While the Louvre and the MET are understandably renowned museums, their stature can cast a shadow on other exquisite museums that deserve recognition! Firmly planted in the belief that every museum is special in its own rite, we have assembled a list of unique gems that you do not want to miss! Browse our picks for out of the box museums around the world, and see that museums can offer so much more than just framed art on walls!
MUSA Cancún Underwater Museum of Art: Cancún, Mexico
Recognized as the world’s largest underwater museum, MUSA is located in the surrounding waters of Isla Mujeres in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. With over 500 life sized statues divided between two different exhibits, visitors can dive or snorkel to observe the coral-covered art. For this reason, one of the museum’s founders, Roberto Díaz Abraham, refers to this work as an ‘art of conservation’. Due to the use of marine-grade cement, each statue is an opportunity for life, and various species of coral and algae thrive here.
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum: Yokohama, Japan
Unlike most museums’ strict ‘no food’ policies, Yokohama’s Ramen Museum is all about eating! Founded in 1994, this food-themed amusement park is a historical time capsule for the eyes and stomach. The museum is meant to replicate Japan’s street-scape following the invention of instant ramen in 1958. With nine ramen shops to choose from, travelers are encouraged to show up with an empty stomach and a generous appetite.
Messner Mountain Museum: Italy
Founded by famous Italian mountaineer and author, Reinhold Messner, this collection of mountain-museums pay tribute to the realms where nature and culture intersect. Since the opening of the first museum, MMM Juval, in 1995, a total of six museums have been created. While any one of the six destinations would be a great option for those that love mountains, extreme sports, and history, each museum is catered to a specific interest. With that being said, it is advised to research each one beforehand!
Bran Castle: Transylvania, Romania
Known throughout the world as ‘Dracula’s Castle’, this exquisite location is packed with a dense history—both real and mythological. Before visiting this museum, it is recommended that visitors familiarize themselves with the tale of Count Dracula, as well as the history of the destination itself. For a low fare, travelers can explore the castle and make an additional reservation at the on site restaurant, Casa de Ceai.
Museum of Gold: Bogotá, Columbia
In this particular museum, all that glitters is gold. Locally known as ‘El Museo del Oro’, this museum is home to over 55,000 pieces of gold that have been sourced from preserved archeological collections. While this is undoubtedly the main attraction, the museum also displays other cultural materials such as pottery, stone, shell, wood and textiles.
Electric Ladyland: Amsterdam, Netherlands
This museum is the first—and the sole—one of its kind. In this space, everything that may seem common to the naked eye is transformed under the influence of different wavelengths of light. This museum is also special in the way that its visitors become a part of the artistic experience. Here, this notion of ‘participatory art’ is half the focus, as guests are immersed in the phosphorescent world.
Lindt Home of Chocolate: Kilchberg, Switzerland
Calling all chocoholics and fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Let’s be honest… we’ve all dreamed of walking through Charlie’s chocolate paradise… And while this fantasy may be slightly out of reach, the Lindt Home of Chocolate is a worthy contender! At the entrance, guests are met with a chocolate fountain that holds 1,500 kg of chocolate and towers over nine metres tall. Here, visitors can take a chocolate tour, complete a chocolate-making course, and spoil themselves at the on-site café for an extra treat.
Museum of Broken Relationships: Zagreb, Croatia
While many of us love a good romantic comedy or star-crossed heartthrob, there is something special about honouring a love that’s been lost. At this museum, visitors are able to walk through strangers’ sentimental keepsakes, and leave one of their own. This can be done in person, or virtually. Though a visit to this museum has been known to inspire a tear or two, there is something profoundly comforting about exploring these stories. After all, we are all familiar with love, loss, and their overlap. So share your story, mail the memento, and let go of what no longer serves you. Who knows? It might even help someone else.
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By: Briahna McTigue