Top 9: World's strangest vending machines

We've come a long way since coin-operated postcard vending machines — now you can buy everything from your nightly haul of raclette to a brand new Ferrari from a 15-storey tower

By Josephine Price
Published 20 Sept 2017, 09:55 BST, Updated 12 Jul 2021, 11:23 BST

Vending machine items

Photograph by Elly Walton

1 Verbier, Switzerland
Raclette: For your impromptu après-ski raclette needs, this machine allows you to pick up Swiss mountain cheese and all the necessary accompaniments 24/7.

2 Munich, Germany
Lego: Whether you have bored kids in tow or want to test out your budding architecture skills, these colourful plastic blocks are available at Munich's train station.

3 Las Vegas, USA 
Champagne: Skip queues at the bar — the Mandarin Oriental in Sin City has mini bottles of Moët & Chandon perfectly teamed with tiny flutes. 

4 Singapore
Luxury cars: Credit cards at the ready — you can buy a shiny new Bentley, Ferrari or Lamborghini in this 15-storey space-saving concept in land-scarce Singapore.

5 Abu Dhabi, UAE
Gold: Forget El Dorado. Instead head to Abu Dhabi for your gilded fantasy — you can pick up gold bullion bars at the Emirates Palace hotel.

6 Shanghai, China
Sex toys: This walk-in dispensary of grown-up fun is void of sales assistants, so you can bid farewell to awkward exchanges at the till when buying your fluffy handcuffs.

7 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hot dogs: Fast food chain FEBO have 66 machines across the city: their tiny glass windows are filled with piping hot snacks like frikandel (minced-meat hot dog).

8 France
Short stories: Providing a platform for French writers at over 35 stations across France, Short Edition delivers a bite-size literary treat for your journey. 

9 Los Angeles, USA
Cupcakes: Sprinkles Cupcake ATM was created with Instagram in mind. Select your flavour, and it will arrive all boxed and beautiful. 

Published in the October 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)


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