The Weirdest Museums I’ve Been To in Europe

Neon Muzeum in Warsaw
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I'm not always a fan of museums. Try as I might, my attention usually starts to drift after an hour or so unless the subject matter is super interesting or the museum is interactive in some way. And art museums? They have never been my “thing.”

But that's not to say that I never go to museums. I do have my favorites around the world — like the Newseum in Washington, D.C., or Te Papa in Wellington, New Zealand.

And then sometimes there are museums that are just so strange or unique that I can't let myself skip them.

I've come across said strange/unique museums with some frequency in Europe. Here are the four weirdest I've visited (so far):

National Leprechaun Museum

Dublin, Ireland

To have a museum dedicated to mythical creatures isn't really all that weird. But I was very amused by the fact that the leprechaun museum in Dublin is known as the “National” Leprechaun Museum. The museum itself is extremely family-oriented. It focuses on storytelling, which is kind of cool, meaning you have a guide take you through the various rooms and tell you tales about everything from leprechauns to giants to more nasty beasties from Irish folklore.

Leprechaun Museum

Inside, the museum is divided up into various fantastical rooms, including one with oversized furniture that is supposed to be the house of the giant. We also sat around atop a fairy hill and walked through a “rainbow” during our journey.

Kind of random, but not a bad way to spend an hour in Dublin.

  • Where: Jervis Street, Dublin
  • When: 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily (last entry at 5:45 p.m.)
  • Price: €12 ($16.50 USD) for adults


Amsterdam, Netherlands

It shouldn't be surprising that Amsterdam, land of the Red Light District, would have a museum dedicated to sex. The Sexmuseum claims to be the world's first and oldest museums of its kind (having opened in 1985). The exhibits take a look at sex through the ages — basically just a huge collection of erotic pictures, paintings, objects, recordings, photographs, and more.

Sexmuseum in Amsterdam

Sure, you could spend your time here exploring Amsterdam's canals, visiting the Anne Frank House, or marveling at how the old city center apartments in Amsterdam lean and tilt over the roads and canals. You could rent a bike or partake in one of the city's infamous coffee shops. But I think you should also visit the Sexmuseum. According to the museum's website, the Sexmuseum is visited by more than 500,000 people each year, making it one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam.

  • Where: Damrak 18, Amsterdam
  • When: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. daily
  • Price: €4 ($5.50 USD); must be 16+ to enter

Neon Museum

Warsaw, Poland

As it turned out, Warsaw ended up being one of my favorite new cities I visited in Europe last year. The vibe of the city, the history, and all the little quirks made me fall in love with it. One of those quirks was the Neon Muzeum, which I visited with my local tour guide and friend Kami.

Neon Muzeum in Warsaw

Back during Warsaw's Soviet year, huge neon signs could be found all over the city, advertising all sorts of things. After the fall of the Soviet Union, however, most of these neon signs were taken down. The Neon Muzeum, located in an out-of-the-way location in a warehouse-type space in Warsaw, has made a mission of tracking down as many of these old neon signs as possible, restoring them, and displaying them. Not only was this museum interesting to visit, but I had fun taking lots of photos of the glowing neons, too.

  • Where: Budynek 55, Soho Factory, Mińska 25
  • When: 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
  • Price: Suggested donation of 10 PLN ($3.25 USD)

Museum of Broken Relationships

Zagreb, Croatia

Lastly, my favorite “weird” museum in Europe has to be the Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia. I've written a whole post about this place (read it here), but essentially it's a museum dedicated to failed relationships.

The premise of the Museum of Broken Relationships is simple — people donate small items that represent some sort of failed personal relationship along with a brief description. Some pieces are sentimental; some are sad; some are funny. But all of them capture the human condition in one way or another. The museum has an associated traveling exhibit, too (in fact, it began as a traveling exhibition in 2006 but became popular enough to create a permanent museum in Zagreb in 2010).

Museum of Broken Relationships

This is definitely a museum worth visit if you find yourself with some time in Zagreb.

  • Where: Cirilometodska 2 (in the Kulmer palace in the Upper Town)
  • When: 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m. daily June 1-Sept. 30; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. October 1-May 31
  • Price: 25 HRK ($4.50 USD)

What are some of the most unique museums YOU have visited on your travels?


*Note: This post was written by me, but brought to you by a third party.


  • Renuka says:

    Never visited any weird museum. Even I am not a fan of museums, so I mostly skip them. But from the ones you mentioned here, I am curious about the sex museum and the broken relationship one.

    • Amanda says:

      If you look for them, there are all sorts of weird and unique museums all around the world. But yeah, the Museum of Broken Relationships is one of my favorites ever!

  • Katie says:

    Museum of broken relationships: amazing. Sounds like a great place!

    In Keswick, we have the Pencil Museum, which is famous among anyone who’s ever been to the Lake District on a rainy weekend (which is most weekends, to be honest). There used to be a James Bond museum, too, which itself used to be ‘Cars of the Stars’ (basically a collection of famous cars, from Bond cars to the flying Ford Anglia in Harry Potter).

    I also remember my parents deciding that we should all visit the ANZ Bank Museum in Melbourne… It was a little basement room, with lots of bank books and money boxes in display cases, and audios of ‘normal people through history’ (over-played by actors) talking about money and banking. I think my parents rethought their decision after about 5 minutes!

  • Yes all very strange although very enticing. My husband who never asks to do anything when we are travelling really wanted to visit the Currywurst Museum in Berlin. It wasn’t my idea of money well spent but being the only thing he has ever asked for I had to indulge him. It was terrible and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.

    • Amanda says:

      Haha! That’s one I would probably skip! I did go to the Checkpoint Charlie museum in Berlin, though. My favorite parts were the rooms describing how people had escaped and gotten over the Berlin Wall – talk about creative escapees!

  • We really love returning to the museums about the canarii, the Berber-descending people who occupied Gran Canaria before the 15th-century Spanish invasion. They’re archaelogical parks too, so it’s great to see their latest discoveries. Our favourite one is Gáldar’s Cueva Pintada although Agaete’s Necrópolis de Maipes is a more recent find.

  • The lovely mountain town of Guadalest, near Benidorm, is home to a few wacky museums. One is dedicated to about 20,000 salt and pepper shakers while another houses miniatures such as the Bible on a section of hair, a Greco painting on a grain of sand and a flea riding a bike. You gotta see it to believe it!!

  • Steve says:

    I can vouch for the Museum of Broken Relationships. It was the main reason I wanted to visit Zagreb. It left me deep in thought.

  • Sam says:

    I’d love to go to the Sexmuseum. The Museum of Broken Relationships sounds very sad, but definitely worthwhile. I also walked past (though couldn’t bring myself to go in) the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavik. Jars of penises wasn’t something I could really handle that day!

    • Amanda says:

      Believe it or not, a lot of the items in the Museum of Broken Relationships were actually funny! There of course were some sad ones, but a lot of witty ones, too.

      I totally want to go to the Phallological Museum the next time I’m in Reykjavik!

      • You should definitely visit the Phallological Museum, it was actually really interesting! There are a couple of other fantastic Museums in Iceland that I would also recommend – The Skogar Folk Museum which has an excellent recreated sod farm village where you can see how people lived in the past in Iceland and the Husavik Whale Museum which has interesting displays about whaling in Iceland.

        • Amanda says:

          I HAVE actually been to the Skogar Folk Museum – I agree that it was really interesting. I didn’t know about the whale museum, but that definitely does sound like one worth visiting, especially considering how controversial whaling is in the wider world.

  • Anna says:

    We have a tiny museum of sacks, bags and pouches nearby (north-west Germany)! Very random!

  • Suguna says:

    The British Museum is the best museum I’ve ever been to – I could spend days there. There was a parasite museum in Tokyo that I considered going to, but decided not to because I was afraid it would put me off eating forever.

  • The strangest one I’ve been to is the Currywurst Museum in Berlin. Imagine an entire museum dedicated to one type of sausage!

  • I love quirky and unusual museums. The ones that come to mind right now are the Museum of Sex in NYC, Spam (as in Hormel Spam) Museum in Austin, Minnesota and most recently the Manhole Cover Museum in Ferrara, Italy. Your mention of the Museum of Broken Relationships really caught my attention. Now on my ever-growing list of places to visit.

    • Amanda says:

      There’s a Spam museum?!? That’s awesome. And the manhole cover one sounds pretty cool, too.

      The Museum of Broken Relationships is really, really cool. If you ever find yourself in Zagreb (or in whatever city the traveling exhibition is in), check it out!

  • Shane says:

    There’s a hair museum in Cappadocia where women from all around Turkey and the world have sent cuttings of their hair. They were a bit weird (not for the first time in their lives, I suspect) when I asked to take a photo.

    Despite a ten minute phone conversation with the owner we were refused permission to take pictures of any of the 16,000 strands of hair covering the hairy walls and hairy ceiling of the hair museum. I took a picture of the outside of the buidling instead while the two ‘curators’ stared at me.

  • always wanted to go to the museum of broken relationships. sounds interesting

  • Juliann says:

    I almost went to the National Lerechaun Museum in Dublin, but didn’t. Now I wish I had!
    I think the most unusual museum I’ve ever been to is the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Oddly enough, Ive been there twice!

  • Catherine says:

    I want to go to them all! Love quirky museums like this 🙂 The strangest museum I went to was a Seashell Museum in France, I have horrible memories of my mum dragging me round when I was a kid, there was just hundreds of seashells and I was bored after five minutes but my mum wanted to look at every single one!

  • I’m just like – I like the IDEA of going to a museum more than the actual experience (at least most of the time). But the Museum of Broken Relationships sounds truly unique – what a great idea to let people contribute to it!

    • Amanda says:

      I’m usually the same way! I often get excited about going to museums, but then get bored after about 30 minutes. These ones all held my interest, though!

  • I’ve been to the Sex Museum and the Leprechaun Museum (a personal favourite of mine!) but am yet to visit the other two. The Museum of Broken Relationships sounds… Interesting, to say the least! One of my favourite things to do is seek out little, weird museums in the places I’m travelling. Thanks for sharing your favourites!

  • Ryan says:

    Ha! Museum of broken relationships…sounds so depressing! What quirky museums though. The neon would be pretty cool I think though!

    • Amanda says:

      It’s not nearly as depressing as you would think! A good portion of it is actually quite funny.

      But yeah, the Neon Muzeum was awesome! Really fun to take photos in, too.

  • Really!!! A Leprechaun Museum!! How did I miss that on my two visits to Dublin??? I am like you, I don’t usually go into museums unless it is a subject I am into or something dam right crazy. I done the Sex Museum and found that to be one of the highlights of Amsterdam but the others on your post, I really must visit! Thanks for sharing and safe travels!

  • Danee Sarman says:

    The Sewer Museum in Paris. I went down into the active sewer system but in Paris fashion, it was clean and well lit

  • Erika says:

    Oooh, great list! I loved the museum of broken relationships in Zagreb! I also really enjoyed the museum of peasant art there as well. I’m not much of a museum person but Zagreb boasted two enjoyable favorites!

    • Amanda says:

      I didn’t make it to any other museums in Zagreb since I was literally only there for 3 hours on a train layover, but I saw signs for LOTS of museums there!

  • Fanny says:

    That looks so cool I want to visit all four!
    I did once go to the Erotik Museum in Berlin, what I remember most of it is a room jammed with penis-statues the size of an adult person. Weird!

  • Sarah says:

    How fun! I wouldn’t mind going to the leprechaun museum! I think my weirdest -and also mustiest- museum was the hanging hair museum in a cave in Cappadocia.

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