As the home of both the E.G. Bührle Collection (containing one of the most famous collections of French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism anywhere in the world) and the Swiss National Museum, Zurich is a first class museum city. Apart from the aforementioned heavy hitters, however, there are also some smaller, more specified curiosities for visitors looking to branch out and scale down.
1. The Johann Jacobs Museum for the Cultural History of Coffee. Though currently closed for renovation, the Jacobs is scheduled to reopen later this year. Contained within its walls is a permanent exhibition dedicated to promoting the cultural significance of what the museum claims has been the second most important commodity (after oil) in the world from the 17th century to the modern day.
2. The Rietberg Museum and Villa Wesendonck together house a first-rate collection of Indian, Tibetan, Latin American and Pacific Islander artwork. The villa, museum, and an accompanying structure and park are connected by underground tunnel. The villa itself is also one of the most significant historic sites for fans of classical music (in particular fans of Richard Wagner, who performed and composed their regularly during his lifetime).
3. The North American Native Museum (formerly the Zurich Indian Museum) is a peculiarly located institution featuring six distinct collections of Native American art and artifacts, representing groups from plains, the northeastern woodlands, the sub-arctic region, the arctic, the northwest coast and the southwestern desert respectively.
4. The Bärengasse Museum. It’s hard to imagine a more modest museum than the Bärengasse (the so-called “Museum of Domestic Life”), which houses a rotating series of exhibitions dedicated to the celebration of Swiss domestic interiors from the 17th and 18th centuries.