[ Geneva, Nyon, Cluses & Annecy ] – FREE museums on FIRST SUNDAY of the month!

Throughout the year in 🇨🇭 Geneva and Nyon, from 🗓 September ⇒ May in 🇫🇷 Cluses, and from 🗓 October ⇒ May in 🇫🇷 Annecy, several 🖼 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 October 2020, and there are some superb NEW exhibitions on offer!

Cluses FREE first Sunday of the month

From 🗓 September ⇒ May, on the first Sunday of the month, it is FREE to visit:

🕰 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 information / 🗺 jeu de piste for families: « Drame au Musée » / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 14h to 18h / website;

address: Espace Carpano & Pons, 100 place du 11 Novembre, 74300, Cluses / tel: 04 50 96 43 00;

[ good to know: if you are visiting Cluses and its surrounding mountain villages, Cluses Arve & Montagnes also offers lots of jeux de piste, jeux aventures, parcours d’orientation and geocaching options / see here / MBFF has tried out a few, and we loved them! ]

 🇫🇷 Annecy’s FREE first Sunday of the month museums 🇫🇷 

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

🏰 Château d’Annecy – 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 / good to know: 👶 Mercredi en Famille (guided visits for families, children 6+ years, on Wednesdays at 14h30, 6€), guided visits on Sundays at 15h (when scheduled) / 🎨 also good to know: carnet découverte for children available / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h / website 

address: Place du Château, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 87 30;
Château d’Annecy © montblancfamilyfun.com
© Château d’Annecy

🎥 Musée du Film d’Animation (always free, AND open on Sundays) – located two minutes away from the 🏰 Musée-Château, this museum provides visitors with an introduction to animated cinema / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h (shut in January) / for more information about opening hours during the week see website; 

address: ancienne chapelle du Conservatoire d'Art et d'Histoire, 18 avenue du Trésum, 74000, Annecy; 
tel: 04 50 33 87 30;
© Ville d’Annecy

🏰 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! / there are sometimes temporary exhibitions here / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h / website;

address: 3 passage de l'Ile, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 56 49 40 37;
Palais de l’Ile © Ville d’Annecy

🌎 La Turbine in Cran-Gévrier (Annecy) Le Centre de Culture Scientifique Technique et Industrielle de Haute-Savoie is an innovative pedagogic centre AND 🎥 cinema, equipped for families to learn about science in an interactive way / there are regular exhibitions, events and workshops for children of different ages, so do check the website for current ones! / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 14h to 18h;

address: place Chorus, Cran-Gevrier, 74960, Annecy / tel: 04 50 08 17 00;
© La Turbine

🧬 current exhibition: « Très Toucher » for 7+ years and « Touche Atout » for 3 to 6 years – until 7th March 2021;

© La Turbine

[ good to know: lots of workshops for La Fête de la Science (2nd ⇒ 12th October 2020 will be held here! ]

🇨🇭 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 Genève (Natural History Museum)

This wonderful museum has been a favourite of ours since our boys were small! / 🎨 good to know: there are also workshops on offer on Wednesdays and Saturdays, running alongside exhibitions / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 10h to 17h / website / see MBFF article for more details about the 🐯 Natural History Museum;

address: 1 route de Malagnou, 1208, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0) 22 418 63 00;
Natural History Museum, Geneva © montblancfamilyfun.com

🐯 current temporary exhibitions, to celebrate 200 years of the museum! / more information here;

  • « Wildlife Photographer of the Year »;
  • « Bouteille à la mer 2120 – Te Ao Mãori »;
  • « Trésors, 200 ans d’histoire naturelle à Genève »;
Wildlife Photographer of the Year © Muséum Genève
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 / 🗓 opening hours Sunday: 10h to 17h / website / good to know: ask for the 🗺 orienteering parcours leaflet for the park at the reception, and go explore! / also good to know: every two years, La Nuit de la Science takes place here;

address: Parc de La Perle du Lac, 128 rue de Lausanne 1202, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: 41 22 418 50 60;
© Musée d’Histoire des Sciences

🖼 current temporary exhbition: « Le Théatre des Expérience », until 21st February 2021 – teaching physics through experiments / information about carnets de jeux and workshops here;

« Le théatre des expériences  » © Musée d’Histoire des Sciences
MEG (Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève)

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 on Sunday: 11h to 18h / see website for more details / see MBFF article to read about planning a family visit;

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

NEW glass carving by Maōri artist George Nuku:


🖼 current temporary exhibition: « Jean Dubuffet, un barbare en Europe » (until ⇒ 28th February 2021) / this exhibition will recount the life and works of Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), painter, sculptor and writer, and will specifically concentrate on the artist’s visit to Switzerland (and to the MEG!), after the WW2 – a trip that would define the « l’Art Brut » / this exhibition brings together around 300 works of art and is organised with the collaboration of la Fondation Dubuffet and Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne, and co-produced with le Mucem (Marseille) and l’IVAM (Institut d’art moderne de Valence, Espagne) / MEG website information;

The MEG also has 🌈 a fabulous playground next door . . .

. . . and an American-style donut shop around the corner: 🍩 Loops & Coffee (address: boulevard Carl-Vogt 71, Geneva) . . .

MAMCO (modern and contemporary art museum in Geneva)

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: 45mins / for 5 to 10 year olds, with an accompanying adult and highly recommended by the MBFF team!) / the temporary exhibitions change regularly, so do check website agenda! / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 12h to 18h / website;

address: 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers, CH-1205, Genève / tel: +41 22 320 61 22;
Centre d’Art Contemporain

This 🖼 contemporary art 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 Romande, 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) / 🎨 Akademinis (alternate Sundays and Wednesdays) –” balade en famille dans les expositions “: a family visit of the 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 / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 11h to 18h / website;

address: Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 10, 1205 Genève / tel: + 41 22 329 18 42;
Akademinis © Contemporary Art Museum
MAH (Le Musée d’Art et d’Histoire)

The 🖼 MAH’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 MBFF article for more details / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 11h to 18h / website;

address: rue Charles-Galland 2, 1206, Geneva;

🖼 current temporary exhibition: « L’Enfant dans l’Art Suisse: d’Agasse À Hodler », until 31st December 2020 / more information here;

Musée Rath

The 🖼 Musée Rath hosts the MAH’s larger temporary exhibitions / located next to the Grand Théâtre and the Conservatoire de musique on la Place de Neuve, the 🏛 Musée Rath is a protected building since 1921. Open to the public in 1826, thanks to the generosity of the Rath sisters, it was the first museum of fine art in Switzerland, a « un temple des muses » / 🗓 opening hours: 11h to 18h / website

address: place Neuve, 1204, Geneve / tel: +41 (0)22 418 33 40; 

🖼 current temporary exhibition: « Fred Boissonnas et la Méditerranée: une odyssée photographique » until 31st January 2021 / more information here;

© Musée Rath
🏺 Musée Ariana (Musée Suisse de la Céramique et du Verre) 🏺

The 🏺 Musée Ariana is located near the UN and the Red Cross Museum in Geneva / 🏛 history of the museum: the palatial neo-Classic, neo-Baroque building which houses the Musée Ariana was built at the end of the 19th century by generous collector Gustave Revilliod, always with the intention of it becoming a museum; he chose the name Ariana in honor of his mother, from whom he had inherited his fortune / there is a beautiful park to explore outside / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday (shut on Monday), 10h to 18h website / 🗓 good to know: it is worth exploring the gardens outside, with with some 🌸 Asian cherry blossom; see here;

🎨  for children/families:

  • 🌈 Coin Enfants – a space for children to draw and discover books associated with the museum’s collection;
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Les samedis des tout-petits – workshops for 2 to 4 year olds on Saturdays (paying);
  • 📱 Geologex – a treasure hunt on your Smartphone;
  • 📱 Pyrim de Cobalt: un mystère à l’Ariana – another treasure hunt on your Smartphone!
  • 🎨 for more information about workshops and services for families & children, see here;
address: avenue de la Paix 10, 1202 Genève / tel: +41 22 418 54 54;

🖼 current temporary exhibitions: see here;

Quartier Libre SIG  

There are regular 🖼 temporary exhibitions at this super little exhibition space in central Geneva, on a tiny islet on the Rhône and next to Lac Léman:

📚 current exhibition: One, Two . . . Street Art: le top de l’art urbain (until March 2021)an interactive exhibition, organised in collaboration with Little Beaux-Arts and le Musée en Herbe, exploring street art from its origins until current day; exploring 50 street artists!  / FREE! / website;

address: Quartier Libre SIG, Pont de la Machine, 1204, Genève;
© Quartier Libre SIG

🇨🇭 Nyon’s FREE first Sunday of the month 🇨🇭 

In Nyon, 🎫 a combined ticket covers entrance to all 3 museums in the town (and all three are FREE on the first Sunday of the month!), valid 12 months:

© Les Amis des Musées de Nyon
🐟 Nyon’s Musée du Léman & Aquarium 🐟

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 the secrets of the lake!) / 🗓 opening hours Sunday: 10h to 17h (and November to March 14h to 17h) / 🌈 super playground right next door and picnic spot! / website;

[ good to know: 🗓🎨 l’atelier Créa’lac – every 3rd Sunday of month, a workshop for children at 15h30 ]

address: quai Louis-Bonnard 8, 1260, Nyon, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0) 22 316 42 50;

🖼 temporary exhibitions: 

  • 🌊 Un Tsunami sur le Léman  2022
  • 🖼 Des Rives et des Crètes ⇒ November 2020;
Musée de Léman and Aquarium © montblancfamilyfun.com
© Musée de Léman and Aquarium
🏛 Le Musée Romain de Nyon 🏛

The foundations of the basilica of the forum were discovered in 1974 and since 1979 the 🏛 Musée Romain has been here, within the walls, allowing visitors a glimpse into the world of ancient Noviodunum / 🗓 opening hours: November to March, Tuesday to Sunday, 14h to 17h; April to October, 10h to 17h / good to know: a treasure hunt is available for children! / website;

address: rue Maupertuis 9, CH-1260, Nyon / tel: +41 22 316 42 80;
Musée Romain de Nyon © montblancfamilyfun.com
🏰 Le Château de Nyon 🏰

Originally a maison forte (fortified house) dating from the middle of the 12th century, 🏰 the Château de Nyon was altered in the 16th century by the Bernese. After the Vaud Revolution of 1798, the castle was bought by the City of Nyon, and it therefore contains: courts, assemblies of the municipal council, prisons and, since 1888, the museum. The castle was completely restored between 1999 and 2006, and it holds a large collection of porcelain produced in the 18th century in the famous Nyon factory as well as objects that tell us about Nyon’s 3000 year history. It also offers temporary exhibitions devoted to historical themes or contemporary art / website;

address: Château de Nyon, Place du Château, CH - 1260 Nyon / tel: +41 (0)22 316 42 73;
© Château de Nyon

🖼 current temporary exhibition:  « Sentiments, signes, passions – à propos du livre d’image », ” une exposition inédite imaginée avec Jean-Luc Godard et produite par @visionsdureel ” / more information here;

© Château de Nyon

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