The 33 most unusual museums in the world

Le tour du monde des musées insolites

Museums are sometimes shunned and visited out of pure formalism, but unusual museums always attract the curious!

Feeling adventurous and looking for something original? Discover unusual museums around the globe!

Europe, Asia, the Americas… Some of the most original and unusual museums on the planet are dedicated to drugs, sex, medicine, crime… – and they’re often the most fascinating!

1. The Museum of Medicine (United States, Philadelphia)

Musée Insolite, Musée de la Medecine

Photo credit: Museum of Medicine – Flickr – istolethetv

At the Museum of Medicine in Philadelphia, USA, you can discover tumors, 19th-century Thai Siamese or even slices of the brain of the famous genius Einstein… Delicious, but fascinating!

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2. The Museum of Death (United States, Los Angeles)

At the Museum of Death in Los Angeles, you’ll find crime scenes with a bloody thriller feel, sharpened scalpels, sketches of murderers – it’s all there!

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3. The Museum of Prostitution & The Museum of Sex (Netherlands, Amsterdam)

These two museums are located in the heart of Amsterdam’s red light district. A must-see if you want to discover the world of sadomasochism and sex… take heart… They’re among the most visited museums in the Netherlands!

4. The Mummy Museum (Mexico, Guanajuato)

At the Mummy Museum in Mexico, you’ll find all kinds of mummies: rotting mummies and swaddled baby bodies are all on display!

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5. The Vodka Museum (Poland, Warsaw)

Poland can now boast a museum totally dedicated to the famous fermented potato drink! Located in a former distillery in Warsaw, the Vodka Museum aims to silence Polish stereotypes.

6. The Museum of Medieval Torture (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the Torture Museum is a museum with a dark, theatrical atmosphere. Welcome to the torturers of the Middle Ages, and imagine yourself in their expert and vicious hands!

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7. The Shoe Museum (France, Romans-sur-Isère)

Come and discover Romans-sur-Isère, the capital of luxury footwear, and its magnificent, chic and colorful collections at the Musée de la Chaussure. A visit that blends history and know-how.

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8. The Parasite Museum (Tokyo, Japan)

Musée insolite: musée parasite Tokyo

Photo credit: Flickr – Jim Fischer

At Tokyo ‘s Parasite Museum, you can see the micro-organisms that surround, colonize and « parasitize » us throughout our lives…

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9. The Pinball Museum (Hungary, Budapest)

Remember pinball machines, those infernal machines where the ball always ended up between the goals? Come and admire over a hundred pinball machines in this Budapest museum, and come and play!

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10. The Dog Collar Museum (United Kingdom, Maidstone)

Animal lovers, hello! If you’re looking for inspiration for your pet’s collar, don’t worry, this museum has taken it upon itself to collect a number of such objects! More than 4 centuries of collections.

11. The Leprosy Museum (Norway, Bergen)

Musée insolite: musée lepre Bergen

Photo credit: Flickr – Daniel Szpiro

On display at St. George’s Hospital, the Norwegian Leprosy Museum deals with the unfortunate leprosy epidemic that affected the city of Bergen until 1946.

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12. The Museum of Broken Relationships (Croatia, Zagreb)

It’s an exhibition of objects that have all had a profound meaning for their owners… Read poignant (and sometimes naive) accounts of human relationships and heartbreak. Initially a traveling exhibition, Broken Relationships finally settled in Zagreb, Croatia.

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13. The Museum of Blood Transfusion and Blood Donation (Virtual Museum)

Musée insolite: musée virtuel transfusion sanguine et don du sang

Photo credit: Pixabay – rdelarosa0

Did you know that the first blood transfusions took place in the 17th century? Discover this incredible discovery in the virtual museum of blood transfusion and blood donation.

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14. The Opium Museum (Thailand, Sop Ruak)

Thailand based its economy for years on the opium trade. Sop Ruak, also known as the « Golden Triangle », was Thailand’s hub for the opium trade. Discover this highly unusual museum, which pays tribute to this illicit substance, and meet opium smokers in the midst of their reverie.

15. The Museum of Skin Diseases (France, Paris)

Musée insolite: musée maladie de la peau Paris

Photo credit: Wikimedia – Lamiot

Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris boasts a gigantic collection of wax casts of skin diseases (warts, urticaria, pustules, etc.). Learn more about dermatology with 19th-century casts of skin lesions. This Paris museum is truly impressive!

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16. The Hair Museum (Turkey, Avanos)

Musée Insolite, Musée des Cheveux

Photo credit: Musée des Cheveux Official website Musée des Cheveux

Meet Galip in Turkey, a potter who collects locks of hair in Cappadocia, in a troglodyte house to boot! You’ll find a collection of 16,000 locks of hair hanging from the walls and ceiling.

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17. The Condom Museum (Thailand, Bangkok)

Musée insolite: musée préservatif Bangkok

Photo credit: Flickr – Jeremiah Roth

While you’re in Bangkok, take a few lessons on latex! The Latex Museum is a small scientific museum that provides useful information about latex. Thailand was one of the first countries to recognize the problem of AIDS, and this museum helps to spread information to the general public.

18. The Phallus Museum (Iceland, Reykjavík)

Come and discover an astonishing collection at the Phallus Museum in Reykjavík. Hundreds of mammalian penises in transparent jars – what could be better? It’s the only museum in the world devoted to the study of mammalian phalluses.

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19. The Hash, Cannabis and Hemp Museum (Netherlands, Amsterdam)

Musée Insolite, Musée du Canabis

Photo credit: Musée du Canabis – WikiMedia – Didier le Ger

Amsterdam is definitely the perfect place for unusual visits! Known for its coffee shops fogged by the smoke of firecrackers circulating from guest to guest, what could be more natural than to find this Hash, Cannabis and Hemp Museum in the Dutch capital?

20. The Voodoo Museum (United States, New Orleans)

Discover the Cajun people and voodoo, elevated to the status of a religion! Located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the Voodoo Museum plunges you into a particular history closely linked to that of Louisiana.

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21. Musée des Égouts (France, Paris)

Embark on an adventure in the basements of the French capital… A secure circuit, we promise! A 500-metre tour of Paris’ s underground sewers.

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22. The Museum of Fabric and Costume (Italy, Venice)

Located in the 13th-century Palazzo Mocenigo in Venice, you’ll be able to see period costumes, Murano glass and Burano lace. You’ll also be able to smell different perfumes!

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23. The Anatomy Museum (Montpellier, France)

Musée insolite: musée anatomie Montpellier

Photo credit: Wikimedia – Sheld1337

The Anatomy Museum is located in the south of France, in Montpellier. Located within the city’s Faculty of Medicine, this unusual museum boasts 5,600 anatomical exhibits!

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24. The Fan Museum (London, Greenwich)

Located in a beautiful building in London’s Greenwich district, the Fan Museum is the world’s first museum dedicated to the display of fans. Come and discover the history of the fan, that ordinary but fascinating object!

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25. The Museum of Bad Art (United States, Massachusetts, Somerville)

The Massachusetts Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA as it’s known, boasts a collection of 600 works in a very particular style! Come and discover works of comic charm that couldn’t be appreciated anywhere else.

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26. Umbrella Museum & Scissors and Sword Museum (China, Hangzhou)

The title says it all! If you’re visiting China, who knows, maybe you’ll miss out on some of these original museums? You’ll also be close to a fan museum. All three museums are next door.

27. Musée du Papier Peint (France, Alsace, Rixheim)

The wallpaper museum is located in Rixheim, Alsace, where the wallpaper industry has been present since 1797. You can choose between two collections, « le bestiaire du mur » and « papiers peint du futur »…

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28. The Toilet Museum (India, New Delhi)

Opened in the 70s by an Indian doctor who fought for public health in this great country, the toilet museum was opened with an educational approach. A total incongruity, toilets have managed to have their own museum.

29. Museum of Phosphorescent Art (Netherlands, Amsterdam)

Musée insolite: musée art phosphorescent Amsterdam

Photo credit: Flickr – i love butter

Discover a world that’s completely offbeat, fun and original, an experience that goes beyond the simple consumption of art for art’s sake: this is the Museum of Phosphorescent Art. Don’t miss the fluorescent world of velvety colors worthy of the most appetizing exotic cocktails during your visit to Amsterdam.

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30. The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum (United States, Tennessee, Gatlinburg)

The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum is a must-see kitsch address in Tennessee. You’ll be amazed at the number of designs for these « art of the table » objects.

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31. The Museum of Instant Noodles (Japan, Osaka)

Musée insolite: musée Ramen Japon

Photo credit: Flickr – Chee.fong

Proud of their culture and their famous noodles cooked in hot water in plastic pots, the Japanese have created this museum in the image of one of their culinary peculiarities.

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32. The Curry Sausage Museum (Germany, Berlin)

Discover the Berlin Museum of Currywurst, a German specialty. Depending on your admission ticket, you can choose between « currywurst in the cup » or the « snackticket », which includes 3 different currywursts.

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33. The French Fry Museum (Belgium, Bruges)

A national pride, French fries now have their own museum! And Belgian fries are very good indeed! Discover this museum in Bruges‘ oldest building.

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Main Photo Credit: WikiMedia – Nevit Dilmen