From the Nose Academy to museums dedicated to David Hasselhoff and snoring: Europe’s 30 most underrated tourist attractions revealed
- The list includes a chip museum in Belgium and drain pipes in Dresden that make music when it rains
- And Starkenberger Brewery’s Beer Pools – the world’s only spa where visitors swim in lager
- The sleepy German town of Alfeld is home to the world’s finest collection of snoring remedies
Forget the Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower – these are the tourists attractions that should be on your bucket list.
Europe’s 30 most ‘underrated’ visitor hotspots have been revealed and they include the wacky David Hasselhoff Museum in Berlin, the unique Museum of Snoring in Germany and the bizarre Nose Academy – dedicated to nose plaster casts – in Sweden.
Other left-field attractions making the list include a museum dedicated to chips in Belgium, drain pipes in Dresden that make music when it rains and Starkenberger Brewery’s Beer Pools – a spa where visitors can swim in 42,000 pints of lager.
The wacky David Hasselhoff Museum in Berlin, pictured, has been named the top attraction in a list of Europe’s most underrated tourist hotspots
At the David Hasselhoff Museum, pictured, visitors can celebrate the actor’s career and browse memorabilia from his shows Baywatch and Knight Rider
The list of underrated European attractions has been curated by comedian Danny Wallace and rail app Trainline.
Wallace has put forward his top five from the list and topping it is the aforementioned David Hasselhoff Museum, where visitors can celebrate the actor’s career and browse memorabilia from his shows Baywatch and Knight Rider.
In the No2 spot is the Floating Cat Sanctuary in Amsterdam, which is the world’s only floating animal-sanctuary-come-tourist-attraction and is a refuge for the city’s stray and abandoned felines.
Mini Europe in Brussels takes third place. It is a one-of-a-kind shrunken wonderland located on the outskirts of Brussels and offers a Lilliputian view of over 350 miniature iconic landmarks.
The Floating Cat Sanctuary in Amsterdam is the world’s only floating animal-sanctuary-come-tourist-attraction
The Floating Cat Sanctuary plays temporary home to hundreds of cats from across the city
Mini Europe in Brussels, pictured, is a shrunken wonderland that offers a Lilliputian view of over 350 models. Pictured is park engineer Diego Gonzalez cleaning a mini version of the Acropolis
Mini Europe in Brussels has a range of mini models of Europe’s best known landmarks including the Sacré-Cœur in Paris and the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The fourth-placed attraction is Stockholm’s subterranean art gallery, which is hidden within the city’s metro system, where bespoke works of art decorate platforms, walls and waiting halls.
Rounding off the top five is the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians in Prague, which features genuine artefacts and antiquities from alchemists and magicians past.
How Mr Wallace rustled up a top five is anyone’s guess, given how many decidedly odd attractions are on the master list.
We would like to point out that it also contains Teledisko in Berlin – the world’s smallest nightclub, which is located inside a phone box.
Others are La Maison Picassiette, a house in France covered in 15 tons of crockery, broken glass and bottle caps, as well as Solo Per Due in Italy, which is the smallest restaurant in the world, with space for just two diners.
Trainline carried out a survey that revealed that 45 per cent of Brits now demand a more ‘authentic’ summer holiday experience.
Danny Wallace’s fourth-favourite underrated attraction is Stockholm’s subterranean art gallery, hidden in the city’s metro system
The Stockholm Metro, pictured, is often referred to as ‘the world’s longest art gallery’ as more than 90 stations span the underground transport network in the Swedish capital
As a city brimming with history, the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians in Prague brings to light the darker side of the Czech capital’s fantastical past
The Museum of Alchemists and Magicians in Prague, pictured, features genuine artefacts and antiquities from alchemists and magicians past
The research also found that over a quarter (26 per cent) of holidaymakers are reeling against ‘crowds of tourists’, ‘overpriced tourist traps’ (24 per cent) and ‘endless queues’ (14 per cent).
What’s more, almost half (47 per cent) of millennials no longer define themselves as ‘tourists’, preferring to identify as ‘travellers’. In contrast, only 16 per cent of those polled – 2,000 in total – who were over the age of 55 described themselves as ‘travellers’.
The research also found that 51 per cent of Brits find flying and driving the most stressful part of a holiday – with over a quarter (27 per cent) attributing feeling most tense due to flight delays.
Danny Wallace said: ‘A lifelong fascination of the unusual, unfamiliar and obscure experiences the world has to offer means that I’ve spent the past decade writing about some of the most incredible places and people I’ve met on my travels – often on long train journeys through the breathtaking landscapes of Europe.
‘Teaming up with Trainline to celebrate Europe’s most overlooked tourist attractions gives me the chance to take the scenic route as we celebrate those amazing places that exist off the beaten track.’
WELCOME TO THE SNORING MUSEUM! EUROPE’S 30 MOST UNDERRATED TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Pastimes Museum, Rossiglione Italy
The collection of items and artefacts found here date back to a simpler time. It’s a treasure trove of rare and unique pieces from history – board games, black-and-white televisions, mopeds, typewriters, graffiti and even a carousel are on display.
Solo Per Due, Rieti, Italy
Get a table at the smallest restaurant in the world! This bistro, set in the beautiful surroundings of an authentic Roman villa, has only enough space for two, offering diners that hate queues, noise, and waiting for their food to arrive – a dedicated service. Bellissimo!
Chip Museum, Brussels, Belgium
A national staple is celebrated in the Belgian capital, with an entire museum collection dedicated to the humble chip. It’s a physical love letter to ‘friet’ – the walls, floors and ceilings are adorned with everything chip-themed, from paintings, cartoons, and installations, to a collection of retro chip fryers and even short films teaching you how to cook, serve and eat this much-loved food.
Mini Europe, Brussels, Belgium
An incredible theme park dedicated to the splendour of Europe, this truly one-of-a-kind shrunken wonderland is located on the outskirts of Brussels and offers a unique view of over 350 miniatures that represent the most iconic, important and culturally relevant landmarks across the continent.
Toy Museum, Brussels, Belgium
Imagine stumbling into the biggest, most chaotic and amazing toy box in the world. Unleash your inner child in this exhibition of old and new unsorted toys. Keep an eye out for the gigantic baby doll that welcomes you into the museum.
The Nose Academy, Lund, Sweden
Visit Sweden and sniff out this collection of over 100 plaster casts of noses hidden deep within Lund University’s Museum of Student Life. It’s a distinctive homage to the most famous and distinguished Scandinavians and only the most deserving receive the rare honour of making the cut. Look out for the silver ‘Unknown Nose’ – a nasal monument to the common man.
The Abba Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
This interactive experience is dedicated to the legendary Swedish songsters and is so good fans from all over the world take a pilgrimage here to celebrate their musical might. Less of a museum and more of an interactive experience, the attraction is a literal ‘thank you for the music’, with an expansive space full to the brim with rare Abba memorabilia, original outfits, instruments, gold records, awards and much more. And, you can even hop on stage as the fifth member – belting out your own rendition of Mamma Mia with singing holograms.
Underground Art Galleries, Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm’s subway system is far from ordinary – bespoke works of art decorate its platform, walls and waiting hall. The vast murals are as beautiful as they are large – you need to see it to believe it.
Museum of Miniatures, Prague, Czech Republic
A small museum with a big draw. On display is a collection of artworks carved and painted in extreme miniature. Rarities include a caravan of camels in the eye of a needle, a portrait of Chekhov on half a poppy seed, tiny copies of masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, and a 3.2mm 3D Eiffel Tower. There’s even an intricate train painted on human hair!
David Hasselhoff Museum, Berlin, Germany
Germany has the world’s only museum dedicated to cult pop-culture icon David Hasselhoff. Hoff-fanatics can celebrate his career, life and affection for the city of Berlin. Expect Baywatch and Knight Rider paraphernalia, as well as a Hoff mural complete with an exemplary hairy chest!
Teledisko, Berlin, Germany
Party in the world’s smallest nightclub – Teledisko is a club within a telephone box. The dance floor measures just one square metre, so there’s not much room to throw some shapes, but you can pick your favourite song from a touch screen and experience a three-minute rave with a fog machine, strobe lights and disco ball.
Kunsthofpassage Singing Drain Pipes, Dresden, Germany
Whenever the heavens open in Dresden, this intricate system of drains and gutters turns into a musical instrument. Attached to the outside of a vibrant blue house, The Singing Drain Pipes of Kunsthofpassage is an art experiment which turns wet weather into sweet music.
Museum of Snoring, Alfeld, Germany
The sleepy German town of Alfeld is home to the wonderfully unique – and world’s finest – collection of snoring remedies. Dr Wirth, a sleeping disorder specialist and ‘snoring enthusiast’, set up the museum to educate the world in his particular passion, which showcases over 400 vintage and modern instruments associated with the relief of sleep apnoea.
Design Panoptikum, Berlin, Germany
The Design Panoptikum is home to hundreds of extraordinary and rare objects – a true hidden gem. Founder Vlad Korneev curated and arranged the surrealist industrial items and tools, all of which were used in the realms of medicine, industry, sports and construction.
Liquidrom, Berlin, Germany
Fusing techno with relaxation, this futuristic German spa features an indoor saltwater pool that pumps out heavy techno music deep underwater. Resident and guest DJs host regular electronic nights where spa-goers can trade in their glowsticks and whistles for swimming shorts.
Starkenberger Brewery’s Beer Pools, Imst-Pitztal, Austria
Book a dip in the world’s only beer-based spa, located in 700-year-old Starkenberger Castle’s cellar. Giant swimming pools hold a staggering 42,000 pints of crisp lager, which you can soak in for up to two hours. It’s said to soften the skin, increase blood circulation and reduce wrinkles.
Österreichischer Skulpturenpark, Graz, Austria
Österreichischer Skulpturenpark is an interactive sculpture park where art objects are embedded in the landscape. Featuring work by Austrian artists such as Franz West and Erwin Wurm, the permanent exhibition provides a developmental space for over 60 sculptures and spans seven hectares.
Rio Tinto, Almeria, Spain
A perfect replication of Mars on Earth? For approximately 5,000 years, copper, gold, silver and other minerals have been mined along the Rio Tinto. The extraordinary rusty-red river and rosy rocks have been formed by iron dissolving in the water. The landscape has even been used as the official testing ground for humanity’s next mission to the Red Planet.
Montjuïc Cactus Park, Barcelona, Spain
The iconic Montjuïc Cactus Park is home to 800 different species of sub-desert, desert and tropical plant, making it one of the finest collections of cacti in the world. The charming garden thrives thanks to a special micro-climate on the side of Montjuïc – a prominent hill overlooking Barcelona.
La Maison Picassiette, Gare de Chartres, France
The house of a million pieces, as it’s also known, is a passion project of its owner. Raymond Isidore spent almost 30 years covering his home in over 15 tons of crockery, broken glass and bottle caps! Entry is free for under-18s, so it’s worth stopping by to see the colourful mosaics, which decorate every inch.
The House of Galimard, Grasse, France
Create your very own bespoke scent at the Unesco-listed House of Galimard. This fragrance studio, based in the perfume capital of the world, Grasse, offers workshops where you can learn the history and process of perfumery.
Équihen-Plage, Gare de Boulogne, France
At first glance Équihen-Plage seems to be a typical quaint village on France’s northern coast, but take a closer look and you’ll see the town is made almost entirely of upside-down boats! Each of the 3,000 residents’ homes has its own unique seafaring characteristics and design.
Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
A homage to all those who have had their hearts broken – Zagreb’s Museum of Broken relationships is filled with a fascinating collection of former tokens of affection. The range includes a heartbreak Frisbee, ripped up love letters, discarded teddy bears and trinkets that showcase the history of breakups in a truly unique fashion.
Alkmaar Cheese Market, Alkmaar, Netherlands
If you’re a fan of fromage you’ll be in your element at Alkmaar’s Cheese Market – a town staple for over 600 years. Every Friday morning, between April and September, the market square is filled with hundreds of wheels of cheese stacked on top of one another. Traditional practice is kept alive and kicking in the heart of this Dutch city.
The Cube Houses, Rotterdam, Netherlands
A hidden gem designed by architect Piet Blom in the 1970s, these homes are based on the concept of ‘living in an urban roof’. Unlike any building, anywhere else in the world, the gravity-defying precarious looking design is a photo-opportunity you will not want to miss.
Electric Ladyland, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The first museum in the world dedicated to fluorescent art. Zany, bright and bold visitors can enjoy a psychedelic journey through time and space and experience ‘participatory art’ for themselves – taking part in the creation of works that adorn the gallery for a limited time.
Floating Cat Sanctuary, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cats famously hate the water, but in Amsterdam, all bets are off as the Floating Cat Sanctuary plays temporary home to hundreds of cats from across the city. Founded in 1966 when Mrs Weelde ran out of room to care for cats in her home, this amazing tourist attraction became her solution as she took to the water and built a feline-friendly houseboat for visitors to enjoy.
Portugal dos Pequenitos, Coimbra, Portugal
A fascinating miniature park consisting of diminutive versions of Portuguese houses and monuments, this is a uniquely fascinating insight into Portuguese culture and history. The standout attraction remains ‘Portugal’s largest Barbie Museum’ – a must-see to be believed.
The Flipper Museum, Budapest, Hungary
Pinball has been immortalised in this interactive exhibition in the Hungarian capital. Featuring pinball’s predecessors from the end of the 19th century to the most state-of-the-art fluorescent tables, machines and games of the 20th and 21st century, The Flipper Museum is an interactive experience that lets you test your metal on over 130 machines.
The Museum of Alchemists and Magicians, Prague, Czech Republic
The museum looks at some of the famous dabblers in the dark arts that have called Prague their home. Consisting of two levels, the basement is set up as a laboratory with an interactive exhibition of alchemical cauldrons. The main floor contains displays and replica artefacts of the trade.
- For an interactive version of this list click here. You can book a ticket to see some of these European attractions using Trainline.com.
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