(Written by Guest Blogger, Jub) Do you love sports? I do. That’s why I find it odd that even some of the best sports museums in Europe rarely get a mention on the popular “Things to Do in Europe” lists. It’s also why I didn’t mind doing a little digging to find my own “list.” As a result I visited several sports museums across Europe this year. These museums tell stories of inspirational athletes and the history of clubs and their countries. So based on research and experience, these are my Top 10 Sports Museums in Europe.
Top 10 Sports Museums in Europe
British Golf Museum in St. Andrews, Scotland
St. Andrews Golf Course is the home of golf, so it makes sense the British Golf Museum is quite comprehensive. If you don’t get a chance to play on St. Andrews itself, you can in the cafe where you can view the first tee of the Old Course.
Through the museum’s various exhibits you’ll learn about golf’s long and complicated history. The golf-related objects on display total 17,000. If only they could talk, the stories they could tell.
Camp Nou Museum in Barcelona, Spain
The Barcelona Football Club is a team – football fan or not – anyone will recognize by name. Since 1899 they’ve built a culture encapsulating the club as well as the city. This makes more sense as you dive into the club’s individual stories.
With so much text to absorb I recommend the audio guide, especially if you’re short on time. That way you’ll be sure to get the most interesting takeaways. Of course, then you get to explore the stadium itself, and walk along the side of Europe’s largest stadium.
Polish Sports & Tourism Museum in Warsaw, Poland
This was surprisingly good. The building itself is beautiful and the permanent exhibits were just as beautifully displayed. The focus is on Polish athletes and Polish sports, but the way they were able to connect the story of the athletes throughout history was memorable (again, the audio tour is awesome).
Inside this museum you’ll get to see lots of different equipment, including Polish Olympic medals. If you’re struggling to understand the history of the World Wars, maybe Polish sports can help.
International Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland
The pillars of the Olympics are sport, art, and education. The International Olympic Museum incorporates all three of these Olympian pillars on the banks of Lake Geneva. This is also the home of the International Olympics Committee.
The fancy interactive facilities captivate both young and old. The displays are entertaining and educational, teaching most everything you want to know about the Olympics. You can’t help but feel the Olympic spirit as you walk past the Olympic torches and medals from all the games.
Manchester United Museum
I could have put any of the top English Premier Clubs in here, as they all have a museum. But for me growing up, Manchester United was always the team I cheered for, so they get the “best of” position. Even browsing around their website you can see their story’s so much bigger than can be told through the media.
Through various static exhibits combined with interactive experiences, you can learn more about this team’s adversities and their periods of domination. When you’re finished, be sure to get your photo taken with all their trophies.
World Rugby Museum in London, England
Depending on where you’re from, the sport of rugby might be unfamiliar to you. Twickenham is one of the few stadiums purposely built for rugby, and is home to the World Rugby Museum.
Since the birth of the Rugby Football Union in 1871, 25,000+ objects have been collected for tis museum. These are displayed in both temporary and permanent exhibitions.
With a goal of inspiring, educating, and entertaining everyone, I guarantee you’ll come away knowing a lot more about the history of rugby.
Ferrari Museum in Bologna, Italy
There are two museums that make up Ferrari, and they’re located 20 kilometers apart (a shuttle is available). The Ferrari brand needs no introduction, and although it’s not a sports museum in and of itself, the Formula 1 section makes it worthy of making this list.
At this museum you get to know the history of the prancing horse, and lots of other information about one of the most recognizable brands on the planet. You can test your knowledge with a tire change just like you see in the actual Formula 1 races. And if that’s still not enough to sate your love of Ferrari you can head out to the track for some laps.
The Holmenkollen Ski Museum in Oslo, Norway
The Holmenkollen is the world’s oldest and largest museum that focuses on skiing. The museum is built into the mountain under the ski jump, which makes quite an impression.
Inside the museum you’ll find 4,000 years of skiing history. You can see some of the collection online here: www.digitaltmuseum.no (no English).
There are also a few exhibitions that focus on subjects other than skiing, like their Northern Lights documentary. Visiting the museum is a perfect precursor to venturing out and exploring the slopes yourself.
BORUSSEUM In Dortmund, Germany
The BORUSSEUM is housed at Signal Iduna Park, one of the most beautiful football stadiums in the world. The club that plays here is Borussia Dortmund. Their passionate fans played a large role in how the museum was created.
You can explore the club history both visually and audibly as you learn the story behind the club and how they got to where they are today. They do change their exhibitions frequently, making this one museum you can return to time and time again.
Wimbledon Museum in Wimbledon, England
Wimbledon is a historic tennis venue and event. The museum allows you to see the trophies, fashion and equipment, and tells the Wimbledon story from 1877 until today. There are special exhibitions from time to time and all museum pass holders get a short 10-minute visit to center court.
If you’re itchy to play tennis you can test your shot making skills on the Batak Wall.
Have you visited any of these Top 10 Sports Museums in Europe? I’d love to hear about what you thought of them.
About the “Top 10 Sports Museums in Europe” Author …
Jub is a sports fanatic from New Zealand. Growing up around sports, he eventually started travelling abroad to explore the world of sports through the eyes of other fans from around the world. You can check out his other adventures at Tiki Touring Kiwi.
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