Are you craving a bread-themed paradise, complete with everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the history of baking, plus a carb-heavy buffet lunch? Then you should book a ticket to Seia, Portugal, whose Museu do Pão (Museum of Bread) is an altar to all things yeasty and risen. Nestled in a historic building amid the green hills and tiled streets of this small city in northwest Portugal, the museum is a particular treat for kids and those whose devotion to the baked arts inspires a willingness to drive several hours from Lisbon.
This veritable temple to bread contains artifacts from actual temples, included in its room of exhibitions on bread’s political, social, and economic history. Other rooms cover all aspects of bread in society, including its appearance in art and different baking processes. Last but not least, a children’s room provides a puppet show, which recreates 14 stages of bread-making, and rotating interactive exhibitions for kids, which visitors looking to distract children (or their own inner child) on a rainy day highly recommend. A library-bar room allows visitors to sip drinks while perusing educational materials on bread.
Lest you think the museum is all theory and no practice, visits can begin or end with a stop at the in-house restaurant. Daily fare includes an appetizer and dessert buffet that sandwich two daily entree specials and, of course, bread. Since this is Portugal, a land where multiple kinds of carb coexist in one meal (bread, rice, and potatoes, anyone?), museum devotees are sure to walk out pleased—if they haven’t already succumbed to a post-lunch stupor.
Know Before You Go
There is a small entrance fee to visit the museum (5 Euros for adults, 3 Euros for children). The attached restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday to Sunday and dinner Saturday night. It can get crowded on weekends and holidays, so prepare for a wait.