When it comes to European exhibits, the likes of Paris’s Louvre, Amsterdam’s Anne Frank Museum and London’s British Museum are popular ones that might initially spring to mind. But who says you have to stick to the mainstream sights while travelling?
From museums dedicated to animals and unanimous objects (not to mention food), there are plenty of quirky attractions to visit as well. So why not skip the queues of the standard tourist spots, and check out these peculiar establishments instead? Here’s our list of memorable museums that are bound to get your attention.
Berlin’s Currywurst Museum
Schützenstraße 70 10117 Berlin
No visit to Germany would be complete without taking a trip to the Currywurst Museum in Berlin, which celebrates the country’s national meat – the curried sausage. Situated next to the city’s famous Cold War landmark, Checkpoint Charlie, the banger-themed museum is conveniently placed in the Friedrichstadt district in the heart of Berlin. For 11 Euros not only will you learn a bit about the history behind this traditional German dish, but you’ll also get a glimpse (and a whiff) of the ingredients too in the venue’s Spice Chamber. There are also screenings of comical adverts and other TV snippets to view from throughout the different decades, and don’t forget the snack lounge so you can taste the meat for yourself.
London’s Fan Museum
12 Croom’s Hill, London SE10 8ER
Based in South London’s leafy Greenwich, this fan-tastic museum is the first ever establishment dedicated to the cooling device. After opening in 1991, today the venue is home to more than 4,000 fans from around the globe from antiques to modern day devices – some of which date back to the 11th century. The museum also features a variety of different styles displaying both the functional and fashionable elements of the handy accessory.
Barcelona’s Shoe Museum
Plaça Sant Felip Neri, 5, 08002 Barcelona
The Museu del Calçat, or the shoe museum in English, is based in the heart of the city’s Gothic quarter and is in the same Renaissance building where the Shoe Makers Guild once congregated. Featuring a range of different types and style of footwear from the 2nd century to the modern day, you’ll be able to see some of the old-fashioned tools and machinery that went into making a good pair of shoes. There’s also an exhibit that showcases some of the multi-purpose pumps worn by local celebs from the likes of singer Núria Feliu to Charlie Rivel, the famous clown. For more quirky venues throughout Barcelona, it’s worth stopping by the chocolate and perfume museums.
Amsterdam’s Cat Cabinet
Herengracht 497, 1017 BT Amsterdam
Finally, what could be more eccentric than a museum solely devoted to cats? The city’s Katten Kabinet caters to cat-lovers everywhere. Founded in 1990, this feline-themed venue provides a detailed history of the animal’s role in both art and culture throughout the centuries. From classical portraits to more modern day imagery, this museum features five rooms packed with the niche art for your viewing pleasure. Out of all of Amsterdam’s museums, it’s fair to say it’s the cat’s meow.