located two minutes away from the Musée-Château, this museum provides visitors with an introduction to animated cinema / current temporary exhibition: «Cinéma d’animation: secrets de fabrication» until 31st December 2018 opening hours on Sunday: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h (shut in January) / address: ancienne chapelle du Conservatoire d’Art et d’Histoire, 18 avenue du Trésum, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 87 30 / for more information about opening hours during the week see website;
  • the newly renovated Palais de l’Île – a building originally from the Middle Ages, classified as a historical monument since 1900, this palais has been a prison, a palais de justice and an administrative centre / opening hours on Sunday: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17haddress: 3 passage de l’Ile, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 56 49 40 37 / website;
Palais de l’Ile © Ville d’Annecy

Geneva’s FREE first Sunday of the month

*Some museums – including their temporary exhibitions – are FREE on each first Sunday of the month in Geneva!* See here for more details about this fantastic initiative! *NB This initiative does not apply to private collections*

Here, below, is a brief description of some of the museums in Geneva participating in this initiative – and their current or upcoming temporary exhibitions – that the MBFF family has visited (and enjoyed!):

  • Muséum de Genève (Natural History Museum) – this wonderful museum has been a favourite of ours since the boys were small! / current temporary exhibition: «Fourmis», extended until 6th January 2019  after the tremendously HUGE dinosaur exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the museum, it was time to put the spotlight on little ANTS . . . among other things, on show is the giant anthill Atta, which was on show at the museum back in 1977!  The MBFF team really enjoyed a visit to this exhibition in 2017! / *good to know: there are also workshops on offer on Wednesdays and Saturdays, running alongside this exhibition* / opening hours on Sunday: 10h to 17h / address: 1 route de Malagnou, 1208, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0) 22 418 63 00 / website / see post for more details about the Natural History Museum;
«Fourmis» – the current temporary exhibition at the Muséum in Geneva © Muséum / Ville de Genève
Natural History Museum, Geneva © montblancfamilyfun
  • Musée d’Histoire des Sciences – this museum is located within the Parc du Perle du Lac, next to Lac Léman, and opposite the Botanical Gardens; it occupies the beautiful Neo-Classical Villa Bartholoni (from the 1830s), and hosts a collection of scientific apparatus belonging to scientists and researchers from the 17th to 19th centuries / *good to know: ask for the orienteering parcours leaflet for the park at the reception, and go explore! see here*/ opening hours on Sunday: 10h to 17h / address: Parc de La Perle du Lac, 128 rue de Lausanne 1202, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: 41 22 418 50 60 / website / every two years, La Nuit de la Science takes place here;
«Images de Science» © Musée d’Histoire des Sciences
  •  MEG (Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève) – the current temporary exhibition at the MEG in Geneva is «Afrique: les religions de l’extase», until 6th January 2019 / the permanent exhibition at the MEG (always free to visit) is Les archives de la diversité humaine – here you will find more than a thousand objects from different world cultures / there are FREE children’s and family workshops and guided tours on the first Sunday of the month: Le Baby Bazar éveil musical for 0 to 2 year olds (14h to 15h15 and 15h30 to 16h30) and Tohu Wa Bohu éveil musical for children 2+ years (from 15h to 15h45 and from 16h to 16h45) are regular features and there are several others planned to run alongside temporary exhibitions / opening hours to general public on Sunday: 11h to 18h / see website for more details / address: boulevard Carl-Vogt 65-67,1205, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0)22 418 45 50 / see post to read about planning a family visit;
«Afrique: les religions de l’extase», next MEG temporary exhibition © MEG © MEG
  • MAMCO – the modern and contemporary art museum in Geneva has guided visits for children in French and English on Sundays at 11h15 – the Petits Rendez-Vous (duration: 45 mins / for 5 to 10 year olds, with an accompanying adult and highly recommended by the MBFF team!) / opening hours on Sunday: 12h to 18h / address: 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers, CH-1205, Genève / tel: +41 22 320 61 22 / website: www.mamco.ch
  • Centre d’Art Contemporain – this museum is located in the same building as the MAMCO.  It was founded in 1974 as the Kunsthalle de Genève, the first contemporary art centre in la Suisse Romand, a place of production, research and experimentation (a Kunsthalle, unlike a museum, has no permanent collection, it veers to the future, presenting emerging local and international artists) / opening hours on Sunday: 11h to 18h / Akademinis – “balade en famille dans les expositions”, a family visit of the current exhibition, followed by a creative activity; for children 4 to 7 years old, with accompanying adult; reservations (before 17h Friday for Sunday visit): +41 22 888 30 43 or publics@centre.ch / address: Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 10, 1205 Genève / tel: + 41 22 329 18 42 / website;
Akademinis © Contemporary Art Museum
  • MAH (Le Musée d’Art et d’Histoire) – this museum’s permanent exhibition is always FREE . . . housed in a magnificent building, it has a great play area for children next to the café/restaurant . . . / see post for more details / opening hours on Sunday: 11h to 18h / address: rue Charles-Galland 2, 1206, Geneva / website;
  • Musée Rath – the Musée Rath hosts the MAH’s larger temporary exhibitions (currently no exhibition) / opening hours: 11h to 18h / address: place Neuve, 1204, Geneve / tel: +41 (0)22 418 33 40 / website;

  • Musée Ariana (Musée Suisse de la Céramique et du Verre) –  *good to know: there are workshops for children (2 to 4 years old and 5 to 7 years), Les samedis des tout-petits, on Saturdays (paying); there is also a Coin Enfants – a space for children to draw and discover books associated with the museum’s collection* / opening hours on Sunday: 10h to 18h / address: avenue de la Paix 10, 1202 Genève / tel: +41 22 418 54 54 / website;

Nyon’s FREE museums first Sunday of month

The Musée du Léman & Aquarium is a museum dedicated to the history of Lac Léman and an aquarium too! / new permanent exhibition: «Petite Nature?» (36 questions to decode the secrets of the lake!) / temporary exhibition: «Plouf: une histoire de la baignade dans le Léman» until 31st March 2019 – the vocabulary associated with taking a “dip” or a swim, the 121 swimming spots on Lac Léman, the architecture on the lakefront, the quality of the lake water, sportsmen and women and tourists, fashion, beliefs and habits over the passing of time . . . and the artists, the famous faces who frequented the lake! / opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, April until October, 10h to 17h and November to March 14h to 17h / price: CHF8 and free for children under 16 years / *good to know – FREE every first Sunday of the month; 1 x entrance = free access to the Musée Romain and the Château de Nyon (valid 12 months) / l’atelier Créa’lac – every 3rd Sunday of month, a workshop for children at 15h30; CHF7 per child (museum entrance free); 18th Nov and 16th Dec 2018 / *good to know – super playground right next door and picnic spot!* / address: quai Louis-Bonnard 8, 1260, Nyon, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0) 22 316 42 50 / website;

© Musée de Nyon & Aquarium
© Musée de Nyon & Aquarium

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