As more and more tourists seek ‘authentic’ experiences, 5 of Europe’s most alternative attractions

It’s never been cooler to be a tourist, but it’s never been less cool to look like one. New research from Trainline suggests almost half of Brits (45%) prioritise ‘authenticity’ on their European trips, while 47% of young people shunned the word ‘tourist’ in favour of ‘traveller’.

Over 26% of respondents cited crowds as their major irritation, (akin to commuters complaining about the traffic – they are the traffic), followed by tourist traps, and queues.

These days the savvy sightseer avoids the Eiffel Tower, and leaves the Louvre to the laymen. Here’s our favourite five from Trainline’s top ‘alternative’ attractions, guaranteed to make your snaps and stories stand out…

1. The David Hasselhoff Museum, Germany

We were surprised to learn there’s a whole museum devoted to David Hasselhoff. We were really surprised when we realised it was in Berlin. And we were extremely surprised to discover it’s actually well worth visiting.

The former Knight Rider and Baywatch frontman is something of a sensation in Germany – due in part to his notorious gig at the Berlin Wall in 1989 – and is showcased through murals, montages and memorabilia.

More shrine than conventional museum, fans of the Hoff will be well catered for, as will those that enjoy a bit of latent surrealism.

2. The Catboat, Netherlands

(Trainline/PA)

Rivers and cats do not traditionally get along, but Amsterdam’s aptly-named Catboat has them living in perfect harmony with their aquatic environment. A refuge for mistreated moggies, the Catboat claims to be the world’s only floating animal sanctuary, and tourists can pet the creatures while drifting lazily downstream.

Entry is free, but be prepared to queue – cats and canals are apparently a winning formula.

3. Museum of Broken Relationships, Croatia

A gallery made up solely of its guests’ possessions, the Museum of Broken Relationships collects and preserves items donated by the public that symbolise the loves and losses of their past.

Some of the more scathing offerings dole out quite superb shade, but the more heartfelt items will hit you like an emotional wrecking ball, and you don’t know which is which until you read the caption.

Not advised for honeymooners, or anyone that cried at the end of 500 Days Of Summer.

4. The Starkenberger Beer Pools, Austria

We’re going to stop you right there – yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

Set in the basement of Starkenberg Castle in Tarrenz, Austria lie a series of vast vats that claim to be the first beer swimming pools in the world. The seven 13ft tanks are said to hold a whopping 42,000 pints, and, though guests can sip locally brewed beer on tap, they are strongly advised not to consume the contents of the pool.

5. The Nose Academy, Sweden

Today in ‘things no one knew they wanted’, the Swedish University of Lund houses a ‘nasothek’ – a collection of more than 100 notable noses, carefully cast from plaster.

The museum features a host of well-known Swedish nostrils – none of them household names in Ireland – from 17th century astronomers to 18th century botanists.

But let it never be said that Swedish nose casting is an elitist activity. The display contains an ‘unknown nose’, to symbolise all those common or garden noses that could not alone command a permanent place in plaster.

- Press Association

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