If you think you’ve seen all that the big-name museums have to offer, then it’s time for you to gain a fresh perspective on art, science, and natural history from the niche collections of these eight quirky museums.
The perfect combination of art and conservation
Cancun Underwater Museum
Below the turquoise waters of Cancun, Mexico, divers will find a museum dedicated to not only art in the form of sculptures, but to the art of conversation. With the region’s Manchones reef being increasingly damaged by divers and snorkellers, the director of the National Park Costa Occidental Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún y Punta Nizuc, came up with an idea. Working with several Mexican sculptures, three different galleries with a collective 500 sculptures were placed three to six metres below water to create an artificial concrete reef for visitors to explore, giving the natural reefs a much-needed chance to recover.
Less than 100m away from this underwater museum is the Presidente InterContinental Cancun Resort. Featuring a private white sand beach, numerous on-site restaurants and bars, and world-class service, the Presidente InterContinental Cancun Resort is the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing Cancun holiday.
This museum focuses on more than just food
Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
Learn more about this staple of Japan’s food culture at the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. At this interactive museum located in Ikeda, the birthplace of instant noodles, visitors can learn about the history of this revolutionary dish, but that’s not all. The museum’s exhibitions go beyond food, focusing on the importance of inventing and how even the smallest ideas can lead to big innovations.
Just a short trip from the museum is Fushioukaku. Fushioukaku is a traditional Japanese style accommodation, where guests sleep on futon bedding atop tatami (woven-straw) floors. Each room comes with Yukata robes, perfect to wear as you make your way to and from the property's indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths.
Browse the collection of donated possessions from past relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships began as a travelling exhibition revolving around the topic of failed relationships, but has since become a permanent museum in Zagreb, Croatia. Here, visitors can read stories both funny and tragic of others dealing with heartbreak as well as explore collections of possessions donated by members of the public after the end of a relationship. While the topic may seem dark, the museum shows that heartbreak and loss is a shared human experience, regardless of nationality or background.
Just a short walk from the museum in the heart of the city is Palace Hotel Zagreb. Designed in traditional Art Nouveau style, this hotel offers a warm atomosphere and overlooks one of Zagreb;s most beautiful parks.
Leeds Castle is home to the largest public display of dog collars in the world
The Dog Collar Museum
Having jewellery as part of castle’s display is not uncommon, but inside this British fortress you’ll find a different type of accessory. Inside the walls of Leeds Castle is the largest public display of dog collars in the world. The castle’s collection of canine neckwear spans five centuries, from the late 15th century through to the 20th. As the centuries progress, you can see first hand how the time period impacts the design of this seemingly utilitarian item.
Sitting directly on the grounds are the Stable Courtyard Bedrooms At Leeds Castle. Each room has views of either the lake, the gardens, or the Stable Courtyard, and free entry to the castle is included with the stay.
The evidence, artefacts, and popular cultural items here will convince even the most steadfast non-believer
International Cryptozoology Museum
Yetis, Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, oh my! With cryptozoology often being a “gateway science” for future interest in biology, zoology, palaeontology, and more, the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine is dedicated to educating the public about the field through evidence, artefacts, and popular cultural items. If you ever doubted the existence of these yet-to-be-found creatures, you certainly won’t after a visit to this museum.
The beautiful Victoria-style Inn at St John is conveniently situated near the International Cryptozoology Museum as well as other Portland hotspots such as the Old Port neighbourhood.
Learn more about the history and culture of this favourite Italian dessert
The Gelato Museum is one of the few museums that encourages you to eat your way through their displays. In this industrial-space-turned-museum located in Bologna, Italy, you will learn about the history, culture, and technology of gelato and gain a better understanding of why this Italian dessert has become a favourite around the world.
Walking distance from the popular Piazza Maggiore, Suite Hotel Elite is a popular choice of accommodation. The Gelato Museum is easily accessible from the hotel by both car and public transit.
See just how cats have impacted art and culture throughout history
Located on Amsterdam’s famous Golden Bend, this cat-themed museum was founded in commemoration of a ginger cat named John Pierpont Morgan. Every five years, Morgan’s owner would give his beloved cat a special gift, such as a commissioned portrait or a custom dollar bill with Morgan’s picture replacing George Washington. In addition to these items, visitors to the Cat Cabinet can see a wide collection of cat-related items that shows the role of cats in art and culture throughout human history.
Just around the bend from the Cat Cabinet is Hotel Rudolph. Walking distance from nearly all of Amsterdam's biggest sights, Hotel Rudolph also offers bike rentals for guests interested in exploring the city like a local.
Toilet-realted social customs, etiquette and even poetry can be found inside this museum's walls
Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets
After a trip to the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in Delhi you will never look at a toilet the same way again. As you explore the museum you will see the historic evolution of toilets from 2500 BC to the present, as well as learn about toilet-related social customs, etiquette, and historic legislation. There’s also toilet poetry for those interested in the softer side of the porcelain throne.
With an outdoor pool, three on-site dining options, and numerous activity options, Taj Palace New Delhi is a favourite amongst guests visiting the city.