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The likes of the Louvre and the Guggenheim might be must-sees, but if you’re looking for a museum to expand your smile over your mind, try these oddities for size.

Phallological Museum, Reykjavik

With more than 280 penises on display, this collection in Reykjavik is an impressive ode to the love muscle. Cocks from a wide range of land and sea mammals – whales, seals, polar bears, even homo sapiens – jut out of the walls, recline resplendently in display cases and, in some instances, are squashed unkindly into jars. Odder still, founder Sigurður Hjartarson proclaims that his (purely scientific) interest in the phallus first began when he was given a pizzle as a child. A pizzle is a bull’s penis. The museum also promises, somewhat ominously, “the collection of about 300 artistic oddments and other practical utensils related to the museum´s chosen theme”.  phallus.is

Avanos Hair Museum, Cappadocia

This incredibly creepy accumulation of women’s hair, adorning the walls and hanging from the ceiling of a cave in Turkey’s Central Antolia, was curated by potter/ oddball Galip Körükçü. He began the project in 1979 and today has 16,000 hair samples donated by willing ladies. Körükçü’s efforts have earned him a Guinness World Record.  chez-galip.com

Currywurst Museum, Berlin

Everyone knows the Germans love their sausage, but did you know this pork lust extends to an entire museum devoted to currywurst? The popular dish, made from steamed pork sausage coated in thick curry ketchup, was first hawked on the streets of Berlin in the Fifties. Today’s exhibit claims to take you on a sensory journey through the best of the wurst, taking in sniffing stations and a mock sausage stand, which you can get behind and experience what it would feel like to serve the snack. Wowzers.  currywurstmuseum.de

Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb

This cheery venue in Croatia displays the detritus of failed love affairs, offering comfort to those whose own relationships have ended. There are more than 700 objects donated from all over the world, from standard keepsakes such as teddy bears and jewellery, to the more unusual (look for the bottle that contains the tears cried by a spurned lover).  brokenships.com

Museum of Contraception and Abortion, Vienna

This delightful ‘attraction’ in the Austrian capital explores the destruction of the “natural bond” between sexuality and reproduction – without judgement or adopting a specific position, it insists. Take a tour of scary-looking abortion instruments and tummy-turning body models that show the dangers of backstreet terminations. If you’re still holding on to your lunch, check out the collection of contraceptive coils, the history of vaginal rinsing and potential future plans for birth control.  en.muvs.org

Fragonard Vet Museum, Paris

Yet more medical curiosities can be found among the astonishing collection at this hidden gem behind the Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort. Devoted to the study of human and animal anatomy, you’ll see two-headed lambs, a cyclops colt and real cadavers that have been skinned and dissected to expose their organs. Eighteenth-century anatomist Honoré Fragonard got particularly creative with some of his ‘flayed figures’ – don’t miss the skinned man riding a flayed horse, surrounded by human foetuses riding animal foetuses.  musee.vet-alfort.fr

Erotic Museum, Amsterdam

This extensive exploration of erotica is set over several floors in an old 17th-century warehouse. Along with an exhibit about the history of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, there’s a collection of erotic art from all over the world, a display of rather frightening condoms and a dirty version of Disney’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarves. amsterdam.info/museums/erotic-museum


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Europe's weirdest museums: from cocks to condoms to currywurst
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