Planes, Trains, Automobiles and More!
Travelers today have a laundry list of transportation options at their disposal. From planes, trains, cars to boats, if you can find a route and a ticket, you can get there thanks to a little transportation. Located in the picturesque city of Lucerne, just an hour from Zurich, the Swiss Museum of Transport presents an exhibition space for the traveler at heart. As the most visited museum in Switzerland, the museum has established a reputation for being an innovative and creative space. Everything pertaining to road, rail, water, air and space travel is presented in a hands-on manner, where you can simulate flight or even experience a car crash, if you wish. Home to 3,000 objects in its exhibition area, the Swiss Museum of Transport is worth boarding a plane, train, bus or boat just to reach it.
The History: The Swiss Museum of Transport was founded back in 1959. Just as transportation has changed since that time, so has the museum transformed with the times. However it has always set out with the goal of showcasing all aspects of transport and communication. Its hands-on approach has drawn plenty of crowds to make the museum the most visited in all of Switzerland. In 2011, the Swiss Museum of Transport welcomed 735,000 visitors alone.
The Exhibits: From planes, trains and automobiles, they are all featured in the museum along with many other forms of transportation. The museum offers simulators just to start. You can pilot a helicopter, take flight or even drive a train on the railway simulators featured throughout the museum. Visitors can see train models like the Elephant, the last big Swiss steam locomotive. The road section of the museum features 80 vehicles from 1860 to 2005 stacked floor to ceiling. You can select a vehicle to see up close and personal and a robotized parking system will bring it to you in the Car Theater. The Swiss Museum of Transport also features an aviation and Space travel section, complete with 30 historic aircrafts and flying machines. The interactive displays are endless, but of particular popularity is the chance to walk around Switzerland on a 200-square meter aerial photograph of the country or a visit to the Media Factory where you can stage your own TV show.
The Costs: Entrance to just the museum portion of the Swiss Museum of Transport will set you back 30 CHF for an adult and 15CHK for those under 16 years old. Kids under six receive free admission. Budget travelers a bit shocked by the admission prices can appreciate a reduced ticket price if they hold the Lucerne Card. Aside from discounted museum entrances, the card includes unlimited travel on public transit.
Getting There and Nearby Accommodations: Perhaps in an ironic fashion, you can arrive to the Swiss Museum of Transport by various means of transport including bus, car, train or boat. Buses 6, 8 and 24 will all lead you to the museum. Those arriving by water can stop at the Verkehrshaus-Lido landing stage. Even from Zurich, travelers can hop on a train and be at the museum in just over an hour. As the museum could occupy a full day for a traveler, you can consider resting up nearby. The Art Deco Hotel Montana continues the transportation theme by offering guests a ride up the shortest funicular railway in Europe just to reach the lobby. A short walk from the museum along the lake promenade will bring you to the funicular of the hotel.
Reaching Lucerne is made easily with direct trains from Zurich. Hop on an airberlin flight to Zurich on Cheapoair and experience Switzerland’s most popular museum.
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photo: Suzy Guese