Seven of the world’s weirdest museums you can visit
A trip to a museum or two is almost a given on a city break, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for classic masterpieces and antiques. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, we’ve rounded up seven of the world’s most unique and unusual museums. From underwater art to shit in pastel colors, these museums are worth a visit for the sake of novelty alone.
International Cryptozoology Museum: Maine, United States
What better place to start our list than with cryptozoology – the research and study of animals whose existence is disputed. This bizarre and one-of-a-kind museum has exhibits on all manner of weird and folkloric creatures, from Bigfoot and the abominable snowman to Coelacanth and Mermaid Feejee by PT Barnum. The collection includes a range of life-size models, supposed hair samples and fingerprint casts, as well as a range of artifacts and keepsakes kids will love to explore.
Lose yourself in the legend at cryptozoologymuseum.com
Museum of Broken Relationships: Zagreb, Croatia
While broken relationships may seem unusual to commemorate in a museum, this creative art project has exploded in popularity since its inception in 2006. Comprised of a wide array of keepsakes donated by anonymous contributors, each is accompanied by a heartache story. to explain its meaning. Exhibits include everything from letters, drawings, and stuffed animals to an ax used to destroy the furniture of a cheating girlfriend. The museum’s creators came up with the idea after their own breakup, as a form of catharsis and an exploration of love and loss.
Explore the stories on brokenships.com
Cat Cabinet: Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you are more of a cat, this quirky museum will suit you perfectly. Specializing in cat-themed art, this historic building next to the Herengracht Canal is full of paintings, posters and sculptures of our fluffy feline friends. It was created in memory of the founder’s cat, a red tom named JP Morgan, and a section of the museum is dedicated to him. The best part is that the museum has five resident cats that roam the galleries and hallways, and they are happy to be petted by visitors.
Admire the kitten-filled collection at kattenkabinet.nl
Underwater Museum of Art: Cancun, Mexico
This magnificent open-air art museum is located in the heart of the turquoise waters surrounding Cancun and Isla Mujeres, in Mexico’s National Marine Park. Over 500 sculptures sit on the seabed and serve as artificial reefs to promote coral growth and attract marine life. The statues are intended to examine how humans interact with the environment in both positive and negative ways, promoting marine conservation and countering the impact of climate change. This innovative gallery can be explored through scuba diving, snorkelling or glass bottom boat tours.
Dive into musamexico.org
The Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures: Paris, France
Presented as the only vampire museum in the world, it is the passionate project of vampirologist and translator Bram Stoker Jacques Sirgent. Behind its scarlet entrance you’ll find all manner of vampire-related accessories, including ancient texts, a plush vampire bat, pop culture collectibles, and a 19th century vampire protection kit. Sirgent is happy to tell you about all the pieces and share his in-depth knowledge on the subject. Note that as this is a private museum, tours must be booked online in advance.
Immerse your teeth in artclips.free.fr/musee_des_vampires
Dog Collar Museum: Kent, England
Located in the majestic Leeds Castle in Kent, this unique museum is entirely dedicated to dog collars. It presents more than 130 rare and precious dog accessories, some of which date from the 15th and 16th centuries. There are bulky spiked metal collars designed to protect canine companions from bears and wolves, as well as ornate silver and gold collars from the Baroque period and the 19th century. There are also modern styles included in the collection, in case you are looking for some tie inspiration for your own puppy.
Take a walk through the history of the dog at leeds-castle.com
Unko Museum: Tokyo, Japan
For something truly weird and wonderful, the Unko Museum in Tokyo is hard to beat. “Unko” literally translates to “poo”, but what is on display here thankfully has nothing to do with the real thing! The surreal interactive exhibits give a kawaii (cute) touch to the poo, transforming it into what looks more like soft ice cream in bright colors. There are games to play, Instagrammable photo spots, a ball pit, gift shop, and plenty of shit facts to learn. We have no doubts that it will be one of the strangest and most memorable museums you are likely to visit.
Rinse your inhibitions with unkomuseum.com
Please note that travel restrictions are currently in place due to COVID-19. Depending on the country you are visiting, museums, hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions may be closed. Always check government advice before making reservations.