Rietberg Museum, Zurich: How To Reach, Best Time & Tips
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About Rietberg Museum

Housing a diverse collection of artefacts from America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, Rietberg Museum, also known as ‘Emerald’ is situated in Zurich, Switzerland. Primarily focusing on the non-European arts and designs, the museum has become a great site of historical splendours. 

Crowned as the third largest museum in Switzerland, it is sprawling across the heart of Zurich on around 17 acres of land. This entire piece of land not only houses the museum but also several historical buildings amidst lush greenery. These buildings include Remise, the Wesendonck Villa, the Schonberg Villa and the Rieter Park-Villa.

Converted into a museum in the year 1949, Rietberg houses an expansive artistic collection of Baron von der Heydt. Displaying around 30,000 artefacts out of them, the museum features four to six permanent exhibitions every year. All these collections are from notable artefacts of Chinese Ceramics, Indian paintings, African art, and Meiyintang collection of art.

Not situated far from the lake Zurich, the museum is considered a world treasure in the terms of its distinctive art. Along with that, the museum houses various exhibitions which attracts tourists from around the world.
Besides all this, the museum is also famous for its architecture which is a great modern villa.

The classic beige colors look very beautiful in contrast to all the greenery around it. After touring the museum thoroughly, one must stop in the garden to get some great pictures against the Rietberg Museum.

How to Reach Rietberg Museum

It is advisable to travel by road as it is the quickest way to reach the Museum and takes about 25 minutes. The taxi fare will cost somewhere around 32 CHF-42chf. Train/tram will take approximately 34 minutes to reach Rietberg Museum from the Airport.

Best Time to Visit Rietberg Museum

Weekdays are the best time to visit this museum as the rush is quite low, and you can explore the museum without any hassle.  However, here's a season-wise description of the climate that would surely come in handy while planning your visit to the museum!

Spring (March to May):
Springtime is pleasantly cool, and temperature ranges between 12°C to 13°C. Since the temperature is quite moderate during this season, you can visit the museum in the best manner.

The summer months are undoubtedly the best months to visit the Museum as the temperature averages to 21°C and makes up for a warm and enjoyable climate.

Autumn (September-November):
The climate is not as chilly as winters but still quite cold and ranges between 4°C-10°C.

Winter (December to February):
During Winters, the temperature drops down to -6°C making it important to shield yourself with warm clothes if you’re planning to visit the museum in winter.

What Not to Miss at Rietberg Museum

The Rietberg Museum houses a large collection of paintings and artefacts belonging to 12 different Departments. These departments are as follows:-

1. Africa
The African collection comprises more than 2400 items, the majority belonging from Central and West Africa. The collection includes figures, sculptures, masks, items made out of metal food, and pottery items used for ceremonial purposes. It also has a collection of textiles that reflect the richness of African history.

2. China 
The Chinese collection can be dated back to the Neolithic Period of the 19th Century and the collection foretells the 7,000 years of Chinese history. There are Buddhist sculptures made from wood, archaic bronze vessels and you can also find here paintings belonging to the Drenowatz collection and more than 600 ceramic items of the Meiyintang collection. These collections act as a testimony to the rich and flourishing Chinese civilisation.

3. Oceania 
This department consists of roughly 400 items which have been put together from the richest corners of the various Pacific Islands. There are ancestral figures, masks and a wide range of objects used for everyday rituals on the display.

4. The Middle East
Items in the collection range from the early Islamic poetry to the oldest female bronze figure dated back to third millennium BC. Visitors are acquainted with miniature and lacquer paintings, artefacts made out of ceramic and textile/garment from the Qajar Periods here.

5. The Americas
The culture of the Americas is significantly represented in the collection displayed here and it also exhibits the important events that happened in the course of history. Visitors can take a look at the Tlingit or Haida masks, the painted cacao cups of Mesoamerica, sculptures, figures made out of ceramic and mushroom stone, figures of Azetic gods etc.

6. Swiss Masks 
The collection of the masks includes objects belonging to various Swiss regions that were carved during the 19th or the early 20th century.

7. South-East Asia 
Visitors will find a range of Japanese shadow puppets, Kris daggers, rod puppets, ceramics, Burmese and Thai clay votive tablets, textiles and bronzes in this collection. The Museum also displays unique sculptures from Vietnam.

8. Japan
The Japanese collection houses Buddhist deities made out of fine wood, masks and elegant costumes. It also displays pottery, lacquerware, items of porcelain, paintings, coloured woodcuts portraying scenes of daily life and nature, etc.

9. Photography
The photography section houses a collection of total 80,000 photographs taken across numerous regions such as America, Africa, Europe and Asia during the period of 1870 to 1980.

10. Indian Miniature Painting
The section comprises over 1400 miniature paintings and drawings which can be dated back to the 15th and 19th century. The paintings possess an aesthetic zeal and are a splendour on their own attracting the visitors from all around the globe. 

11. India 
The section foretells the 2000 years old history of South Asia through a collection comprising paintings, religious sculptures, exquisite garment and textile, ritual bronzes, and various musical instruments.

12. Himalayas
The collection comprises elegant Buddhist sculptures from Northern India, Nepal, Tibet and China and they display superlative craftsmanship.

Places to Visit near Rietberg Museum

1. Rietpark
Visitors can take a leisurely stroll while enjoying the scenic beauty of Rietpark. The beautiful vistas of this park will surely leave one mesmerised.

Location: 8952 Schlieren, Switzerland
Entry Fee: Not applicable
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours

2. FIFA World Football Museum
If you are a football aficionado, then this place is your sweet haven as it will enliven before you important events that happened in the course of evolution of football to the present era. The FIFA World Football Museum is a football museum operated and owned by FIFA and it gives you a walk through the eventful history of football. 

Location: Seestrasse 27, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM, Monday: Closed
Entry Fee: 24/14Sfr, students 18Sfr, kids younger than seven free, families 64Sfr.
3. Swiss National Museum
It is the largest culture and history museum in Switzerland that comprises various artefacts associated with Swiss history. The Museum undertakes various exhibitions and if you are obsessed with history, this place is a must-visit for you.

Location: Museumstrasse 2, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Entry Fee: 10 Sfr
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM, Monday: Closed

4. Kunsthaus Zürich
Kunsthaus Zürich is a well-curated museum housing famous painters like Picasso and Monet. The collection ranges from the middle ages to contemporary art and it is also home to one of the most significant art collections in Switzerland,

Location: Heimplatz 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Entry Fee: 23 Sfr

5. Zoo Zürich
Zoo Zürich is considered as one of the top zoos in Europe comprising a collection of 2200 specimens of 300 different species. This picturesque zoo offers a digital detox from fast-paced city life and it features spacious enclosures for animals and is quite well maintained.

Location: Zürichbergstrasse 221, 8044 Zürich, Switzerland
Entry Fee: 26 Sfr
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM

6. Zürich Opera House
Situated in the Swiss city of Zürich, the place has been home for Zürich Opera since 1891 and it features the Bernhard Theatre- Zürich. Zürich Ballet, the largest professional Ballet company. The place offers a modern take on the history of opera and is a must-visit for each one of you!

Location: Falkenstrasse 1, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
Entry Fee: 92 Sfr
Opening Hours: 11 AM – 6 PM, Sunday: Closed

Other Essential Information About Rietberg Museum

History of Museum Rietberg

Rietberg Museum was established on May 24, 1952 and since then it has become an important landmark of Switzerland. The construction of the Museum was initiated in 1951 under the administration of the prominent architect, Alfred Gradmann.

Until the year 1956, Swiss expressionist painter Johannes Itten was the director of the Museum. In 1972, the peripheral boundaries of the Museum were expanded by acquiring the Schonberg Villa which had earlier been threatened with demolition.

The villa opened as an extension of the Museum in 1978 and today it houses a non-lending extensive library that is looked after by the Museum's administration. The oldest piece of artefact in Swiss history, i.e. Earthenware Shards, and it’s existence dates back to 5000 BC.

The history of the Museum comprises many artistic works and popular myths/ Swiss images and it also throws some light on Swiss history starting from the Roman Era and the present day. Majority of the rooms in the Museum follow the theme of the Gothic, Renaissance period or the Baroque period and are a befitting example of supreme craftsmanship.

The complex comprises three villas belonging to the 19th Century and a coach house of Richard Wagner who created Tristan und Isolde Wesendonck-Lieder inside the Wesendonck Villa. The Schönberg Villa comprises a 21st century underground extension and it was opened in the year 2007.

It is a famous glass pavilion designed by Alfred Gazioli and Adolf Krischantiz and these are also the venues for both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Various events and programs on art education are also organised here. Currently, the Museum houses nearly 23,000 artefacts and 37,000 ethnographic photographs.

Tips for visiting Museum Rietberg

Keep in mind these tips that can aid you in having a great time at Museum Rietberg

- It is advisable to buy the Zürich card or the Swiss Museum pass for reduced admissions.

- Travellers can visit the tourist information centre residing at the central railway station. Visitors can also purchase museum passes from the tourist centre.

- It is advisable to check the opening and closing timings beforehand in order to ensure that you visit the museum at the appropriate time. 

- Avoid the most crowded hours of the Museum so that you can explore the museum in the best manner.

Avoid distractions. Limit the use of your phone. Take time to explore this museum that can offer you abundant information.

- Make the visit to the museum as interactive as possible. Do a little research before visiting the Museum.
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People Also Ask About Rietberg Museum

  1. What is the Rietberg Museum famous for?

    The Museum Rietberg is Switzerland's only museum famous for housing non-European art and its collection comprises valuable works from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania. The entire collection at Museum Rietberg comprises 23,000 items of display and 37,000 ethnographic photographs. Be it the 600 Chinese ceramic objects or the elegantly woven silk sarees; the Museum collections is a timeless and exquisite assemblage of art.
  2. Is the Museum Rietberg free?

    Admission to the museum is free of charge for children under 17 years of age and a paper voucher is required otherwise to enter the museum. Print and bring your voucher while visiting the Museum. The tickets start from $18.40 for adults and it is free for children below the age of seven years.
  3. How big is the Rietberg Museum?

    The Rietberg Museum sprawls across 17-acre (69,000 m2) of Rieterpark in central Zürich. It comprises numerous historical infrastructure which includes Wesendonck Villa, the Remise (or "Depot"), the Rieter Park-Villa, and the Schönberg Villa.
  4. How old is Museum Rietberg?

    The Museum was inaugurated on 24 May 1952 and the building is 68 years old.

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