Logo, Hotel Sempachersee


A day at the Sempach Ornithological Institute: experience pure nature

Vogelwarte Sempach Sempachersee

Welcome to our article about a day at the Sempach ornithological Institute. Experience pure nature here!

The Bird Observatory Sempach is not only a national center of excellence, but also a fascinating excursion destination. Situated in the idyllic surroundings of the Lake Sempach, the ornithological station offers unique insights into the world of birds.

A visit here is a journey into the world of ornithology and bird protection. The Sempach Ornithological Institute is funded by donations and relies on the support of over 2000 volunteers. This private status is unique in the world of ornithological institutes. The visitor center itself is an impressive pioneering achievement in building ecology, awarded the European Museum Award EMYA 2017 for sustainability.

The interactive experience exhibition takes center stage. Here you can slip into the role of a bird and experience the world from their perspective. The offer is complemented by the bird cinema and a mechanical theater dedicated to the theme of bird calls. The nature garden on the shores of Lake Sempach with its aviaries also offers the opportunity to observe birds in their natural habitat.

The Sempach Ornithological Institute is more than just a museum; it is a living center for research and education. It makes a decisive contribution to the protection and research of the native bird world. This is underlined by a wide range of programs and initiatives.

Particularly noteworthy is the opportunity to be "ringed" during a visit. This is a symbolic act that emphasizes the connection between man and nature. It is a place where visitors not only learn, but also become part of the bigger picture.

The Sempach Ornithological Institute thus offers a unique combination of education, recreation and commitment to bird conservation. It is a must for anyone interested in nature and looking for an inspiring excursion in central Switzerland.

Ready for a nature adventure? Then read on and discover the beauty and importance of the Sempach Ornithological Institute.


The Sempach ornithological station as an excursion destination: an adventure for young and old

Interactive exhibition and bird cinema: immerse yourself in the world of birds

The Sempach ornithological station offers an incomparable experience for all age groups. The interactive exhibition and the bird cinema are the highlights of this adventure.

In the exhibition "AboutLife", visitors experience the world from the perspective of birds. They go through various phases of a bird's life - from hatching from the egg to finding food and migration. This journey is complemented by a unique ring system that allows you to discover which bird you might represent at the end of the exhibition. This fascinating and interactive approach makes the ornithological station an educational and entertaining destination.

The bird cinema offers a cinematic journey through the world of Swiss birds, created exclusively for the visitor center by Marc Tschudin, a renowned nature filmmaker. The film is shown as an endless loop and offers impressive scenes from the world of birds.

The "Singphony" is another highlight. It takes visitors into the world of birdsong and allows them to immerse themselves in the secrets of bird language. In this exhibition, visitors are given an introduction to "Zwitscherdütsch".

The shores of Lake Sempach and the ornithological station's nature garden also offer opportunities to relax and observe various bird species in a natural environment. Visitors can borrow binoculars to observe the birds up close in the aviary or in the nature garden.

In summary, the Sempach Ornithological Institute offers a unique combination of education, entertainment and nature experience. It is an ideal excursion destination for families, school classes and nature lovers. The interactive and multimedia design of the exhibitions makes the visit an unforgettable experience.

Natural garden and aviaries - insights into the native bird world

The nature garden and the aviaries of the Sempach Ornithological Institute offer visitors unique insights into the local bird world. They are an essential part of the visitor experience and perfectly complement the interactive exhibitions.

The nature garden on the shores of Lake Sempach is a real highlight. Here, visitors can observe the fascinating variety of bird species in a natural environment. The garden offers a relaxing retreat and is ideal for experiencing the local flora and fauna. With a bit of luck, you may spot rare waterfowl or native songbirds in their natural habitat.

Various bird species are kept in the aviaries at the ornithological station. These offer a great opportunity to observe birds at close range. The aviaries are designed to mimic the birds' natural habitats, which enable an authentic experience.

Visitors also have the opportunity to borrow binoculars. These are particularly useful for taking a closer look at birds that are at a greater distance. This makes birdwatching an interactive and educational experience.

The nature garden and aviaries are not only interesting for bird lovers. They also offer families, school classes and nature lovers the opportunity to explore nature and learn more about the local birdlife. The Sempach Ornithological Institute is actively involved in bird conservation and education through these facilities.

Overall, the Sempach Ornithological Institute's nature garden and aviaries offer a peaceful and educational experience. They allow visitors to experience the beauty and diversity of birdlife in Central Switzerland up close.

Vogelwarte Sempach Vogelwelt
Vogelwarte Sempach Vogelwelt

Plan your visit to the Sempach Ornithological Institute

Opening hours and access information

If you are planning a visit to the Sempach Ornithological Institute, it is important to note the opening times. The Sempach Bird Observatory Visitor Center is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:00. The center is closed on Mondays. These times give you adequate opportunity to explore the fascinating world of birds and enjoy the many exhibitions and activities.

The visitor center is located at Luzernerstrasse 6 in Sempach. It is possible to get there by public transport or by car. If you arrive by car, you will find parking facilities near the center. If you are arriving by public transport, there are good connections that will take you to the visitor center.

It should be noted that the visitor center offers special deals for groups and school groups on request. This can be an excellent opportunity to create a tailor-made experience for larger groups or educational institutions.

As a charitable foundation, the Sempach Ornithological Institute relies heavily on the support of volunteers and donations. Your visit helps to support the important work in the field of ornithology and bird conservation. The ornithological station provides first aid for injured and orphaned birds, monitors bird populations, conducts research into native bird life and works to protect endangered bird species.

For further information or special requests, you can contact the Sempach Ornithological Institute directly. Further details can be found on the official website of the Sempach Ornithological Institute or on the website of Sempachersee Tourismus.

Special offers for groups and school classes

The Sempach Bird Observatory Visitor Center offers special programmes for groups and school classes looking for an interactive and educational nature experience. These offers are tailored to different age groups and educational cycles and provide an exciting opportunity to discover and understand the world of birds.

  1. Interactive experience exhibition: School classes from primary 5 upwards can slip into the role of birds in the exhibition. This experience is supported by an innovative ring system that allows pupils to find out which bird species suits them.
  2. Environmental education programs: The ornithological station offers a range of environmental education programs for different age groups. These include activities such as nest building, exploring bird footprints and lifestyles, and discovering bird species around the school grounds. The programs are designed to complement the "Lehrplan 21" and can be conducted at the ornithological station or directly on the school grounds.
  3. Excursion programs: The ornithological station offers excursion programs for older pupils, such as the project to protect lapwings in Wauwil. These excursions allow pupils to learn directly on site and get to know the ornithological station's work in nature conservation.
  4. Projects to upgrade the school grounds: From Year 3 onwards, schools can carry out projects to enhance their school grounds, such as planting hedges or creating nesting opportunities for birds. The Ornithological Institute supports schools in planning and implementing these projects.


These offers provide a great opportunity to experience nature and learn more about birdlife, both in theory and in practice. They are available all year round and can be adapted to the individual needs of groups. For successful registration and planning of your group activities, it is advisable to contact the Sempach Ornithological Institute in advance.

Vogelwarte Sempach School class
Vogelwarte Sempach School class

Sustainability and innovation: the bird observatory visitor center

Earth building and ecological construction: A pioneering achievement

The Visitor Center of the Sempach Ornithological Institute is not only a gateway to the world of birds, but also an example of sustainable architecture. As the first three-storey clay building in Switzerland, it is a pioneering achievement in terms of building ecology.

The architecture of the center, designed by the Biel-based architecture firm :mlzd, is a striking example of ecological building. It combines natural design with functionality and symbolizes the connection between man and nature. Wood and clay dominate both the exterior façade and the interior of the building, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

The visitor center achieves the Minergie-P-eco standard, which implies low energy consumption and the use of environmentally friendly building materials. These ecological aspects are crucial, as they make visitors aware of the importance of protecting nature and the environment.

Inside the building, in addition to the interactive exhibition, visitors will also find a small cafeteria with a view of the aviary and the "Singphony". The entire complex is designed to provide a smooth transition between the indoor and outdoor areas, allowing visitors to experience nature closeby.

The visitor center is a place where education, nature conservation and sustainable construction come together. It demonstrates how modern architecture and environmental awareness can go hand in hand to create unique and meaningful experiences. The center is therefore not only a place of learning and relaxation, but also a role model for sustainable development and architecture.

Bird-proof glazing - protection and innovation

The visitor center of the Sempach Ornithological Institute not only integrates ecological construction, but also bird-safe glazing as part of its innovative design. This is an important aspect, as building glazing can pose a danger to birds if they collide with the glass.

The visitor center therefore uses special bird-proof glazing that has been developed to minimize the risk of bird strikes. This type of glazing is able to give birds visual cues and thus prevent collisions. This is particularly relevant as it is estimated that millions of birds die each year from collisions with glass.

The bird-safe glazing in the visitor center of the Sempach Ornithological Institute is an example of how modern architecture can take the needs of nature into account. It shows that it is possible to create aesthetically pleasing designs that also ensure the safety of birds.

With this innovative solution, the visitor center of the Sempach Ornithological Institute contributes to the protection of birds and at the same time sets a new standard in environmentally conscious construction. It is an outstanding example of how buildings can not only be functional and aesthetic, but also take into account and protect the local fauna.


The importance of the Sempach Ornithological Institute for nature conservation

The Sempach Ornithological Institute, a non-profit foundation in Sempach, Canton Lucerne, plays a central role in the field of ornithology and bird conservation in Switzerland. Founded in 1924, the ornithological station has developed from a small, volunteer-run operation into a recognized institute with over 130 employees. Today it is a national competence center for ornithology and bird conservation and fulfils several important functions:

  1. Monitoring native birdlife: The Sempach Ornithological Institute monitors and researches the lives of wild birds. It collects important data in order to understand and react to changes in the bird population.
  2. Research and conservation measures: The foundation researches the needs of birds and develops conservation and support measures for endangered species. The aim is to improve the living conditions of birds and contribute to the preservation of biodiversity.
  3. Care station for birds: The ornithological station also looks after sick, injured and orphaned birds and thus makes a direct contribution to bird conservation.
  4. Educational and advisory function: As an advisory center for the public, media and authorities, the Ornithological Institute makes an important contribution to environmental education. It raises public awareness of bird conservation through school programs and public relations work.
  5. Modern facilities: The visitor center of the ornithological station in Sempach, a three-storey clay building opened in 2015, serves as a contact point for visitors and as an educational center.


The Sempach Ornithological Institute is financed by donations and supported by over 2000 volunteers, which underlines its independent and non-profit character. This makes it a unique example of commitment to bird conservation and environmental education.

Sempach Ornithological Institute
Sempach Ornithological Institute

Activities and attractions around Lake Sempach

Hikes and nature experiences near the ornithological station

The region around Lake Sempach, famous for the Sempach Ornithological Institute, offers a variety of hiking and nature experiences suitable for visitors of all ages. The area is characterized by its picturesque landscape and many hiking opportunities.

One of the most popular hiking routes leads from Sempach to Schlachtkapelle. This easy hike stretches over around 8.1 km and offers a pleasant route that leads both along the lakeshore and through the historic town of Sempach. This tour is perfect for a relaxing stroll to explore the natural and historical beauty of the region.

Another recommended route is the hiking trail from Hochdorf to Sempach. With a medium level of difficulty, this route stretches over 12.8 km and connects Lake Baldegg with Lake Sempach. This hike is possible all year round and offers a peaceful winter hike, especially in the cold season.

For those who prefer a longer and more challenging route, there is the Sempachersee circular trail. This 23.4 km circular trail takes in the towns of Sempach and Sursee as well as magnificent views over the lake and the surrounding Alps.

The region also offers special adventure trails that are ideal for family outings. These trails are designed to be informative and entertaining and offer a great way to experience nature while learning more about the local flora and fauna.

Overall, the region around Lake Sempach offers an extensive network of hiking trails and adventure paths that allow you to enjoy the natural beauty and tranquillity of this area. Whether you are looking for a relaxing stroll or a challenging hike, the region offers something for every taste and ability level.

Gastronomy and accommodation - enjoy the local hospitality

The Hotel Sempachersee in Nottwil is an ideal place to enjoy the hospitality and culinary delights of the region. Following a big renovation in 2017, the hotel offers not only comfort, but also modern and barrier-free accessible facilities.

The hotel, located directly on the shores of Lake Sempach, has 150 rooms, 74 of which are barrier-free. It is therefore ideal for all types of travelers, including people with reduced mobility. In addition, the hotel offers more than 40 well-equipped meeting rooms, making it a perfect venue for seminars and conferences.

The hotel's gastronomy is an essential part of the experience. The restaurant offers a variety of culinary options, from coffee breaks to dinner. These range from traditional to modern dishes and highlight local cuisine. Every second Sunday of the month, brunch is offered at the Vivace restaurant, providing an excellent opportunity to enjoy regional specialties in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Hotel Sempachersee is not only a place for overnight stays and events, but also a center for culinary excellence. The combination of high-quality accommodation, excellent gastronomy and the picturesque location on the lake makes it a popular destination for visitors to the region.

Overall, the Hotel Sempachersee offers a first-class combination of modern comfort, excellent gastronomy and an idyllic location, making it an excellent starting point for exploring the region around Lake Sempach.

Hotel Sempachersee - view from outside
Hotel Sempachersee - view from outside


The Sempach Ornithological Institute, in the heart of Switzerland, offers a fascinating experience for nature lovers and inquisitive minds. As a national competence center for ornithology and bird conservation, it combines education with recreation and is actively committed to environmental protection. The interactive exhibitions, the unique bird cinema and the impressive "Singphony" allow visitors to immerse themselves in the world of birds. The exhibition's innovative ring system and the symbolic act of "ringing" create a deep connection between man and nature.

The architecturally outstanding visitor center, awarded for its sustainability and pioneering work in building ecology, serves as an education and information center. The ornithological station places a special focus on ecological construction and bird protection through bird-safe glazing.

The adjoining nature garden and the aviaries on the shores of Lake Sempach invite visitors to observe the local birdlife in its natural habitat. The possibility of borrowing binoculars enhances the interactive nature experience. The ornithological station offers special educational programs for groups and school classes, combining the experience of nature with educational activities.

The region around Lake Sempach complements the bird observatory's offerings with picturesque hiking trails, nature trails and the local hospitality offered by the Hotel Sempachersee. This combination of nature experience, education and recreation makes the Sempach Ornithological Institute and the region an ideal destination for all age groups.

Overall, the Sempach Ornithological Institute represents the harmonious interplay of nature, education and sustainability. It offers a comprehensive and meaningful experience for every visitor who wants to discover and appreciate the beauty and importance of birdlife in Central Switzerland.

Do not hesitate
to contact us


News and interesting facts from Sempach