Visiting the HR Giger Museum and Bar in Gruyères

Recently, on a rainy Saturday, we decided to check out the HR Giger Museum and Bar in Gruyères. HR Giger was a Swiss artist, most famous for his work on the Alien movies. This museum contains the largest collection of his work anywhere, along with his private collection of works by artists that inspired him.

I would describe HR Giger’s artwork as grotesquely-sexual, body-horror, nightmare-fuel. And in my opinion, his work for the Alien movies is the tamest stuff in the museum. So, while I consider the museum worth a visit and I recommend stopping in at the bar for a drink, be warned that it isn’t for everyone.

The village of Gruyères itself is car-free and very cute. We didn’t explore it much this time, but as Trail 3 eventually passes through here, I know we will be back.

Detail Summary
Where:HR Giger Museum
Château St. Germain
Rue du Château 2
1663 Gruyères

Canton Fribourg, Switzerland
Train/Bus:Zürich HB -> Gruyères – 2 hrs 29 mins

From the train station, it’s about a 15 min walk uphill through the village center to the museum.
Car:Route de la Cité 100, 1663 Gruyères

Gruyères is a car free village. There are paid visitor parking lots below the village. You then need to walk up a short path and through the village to get to the museum.
What:Self-Guided Tour of HR Giger Museum

Note: HR Giger’s artwork can described as grotesquely-sexual body horror. His work for the Aliens movies is the tamest stuff in the museum. Basically, his art is the stuff of nightmares.
Cost 2024:Self-guided Tour:
Adult – 12.50 CHF
Additional InformationLa Gruyères Tourism
HR Giger Museum (Official Site)
Visiting Gruyères on Swiss Family Fun

Getting There

We arrived in Gruyères right around lunch time. After getting off the train, we followed the signs to Gruyères, a 15 minute walk on a pedestrian path, up to the village. The HR Giger Museum and Bar are located at the far end of the village just below the castle. The village is small and there is not much chance you’ll get lost.

The HR Giger Bar

We were hungry, so decided to go into the HR Giger Bar first for a bite and drink before heading into the museum. They have a limited selection of snacks on the menu so we opted for a simple local meat and cheese plate to share with our drinks. Were I to do this again, I would probable have lunch at one of the several restaurants in the village first and then just stop into the bar after the museum for drinks.

The bar was designed by HR Giger himself and when inside you are totally immersed in his vision. Lots of people pop in just to take a look at the bar, but note that only customers are allowed to take photos inside.

After lunch, we headed across the street to the visit the museum.

The HR Giger Museum

After we stepped into the museum, we paid our entrance fee and headed up the stairs to see the exhibits. The alien woman statue with the pointy nipples outside the museum provides a great sense of exactly what you will see inside the museum. Lots of stuff from the Aliens movies, but also lots of just plain weird and disturbing stuff.

I didn’t include any photos of the more disturbing works in this post. There was a section behind a curtain that was labeled “Adults Only.” We checked it out, but we weren’t sure how those works differed from the works in the rest of the museum. All of the works are creepy, sexual, and disturbing, behind the curtain or not. We spent about an hour, maybe a bit less, exploring the museum. So much weird stuff!

Gruyères Village

After the museum, we took a 5 minute walk up to Gruyères Castle and took a photo at the Grand Tour spot. You can get a combination ticket for the HR Giger Museum and the castle, but we didn’t as we knew we didn’t have time for both.

We then turned around and walked back through the village on our way to the train station. The village was crowded as there was a festival going on. There were alp horn players when we first arrived and a traditional music band was playing when we left. Despite the crowds, it was a fun day out. I know we will be back to explore the village more another time. I’m looking forward to it.

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