Zurich’s Museum Rietberg is the only museum in Switzerland dedicated to non-European art and displays art and artefacts from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania. Visit to see the collection’s roughly 23,000 objects, ranging from Mayan masks to contemporary art from the Congo, and 37,000 ethnographic photographs.
The museum began as the private collection of Baron Eduard von der Heydt, which was donated to the city of Zurich in 1945. The collection, which has evolved over the years, is housed in three villas and a modern extension. One of the villas, Villa Schönberg, is where composer Richard Wagner stayed when he was writing his opera “Tristan and Isolde.” The museum displays both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Things to Know Before You Go
Visitors must purchase separate entrance tickets for the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.
Zurich Card holders get discounted admission to temporary exhibitions (along with admission to other sites and free use of the city’s public transportation system).
Children under 16 enter for free.
Guided tours are normally in German, but English language tours are held on the first Wednesday of every month, in the evening. Tours are free with admission and do not require advance bookings.
There is an on-site cafe.
Although there is no public parking, accessible parking is available, and the museum is wheelchair accessible.
Photography is allowed in the permanent collections but not in the temporary exhibits.
How to Get There
There are no parking facilities at the museum, so the best way to reach it is by public transportation. From Zurich’s main train station, take a train to Enge station. You can also take tram number 7, in the direction of Wollishofen, to Museum Rietberg, or bus the number 72, in the direction of Morgental, to Hügelstrasse stop.
When to Get There
The Museum Rietberg is open Tuesday–Sunday, from late morning until early evening, with extended evening hours on Wednesdays. The museum is closed on many of Switzerland’s major holidays.
Visit the Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zurich)
If you’d like to enjoy more of Zurich’s museums, visit the Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zurich), which displays (mostly) European art made from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Spend a few hours in the galleries to see work by artists like Monet, Van Gogh, and Rodin, all presented in exhibitions meant to help visitors think about social issues of the past and present.
- Lake Zurich (Zürichsee)
- Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus Zürich)
- Fraumünster Church
- St. Peter Church (Kirche St. Peter)
- Grossmünster Church
- Zurich Chinese Garden (Chinagarten)
- Paradeplatz (Parade Square)
- Kunsthaus Zurich
- Botanical Garden (University of Zurich)
- National Museum Zurich (Landesmuseum Zürich)
- Zurich Old Town (Altstadt)