When you were a kid, your parents used to drag you to famous fine art galleries, history museums, and important exhibitions. And although one’s cultural development is essential, sometimes we all need a bit of a laugh. So why not to learn and have fun at the same time? There are plenty of unusual museums in Europe that do not only display worldly renowned works of art but rather extravagant, weird, thrilling and funny exhibits. Here are 8 themed museums in Europe you can visit to make your trip more memorable.
1. DDR Museum (Berlin, Germany)
The museum serves as an interactive time machine that brings the visitors back to the post-war period marked by the supremacy of socialist parties and the existence of the infamous Berlin Wall. The construction of the space reminds you of a typical flat in a typical district on the East Side of Berlin (on the territory of the German Democratic Republic) in the 1970s-80s. The exposition is divided into 17 main themes: youth, housing, food, etc. There is a car you can hop on, an elevator, a cabinet, an open wardrobe simulator and much more! For some, this museum may seem weird and exotic – something they have never had a chance to experience before; for others, it’s the recent past, similar to the family photo album.
2. Viennese Coffee Museum (Vienna, Austria)
Viennese coffee is a special type of coffee famous all over the world. So it doesn’t come as a shock that there is a whole museum dedicated to coffee. The space is quite small and consists of four rooms designed to demonstrate different stages of coffee-making. You will learn about the history of coffee and the tools that are used to collect coffee beans, grind it, make it and serve it. After the tour, you would hardly restrain yourself from ordering a cup or two of the famous Viennese coffee to taste if it’s worth the hype. The museum is open from Monday to Thursday, 9am to 6pm, and on Fridays – until 2pm.
3. Witchcraft Museum (Cornwall, England)
The largest museum in Europe dedicated to witchcraft and witches is located in the city of Boscastle, Cornwall. Here you will find a plethora of fascinating exhibits dedicated to various aspects of the occult, from ancient pagan rituals to Satanism. More importantly, the museum has a huge library, somewhat like the Citadel in Game of Thrones, comprising over several thousands of tomes. It is open for anyone who wants to study magic or even try and brew a love potion on their own!
4. Museo Della Pasta Alimentare or The Pasta Museum (Rome, Italy)
The Roman Museum of pasta will dispel myths about the unhealthy consumption of pasta and strike its visitors with the most bizarre facts about the dish. Besides, you will learn that Italians did not actually invent pasta itself. What they are famous for is the way they used to make pasta in advance for future use. They were first to learn how to knead the dough, which was later stored in solid form for a long period of time. Throughout the tour, you will be able to spot funny pictures of famous people devouring pasta.
5. Museum Of Broken Relationships (Zagreb, Croatia)
The creators of this conceptual museum are a couple of artists, who, after going through a major break-up and eventually getting back together, pondered the question how difficult it is for people to dwell among things that constantly remind them of their past lover. These are the ‘memorable’ things they have decided to collect in their museum. The collection is constantly expanding. You can find exhibits such as traditional teddy bears, watches, statuettes, a gigantic ax, and even a wooden prosthesis. If you are willing to offer up your own “memorable” thing, be prepared to tell the story behind it.
6. Underwear Museum (Brussels, Belgium)
Probably one of the most scandalous museums of all time is located in the heart of Europe and the capital of Belgium – Brussels. As it claims, all the exhibits are kept (or used to to be kept) in the most intimate section of the wardrobe and belong to famous politicians, singers, movie star, etc. Weirdly enough, all these celebrities did not just own these things, but worn them at least once in their life. Every exhibit is embedded in a fun collage to entertain visitors.
7. Museum Of Magic (Paris, France)
This place has probably the biggest toolkit for doing magic tricks, watching phantoms, and creating optical illusions. Here you will find all the required magic props ranging from the secret box to x-ray vision glasses. In addition to the old-school traditional tricks, the museum has a separate room dedicated to teaching new interactive methods of how to perform an optical illusion like a proper magician. Beware, since it’s a private museum, the opening hours vary weekly, so if you are planning to stop by – check the schedule online.
8. The Prison Gate Museum (The Hague, Holland)
Yes, you guessed it right, this ancient building used to serve as a prison and the real criminals were really getting tortured there. Rumor has it you can still hear them groaning…This is the place where you understand how deviously our brains can work when it comes to causing pain and suffering. But relax, it was all in the past! The museum works till 11pm so it makes sense to pop by around 9pm to get the full ‘spooky’ experience.