7 of Europe’s Most Bizarre Museums
Gelato Museum, Bologna
A museum dedicated to gelato? What’s not to like? Located just outside of Bologna, the Gelato Museum Carpigiani offers the inside scoop on all things sweet and Italian. Learn the story of gelato, from its 11th century origins to the luscious chocolate and fruit flavours we know and love today. When the history lesson’s done and dusted, head straight to the tasting area, where for €3 you can gorge on a smorgasbord of zesty sorbets or soft and creamy gelato.
Gelato Museum Carpigiani, Via Emilia, 45, 40011 Anzola dell’Emilia, Bologna
Mini Bottle Gallery, Oslo
Make like Alice in Wonderland with a visit to this trippy museum of tiny bottles. Said to be the only museum of its kind in the world, Oslo’s Mini Bottle Gallery is home to more than 53,000 fun-sized bottles. Although you can’t actually drink any of the items on display, you’re very much encouraged to have a go on the slide that takes you down to the hugely surreal ‘Horror Room.’ Curiouser and curiouser.
The Mini Bottle Gallery, Kirkegata 100153, Oslo
Currywurst Museum, Berlin
A sausage party if ever there was one, Berlin’s Deutsches Currywurst Museum is an all-singing all-dancing celebration of the city’s favourite street snack. Interactive displays take you through its humble invention in the late 1940s to its rise to near iconic status. Try your hand at virtual Currywurst making, fill your nostrils in the fragrant spice chamber, kick back on a sausage sofa and get a load of the Currywurst tunes from the ketchup bottle-shaped audio stations. Instagram won’t know what’s hit it.
Deutsches Currywurst Museum, Schützenstraße 70, 10117 Berlin
Devil’s Museum, Kaunas, Lithuania
Chock-a-block with cuddly stuffed toys and antique wood carvings, Kaunas’ Devil Museum is a lot friendlier in reality than the nasty den of iniquity you might imagine. Founded by artist and local eccentric Antanas Žmuidzinavičius, who collected over 2,000 representations of devils and demons from all over the world, pieces vary from political sculptures (Hitler and Stalin as devils, performing a dance of death), to twigs and pebbles that bear a passing resemblance to the Prince of Darkness.
Žmuidzinavičius Museum, V. Putvinskio g. 55, Kaunas 44211
Neon Muzeum, Warsaw
They say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Fortunately for visitors to Warsaw, David Hill and Ilona Karwinska had a brilliant light-bulb moment back in 2005 when they decided to turn their prized collection of cold war-era neon signs into an offbeat museum. Since then, the museum collection has rapidly grown in size to hundreds of kitsch, glowing pieces and now boasts the largest collection of neon signs anywhere in Europe.
Neon Museum, Mińska 25, Soho Factory, Building 55
Museo Atlantico, Lanzarote
Snorkel and flippers at the ready. Museo Atlantico, located 12 metres below the surface of Lanzarote’s south coast is Europe’s first underwater museum. The collection features human sculptures created by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who was also behind the underwater museum off the coast of Cancún in Mexico.
Each of the statues in Museo Atlantico was created to encourage underwater life and will eventually expand to include around 300 exhibits.
Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum of Guadalest
Located around 25km from Benidorm, the Museo de Saleros y Pimenteros (the salt and pepper shaker museum) is owned and managed by archaeologist Andrea Ludden. Over the past 30 years, she has accumulated around 20,000 novelty salt and pepper shakers, featuring a range of colourful characters from cheeky 1960s Beatles to dinky little kangaroos. The museum in Guadalest is the second Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum set up by Andrea and her husband. They’ve also been running a sister museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee since 2001. Now that’s dedication.
Avinguda d’Alacant, 03517 El Castell de Guadalest, Alicante