5 of Europe’s best bizarre museums to go to – and ones to give a miss

Featuring fairgrounds, carriages and magic, these are Europe’s most popular niche museums. As well as those to give a swerve.

There’s little more joyful in life than a niche enthusiasm. Whether it’s crazy golf, Jupiter’s moons or making miniature houses, learning a lot about a little reminds us how vast the world is.

So it makes sense that we’re keen to seek out alternative museums on holiday – a time dedicated to joy and broadening our horizons.

Niche enthusiasms are infectious, and sometimes very funny – as visitors to the Froggyland museum in Croatia found. And these specialist spots can be the most memorable part of a trip; I know my memory of the Mouse Mansion in Amsterdam won’t quickly fade.

Though Europe’s cities are rich in fine national galleries and museums, they have an underbelly of eccentricity to explore too. But not all bizarre museums are worth your hard-earned holiday money.

To help separate the quirky-in-a-good-way from the bad, luggage storage company Stasher has rootled through past Google reviews to produce this top five guide.

5. Vienna: The Imperial Carriage Museum is a favourite with visitors to Austria

The Imperial Carriage Museum in Vienna, Austria, celebrates transport from a bygone era and has a strong average tourist rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Visitors to the museum can expect a spectacular and vivid impression of court life, featuring many original historical carriages from Queen Sisi’s era to the 1900s.

The museum has an entrance fee of €12 but generously offers free entrance to anyone under the age of 19.

4. Paris: The Fairground Art Museum is beloved by the playful-at-heart

Paris is a city that keeps travellers coming back for more, unless you succumb to Paris Syndrome of course.

If you’ve already ticked off the big sights – or want to avoid some overrated ones – then the whimsical Musée des Arts Forains might be for you. With a Google review of 4.7 out of 5, previous visitors certainly found it was for them.

Described as “a world of dreams”, the museum is full of curiosity cabinets, carnivals, incredible gardens and Belle Epoque funfairs. Its interactive format frees visitors from traditional museum window displays and labels, notes Stasher.

Guided tours can be booked online through the website and last 1.5 hours. They cost €18.80 for an adult, or €12.80 for children between 4-11 years old. To avoid disappointment, note that the museum is only open on Wednesdays, weekends and school holidays.

3. London: See behind the curtain at the Magic Circle Museum

The Magic Circle – the self-proclaimed most famous magic society in the world – has its headquarters in London. It even counts the newly crowned King Charles III as an honorary member.

The enchanting venue is highly coveted, with an average review score of 4.8 out of 5.

It is home to a treasure trove of items telling the story of magic, including the shoes that Dynamo wore when he famously walked across the Thames and the first book written in English about magic over 400 years ago.

The Magic Circle Museum only welcomes visitors through its public events programme and doesn’t accept walk-ins – so check before you travel, advises Stasher.

2. Kraków: The Stained Glass Museum delights tourists to Poland

Poland is home to the second highest-rated bizarre museum in Europe, according to the luggage company’s calculations.

The Stained Glass Museum in Kraków scores an average visitor rating of 4.8 out of 5.

The museum has a rich history, operating as a functioning stained glass workshop since 1902 and it even continued operating through World War II.

Guided tours at the museum are offered for 42 PLN (roughly €9), from Tuesday to Saturday. Expert workshops also give you the chance to make your own stained glass souvenirs.

1. Vienna: The Scout Museum is Europe’s most popular bizarre museum

Not content with having some fabulous carriages, Vienna also scoops the highest-rated bizarre museum in Europe with its homage to scouts.

The Scout Museum (or ‘Pfadfindermuseum’) boasts an impressive 4.9 stars out of 5 on Google reviews. It is praised for its amazing storytelling about the history of the cout movement and for its regularly updated exhibitions.

The entrance fee is just €4 for adults and €2 for children under 18, making it an affordable attraction for those with an interest in scouts and guides. Pfadfindermuseum is open to the public at limited times on Thursday and Friday each week and at other times by prior arrangement.

What are the least popular ‘bizarre’ museums in Europe?

It takes a special something to make a specialist museum enchant a general audience – and not all curators have it.

To rank the sites, Stasher selected the 62 “weirdest museums” from an initial seed list and then gathered average Google reviews.

The lowest rated museum on its list is The Torture Museum in Amsterdam, with an average review score of 3.3 out of 5. Most criticisms of the museum are due to both its small size and lack of any captivating displays.

Istanbul’s Lighting and Heating Tools Museum came second lowest, with a lack of hygiene and cleanliness getting mentioned in the negative reviews. A Berlin duo of the Museum of Unheard of Things and the Museum of Gas Lanterns came next.

If you’re looking for some other surprise hits, check out our list of underrated tourist attractions in Europe here. Or if it’s lesser-travelled European countries you’re after, from the Faroe Islands to Montenegro and Slovenia, our mini guide has you covered.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *