Next time you’re booking a cultural getaway, why not look outside the ordinary and seek out a more unusual museum to explore? Here are five suggestions for weird and wonderful museums that offer something a little more unique than what you usually find.
Iceland Phallological Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland
Otherwise known as the Penis Museum, Iceland’s Phallological Museum isn’t quite as lewd as you may first think. Yes, it is essentially a museum filled with penises, but it’s actually quite interesting. The museum’s founder, Sigurður Hjartarson, started collecting whale penises in 1974 and opened the museum in 1990 with his growing collection. You can now find a selection of specimens from all sorts of animals, ranging from elephants to, yes, human beings. Perhaps the most spectacular display is the seven-foot whale penis that visitors walk beneath when first entering the museum. There’s also a unique gift shop selling penis-themed merchandise to take home as souvenirs.
Currywurst Museum, Berlin, Germany
This interactive museum dedicated to the favourite snack of many Berliners is actually really fun! Not only does the museum tell the story of the currywurst, from its humble beginnings in the 1940s to its present-day iconic status as a must-try German snack, but there’s also an extremely enjoyable element to the experience. Visitors can relax on the sausage-shaped sofa, pose with oversized French fries, role play in the currywurst fast food truck and even try the savoury snack for themselves at the end of the tour.
Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
It may seem strange to dedicate a museum to something as sad as failed relationships, but the Museum of Broken Relationships is incredibly interesting to navigate. This small, yet spectacular museum displays a collection of objects donated from people all around the world, along with the stories behind why the objects are linked to the broken relationships. The exhibits include everything from jewellery and shoes to an axe that a man used to cut up his ex’s furniture after she cheated on him!
Museum of Sex, New York
Another slightly controversial option, the Museum of Sex in New York perhaps isn’t the sort of place to visit with your parents, but it is an incredibly interesting museum to discover on your own or with friends. The museum houses a permanent collection of art, costumes and memorabilia all focused around the history of sex and sexuality, as well as offering fun and interactive (not in that way!) temporary exhibitions, such as the Bouncy Castle of Breasts. This is the perfect place to discover why sex shouldn’t necessarily be a taboo subject, with plenty of information on how attitudes have changed over the years.
Cancun Underwater Museum, Cancun, Mexico
The most unusual thing about this museum is where it is located—the exhibitions are based from nine to twenty feet underwater! The underwater museum is found in one of the areas of the clearest water in the world, the Mexican National Marine Park. Visitors can view the exhibits by snorkelling, scuba diving or through the bottom of a glass-bottomed boat. All of the sculptures are made from marine-friendly materials, with the aim of promoting the growth of coral and the museum eventually becoming a manmade coral reef.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.