Is your vacation lacking a certain… weirdness? These quirky Europe attractions will make your trip!
Sometimes a standard trip to Europe isn’t quite strange enough to suit your liking. Fear not, for I have assembled a list of the seven strangest museums, attractions, and haunts to put on your bucket list for your next trip. Learn just how weird Europe attractions can really be.
Sometimes the best way to see a city is by getting to know its wacky past and bizarre customs. Often these bizarre locations are found in the most beautiful and stunning parts of the city. Read on to discover where your odd adventures may be taking you next.
Torture Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands
I stumbled upon this museum completely by accident. Of course, I had already visited the flower market, smelled some tulips, ate some delicious cheese and rode bicycles. I tried to get into the Anne Frank house but the line was too long (which it almost always is). That’s when, as I was walking along the Singel canal, I came across a weird little hole-in-the-wall museum that is located right downtown.
The Amsterdam Torture Museum is a chilling collection of over 40 torture devices from all over Europe. I’m talking the iron maiden, skullcracker, Judas cradle, thumb screws, the rack, and many more. They are the real instruments used in medieval Europe. The location is stunning and the content is surreal. It’s listed as one of the world’s weirdest museums and is a little-known tourist attraction.
Also, while in Europe, visit the Torture museum in beautiful Bruges in Belgium. In the gorgeously renovated stone building, let your imagination do its work with the remarkable and spine-chilling collection of instruments of torture on display here.
Parikkala Sculpture Park, Finland
This park is the result of fifty years of work by an artist named Veijo Rönkkönen. Located near the border with Russia, this park boasts 550 spooky concrete statues. Rönkkönen was a very introverted man who used his sculptures as a way of communicating with the world.
Many of his statues have a resemblance to the artist. He claims that the park is a tribute to the memory of his younger body, perhaps best seen in the Yoga Park that has 250 statues in rather agile yoga poses. There are statues of human bodies, animals, and plants and the collection of them all together creates a very strange environment.
The Sewer Tours of Paris, France
Yes, this is real and yes it is weird. While this may seem like a totally crazy idea, there have actually been tours going on underground in the sewers of Paris since 1889. Originally the tours were done in boats through the sewers (yuck) and on wagons. The reputation has changed a lot since then.
There is a museum up top that holds the history of the construction of the sewer system, the role of sewer workers, and the ways in which water can be treated. There are also informational snippets as you continue deeper into the Paris underground.
The Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, Iceland
This pick from our list of Europe attractions is not for the faint of heart or those with a weak stomach. It is, however, exactly how it sounds: a museum filled with nothing but male genitalia. There are preserved specimens from monkeys, pigs, elephants, whales, and even human beings. All the jars are lined up atop shelves and glass cases with the organs floating in some form of cloudy liquid preservative.
It is likely the only museum in the world to contain a display of every kind mammalian phallic organ that can be found in that country. When I went to the museum I don’t know what I was expecting, but I got exactly what was promised: a LOT of strange genitalia.
Mother Shipton’s Cave in North Yorkshire, England
This cave is bonkers! Mother Shipton’s cave has been open to the public and charging admission since 1630. It is a well filled with water rich in sulphate and carbonate so the water essentially petrifys and preserves anything in its path. Standard everyday objects like teddy bears and teapots have been strung up under the constant drip of this mineral water and have been turned to stone.
The cave gets its name from legend. The prophetic Mother Shipton (or Ursula Southeil) was said to have been born in this cave. Mother Shipton was said to be hideously ugly but able to foresee the future. She predicted events such as the Great Fire of London. Though, other than legend and rumor, very little is known about Mother Shipton.
The cave is still open to visitors and is a popular attraction still today.
Avanos Hair Museum, Turkey
The Avanos Hair Museum began as a pottery studio and the legend goes that the potter was parting ways with an old friend. He asked her for something to remember her by and she cut off a lock of hair. He displayed the hair in his shop and told the story to his customers and women began cutting off a piece of their hair too and leaving it behind as a momento.
The museum is now estimated to have 16,000 samples of hair and has been included in the Guinness Book of World Records. If you find yourself in Turkey be sure to stop by and leave a lock of hair to be remembered by.
Portugal dos Pequenitos in Coimbra, Portugal
Literally translated, Portugal dos Pequenitos means Portugal for the Little Ones. This is a miniature city created by replicating Portuguese architecture. The park was constructed in 1938 and is nestled beside the Mondego river.
The thematic park was built originally to pay tribute to Portuguese monuments and cultural heritage but in a miniature form. Now you can bound through the park like some kind of giant and feel like the 40-foot woman!
For your next trip consider these oddities to add a little bit of weird to your Europe attractions list.
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