Home to part of the Swiss National Museum, Prangins Castle is a history lesson in and of itself. Built in 1732, the grand building was a seat of power in Switzerland for centuries, serving as home to Voltaire, Joseph Bonaparte (brother of Napoleon), and a Protestant school, before opening to the public as a museum in 1998. Today, the castle is extensively restored and furnished in its original style.
The main museum exhibition, Switzerland on the Move, covers three floors and traces Swiss history from the Enlightenment to the beginning of the 20th century. Outside, the sunken kitchen garden has been replanted to resemble its 18th century layout, and includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that were consumed in the region at that time.
Visit Prangins Castle for free with the Geneva Pass, which includes admission to over 30 Geneva attractions, including the towers of St. Peter's Basilica and the Art and History Museum.
Prangins Castle is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. It is closed Monday. To reach the castle, take the train to Nyon from either Geneva (30 minutes) or Lausanne (45 minutes). From there, you can catch bus 805 or 811 to the castle. Alternatively, you can make your way on foot from the station, which takes just under half an hour. Follow train tracks in the direction of Lausanne, as well as the pedestrian signs.
Admission to the visitors’ center, the kitchen garden, and the grounds is free of charge. Audio guides are also available free of charge from the museum reception desk. Admission to the museum is 10 CHF, and free for visitors carrying a Geneva Pass.