Last year I traveled around Europe in search of the greatest signs known to humanity. Here’s the cream of the crop.

Bubble Bobble

For all those with short attention spans, here’s the definite winner.

I have no idea what the hell a tile featuring Bub from Bubble Bobble is doing on the other side of the Seine from the Louvre in Paris, France. If you know why, or have seen it recently (this is from the summer of 2007), let me know. Here’s where you can find it.

It was about 8 or 10 feet up, and about a foot square. It wasn’t printed to look like tiles, it was actual tiles (possibly just glued, or it’s dark grout). I like to think that this made up for showing up to see the Louvre and finding out that it’s closed every Tuesday for maintenance.

Look But Don’t Touch

This is one of those things that you shouldn’t really need to say, but apparently it happened often enough that a sign was required.

This is from the Orange Bar in Ios, Greece. Don’t let the sign fool you, it’s an incredibly laid back place with some of the best shots I’ve ever tried in my life. I recommend the Cadbury Creme Egg – it’s an alcoholic spectacle of trademark infringement.

If you buy seven shots, they give you a free t-shirt. If you fall asleep in the goat fields on the way home, it helps to cut the cold.

Really?

Variations on the following two signs (remember to aim and/or sit down) could be found everywhere.



I really don’t get this. I managed to iron out any kinks in this technique when I was in kindergarten. Is there some sort of Freudian passive-aggressiveness going on in European bathrooms, or do I just not want to know? Location: mainly France, Italy, and Greece.

Managing to Offend Everyone

I’m not entirely sure what the business plan of this winery is, but using the face of the most notorious dictator of the 20th century is not really regarded as a great marketing ploy.

Apparently they’re part of a winemaker’s “historic collection”. So historic the bottles were seized by a prosecutor last year.

We found them in Manarola, Cinque Terre. There’s a beautiful hike you can go on, and it’s rather surreal to wander in to town hot and thirsty, look out for a cold drink, and then have Hitler staring you down. Suffice to say, we went for the gelato from another vendor instead.

Double Take

Semi-nude European cosmetics ads like the following are a dime a dozen.

We almost didn’t give this one a second look, but it’s a bit different…

Yep, those are two men with a few more wandering around in the background.

It’s an advertisement for check-your-love-life.ch in the train station of Geneva, Switzerland. The website is rather surreal if you only speak English, and I’m sure it’s still rather strange if you’re a native speaker as well.

Dangerous Curves

One of the things about signs is that you know that they either reflect something that someone was really worried about and may not have happened yet, or something terrible happened so they put a sign up.

Either way, it’s a one way ticket to hell for laughing about this. It’s in Versailles, France, specifically the Petit Parc. And no, I didn’t see this in action.

There you have it, the greatest signs of Europe. If you have any more, or can tell me if any of them are still there (especially the Bubble Bobble one), leave a comment.

5 thoughts on “Great Signs of Europe

    • Thanks Ed!

      “The ‘no kissing’ sign – the first of its kind in the country – is outside the [Warrington Bank Quay railway station] where couples saying goodbye were causing traffic congestion, delaying other passengers who then had to rush for their train.

      It was put up at the suggestion of Colin Daniels, chief executive of Warrington Chamber of Commerce, as part of a £650,000 station refurbishment part-funded by Virgin Trains.

      Mr Daniels said: ‘It was all a bit of fun, but there is a serious message underneath.'”

  1. Nice selection. I do agree with you on the winner.
    Since you were wondering, here is a similar project http://space-invaders.com.
    It is all around the world, but mostly Europe. I think you’ll find it amusing.
    And the most shocking thing for me is the tit sign, I am quite sure this is one of those signs derived from past events 🙂

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