When I recently discovered that in Zurich, there is a football museum, I immediately planned our visit to the nearest rainy weekend.
How to get there
The FIFA museum is located in Zurich, near the train station Enge. You can get here by train, by bus or tram (all stop Bahnhof Enge). If you go there by car, I recommend the closest parking lots (we parked at Hürlimann Areal, which is about 10 minutes walk). You can park on the surrounding streets in designated zones but only up to 2 hours in maximum, and that´s too short for the visit.
Visiting the museum
After paying the entrance fee (more info about tickets and opening hours here) you will be shown the way to the locker room on the floor below, where you can leave your stuff in lockers (but don´t forget to take along your tickets because you’ll need them later!). The lockers bear the names of famous footballers, so after finding momentary favorites of our sons we looked after the Czech names and we were happy when we could store our belongings in a locker, which bore the name “Nedved.”
You are not allowed to take a stroller to the museum premises, but you can park it before the entrance. Although the pace of the tour is up to you, its direction is fixed.
The Swiss museums are said not to be (with some exceptions) very kids-friendly. But the FIFA Museum certainly is. Right at the cash register, your kids receive an activity book with a pencil, which they can hang on their necks. In this book, they fill in answers to various questions. They will find the answers at numerically marked stations along the tour. I must admit, that our kids haven’t got any further that to the question 5 because they were interested in so many other things. You will soon discover them! So keep reading!
The first part is a great hall dedicated to the history of the Football Association and the football itself. On the timeline, you will learn a lot of interesting information about the milestones in the history of football, the game itself, and its development and rules. Did you know that football goal used to be without a cross bar? Or the yellow and red cards were first used in 1970? Or that before the goalkeeper could catch the ball with his hands until the middle of the field? If you feel that you don´t get enough information from the timeline, you can download an English audio guide to your mobile (here is free Wi-Fi).
In this gallery you can admire national team´s shirts of all 209 members of the Association beautifully designed into the colorful rainbow.
Walking down the stairs, that are designed to look like the entrance to the stadium, you get to the room dedicated to the founders of FIFA. On the touch screen, you can find more interesting information on your favorite national team – in addition to basic information (the formation of a national association, national team coach etc.) you will see short historical videos. All of this information are reflected not only in the display but also in large on the wall above it.
World Cup Gallery
In this section came the real fun! But first, we could not get enough views on the original of the trophy for the winners of the World Cup. From the lovely staff of the museum, we learned, that until the opening of the museum (in February 2016) the cup has never been publicly exhibited. After the final game, the winners celebrate on the field with the original, but then they get only replicas and the original had been safely locked up until the next championship. The entire cup weighs 6 kilos, of which 5 kilos weighs the gold ball (yes, from real gold) inside.
This hall is really full of interesting information. Here you´ll also find more interactive screens where you can watch the best moments from past championships, you can admire the model of the Maracana Stadium or see the championship´s mascots.
You can also make a selfie from a “visit” to famous stadiums like Wembley or the Maracana and send it to your mail. Also, you can try to copy the victory dance while trying to follow dance steps that you see on the screen.
At the end of this section, you enter the cinema, where you can expect about 8-minute projection. It is visually very effective, but quite noisy. That’s why you´ll be offered special earmuffs for small kids.
Then the glass lift will take you to the most interesting part of the museum.
Fields of play
First, you can plunge into comfortable chairs in the shape of a speaker and you can choose on the tablet which of the football hits you want to listen to. Newer songs like Waka waka or La La La by Shakira are about notorious, but what about the song “Back Home” from 1970? Doesn´t ring any bell? You can listen to it here.
Here you can also read the stories of fans and volunteers who help with organizing the championship. Then you´ll slowly get (along the display of historical toys) into football Gaming Zone. Here you can play foosball or play FIFA on Play station. But the most interesting is yet to come!
First, you scan your ticket at a special terminal. The computer will then generate the name of the player under whose name you can try the 6 disciplines of football. Don´t forget to scan your ticket at each station. Corner kick, speed dribbling … I guarantee you having a lot of fun here!
While your kids are creating (or are still busy with football disciplines), parents can relax in the sitting bags and read or flip through the football themed books. Kids can then process their impressions from the visit of the museum and create a work of art. There are crayons, markers, scissors, coloring books, colored paper … creativity has no limits.
Unfortunately, you can´t take any bottles to the exhibition halls of the museum. But in the crafts corner, there are drinking fountains (which I´d welcome in other areas too). When you have finished your tour of the museum, you can refresh yourself in the Café Bar, which you enter as soon as you leave a gift shop. On the ground floor next to the entrance to the museum, there is a large Sports Bar with several large-screen TVs.
The visit to the museum was really a great experience. The museum is modern, interactive and perfectly designed – I think that not only football fans will appreciate that. It has certainly left very good impressions, just like Museum of Communications or Transport Museum in Lucerne.
I´d like to thank Tanya from Moms:Tots:Zurich. She´s given me a hint to visit this museum by her blog post (you can read it here).
And what about you? Have you been to the FIFA World Football Museum? Or are you planning to go there? Let me know in the comments bellow.
And don´t forget to pin this for later!
If you don´t want to miss any of my recent posts please sign up for my blog in the top right-hand corner of this page. Thank you 🙂
I will appreciate any time if you share my posts on Facebook or Twitter. It helps get my blog out to more people, who may like my posts.