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    Welcome to the Swiss Ornithological Institute

    Get to know Switzerland's birdlife in a whole new way. Become a bird yourself, let yourself be ringed and find out what bird you are – welcome to the visitor centre of the Swiss Ornithological Institute!

    Logo EMYA

    Sustainability
    Winner 2017

    The visitor centre throughout the seasons

    In every season and whatever the weather, our visitor centre offers a unique and surprising experience.

    © Marcel Burkhardt

    Opening hours

    Tuesday–Sunday 10.00–17.00
    Monday closed
    Last admission 16.00

    Open today from 10.00 to 17.00

    Allow about 2 hours for your visit.

    The visitor centre is accessible by wheelchair.

    Dogs are not permitted.

    All Saints’ Day 01.11.2020 10.00 – 17.00
    Immaculate Conception 08.12.2020 10.00 – 17.00
    Christmas Eve 24.12.2020 closed
    Christmas 25.12.2020 closed
    St. Stephen´s Day 26.12.2020 closed
    New Year´s Eve 31.12.2020 closed
    New Year´s Day 01.01.2021 closed
    Saint Berchtold 02.01.2021 closed
    Vendredi Saint 02.04.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Easter 04.04.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Easter Monday 05.04.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Ascension Day 13.05.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Whitsun 23.05.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Whit Monday 24.05.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Corpus Christi 03.06.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Swiss National Holiday 01.08.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Assumption Day 15.08.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    All Saints’ Day 01.11.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Immaculate Conception 08.12.2021 10.00 – 17.00
    Christmas Eve 24.12.2021 closed
    Christmas 25.12.2021 closed
    St. Stephen´s Day 26.12.2021 closed
    New Year´s Eve 31.12.2021 closed
    New Year´s Day 01.01.2022 closed
    Saint Berchtold 02.01.2022 closed
    Vendredi Saint 15.04.2022 10.00 – 17.00
    Easter 17.04.2022 10.00 – 17.00
    Easter Monday 18.04.2022 10.00 – 17.00
    Ascension Day 26.05.2022 10.00 – 17.00
    Whit Monday 06.06.2022 10.00 – 17.00
    Corpus Christi 16.06.2022 10.00 – 17.00
    Swiss National Holiday 01.08.2022 10.00 – 17.00
    Swiss National Holiday 01.08.2022 10.00 – 17.00
    Assumption Day 15.08.2022 10.00 – 17.00
    Whitsun 05.06.2025 10.00 – 17.00

    Please step in!

    Experience the world from a bird's point of view.

    © Marcel Burkhardt

    Admission

     
    Adults
    (aged 16 and over)
    CHF 15.00
    Children, school children,
    apprentices, students, disabled
    visitors (with disability card
    CHF 10.00

    Children under 16 accompanied
    by their parents/grandparents
    free
    Friend of the Swiss Ornithological
    Institute, 5.- CHF off admission,
    10% discount in our shop
    CHF 10.00

    Groups

    We look forward to your visit. To ensure the best visiting experience, groups of 20 or more are required to call in advance (+41 41 462 97 97). Advance booking is recommended for groups of 10 or more. Maximum group size: 70

    Learn more

     

    Groups

     

    Go to the SBB Railaway offer

    Many roads lead to Sempach.

    The visitor centre can be easily reached by public transport.

    © Alexander Jaquemet

    Getting here

    The Swiss Ornithological Institute lies in central Switzerland, north of Lucerne, near the town of Sempach on the shores of Lake Sempach.

    By train and bus

    • By train on the Olten–Lucerne line to Sursee. From the station in Sursee by bus to Sempach; get off at "Vogelwarte".
    • Or by train on the Olten–Lucerne line to Sempach-Neuenkirch. By bus to "Vogelwarte".

    Timetable & tickets

     

    Go to the SBB Railaway offer

    By car

    • Motorway A2 Basel–Lucerne
    • Exit Sempach
    • Follow the blue sign that says "Sempach".
    • By the city gate, follow the main road to the left, in direction of the lake.
    Car parks:
    • "Seevogtey" outside of the old town of Sempach (approx. 10 minutes’ walk)
    • "Seebad" Sempach (approx. 5 minutes’ walk)

    Go to route planner

    Coaches

    • Drop-off area for coaches in front of the visitor centre. Coach parking on the "Seevogtey" car park.
    •  The visitor centre is accessible by wheelchair.
    •  Dogs are not permitted.

    Interactive adventure.

    Experience birdlife in a whole new way.

    © Marcel Burkhardt

    Attractions

    Visit our main exhibition "Survival" and become a bird yourself. A unique ringing system generates your personal bird profile. The film "Bird Watch" takes you on a surprising journey through Switzerland, and "Singphony" invites you to delve into the world of birdsong.

    Survival

    Experience the world from a bird's perspective: Hatch from an egg, leave the nest, choose your food, encounter various threats, pick your plumage and decide on a migration strategy. The exhibitions's unique ringing system will tell you what kind of bird you are: a Bearded Vulture, a Mallard, or perhaps a Wren?

    Bird Watch

    Follow birds on a surprising journey through Switzerland. The captivating scenes were filmed exclusively for the visitor centre by wildlife cinematographer Marc Tschudin. The film runs continuously, so you can start viewing any time.

    Singphony

    "Singphony" introduces you to a bird's world of sound and communication. Listen in to the mysterious language of birds and learn the basics of birdsong.

    Garden and aviaries

    The lakeside offers the opportunity to relax or to birdwatch. Wander through the Ornithological Institute's natural garden and look out for the birds inside and outside the aviaries.

    Shop

    Looking for an attractive gift or special souvenir to take home? Browse our range of t-shirts, games, soft toys and more, and find a gift for yourself or a loved one. A variety of brochures, books and CDs on birds are also on offer. Come and see for yourself!

    Your purchase supports the Swiss Ornithological Institute's work for the benefit of birds.

    Cafeteria

    Enjoy a drink or an ice cream in our coffee corner with delightful views.

    The building

    An airy lobby made from local wood joins the two compact units with loam walls that make up the visitor centre. The construction is a pioneering achievement in sustainable building. It meets the Minergie P standard of low energy consumption as well as the Minergie Eco standard requiring the use of environmentally friendly materials.

    Survival

    Experience the world from a bird's perspective: Hatch from an egg, leave the nest, choose your food, encounter various threats, pick your plumage and decide on a migration strategy. The exhibitions's unique ringing system will tell you what kind of bird you are: a Bearded Vulture, a Mallard, or perhaps a Wren?

    Visiting time
    approx. 1 hour

    Bird Watch

    Follow birds on a surprising journey through Switzerland. The captivating scenes were filmed exclusively for the visitor centre by wildlife cinematographer Marc Tschudin. The film runs continuously, so you can start viewing any time.

    Visiting time
    approx. 30 minutes

    Singphony

    "Singphony" introduces you to a bird's world of sound and communication. Listen in to the mysterious language of birds and learn the basics of birdsong.

    Visiting time
    approx. 20 minutes

    Garden and aviaries

    The lakeside offers the opportunity to relax or to birdwatch. Wander through the Ornithological Institute's natural garden and look out for the birds inside and outside the aviaries.

    Shop

    Looking for an attractive gift or special souvenir to take home? Browse our range of t-shirts, games, soft toys and more, and find a gift for yourself or a loved one. A variety of brochures, books and CDs on birds are also on offer. Come and see for yourself!

    Your purchase supports the Swiss Ornithological Institute's work for the benefit of birds.

    Cafeteria

    Enjoy a drink or an ice cream in our coffee corner with delightful views.

    The building

    An airy lobby made from local wood joins the two compact units with loam walls that make up the visitor centre. The construction is a pioneering achievement in sustainable building. It meets the Minergie P standard of low energy consumption as well as the Minergie Eco standard requiring the use of environmentally friendly materials.

    Destination Sempach.

    Combine your visit to the Swiss Ornithological Institute with a dip in the lake or a tour of the historical town of Sempach.

    © Lynn Hodel

    Lake Sempach region

    Home to the Swiss Ornithological Institute and many other attractions – Sempach and its surroundings have a lot to offer!

    Lake Sempach tourist information ›

    Enjoy your stay in the Lake Sempach region.

    Photo © Luzern Tourismus / Beat Brechbühl
    Seebad Sempach ›

    The bathing area next to the Swiss Ornithological Institute has a sandy beach, a floating platform, a water playground, a beach volleyball field, a diving tower and a restaurant.

    Photo © Archiv Korporation

    Sempach Town Hall Museum ›

    Multimedia exhibition on local history.

    Photo © Sempach Town Hall Museum

    TCS campsite Sempach ›

    Camping site on the lake next to the Seebad.

    Photo © TCS campsite Sempach

    Restaurant Seeland Sempach ›

    Self-service restaurant right next to the Seebad in Sempach.

    Photo © Seeland Sempach

    Restaurant Wirtschaft zur Schlacht ›

    Restaurant with views of the Central and Bernese Alps and Lake Sempach.

    Photo © Restaurant Wirtschaft zur Schlacht

    Restaurant & Pizzeria Türmli ›

    Restaurant in Sempach's picturesque old town of Sempach right next to the city gate.

    Photo © AO Gastro AG

    Restaurant Adler Sempach ›

    Enjoy select seasonal dishes in a laid-back ambience.

    Photo © Restaurant Adler Sempach

    Restaurant Una Storia ›

    Elegant Italian ristorante, welcoming tavern, stylish wine bar and leafy beer garden.

    Photo © Remimag AG

    La Torreta Mexican Restaurant & Bar ›

    Restaurant with Tex-Mex specialities in Sempach's old town right by the city gate.

    Photo © AO Gastro AG

    Caribbean Village ›

    Caribbean ambience with palm trees, sun, colourful cabins in the beach bar in Nottwil on Lake Sempach.

    Photo © Andy Hänggi

    Hotel Birdland ›

    Hotel for business and leisure travellers in the heart of central Switzerland.

    Photo © Hotel Birdland

    See you soon at the Swiss Ornithological Institute!

    We look forward to welcoming you at the visitor centre of the Swiss Ornithological Institute.

    Contact us if you have any questions!

    +41 41 462 97 97

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