Europe’s culture is not limited to its numerous art museums and palaces. Some of Europe’s greatest stories can be heard over a glass of wine, beer or other drink within the walls of a pub or finest alcohol outlets off the beaten track.
Europe is home to a fascinating array of museums, devoted to every subject imaginable. From Vikings in the north, broken relationships in Croatia to vampires in Brasov. Here is the lowdown on Europes original and unusual museums.
Titanic Museum, Belfast
Opened in March 2012 the Titanic Museum dominates the Belfast skyline with its striking, modern architecture. Built where the ship was launched 100 years previously, the museum offers a fascinating, interactive experience covering the ship’s construction, its sole voyage, and the underwater exploration that continues today.
The Stasi musuem is dedicated to the history of the former East German security services and is located in their old headquarters in Berlin. If the low tech listening devices on show are almost comical, hidden in everything from cat flaps to plant pots, the personal stories of those harrased by the service are not. The museum is revealing for anyone wanting to understand life in Europe before the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Estonian Open Air Museum, Tallinn
Located in beautiful park lands just outside Tallinn city centre, the Estonian Open Air Museum is a life size reconstruction of an 18th century rural village. With 72 separate buildings, the museum provides a fascinating insight into how life in rural Europe used to be.
Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb
Located in the capital of Croatia, the Museum of Broken Relationships was created by two Croatian artists, Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, after they broke up. Originally displaying instruments from their and their friends’ failed relationships, the museum has grown rapidly with donations from people from throughout Europe and the world.
Bran Catle, Brasov
Bran Castle is commonly referred to as ‘Dracula’s Castle,’ and, although the exact links with Bram Stoker’s character are not clear, it has become a site of pilgrimage for anyone interested in vampires. For everyone else, the building is a true fairytale castle and holds various exhibitions of Romanian art and furniture collected by Queen Marie.
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao features large-scale contemporary art works as well as a collection of 20th Century pieces.However, the museum is most famous for its incredible building,which is regularly listed as one of the most important examples of modern architecture in the world.
The Musical Instrument Museum, Brussels
Located in a magnificent art nouveau building in the centre of Brussels, The Musical Instrument Museum houses a large number of European and non-European instruments. The experience is not just a visual one as visitors are given infrared headphones in order to listen to musical extracts played on most of the instruments displayed.
How architecture and contrasts changed Europe’s cities.
Music is at the heart of every country, city and person in Europe. But the type of music you’ll find during a trip to Europe can vary dramatically. From modern rock festivals to classic opera performances, you’re sure to see and hear a wide range of performances. Browse this gallery for a taste of some of Europe’s most interesting music scenes.
No trip to Europe is complete without dining on the best local flavors. And some of Europe’s best dishes can be found in coastal countries. From classic pasta recipes in Italy to fresh seafood in Norway, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your palate. Browse this gallery of some of Europe’s best seaside dining before you decide where to go for dinner during your trip.
Spring is the perfect time to be in Europe. The sun comes out, the days get longer and all the plants begin flowering. It’s also the perfect time to get away from busy European capitals and enjoy the out of the way secret locations and green spaces of the world. Make your way to Belgium for the Greenhouses of the Royal Palace at Laeken, Brussels. Beauty can be found at the Winter Garden in both its plant life and Art Nouveau architecture; the massive greenhouses with their ironwork frames are home to many rare and beautiful plants. They cover six acres of striking rotundas, domes and galleries. Twenty full-time gardeners meticulously tend this impressive collection.
Ice Music Festival Norway returns to the dark, exotic mountains of Finse.
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During the second fortnight in July, Tortosa celebrates the Renaissance Festival.The Festival commemorates the splendour of the city in the 16th century, a peak time in the history of Tortosa, by offering a wide programme of entertainment and cultural activities.
In September, Ghent Flanders Festival kicks off the cultural season with OdeGand.
The flavour is sweet and pungent; the aroma is intense without being overbearing, with an unwavering persistence.
Europe has always maintained a thriving music scene, from classical times to today. Discover the origins of the British Invasion, Swedish disco sensations and Irish folk music inspirations. Don’t miss the amazing European music festivals in the summer, either.
Set out on a nature adventure in Finland’s Nuuksio National Park.