Top 10 Food & Wine Museums

What’s better than a museum that includes food samplings and wine tastings? Not much. Here are 10 of the best food and wine museums around the world that are worth a taste or a sip. 

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Sony Center

Sony Center

A view from inside the soaring Sony Center. Completed in 2000, the complex is a mix of shops, restaurants, accommodations, offices, cinemas and more. 960 1280

Thomas Winz/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Reichstag

Reichstag

The historic Reichstag building houses Germany's parliament. Opened in 1894, it was severely damaged by a fire in 1933 and wasn't fully restored until 1999 by renowned architect Norman Foster. Today, it is once again the meeting place for Bundestag, the modern German parliament. 960 1280

Casper Wilkens/iStock/Getty Images  

Kindertransport

Kindertransport

A sculpture commemorates the Kindertransport, a campaign to get Jewish children to the United Kingdom during World War II. 960 1280

typo-graphics/iStock.com  

Grunewald Forest

Grunewald Forest

The famous forest on Berlin's western edge is the largest green area in the city and is crisscrossed with trails for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. 960 1280

Konrad Wothe/Look/Getty Images  

Berlin Hauptbanhof

Berlin Hauptbanhof

Berlin Hauptbanhof, or Berlin Central Station, is the city's main train station and fairly new, as it wasn't fully operational until 2006.  960 1280

Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images   

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

A somber view from within the controversial Holocaust Memorial. Designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is nearly 5 acres and is covered with 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid on a sloping field. 960 1280

Allan Baxter / Photolibrary / Getty Images  

The Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum

The unique facade of the Jewish Museum, which opened in September 2001. The complex is made up of the Old Building, the baroque Collegienhaus, the postmodern Libeskind Building and the Glass Courtyard. 960 1280

Izzet Keribar / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate overlooks Pariser Platz, a square in the center of the city. The former city gate, rebuilt in the late 18th century as a triumphal arch, is one of the most recognized landmarks in Berlin. 960 1280

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The Berlin Wall Museum

The Berlin Wall Museum

Fifteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a private museum rebuilt a 650-foot section close to Checkpoint Charlie, but not in the original location of the wall. 960 1280

Hans-Peter Merten / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images  

National WWII Memorial

National WWII Memorial

Between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial is one of DC’s newer landmarks. It opened in 2004 to honor the 16 million people who served in the country’s armed forces during World War II. The fountains, pillars and plaques form a circle that’s particularly impressive when it’s lit up at night. Don’t miss the obvious photo op: you in front of the pillar with your home state’s name engraved on it. 960 1280

Bruce Yuanyue Bi/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Newseum

Newseum

Read all about it at this museum, whose new building near the National Mall opened in 2008. It examines both world events through the eyes of the media and the history of journalism itself. Among its 15 galleries are sections of the Berlin Wall, stories about First Amendment rights, multimedia exhibits on the digital revolution, and front pages from American and international newspapers. In the Interactive Newsroom, visitors can test their own reporting skills to create a newspaper story or a TV news broadcast. 960 1280

Winiker/Photolibrary/Getty Images  

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

This monument for the author of the Declaration of Independence and third president cuts a fine silhouette from across the Tidal Basin. The view is especially beautiful in the spring when the cherry trees around the water’s edge are in bloom. Don’t start the trek around to the memorial unless you’re wearing comfortable shoes — the walk is longer than it looks. But on the way, you can also check the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which opened in 2011, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial off your list. Or get a different perspective in the summer by renting a paddleboat on the Tidal Basin. 960 1280

Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images  

National Zoo

National Zoo

Bao Bao may be growing up, but it’s still exciting to see the young panda and her parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. The cub, born Aug. 23, 2013, will eventually be sent to China, but in the meantime, visitors are lining up to catch a glimpse of her playing or eating. While Bao Bao is the main attraction, she isn’t the only baby at the free Smithsonian zoo: The big cats exhibit features a pair of Sumatran tiger cubs, also born in August 2013, and 6 African lion cubs, born in 2 litters in early 2014. And of course, you can’t miss the gorillas, orangutans, Asian elephants, American bison and hundreds of other animals. 960 1280

The Washington Post/Getty Images  

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The reflective, black granite wall honors American soldiers who died or went missing in the Vietnam War, and it is inscribed with more than 58,000 names. Even if no one you know is listed there, take a contemplative moment to grasp the enormity of it all. For those who are looking for a specific name, there are alphabetical catalogs at the memorial entrances that give a panel and row number for each person. 960 1280

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images  

Eastern Market

Eastern Market

This is not your typical neighborhood farmers market. While Eastern Market, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, does offer fresh produce and flowers, it also lines up vendors selling everything from furniture and jewelry to cakes and pottery. The indoor section is open every day except Monday, but on the weekends, the market moves outside, too, and becomes a gathering place with live music and local food. Why bother with one of those “I Heart DC” T-shirts when you can shop for a unique, handmade souvenir? 960 1280

Maddie Meyer  

Georgetown

Georgetown

There’s plenty to explore in one of DC’s oldest and most famous neighborhoods. Stroll along cobblestone sidewalks and imagine all the history that has been viewed through the windows of those row houses. Go on a shopping spree on M Street, where you’ll find both big-name retailers and intimate boutiques. But don’t spend all your money: You’ll need to have some left so you can indulge in the amazing dining and nightlife options in the area. Start with appetizers and cocktails on the waterfront while enjoying a beautiful view of the Potomac. 960 1280

Hisham Ibrahim  

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

The 555-foot obelisk dedicated to George Washington towers over the city and can be spotted even from Virginia. It was closed for repairs after being damaged in a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in August 2011, but the landmark finally reopened in May 2014. Free tickets to go inside and ride to the top are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Or you can simply bask in its glory with a picnic or a game of catch on the surrounding lawn. 960 1280

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images  

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

Examine all the evidence as you make your way through the largest collection of international spy-related artifacts on public display. Visitors will learn about the role espionage has played throughout history, from Moses to Stalin, and see the tools of the trade, including tiny cameras, hidden messages, concealed weapons and more. Wannabe agents can sign up for Operation Spy, an interactive experience that challenges participants to find the clues and crack the case. 960 1280

Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images  

East Potomac Golf Course

East Potomac Golf Course

Even if you can’t hit the fairway to save your life, at least you’ll get a great view of the monuments when you tee it up at East Potomac. Its 36 holes, split among the appropriately named Red, White and Blue courses, crisscross an island right next to the Tidal Basin. The site is also a great place to work on your swing on the heated driving range in the winter, see the cheerful cherry blossoms in the spring, or bring the family for a round of mini-golf in the summer. 960 1280

Bloomberg/Getty Images  

Museums on the National Mall

Museums on the National Mall

The great thing about the National Mall is that you can roam in and out of the 10-plus museums as you please — entry to them is free. Check out an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art (pictured); pop into the Air and Space Museum to see the Wright brothers’ plane; and swing by the Museum of American History to examine the flag that inspired the national anthem, Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and Michelle Obama’s 2009 inauguration dress. Spend as much or as little time as you want in each spot without wasting the cost of admission. And in between, find a grassy spot to sit and people-watch under the imposing shadow of the Capitol. 960 1280

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Old Ebbitt Grill

Old Ebbitt Grill

When you’re ready to refuel for more DC adventures, stop for a meal or a drink at the city’s oldest saloon. The Old Ebbitt Grill was established in 1856 on the edge of Chinatown. The current location on 15th Street is just a block from the White House. It’s a popular spot for politicos, and even presidents including Ulysses S. Grant and Teddy Roosevelt are said to have frequented the bar. The restaurant is known for its oysters, but it also serves breakfast and a wide selection of entrees and sandwiches. 960 1280

Jason Colston/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center

Long day of sightseeing? Sit back and soak up some culture at one of several venues inside the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra, free shows on the Millennium Stage, blockbuster Broadway tours such as Wicked and The Book of Mormon — the schedule has something for everyone. After the last curtain call, make sure to venture up to the roof deck, where you can get a panoramic view of the city all lit up.  960 1280

Hisham Ibrahim/Photolibrary/Getty Images  

US National Arboretum

US National Arboretum

This 446-acre site features a number of gardens and collections that can be traversed via car, bike, bus tour, tram or foot. Escape the city life among the dogwoods, azaleas, ferns and magnolias — you’re even allowed to bring your dog. Don’t miss the bonsai museum or the Capitol columns, 22 pillars that became part of the Capitol building in 1828. They were removed 30 years later because they couldn’t sufficiently support the dome, which was built bigger than planned. The columns didn’t make their way to the arboretum until the 1980s, but they have become the site’s most photographed feature.  960 1280

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Ford’s Theatre

Ford’s Theatre

Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. Visit the on-site museum, which details his presidency and assassination, and the Petersen House across the street, where he was taken for treatment and ultimately died a few hours later. Ford’s Theatre is also still a working performance venue, so if you like a little entertainment with your history lesson, get tickets for a show. 960 1280

Paul Whitfield/Doorling Kindersley/Getty Images  

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

For visitors who are interested in the law and the actual procedures of the federal government, a stop at the US Supreme Court is a must. If you’re lucky, you’ll be there on a day of oral arguments, which are open to the public. Regardless, though, visitors can tour the building, view the current exhibitions and, when the court is not in session, check the schedule of courtroom lectures. Just note that the building is closed on Saturdays and Sundays, so leave it off your weekend itinerary. 960 1280

Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images  

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Venture across the river into Virginia to explore this moving site, whose 624 acres honor those who served the United States. The peaceful, beautiful landscape is dotted with more than 400,000 graves, including those of prominent figures such as Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice, and Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who designed the layout of Washington, DC. You’ll also want to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame burning at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy, one of only 2 presidents buried in Arlington National Cemetery (the other is William Taft).  960 1280

Peter Gridley/Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images  

Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter

Take a stroll through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, located in the city’s Ciutat Vella (“Old City”) district. Most of the streets are closed to traffic, allowing tourists to wander from La Rambla to Via Laietana to view the city’s medieval past. 960 1280

Manfred Gottschalk/Lonely Planet Images  

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

You can’t leave Barcelona without admiring the amazing work of Spain’s most famous art nouveau architect, Antoni Gaudi. Casa Batlló, aka the House of Bones, was built in 1877 and later restored by Gaudi. 960 1280

Nikada/iStock/Getty Images  

Mercat de les Flors Theater

Mercat de les Flors Theater

Don’t miss out on stopping by the Mercat de les Flors Theater, located on Montjuic hill in Barcelona. Get a little culture and see one of many dance and musical performances featuring world-renowned international production companies. 960 1280

Enric Archivell, via CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0  

Christopher Columbus Monument

Christopher Columbus Monument

This monument is at the site where Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first trip to the Americas. 960 1280

Marcp_Dmoz/Moment Open/Getty Images  

Margarita Blue

Margarita Blue

Grab a drink at Margarita Blue, where you can check out live flamenco dancing, indulge in a jazz brunch or simply let the bar's DJs entertain you. 960 1280

Margarita Blue  

Frederic Marès Museum

Frederic Marès Museum

Step inside this medieval complex to see sculptor Frederic Marès’ eclectic collection of knickknacks, including religious art, 19th-century playing cards, toys, apothecary jars, a reconstructed Romanesque doorway with 4 arches, and old cameras. The Frederic Marès Museum is sure to keep your attention focused on its wide array of interesting curios. 960 1280

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La Boqueria

La Boqueria

Dating back as far as 1217, La Boqueria Market is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions. Dozens of vendors inside this large public market sell a variety of goods, including seafood, poultry, charcuterie, vegetables and fruits. 960 1280

Hiroshi Higucchi/Getty Images  

La Comercial

La Comercial

Go shopping at La Comercial in Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood. With 6 different boutiques, this shopping mall has a wide selection of international labels, jewelry and fragrances, such as Michael Kors, Fred Perry, Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. 960 1280

La Comercial  

Lailo

Lailo

Attention, shoppers! Make a stop at Lailo in Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella district if you enjoy browsing for vintage clothing. 960 1280

Geo Kalev  

Onofre

Onofre

Grab a glass of wine and enjoy Onofre’s cozy atmosphere. This restaurant’s specialty is pairing menu items — tapas, cheeses, salads and sausages — with your selection of wine. 960 1280

Onofr Tavern  

Monastery of Pedralbes

Monastery of Pedralbes

Founded by the Queen Elisenda de Montcada, the Monastery of Pedralbes is now a museum that houses religious art and everyday items used in the monastery from the 14th to 20th centuries. Take a relaxing, casual stroll through the gardens and courtyard if you have time. 960 1280

Elena Solodovnikova/iStock/Getty Images  

Tibidabo Amusement Park

Tibidabo Amusement Park

The 100-year-old Tibidabo Amusement Park has 25 rides, plus restaurants and picnic areas for family fun. Make sure to check out the Tibidabo Sky Walk for the best views of Barcelona.  960 1280

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Sagrada Familia Basilica

Sagrada Familia Basilica

You cannot leave Barcelona without seeing the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, a magnificent work of art that is still in progress after more than a century. In 1883, Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to complete the project started by Francisco de Paula del Villar. Gaudi finished the chapel of San Jose, the crypt and the Nativity facade, but after his death, different architects continued to work on and add to his original idea. 960 1280

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Park Güell

Park Güell

Another example of Antoni Gaudi's work, Park Güell, is located on Carmel Hill and was built between 1900 and 1914. It was declared a UNESECO World Heritage Site in 1984. 960 1280

Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Hundreds of people converge on Montjuic hill to watch the amazing light and water show at the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Classical, modern and movie music was incorporated into the light show in the 1980s. Arrive early to claim the perfect spot, and make sure you wear waterproof gear if you’re standing near the fountain. Check out the website for performance times.  960 1280

Krysztof Dydynski/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Located in the Palau Nacional of Montjuic, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya opened its doors with a large medieval Romanesque collection. Today, visitors can see other art collections, including Gothic art, Renaissance and baroque art, Catalan modernism and photography. 960 1280

Philip Lange/iStock/Getty Images  

Barcelona Zoo

Barcelona Zoo

The Barcelona Zoo was once home to Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla, who died in 2003. Now, giant anteaters, Bornean orangutans, Iberian wolves, Humboldt penguins, Cuban boas, Komodo dragons and yellow and blue poison dart frogs are a few animals that call this zoo home. 960 1280

Hiroyuki Matsumoto/Getty Images  

Aquarium Barcelona

Aquarium Barcelona

Explore marine life and go scuba diving with sharks in the Oceanarium, which is also home to moray eels and ocean sunfish. Visitors to the Aquarium Barcelona — the largest Mediterranean-themed aquarium in the world — can see more than 3,000 fish and watch zookeepers up-close as they feed sharks, stingrays and penguins. 960 1280

Artur Debat/Moment Mobile/Getty Images  

Camp Nou

Camp Nou

Visit Camp Nou, the stadium where Futbol Club Barcelona (also known as Barca) plays its home soccer games. While you’re there, take a tour of the FCB Museum and step back in time to see the history of Barca unfold via touch-screen TVs, championship trophies and Messi Space, a place dedicated to superstar soccer player Leo Messi. 960 1280

Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images  

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