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Museum of Broken Relationships
© Ana Opalić

Zagreb's strangest museums

Zagreb's weirdest and most wonderful museums

By Time Out contributors
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Zagreb is full of unique art galleries and museums, often set the grand Habsburg-era city centre. But the capital is also home to more unusual, letfield museums that are a joy to peruse - hosting collections you really won't find anywhere else. Here's our pick of Zagreb's strangest museums.

RECOMMENDED: Zagreb's best attractions.

 

Zagreb's strangest museums

Chocolate museum
© Muzej čokolade Zagreb

1. Chocolate Museum

Museums Specialist interest Zagreb

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with chocolate on it! One of, if not the most favourite flavour in the world, has a long and interesting history to accompany its delicious taste. The Chocolate museum is actually a theme park that aims to present every facet of the velvety favourite to visitors, including history, geography and Chocolate's cultural significance. Don't miss out the gift shop on your way out, where handmade delicacies made by great Croatian chocolatiers are a must-try for everyone with a sweet-tooth. 

Museum of Hangover
© Muzej Mamurluka

2. Hangover Museum

Museums Specialist interest Zagreb

The 'Hangover Museum' arrives in the Croatian capital just in time to help you document this December's many nights of free-flowing alcohol and seasonal sprees on the booze. The museum's display will guide you through that frequently-forgotten route which begins when you stumble out of the club or bar and then pass through streets or nature which are silent except for the Bon Jovi or Sinan Šakić classic you generously gift to your sleeping neighbours. Like the taxi driver whose accent you insulted, the museum will leave you safely back at home within reach of the painkillers and coffee you'll soon need.

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© Tarik El Kawam

3. Mushroom Museum

Museums Natural history Zagreb

Over 1500 species of mushroom are on permanent display, all freeze dried to preserve their sporous splendour. Located on Zagreb's main square, this exhibition also lets you know which species are edible, poisonous and deadly.

80s Museum
©80s Museum

4. '80s Museum

Museums History Lower Town

Zagreb’s newest museum recreates an entire '80s apartment and shows us how the city looked back in the days of Yugoslavia. This time warp will have you scratching your head, at brick-like phones and lurid orange hairdryers - at least the red Tomos moped retains some of its cultural cool. Billed as an interactive museum, you needn’t worry about picking things up and having a root around, or getting into the yellow ‘micro car’ for a photo op. Things to look out for include the Commodore 64, the world's first popular home computer released in 1982, a bulky 18-inch black and white television, and old issues of Erotika magazine (ahem) stashed away in the museum. The nuclear ‘educational materials’ left around the apartment, written so that civilians would be prepared for a worst-case scenario, are particularly chilling, and remind us that the '80s weren't all silly outfits and catchy tunes.   

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Backo Mini Express
© Backo Mini Express

5. Backo Mini Express

Museums Art and design Zagreb

The Backo museum is perhaps sometimes called Backo Mini Express rather modestly. For, although the trains and backdrops on display here are miniature, it is the largest permanent model railway display in Europe. In total, the completed display will cover some 300 m2.

6. Museum of Illusions

Museums Art and design Lower Town

This permanent exhibition celebrates the immersive world of illusions and spatial trickery. Accompanying the range of optical installations and holograms, it's backed up by educational info explaining the science behind how they work. The gift shop is worth checking out for some wacky toys and lighting accessories.

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Museum of Broken Relationships
© Museum of Broken Relationships

7. Museum of Broken Relationships

Museums Zagreb

Starting as a playfully ironic art installation and subsequently an international touring exhibition that become something of a global cult, the Museum of Broken Relationships has become Zagreb's prime visitor attraction since opening the doors of its permanent home in late 2010. Housed in one of the Upper Town's finest Baroque mansions, the thematic display takes visitors through a series of different emotions associated with break-up, illustrated by objects donated by members of the public.

Tortureum, museums, things to do, Zagreb
© Goran Vranic

8. Tortureum: Museum of Torture

Museums Science and technology Lower Town

Tortoreum is a small museum built around a narrative of historical violence and torture, boasting a plethora of spookily brutal instruments - plus a real-life 'Iron Maiden', a reproduction of the fabled medieval execution device. It's corny, fun and a relatively cheap way to spend a few hours browsing a highly unusual artillery of torture instruments and exhibits.

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Croatian Museum of Naive Art
© Matt Field/Time Out

9. Croatian Museum of Naive Art

Museums Art and design Zagreb

Housed on the second floor of the 18th-century Raffay Palace, this collection is a solid introduction to Croatian Naive Art, mostly the work of self-taught peasant painters from the villages of the east. The collection is frequently rotated but there are usually plenty of representations of rural life executed by the big names of the genre: Ivan Generalić, Mirko Virius and Ivan Rabuzin. Also included are international primitives such as the self-taught Polish-Ukrainian artist Nikifor.

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