Weird Museums of the World

You Might Laugh...or Maybe Cringe

Millions of people visit places like the Louvre and British Museum, filled with artifacts from around the world. But not every museum is a shining beacon of culture, and many feature offbeat, outrageous, and bizarre collections that can make your belly shake with laughter or your entire body cringe with disgust. Here are a few weird museums you should definitely consider when you schedule your sightseeing with Inspirock’s itinerary planner.

1. Icelandic Phallological Museum

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Penises in jars by: CGP Grey (CC)

Entirely dedicated to male genitalia, Icelandic Phallological Museum houses a collection of over 200 penises and assorted penile parts belonging to practically every mammal currently living in Iceland. No, this isn’t some weird pornographic place designed to embarrass and make you blush. Get your mind out of the gutter and learn about the male sex organ by exploring the museum’s comprehensive compilation, which ranges from tiny hamster penises to gigantic private parts taken off a sperm whale. Other highlights include lampshades fashioned from bull testicles and a tree trunk carved in a phallic shape.

Find out what else you can do in the area by checking out this Reykjavik itinerary:

2. Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection by: Ann Lee (CC)

Desperate Londoners wishing to escape the drudgery of their 18th-century life often tried to end their misery by jumping into the Thames. If the fall didn’t break their necks and they failed to drown quickly, passersby pulled them out and used leather resuscitators to blow tobacco smoke up their rectum. Today, this method of reviving victims strikes us as a bit odd, but it made perfect sense to the practitioners of 18th-century medicine. Wellcome Collection holds a resuscitator model from 1774, along with a range of other strange and interesting medical contraptions.

Discover what other attractions deserve a visit on this London itinerary:

3. Museum of Broken Relationships

Cookie heart by: Connie Ma (CC)
Cookie heart by: Connie Ma (CC)

What becomes of the brokenhearted? Well, some of them send the remnants of their failed love affairs to the Museum of Broken Relationships, an award-winning attraction in one of Europe’s newest capital cities. Started by two locals whose relationship ended after four years, this offbeat exhibit of personal items evolved into a museum exploring the emotional impact of devastating split-ups. Donate your own artifact of broken love and explore a collection that includes Valentine’s Day gifts and a few head-scratching items, like a wooden watermelon and a set of pink handcuffs.

For more sightseeing ideas, browse this Zagreb itinerary:

4. Kunstkamera

Kunstkamera by: szerenka (CC)
Kunstkamera by: szerenka (CC)

Wait—you’re saying you don’t think you want to look at deformed human fetuses with appalling mutations on your vacation? No problem, Kunstkamera boasts a vast collection of over 200,000 other items. Started by Peter the Great in the 18th century, this cabinet of curiosities houses an assortment of stuffed animals, model ships, astronomical instruments, and tools. If you get bored of those undeniably educational exhibits, look for the collection of medical oddities, which, in addition to hundreds of ghastly fetuses, includes creatures with too many limbs or misshapen heads.

Look for other museum ideas on this St. Petersburg itinerary:

5. Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments

Flute of Shame by: hildgrim (CC)

If you’ve ever wondered what the best way to torture a really bad musician is, make sure your next trip to Amsterdam includes a stop at Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments. This place stores hundreds of weird devices designed to make people suffer, medieval-style. From neck violins for women who just wouldn’t stop quarreling, to the infamous iron maiden of Nuremberg, made to inflict unspeakable pain on criminals, the museum displays information about each device in multiple languages and explains how each gadget worked. It may not have been funny to the wearer, but the flute of shame remains one of the museum’s more humorous items. You certainly wouldn’t want to play this flute, as it was designed to hang around an offender’s neck and encourage onlookers to pelt the bad musician with rotten fruit and review his or her music with a string of juicy verbal insults.

Take a look at this Amsterdam itinerary to locate other interesting places to visit in the city:

Weird Museums Make for Great Itineraries

If you don’t want to burden your itinerary with heavy-hitting art and history institutions, consider a few of the world’s wackier museums, which focus on culture’s more exotic and unusual aspects. Laugh or cringe, these places are sure to expand your horizons and make you fall in love with museum-hopping. Before you head out, use Inspirock’s trip planner create a museum itinerary suited to your personal interests.

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