Photography in the HR Giger Museum Bar | Tips for travelers

Are you planning a visit to the HR Giger Museum Bar in Gruyères, Switzerland? Are you a fan of HR Giger’s work? Are you interested in taking pictures inside the Bar? Then this article may be of interest to you! Here are some tips and advice on visiting and photographing this amazing and unique place!


HR Giger

HR Giger

For somebody who has never heard of the HR Giger Museum Bar or doesn’t even know anything about HR Giger, this is for you (although if you are reading this article, you might already be familiar with him). The HR Giger Museum Bar was created by Hans Ruedi Giger, a Swiss painter, whose style linked humans and machines in a cold ‘biomechanical’ relationship and was adapted for many forms of media, including record albums, furniture, tattoos and sculpture. He is best known for designing the creature of the movie ‘Alien’, directed by Ridley Scott in 1979. There are two Giger Bars and both are in Switzerland: the first, in Chur, opened in 1992, and the second, the HR Giger Museum Bar, located in Château St. Germain, Gruyères, Switzerland, opened in 2003. HR Giger himself supervised the construction of this Bar by including many elements of his biomechanical style shown in the ‘Alien’ films.

Visiting the HR Giger Museum Bar

The vast majority of people who come to visit the medieval village of Gruyères do not come expressly to visit the HR Giger Museum Bar–far from it! Indeed, most do not even know about it. Instead, they come to visit this very typical Swiss village and its castle and to admire the views of this beautiful region. Suffice to say that this is not by any means the setting of ‘Alien’! This is also what makes this Bar so unique: its monsters and aliens in the middle of mountains, beautiful houses, flowers, cows and chocolate! The HR Giger Museum Bar has two separate entrances, directly across the street from each other. One houses the HR Giger Museum where his biomechanics artwork–paintings, sculptures and film designs–is on permanent display. It is strictly forbidden to take any pictures in the Museum but there are some sculptures at the entrance that you can photograph.

View my HR Giger bar gallery

Across the street, at the entrance of the Bar, there is a very disappointing ‘no photography’ sign. However, you can use your camera if you buy a drink. Just sit on one of the beautiful highback chairs and have a nice cold beer! Admire the unique and outstanding work of HR Giger and absorb the atmosphere of this incredible place.

HR Giger Bar photography

After a few sips of your drink, you will start becoming inspired. As it is indoors, you will have to work with higher ISOs. After a few tries, you can move around the bar to find different points of view, while of course avoiding taking photos of other customers or bar employees. Do not use a tripod but rather a Gorilla-pod or even a small bag of rice (it’s very useful to have that item with your photo gear!) to stabilize your camera on a table. If you are able to stabilize your camera, you can also try to take HDR (high dynamic range) images, which work very well with the bone-like textures of the Bar decor.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Or more tips?

I’m a photographer from Geneva, Switzerland, and travel photography is my passion. If you have any questions, tips or ideas about this article, feel free to leave a note in the comment section below. Don’t forget to share/like this post. Thanks for reading – AP