Sure, there are hundreds of amazing art and science museums out there that you could take in while travelling, but that’s so boring. How about you skip the hoity-toity “real” museums and try hitting up a few more offbeat options, such as…
Kattenkabinet (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
The internet isn’t the only place that’s obsessed with cats. The Kattenkabinet (Cat Cabinet) in Amsterdam is a small gallery dedicated to cat-related artwork and various other bits and pieces of cat stuff. Posters, costumes, statues, whatever—they have it. If that’s not enough cat for you, then you can hang out with the real, live cats wandering the gallery. If you have allergies then you may want to sit this one out. (You probably won’t find it that a-meow-singanyway. Ha ha! I crack myself up).
The Hunterian Museum (London, U.K.)
Alright, this one isn’t for the squeamish, but it is super cool—if you’re cool with animals and body parts in jars! The museum is located within the Royal College of Surgeons’ building and is home to hundreds of preserved specimens of human and animal anatomy and pathology, along with paintings, sculptures and medical instruments. NOTE: If you go there, keep an eye out for the preserved sloth fetus. It’s surprisingly cute, or at least it’s as cute as a preserved sloth fetus can be.
The Lawnmower Museum (Southport, U.K.)
It’s a museum showcasing the history of lawnmowers. But before you write this place off, you should know that not only does it have vintage lawnmowers but it also has vintage gardening tools and lawnmowers of the rich and famous. Bring the kids! Show them Coronation Street character Hilda Ogden’s lawnmower! Computers and 3D laser shows ain’t got nothing on this, fools!
The Frietmuseum (Bruges, Belgium)
The Frietmuseum (Frite Museum, as in french fries) actually just opened in October 2013 after a father and son team thought, “You know what the world needs? A museum that teaches the world about fries.” Come to the Frietmuseumand learn the answer to the most important question in the world: What came first—the potato or the fry? There’s also a restaurant there that serves… well, if you can’t guess then I think we may have a problem here.
Electric Ladyland – The First Museum of Fluorescent Art (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
I was a kid in the 90s, so I thought that I knew everything there was to know about fluorescent stuff. Well, Electric Ladyland proved me wrong. It’s the only museum in the world dedicated to nothing but fluorescent art, rocks and anything else that glows. There’s even a participatory part of the exhibition! It’s got everything you ever needed to know about fluorescent stuff.
The Bread Museum (Ebergötzen, Germany)
If you find yourself passing through the village of Ebergötzen, be sure to check out the Europäisches Brotmuseum, the best museum you’ll ever find dedicated to the historical development of breadmaking in Europe. It’s a great place to go if you’re either a hardcore baker or have ever wanted to see how bread was made throughout history. (SPOILER ALERT: Bread is always made in some sort of oven. Hope I didn’t wreck it for you).
Museum of Broken Relationships (Zagreb, Croatia)
Most of the museums on this list are just weird or flat out bonkers, but this one is the winner for most depressing. Originally started as a travelling art exhibit, the museum has now collected many pieces from around the world, all documenting ended relationships (and each comes with a short story behind the object, written by the sender). Put on some depressing music and get the whiskey out, because it’s about to get real sad in here.
Spiritmuseum (Stockholm, Sweden)
If you’re looking for something on the history of alcohol or something similar, go somewhere else. This museum is about the torrid relationship between the Swedish people and alcohol. It’s sort of the museum equivalent of a Facebook wall-to-wall with your ex. Each of the rooms in the museum are summer-themed and come with a different spirit to taste, eventually culminating in a “hangover room.” If you’re feeling a bit lost, you can always hit the bar located inside the museum.
The Gopher Hole Museum (Torrington, Alberta, Canada)
If you’ve ever looked at taxidermied animals and thought, “Man, if only they were dressed up like tiny fuzzy people. Also, I want only gophers,” then do I have the museum for you. The museum has 54 gophers depicting 31 different scenes meant to portray life in the town of Torrington (if all the townspeople were gophers). Never have stuffed rodents looked so great.