Germany is a land of respectable museums. The Pergamonmuseum in Berlin (even if it is closed for renovations for several years) Zwinger Palace Dresden, Pinakotheken in Munich… The average visitor may never know that there is something much more bizarre just below the surface.
Behold! Germany’s weirdest museums. From the country’s spiciest wurst to a museum dedicated to hygiene, these institutes are dedicated to some seriously strange stuff.
The world’s largest pig museum has found an appropriate home in Germany. The average German consumes up to 61 kg (134 lb) of meat a year – a not insignificant portion of that being pork.
Housed in an old slaughterhouse, the Pig Museum holds the largest collection of pig memorabilia with over 40,000 individual pieces. Explore piggy banks from tasteful to tacky, gawk at the conjoined pig twins and read about pigs and sexuality – yes, really.
Finish your visit with a visit to the biergarten and enjoy eating one of our tasty piggy friends with dishes like Schweinshaxe.
2. Duftmuseum im Farina-Haus
Not as famous as the chocolate museum but just as sweet smelling is Cologne’s Fragrance Museum. Discover the origins of perfume (also known as Kölnisch Wasser or Eau de Cologne) from this very location in 1709. Test your nose for obscure scents and buy a collection of favorites.
Note that the museum can only be visited with a guided tour and reservations are encouraged. The tour is available in a variety of languages including English and German.
3. Deutsches Currywurst Museum
Currywurst are everywhere in Berlin, but what do you really know about this spicy sausage?
Did you know that 800 million currywurst are sold every year in Germany? Or that a Trümmerfrauen (rubble woman) is reasonable for the unique blend of seasoning? Or that there are several songs dedicated to Currywurst? Learn all this and so much more. And don’t forget to get your sample before leaving the museum.
Not surprisingly, there is only one Easter Egg Museum in Germany. But how many do you need when this old school house now holds 30 special exhibitions dedicated to the Osterei?
The small museum is composed of two floors filled with beautifully decorated eggs. There are the obvious chicken eggs as well as surprising pieces like an ornate ostrich egg.
5. Giraffen Museum
An animal of a much higher elevation is honored in Dortmund. Of course this includes elegant sculptures, but the 30,000 piece private collection also has its share of kitsch with giraffe teapots, clocks, paintings, stuffed animals and even a giraffe-themed menu.
Note that visits are by appointment only.
6. Deutsches Hygiene Museum Dresden (DHMD)
The well-organized German Hygiene Museum examines the history and importance of personal care. The museum was founded in 1912 by a Dresden businessman who just happened to manufacturer hygiene products. This building also has a unique history. It was used by the Nazis to promote its extreme racial ideology. Today’s visitors can check out antique grooming and ophthalmology equipment.
Frankfurt’s Dialogue Museum invites visitors to explore their less-used senses by guiding them through dark rooms by employees called “The Dark Team”. Sound spooky? Visit the “Casino for Communication” exhibit which has you play games without the gift of sight. If all this exploring leaves you hungry, visit the museum’s restaurant where food is also served in the dark.
8. Das Museum der unerhörten Dinge
The absolutely tiny “Museum of Unheard of Things” showcases a collection of oddities. Items range from rubble from the forbidden Chernobyl “death zone” to Walter Benjamin’s typewriter to a reindeer’s antler and piece of fur. Beautifully strange, and perfectly Berlin.