Europe is a rich tapestry of cultural heritage, attracting visitors from all over the world to explore its famous landmarks and museums. However, there is a whole other side to European tourism, where visitors can indulge in the bizarre and unconventional. From medieval torture instruments to vintage radios and snow globes, Europe’s most eccentric museums offer a unique and unforgettable experience that is truly off the beaten track.
Here are just a few of the best bizarre museums in Europe that travelers can check out on their next trip to the continent. These museums were selected by the travel experts at luggage storage network Stasher, who compiled a list based on the highest-rated visitor reviews.
1. Scout Museum, Vienna – Austria
Rated as the highest-rated museum with a difference in Europe, the Scout Museum in Vienna is a must-visit for those who love history and storytelling. Boasting an impressive 4.9-star rating out of 5 on Google Reviews, the museum tells the story of the scout movement, with regularly updated exhibitions that keep visitors coming back. Entrance fees are surprisingly affordable, with €4 for adults and €2 for children under 18.
2. Stained Glass Museum, Kraków – Poland
The Stained Glass Museum in Kraków boasts an incredible history, having operated as a functioning stained glass workshop since 1902 and continuing to operate through World War II. The museum is rated 4.8 out of 5 on visitor reviews, with guided tours offered for 42 PLN (roughly £8). Visitors can also try their hand at making their own souvenirs in one of the museum’s workshops.
3. The Magic Circle Museum, London – UK
For those fascinated by the world of magic and illusion, The Magic Circle Museum in London is a must-visit. Home to a treasure trove of items that tell the story of magic, including the shoes that Dynamo wore when he famously walked across the Thames, the museum has a robust 4.8-star Google Review rating. However, visitors must check the museum’s public events programme to see when visits are available as walk-ins are not permitted.
4. Fairground Art Museum, Paris – France
The Fairground Art Museum in Paris is a delightfully whimsical museum that has a Google Review rating of 4.7 out of 5. With curiosity cabinets, carnivals, incredible gardens, and Belle Epoque funfairs, it’s easy to get swept away in the magic of it all. Visitors should note that the museum is only open on select days, and advance booking is advised.
5. Imperial Carriage Museum, Vienna – Austria
For a taste of history and grandeur, the Imperial Carriage Museum in Vienna is the perfect destination. Celebrating transport from a bygone era, the museum features many original historical carriages from Queen Sisi’s era to the 1900s and has a respectable 4.7-star rating on visitor reviews. Entrance fees are €12 for adults, but visitors under 19 can enjoy the museum for free.
Other museums worth a mention include Berlin’s surreal Museum for Industrial Objects and the Original Vienna Snowglobe Museum, which both have an average rating of 4.7 out of 5.
While these museums offer a unique and unforgettable experience, not all of them are worth a visit, according to tourist reviews. So, which museums scored the lowest in the study? The Torture Museum in Amsterdam and the Lighting and Heating Tools Museum in Istanbul were rated the lowest, with an average review score of 3.3 out of 5. Visitors to Amsterdam’s Torture Museum cite small size and lack of captivating displays as a reason for the low rating, while the Istanbul museum’s lack of hygiene and cleanliness left visitors unimpressed.
Whether you’re visiting Europe for its historical landmarks or looking to indulge in something a little different, these bizarre museums are sure to offer an experience that is both fun and memorable.