Most people have heard of the Louvre in Paris, Tate Modern in London or New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, with their world-famous artistic delights. But there are also a few museums that you may have not heard of that offer truly offbeat experiences. We have put together a list of five unique museums that celebrate the unusual. And we can assure you of one thing: you will not forget these museum tours in a hurry!
1The Sand Museum in Tottori, Japan
Welcome to the museum that celebrates transience! As the name suggests, every single sculpture in Tottori’s Sand Museum is made of sand and lasts only for a short duration of time. The museum opened on November 8, 2016. And since then, artists have gathered here for about two weeks every year to create works out of sand, focusing on a specific country each time. The sculptures last only for the duration of the exhibition. The sand is ferried from the Tottori Sand Dunes, that lie a short distance away from the city.
From Hollywood and Mahatma Gandhi to William Shakespeare and an African safari – everything has been immortalized in here – for a brief period of time! Make sure you memorize every single detail on your visit. After all, you will not get to see them a second time around!
2The Mummies of Guanajuato, Mexico
Mexican culture has always nursed a strange fascination for death. This is best seen in the way the country celebrates Día de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead – when families and friends come together in celebration, to remember their loved ones who are no more. Another example is the Mummy Museum in Guanajuato.
The museum is home to 119 mummies. While some are standing, some are lying down, and some are even wearing shoes, hats or suits.
3The Damara Living Museum near Twyfelfontein, Namibia
What is the image that springs to mind when you think of a museum? Perhaps a building filled with historical documents and paintings harking back to the past? The Damara Museum near Twyfelfontein in Namibia, though, presents a strikingly different picture.
The Damara are an ancient African community, the indigenous people of Namibia. The museum, a traditional Damara project, celebrates their culture and traditions. Meet the members of the community and learn about their history through immersive, hands-on programs!
Get a glimpse into their food habits and how they brewed sour beer. Watch them make jewelry, help them light a fire and forge iron tools together. End your day in the village square, surrounded by small mud huts, as you join in their rhythmic traditional songs and dances.
The Damara use a slightly different alphabet they communicate with clicks and clicks.
But don’t worry: if you don’t understand their Khoisan dialect straight away, just use your hands and feet. After all, the method of communication will have to be unique in this, one of the truly unique museums in the world!
4The Hotel Royal Classic Osaka, Japan
A museum tour can often be an exhausting experience. So many exhibits to see, often over large spaces! Too bad you can’t put your feet up right after your tour. Well, at the Hotel Royal Classic Osaka you can do just that – admire works of art and put your feet up afterward.
Guests can admire over 1,000 artworks spread all across the Osaka hotel, which opened doors in December 2019. And that’s not all. The building itself is a work of art, a masterful combination of tradition and modernity, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The hotel’s design inherited the characteristic gabled roofs of the Shin Kabukiza theater and also features a futuristic skyscraper, which houses the guest rooms and suites.
5The Underwater Museum in Cancun, Mexico
Cancun is a magnet for watersports fans. The waters off the white sandy beaches on the Yucatan peninsula offer a host of diving and snorkeling options. So why not add a dash of culture to the mix?
And the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) off the coast of Cancun enables you to do just that! British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor together with other renowned Mexican artists have created an underwater museum at the Cancún National Marine Park. Five hundred sculptures made of marine concrete have been placed at depths ranging from a little under ten feet to nearly 20 feet. The goal was to create an alternate diving destination, thereby preserving the nearby coral reefs from damage.
Human figures burying their heads in the sand, whole houses and even a replica of the iconic VW Beetle can be found on the ocean floor in one of the most unique museums in the world.
View these exhibits while diving, snorkeling, or from a glass-bottom boat. An experience that you are unlikely to forget for a long time to come!
Must do: Meanwhile, there are several museums that are offering virtual tours, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Whether it is the British Museum in London or New York’s Guggenheim Museum, explore their delights virtually!
Underwater sculptures or the museum of mummies – what would you pick? Let us craft a vacation for you that include some of these unique museums!
We would be happy to put together a tailor-made dream trip featuring these unique museums for you!