When you think of museums, you think of quiet, stuffy buildings full of objects from places you can’t pronounce and paintings by artists you’ve never heard of. Well, we’re happy to reveal that museums have evolved a lot since those times. Nowadays, there’s way more to museums than just old pots and paintings; that is, if you know where to look. To celebrate #MuseumWeek, and to make deciding on your next holiday a little bit easier, we’ve found you the best selection of quirky museums in your favourite holiday destinations that you never knew existed.
The Chocolate Museum, Barcelona
If you love something strongly enough, you make a museum for it; so that’s exactly what the Barcelona Confectionery Guild did. Hidden between Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf and Parc de la Ciutadella is its very own chocolate museum. Celebrating all things chocolatey, this museum is dedicated to sharing the history of your favourite treat with the masses.
Discover the fascinating story of how chocolate first made its way to our side of the globe and cemented its place in our hearts, and stomachs, forever. Cocoa-packed activities are held throughout the day, such as painting with chocolate, lollipop making, and master chocolatier sessions.
The Old Prison, Malta
Standing since the mid-1500s, the Old Prison cuts an intimidating figure within the walls of Gozo’s citadel. Step back in time as you walk around the Old Prison, seeing the cells where inmates were held and the graffiti they left behind. Believe it or not, the Old Prison is a great sightseeing stop for families as kids love to let their curiosity run wild while they explore what prison life would have been like long ago.
Museo Atlantico, Lanzarote
Divers, you’re in for a treat just off the coast of Lanzarote. Famous for his underwater museums in Grenada and Mexico, Jason deCaires Taylor has now brought his submerged works of art to the Canary Islands for us to marvel at without the jet lag. Experienced guides will share their wealth of knowledge as they take you through the different sculptures, their inspirations, and their meanings.
The Ceremonial Bread Museum, Sardinia
One thing that I think we can all agree on is that we love the Great British Bake Off, and we especially love bread week. So why not get up close and personal with the original masters at the Sardinian Ceremonial Bread Museum.
Bread is such an important part of Sardinian culture, they even have a saying: “Chie hat pane mai non morit” meaning, “those that have bread will never die”. It’s no surprise then to see that they’ve taken bread making to a whole different level; and they’re more than happy to show it off to curious tourists.
Check out some of the most amazing bread sculptures you’ll ever see that are, frankly, almost too pretty to eat.
The Wine Museum, Santorini
The Santorini Wine Museum is located within the expanse of tunnels beneath the vineyard, where visitors will be taken through the history of wine making in Santorini. See the different tools used in the wine-making process since the 1600s and even take part yourselves, stomping down the grapes.
Most importantly, at the end of your tour, visitors are welcomed into the cosy bar, where you can sample the selection of wines made on-site.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete
If you’re more on the traditional side where museums are concerned, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered too. If you’re in Crete this summer, definitely don’t miss out on a visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Showcasing some of the most impressive items ever unearthed from Greece’s ancient ruins, prepare to be amazed by these fascinating blasts from the past. Statues, mosaics, jewellery, and even weapons are beautifully preserved and displayed across a whopping 20 viewing rooms. This archaeological labour of love will take you through Greece’s colourful history and mythology like never before.
If you’re looking for a little something else, why not check out our fave holiday ideas and see what museums you can find…