Top 7 Weirdest Places to Visit in Europe

    Netflix’s latest hit has seriously put ‘dark tourism’ on the map as it delves into our morbid fascination with exploring places linked to death and tragedy.

    If you’d rather explore for yourself than just ‘Netflix and Chill’ check the list of the ultimate dark tourist attractions in Europe created by We Are Promotional. Forget your beach towel, getting a suntan and sipping margaritas, instead take a REAL tour of Europe – one that’s not in the guidebooks.

    1. Catacombs of Paris, Paris, France

    Type: Underground burial site

    Location: Paris

    Closest Airport: Paris

    Below the streets of Paris lie 200 miles of labyrinth tunnels – they have been there since Roman times, and a small section of them is open to the public.

    This tiny section of the tunnels is called Denfert-Rochereau Ossuary but is often referred to as ‘The Catacombs.’ Over recent years it has started to draw in tourists who are looking to see the darker side of the city.

    The site is home to the remains of some six or seven million Parisians. During the 18th Century, disease and illness took over the city causing millions of deaths, resulting in cemeteries becoming overcrowded, so priest began to move remains into the tunnels beneath the city.

    As you walk through the catacombs, the walls on either side of you are stacked floor to ceiling with bones, one of the most macabre sites in the city. These chilling tunnels are not your usual destination for someone who has caught the travel bug.

    Image – Shutterstock

    1. Chernobyl, Ukraine

    Type: Nuclear disaster

    Location: Chernobyl, Ukraine

    Closest Airport: Kiev-Zhulhany

    In the north of Ukraine, you will find the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A horrific explosion that happened in 1986 that has now turned into a popular tourist attraction, bringing in over 10,000 visitors a year.

    Chernobyl was the worst nuclear power plant explosions in history, releasing vast quantities of radioactive material into the earth’s atmosphere.

    Two people were killed during the explosion, and over the coming months a further 237 servicemen, firemen and employees were diagnosed with acute radiation sickness.

    In the larger population, men, women and children developed cancer, deformities and had symptoms of acute radiation sickness.

    Today, the Ukrainian government allows tourists to take short and regulated visits 30 miles into the exclusion zone.

    Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the surrounding area and you can now take a tour of the abandoned town, visiting an eerie kindergarten room strewn with left behind toys and the abandoned remains of the towns amusement park.

    Image – Shutterstock

    1. Dachau, Bavaria, Germany

    Type: Concentration camp

    Location: Dachau

    Closest Airport: Munich

    The entire town of Dachau lives in the shadow of its dark past. The first concentration camp under the Nazi regime was opened here in 1933.

    The first prisoners detained in the camp were political, those who opposed the Nazis, later the site held Jews, Gypsies, blacks and homosexuals as well. The prisoners suffered brutal treatment, living in terror of the SS officers.

    There were over 32,000 documented deaths in its time of operation (from 1933-1945) with many thousands more likely to have gone undocumented. Today the site serves as a memorial to all those who were detained and killed, attracting over 600,000 visitors a year, making it one of the most popular dark tourism sites in Germany.

    Image – Shutterstock

    1. Olof Palme assassination site, Sweden

    Type: Assassination site

    Location: Stockholm

    Closest Airport: Stockholm

    Sweden, a large, happy and liberal Scandinavian country is not commonly associated with the dark, disturbed and scary. In fact, you’d probably think of it as a model country with some of the happiest citizens in the world.

    But think again; on the streets of Stockholm on February 28, 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was walking home from the Grand Cinema, when he was shot while crossing the street.

    He was announced dead upon arrival at the hospital and his death shocked the entire country. His assassination is shrouded in mystery and to this day the crime remains unsolved.

    On Sveavägen, the street the assassination took place, you can find a memorial plaque dedicated to the late Prime Minister which has now become a popular tourist spot.

    Image – Shutterstock

    5.Ypres, Flanders, Belgium

    Type: Battlefield

    Location: Flanders, Belgium

    Closest Airport: Antwerp

    Ypres saw some of the fiercest fighting of WWI, becoming one of the bloodiest sites in Europe and is indeed a grim spectacle to behold.

    The town of Ypres is located in the south west of Flanders and was the front line of the ‘Great War’ with battles raging for the entire duration.

    It was at Ypres that the Germans first used chemical weapons – including Mustard and Chlorine gas – changing the face of warfare forever.

    The results of these chemical attacks were devastating. The first attack on April 22, 1915, killed over 5,000 soldiers when the toxic yellow gas burned into their unprotected lungs.

    Today you can still see where the battlefields have left their mark on the landscape and walk through the trenches that have remained untouched since the end of the war.

    Image – Commons Wiki

    1. Château de Brissac, Loire Valley, France

    Type: Castle

    Location: Loire Valley

    Closest Airport: Tours Loire Valley

    The tallest castle in France…and one of the most haunted locations in the world.

    The soaring gothic towers of the castle were built as a home for Jacques de Breze and his wife Charlotte back in the 15th Century. His wife was unfaithful to him and did not try hard to hide her indiscretion. Upon finding out about the affair, Jacques killed both Charlotte and her lover.

    Charlotte and her lover now haunt the castle, Jacques was apparently driven so mad by the moaning of their ghosts that he fled the grounds and sold the castle. Today you can take a tour around the estate and some visitors even report hearing the moans of Charlotte and her lover.

    Image – Shutterstock

    1. Oradour-sur-Glane, France

    Type: Post-war Ghost-town/Memorial Museum

    Location: Oradour-sur-Glane, France

    Closest Airport: Limoges

    Oradour-sur-Glane is a desolate village in France that was wiped out by the Nazi SS forces in June of 1944 – just as the war was drawing to a close.

    As the rest of Europe was celebrating that Allied troops had stormed the beaches of Normandy, a tragedy occurred in this small rural village.

    All the inhabitants were rounded up and massacred, with no one spared. A total of 642 people were killed – some asphyxiated, some machine-gunned and some burnt alive.

    Stepping into the village today is like travelling through time. All the remains have been untouched as a memorial to those that died and as a reminder of the atrocities that happen in war.

    To this day, the reason for the massacre is still a mystery. No one knows why this particular village was chosen though some speculate it was because of Russian gold or revenge killings.


    • Tom La Vecchia

      Founder of New Theory & X Factor Media

      Founder and Publisher of New Theory Magazine and Podcast. Serial Entrepreneur who loves wine, cigars and anything that allows to people to connect and share experiences.

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