[ 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 7th November 2021, and there are some superb NEW exhibitions on offer!

🇫🇷 FURTHER FRANCE FREE first Sunday of the month 🇫🇷

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. You’ll learn 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 ⇒ 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 Lac d’Annecy / 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


🎥 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; 

🖼 current exhibition: Animaux Animés / more information here;

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;

🖼 current exhibition: « Mission Corps Humains » (18+ years) / ” L’exposition propose de mettre à nu les différents organes du corps humain pour en découvrir les fonctions premières mais aussi pour se rendre compte de toutes les autres missions qu’ils remplissent. Une plongée immersive au cœur de l’incroyable humain et de ses mécanismes. ” / more information here;

[ good to know: lots of workshops for La Fête de la Science (1st ⇒ 11th October 2021 will be held here! ]

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

🇨🇭 SWITZERLAND FREE first Sunday of the month 🇨🇭

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;

  • 🖼 « Bouteille à la mer 2120 – Te Ao Mãori » – MBFF visited this exhibition last autumn and we LOVED it;
  • 🖼 « Trésors, 200 ans d’histoire naturelle à Genève »;
Trésors © Muséum Genève
  • 2021’s NEW temporary exhibition: « Tout contre la Terre » – from 14th October 2021 ⇒ 6th November 2022 / ” une exposition qui aborde, sous l’angle des émotions, le dérèglement climatique et l’érosion de la biodiversité. ” / more information here;
Tout contre la Terre © Muséum Genève
Musée d’Histoire des Sciences (Geneva)

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: « Ecoute Voir » – until 27th February 2022 / more information here;

© 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:

[ for more information about the MEG, see separate MBFF article here ]

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

🖼 current exhibition: « Injustice environnementale – Alternatives autochtones » – from 24th September 2021 until 21st August 2022 / MEG website information;

© MEG Genève

NEW glass carving by Maōri artist George Nuku:


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 (45mins / for 5 to 10 year olds, with an accompanying adult and highly recommended by the MBFF team!) and the Mini Rendez-vous « À travers » (éveil artistique for 2 to 4 year olds, 20mins) – you need to reserve! / guided visite at 15h on Sundays / 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 (Geneva)

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 . . . / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 11h to 18h / website;

[ see MBFF article for more information here ]

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

🖼 current temporary exhibition: « Pour la Galerie: Mode et Portrait », until 14th November 2021 / ” Longtemps réservé à l’élite, aujourd’hui à portée de téléphone mobile, le portrait est le lieu de la projection et de la fabrication de l’image de soi par excellence. Le vêtement, des somptueux drapés des portraits d’apparat à la variété du vestiaire contemporain, en constitue un élément clé : il est un moyen de distinction, entre conformisme et quête d’originalité. Et au-delà de tout ce qui caractérise une époque, les codes traversent les modes comme autant de signes d’un statut affirmé ou rêvé. En confrontant les peintures et les objets du MAH à la collection d’histoire de la mode de la Fondation Alexandre Vassiliev, du XVe siècle à la période contemporaine, cette exposition invite à s’élancer dans un tourbillon de matières et de couleurs, un grand défilé déployé dans les salles palatines du musée transformées en galerie des miroirs. Instruments de pouvoir, de séduction ou d’évasion, vêtements et portraits nous entraînent dans une foire aux vanités où trouve à s’exprimer, de manière éblouissante ou dérisoire, toute la gamme des aspirations et des émotions humaines. ” / more information here;

Musée Rath (Geneva)

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; 
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 Sunday: 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;
  • 📱 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:

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

Nyon’s FREE first Sunday of the month

[ good to know: in nearby Lausanne, many of the museums are FREE on the first Saturday of the month (just to confuse matters!); see here for a list of museums in Lausanne ]

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 – until 2022;
  • 🦢 Le lac du cygne : histoire d’un oiseau blanc sur le Léman – until September 2022 / ” C’est l’histoire d’un oiseau blanc. Son élégance et sa beauté font le bon plaisir des monarques et des artistes depuis des siècles en Angleterre, en Allemagne ou en France. Du côté du Léman, son passé est plus récent. C’est au début du XIXe siècle seulement qu’il fait son entrée à Genève. Mais en un rien de temps, il devient emblème et ambassadeur de ce lac où on l’aime tant. Avec ce mélange de rigueur scientifique et de fantaisie qui fait son succès, le Musée du Léman raconte l’histoire amoureuse et intime du cygne et de son lac. Il revient sur sa gloire, ses quelques déboires, les lois qui l’ont protégé, les artistes qui l’ont célébré. Il compile les anecdotes, les souvenirs, les faits divers, tous ces fragments de son destin extraordinaire. “
Musée de Léman and Aquarium © montblancfamilyfun.com
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 Sunday: November to March, 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;

🖼 current exhibitions: see here;

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

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