scaled-down representation of an object, scene, figure, or person
Travel topics > Cultural attractions > Miniatures, dioramas and scale models

Miniatures, dioramas and scale models are scaled (or not so scaled) representations of other objects, which attract traveller interest. Created by skilled model-makers, the objects modelled, the scales used, and the level of detail can be incredible.

Miniature parksEdit

Map of Miniatures, dioramas and scale models
  • Worldwide, there are several Legoland parks, based around models made using the small plastic bricks.




The NetherlandsEdit

  • 1 Madurodam, George Maduroplein 1 (tram 9 or 22 (toward Scheveningen Noorderstrand), +31 70 416 2400. 9AM-6PM daily. This miniature city contains a selection of Dutch architecture, ranging from Amsterdam's canals and church spires from Utrecht and Den Bosch, to modern architecture from Rotterdam and the enormous Delta works that protect the country from the sea. Madurodam also has an airport, a seaport, beaches, and little cars, trams and trains running through the entire town. Madurodam is open year round. €14.50 for adults, €10.50 for children.    




Model railwaysEdit

Model railway (or railroads) initially developed at the end of the 19th century, and have developed from comparatively large models, into rail-roads of diverse scale, modelled gauges and levels of detail.

Don't assume that all model rail-roads are at small scales inside a building, there being some 'garden railways' that can be on nominal scales as big as 1:12 scale.

United KingdomEdit


As well as the 'fixed' attractions above, many model railway clubs in the UK hold (annual) public shows, the traveller is advised to check local press in a destination, Some of these shows may focus on modelling specific themes, railways or periods, whereas others are more general. Layouts at such events can vary from tiny 'micro' layouts, through to complex multi-operator affairs.


  • 10 The Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, . The world's largest model railway layout. The panoramas include parts of Hamburg, the Alps, the American west, and a Scandinavian exhibit which features automated ships on a body of water. It also has an airport exhibit with automated planes which taxi and fly. Tickets €20, kids under 16 €12.50.    

United StatesEdit

Miniature railways and "Grand Scale" railroadsEdit

See also: Tourist_trains#Attraction_and_park_railways

Sitting somewhere between model railways of various scales, and full scale (albiet narrow gauge) railways, are Grand Scale railroads (or Miniature Railways), which although not necessarily for the purpose of practical transportation, are a fascinating destination for the rail or attraction enthusiast. At these larger track gauges and modelling scales, it's even possible for an operator to ride with their 'model' trains. For many lines with a track gauges above 7¼" (184mm), there can be a regular passenger service. Numerous private "backyard railroads" have also existed, some of which have occasional open days.

United KingdomEdit



  • Rhyl Miniature Railway, Marine Parade, Rhyl.

Model Engineering Club CircuitsEdit

  • Ridgeway Park, Chingford, Model Engineering Club circuit of 7.25"/5"/3" gauge, and a Gauge One layout. Operates seasonally in summer, Sunday afternoons.
  • Harlington Locomotive Society, Club circuit of 5"/3" gauge. Seasonal, Fortnightly weekends in Summer.
  • HWSME, Roxbourne Park Railway, Ruislip, Middlesex. Club circuit with 7.25"/5"/3" gauge represented, Seasonal operation, Sunday afternoons.
  • Frimley Lodge Miniature Railway, Frimley Lodge Park, Frimley Green, Surrey. 7.25". Operates First Sunday of the Month - March 5th-Nov 5 (1100-1600).

United StatesEdit

  • Train Mountain Railroad, Chiloquin, Oregon
  • Redwood Valley Railway, Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley, California.
  • Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad, Fairview, Michigan.
  • Waterman and Western Railroad, Waterman, Illinois.
  • LASLRM, Griffith Park, Los Angles, California.

Central and Eastern EuropeEdit

Park railway (former "pioneer" railway) in Leipzig

"Pioneer" or "children's railways" were created in several countries of the former Soviet-led Eastern Bloc during the mid-20th century. At that time, they were run by the communist youth organisation ("pioneers") of the respective countries. After the end of the communist rule, some of them have been continued by public enterprises or private associations. They are not only children's attractions, but children also participate in their operation, acting as ticket vendors, conductors, signallers and attendants (only the engine drivers need to be adults). While most of the pioneer railways in former East Germany and Poland (e. g. Berlin, Dresden, Poznan) are on a miniature scale (most commonly with a 15-inch or 600-mm gauge), those in Hungary, Slovakia and the former Soviet Union are actually full-scaled narrow-gauge railways. See the list of "Pioneer" railways in Eastern Europe.

Apart from that concept, ridable miniature railways also exist in other Central European countries:

New ZealandEdit

  • 6 Kapiti Miniature Railway, Marine Gardens, Raumati. Sun afternoons. The Kapiti Miniature Railway has a dual gauge (5 inch and 7¼ inch) circuit, which offers train rides, and the possibility of driving the train.    


United StatesEdit

United KingdomEdit

  • 12 Pendon Museum, Pendon Museum, Long Wittenham, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QD, +44 1865 408143. 1100-1800. Pendon consists of 2 supererbly detailed model diorama begun in the 1920s which aim to recreate in miniature a representation of English country life of the period, as well as a portion of the Great Western Railway. £7.50 Adult.    

Miniature theatresEdit

Dolls' housesEdit

  • Queen Mary's Dolls' House, Windsor

This travel topic about Miniatures, dioramas and scale models is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!