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Best Free Museums in Geneva

By: Cityseeker
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Institut et Musée Voltaire

In the former residence of Voltaire, a museum has stood since 1952. Principally a centre of research on the philosopher and the 18th century, it houses old editions, manuscripts, paintings, drawings and sculptures. Articles belonging to Voltaire himself are on display giving you a fascinating taste of the day-to-day life of the author. The library can be used by appointment in the mornings. The mansion is on the grounds of the Parc des Délices which Voltaire himself described as "Les jardins d'Epicure". Admission is free at the Institut et Musée Voltaire.

Geneva, Switzerland
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Musée d’Art et d’Histoire

The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Museum of Art and History) is Geneva's prime museum, which houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Its permanent art collection is particularly centered around Alpine and lake scenes, portraits by Ferdinand Hodler, and works by some of the most famous artists associated with Switzerland, including Giacometti. The fine arts wing also contains works by Rodin, Cézanne and others. Other areas of the museum comprise an applied arts area (silverware and furniture) and the museum expands its show area to an elegant courtyard in the summer. There's also a bookshop, filled with research material on related subjects. Check website to know more about exhibitions and upcoming events to be held here. Entry to the permanent exhibits is free, but you will be charged for touring the temporary collection.

Geneva, Switzerland
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Natural History Museum of Geneva

Natural History Museum of Geneva is one of the largest of its kind in Switzerland and has become very popular with an average of 250,000 visitors a year. The permanent exhibition covers an enormous area with regional wildlife, including mammals and species of nesting birds), exotic wildlife, the history of the Earth (with dinosaur and extinct giant mammal skeletons) and a beautifully presented section of minerals. There is a café, a museum shop and a team of attendants ready to answer all your questions.

Geneva, Switzerland
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Musée d'Histoire des Sciences

The museum is located in one of Geneva's most beautiful neo-classical buildings, the Villa Bartholini, which was built in 1825 and situated in a magnificent park on the lakefront. This unique museum traces Geneva's rich scientific past, mainly between the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum will fascinate both children and adults. The Collection includes a number of amazing old scientific instruments used in astronomy, medicine, meteorology and physics, such as the famous "Navicula de Venetis" sundial, the hygrometer for hair, and scientific instruments invented by de Saussure and trialled during the 1787 Mont-Blanc expedition. Other exhibits describe the history of electricity, the microscope and the barometer.

Geneva, Switzerland
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Musée Ariana

The Musée Ariana (Ariana Museum), also known as Musée Suisse de la Céramique et du Verre, is housed in an exquisite palace built between 1877 and 1884 and is well worth visiting in its own right. The museum has one of the richest and finest collections of ceramic and glassware in Europe and is the only museum of its kind in Switzerland. The collection's approximate 20,000 pottery, stoneware, earthenware and porcelain objects, as well as some glass objects span seven centuries, from the Middle Ages to the present day in Europe, the Near East and Asia. The museum also holds temporary exhibitions in its basement throughout the year.

Geneva, Switzerland
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CERN

In one of the world's largest center of nuclear research, there are several possibilities of discovering the world of 7000 scientists from 80 countries. By reserving in advance at CERN, three-four weeks for individuals and three-four months for groups, a half-day visit to one of the world's largest research center, Cern can be arranged. The visit starts with an introduction given by one of the guides, followed by a journey of 100 meters (328.08 feet) below the earth to see one of the experiments on the LEP particle accelerator. It is not necessary to make reservations for the Microcosm exhibit, in which it is possible to view videos, models, original equipment and computer games. Check out the website for more information.

Geneva, Switzerland
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