Switzerland III – Luzern Swiss Museum of Transport

We had three nights and two full days in Luzern. The first day our main event was a visit to the Swiss Museum of  Transport. We spent the morning there, but really could have spent all day if we had the stamina.

The guidebook advertised it as a nice walk from town. Well, we should have taken the boat. It was a LONG walk, nice, but long.

The museum is probably our favorite science-oriented museum we’ve ever been to.  There were so many interesting exhibits – both full size and in miniature.  The main courtyard has a full airliner and steam boat, along with scooters they encourage you to use to get across the expanse. 

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The auto exhibit has a wall of cars and trucks with a cool elevator that brings them up close into view (narration in German while we were there).

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There was a nice planetarium that was running a show explaining the zodiac and how the constellations move through the sky throughout the year.  (over the loudspeaker in German, but a handheld device played English or the language of your choice)

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The train exhibit was amazing.  Dozens of engines and cars – including many specialty types. 

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And a scale model of the famous Gothard tunnel, including the church you pass three times.  (we thought this vignette was pretty cool)

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The outside of the automobile building was covered in road signs.  Very cool.

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One of the most brilliant things in the museum was a room with an aerial photograph of all of Switzerland as a floor.   You could see pretty much every street and building in the country.  (we found the Ebenalp mountain hut that we had visited two days before)  We loved the idea and think that they should have more things like this in visitors centres around the world.  (one of London or New York City would be fabulous)

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As you entered you put on cool looking red felt Swiss slippers.  Steve looking  for a landmark.

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The second most brilliant thing in the museum was this wacky Rube Goldberg contraption.  There was a metal ball that travelled throughout – taking almost 5 minutes!  It captured every transport mechanism, and probably every Swiss stereotype in a very clever and tongue-in-cheek way.  I could have stood there for an hour watching it.

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An example of some of the inventive building design.  The entire back wall of the main entrance building was embedded with automobile wheels.

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  It is absolutely worth a visit for you  if you can work Luzern into your itinerary.  It is worth a full day if you are a transport buff.  We were there half a day and only saw part of what we wanted to see – not looking at any of the space or flight exhibits and only scratching the surface of the boat exhibit.  This is a museum that we will most definitely have to take our kids to someday.

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5 responses to “Switzerland III – Luzern Swiss Museum of Transport

  1. This looks awesome! One more good reason to visit Switzerland. While we’re on the subject of transportation, I encourage everyone interested in aviation to go to the Smithsonian Air and Space Annex located just outside of Washington D.C. at Dulles Airport. It just opened in 2003 and is a huge, and I mean huge, hangar housing a ton of planes and space vehicles from all around the world. It’s free and only takes a half day to get through.

    http://www.nasm.si.edu/UdvarHazy/

    • Thanks for the heads up….We plan on being in D.C. next September….so will put this museum on the schedule.

  2. I think that I, too, could spend a whole day at this place. When we were in Switzerland, we didn’t make it to Luzern (though Lucerne was Brenda’s favorite city!). I agree with Lowell that I’d like to see this site when we get to go back.

  3. hey steve…..is this museum rather new? haven’t been to luzern for 4 or 5 years….but don’t remember it….looks like a welcome relief from tracking over to the lion monument every trip…..

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