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

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. 

Follow @_JosephinePrice

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

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