There is nothing like a few good strange, offbeat or quirky museums to add a unique, memorable twist to your travels. For the last decade I’ve been crisscrossing the globe and visiting every weird museum I stumble across with a simple motto: the stranger, the better! If you plan on visiting Central Europe, be sure to check out these gems!
Cool & Quirky Museums in Central Europe
Zwack Unicum Museum
Given the rich history of Hungary’s capital city, it should be no surprise that Budapest has plenty of unique, offbeat sights and activities. When it comes to quirky museums, the Pinball Museum is a great way to feel like a kid again, or for travelers on a family vacation. However the best museum in town, at least for
alcoholics people who like to drink (such as myself). That prestigious honor goes to the Zwack Unicum Museum, a great way to learn about the unofficial national drink of Hungary.
BONUS Other intriguing museums include the Hospital in the Rock, Terror Háza, and The Golden Eagle Pharmacy Museum. There is even an underground church inside a cave in Gellert Hill. More Unique & Offbeat Budapest Museums.
A moulage is a casting or wax molding of an injury or disease that is used to train medical professionals and emergency responders. Why do you need to know this? Because Zurich is home to the world’s second largest collection of moulages — the aptly-named Moulagenmuseum. Sticking with this medical theme, why not make a day of it and also visit the Medizinhistorisches Museum. One look at the questionable history of medical devices and you’ll be glad you live in the 21st century.
BONUS For even more offbeat fun, 30 minutes from Zürich is the Pegasus Small World Toy Museum in Aeugst am Albis, and one hour away in Sissach is the Henkermuseum, a large collection of authentic medieval torture devices.
Given the city is renowned for their fashion and art scene, it was a bit of a surprise to discover that Düsseldorf does not have any truly offbeat museums. However, the Classic Remise Düsseldorf is very interesting for automobile enthusiasts, and if you are traveling with kids, the Neanderthal Museum is a must.
BONUS You can also find a few cool, quirky museums located just outside the city. For example, learn more about voodoo by visiting the out-of-place but extremely interesting Soul of Africa Museum just 30 minutes away in Essen.
Cologne Carnival Museum
Tucked away on the west side of Cologne lies Kölner Karnevalsmuseum — the Cologne Carnival Museum. It is a fascinating glimpse into carnival life, both past and present.
To learn more about perfume, take a trip to the Farina Fragrance Museum. Inside you’ll learn all about the history and production of perfume. The building itself, which was built is 1709, is the oldest fragrance factory in the world.
Museum Of Arms & Museum Of Clocks
Slovakia’s capital and largest city is Bratislava, which has no shortage of museums. However, only a few of them are interesting enough to be included here. Gun and weapon enthusiasts will be fascinated by the Museum of Arms, which covers not only weapons and their production but also the history of the town and its fortifications.
The Museum of Clocks houses a collection of antique clocks spanning three centuries and is an ode to Bratislava clock-makers. There is also the Water Museum, where you can learn more about the history and technology behind the city’s waterworks.