Germany is a land of respectable museums. The Pergamonmuseum in Berlin, Zwinger Palace in Dresden, Pinakotheken in Munich… all of these are world-class museums.
There is, however, another side to German museums. 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.
1. Pig Museum
The world’s largest pig museum (Schweinemuseum) found an appropriate home in Germany. The average German consumes up to 61 kg (134 lb) of meat a year and the cuisine is inescapably connected with pork.
Housed in an old slaughterhouse, the Pig Museum holds the largest collection of pig memorabilia with over 50,000 individual pieces in 29 themed rooms on 3 floors. 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 and krustenbraten.
2. Fragerance Museum
Not as famous as the chocolate museum but just as sweet smelling is Duftmuseum im Farina-Haus. 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 langua
3. German 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 at the Deutsches Currywurst Museum. And don’t forget to get your sample before leaving the museum.
4. 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.
Today, it is among the most visited museums in Dresden with almost 300,000 visitors per year. Antique grooming and ophthalmology equipment is on display which is surprisingly inventive.
The museum also acknowledges its history in connection with the Nazi party. Ideas concerning race were connected with cleanliness and the National Socialists twisted this museum to reflect their own views on racial ideology.
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? It shouldn’t. This museum is family-friendly enough to host kids’ parties.
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.
6. Easter Egg Museum
Germany’s fervor for Easter is reflected in its one and only Easter Egg Museum. But how many do you need when this old school house now holds 30 special exhibitions dedicated to the osterei?
The small museum is within an old school house composed of two floors filled with over 1,000 beautifully decorated eggs. There are traditional hand-painted eggs, unique contributions like ostrich eggs, and depictions of eggs from around the world.
7. Museum of Unheard of Things
The tiny and fascinating Museum der Unerhörten Dinge showcases a collection of oddities, lovingly curated by Roland Albrecht.
Located between two buildings, this “cabinet of curiosities” includes items ranging from rubble from the forbidden Chernobyl “death zone” to Walter Benjamin’s typewriter to a leg from a full-scale plastic horse. What makes each piece special is meticulously documented (although visitors should note the info is in German, but there is a helpful English explainer online).