Now that the days are getting shorter, we were happy to find out that the Illuminarium light festival is coming back to Zürich for the third season.
Conveniently located in the courtyard of the Swiss National Museum in Zürich, a festival grounds of colorful illuminations, food and beverage vendors, music and light projections has been set up. We had a sneak peek at Illuminarium on opening night when we got to enjoy the sights, sounds and the eclectic cocktail bar...
What is Illuminarium at the Swiss National Museum in Zürich?
From November 14 to December 30, the (otherwise quiet) courtyard of the Landesmuseum is spreading holiday spirits. Simply step through the large gate into the admission free Christmas market. There, you will find various vendors offering everything from mulled wine to cotton candy.
We especially like the indoor bar with its living room atmosphere. The stylists have obviously put a lot of thought into the decorations, which made us feel "at home" while sipping on a generous 14-franc Hendrick's Gin & Tonic.
From prior years, we know that Illuminarium can get very busy as the after-work crowds gather. So, the earlier you can get there to reserve a standing table or lounge, the better... Seats at the indoor Fondue Palace can be reserved in advance.
About the Illuminarium Light Show
In an admission-only area located a bit off to the side of the courtyard, there is a nightly projection of a Christmas story. For the purpose of this Zurich event recommendation, we were provided complimentary admissions to grab an eyeful of this light show.
The main character, Yuki, is a sort of cyclope yeti who will surely steal your heart. The larger-than-life story is projected onto three building surfaces of the Swiss National Museum. We found it very clever how the architectural features of the buildings were incorporated into the projections.
Narrated entirely in Swiss German, Yuki's story is definitely targeted at younger crowds. As for us, we felt a bit underwhelmed after the 15-minute show. Out of curiosity, we asked for the regular admission price for adults: 13.50 francs. Frankly, we would hope that the organizers will waive the admission in future seasons altogether, because we think the pricing is excessive given the short duration of the show, which is preceded by sponsor advertisements.
- Opening times: daily from 5 PM until midnight
- How to get there: find your way to the Zürich main station and take the "Landesmuseum" exit. Alternatively, get off the tram at "Bahnhofquai/HB" and walk a few steps to the entrance.
- Admission: free entrance to the village
Check out our listing of 2019 Swiss Christmas markets.
Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.
Latest posts by Dimitri Burkhard (see all)
- Have you been to Festival Images Vevey? (It’s impressive.) - September 15, 2020
- I wrote a chapter for The Expert Guide to Your Life in Switzerland - September 14, 2020
- The Butcher and his Daughter Restaurant in Zürich - August 31, 2020