Bizarre Attractions: The Strange and Unique for City Travelers


Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | 1:50 PM





Author: Adam Zettler


Weird can be fun and memorable! Travelers that enjoy the offbeat, uncanny and astonishing should check out these unusual city attractions, museums, and other oddities. Here are a few of my favourites from around the world......


Mutter Museum of Medical History-Philadelphia

The Mutter Museum is best described as 'grotesque', and definitely not for the squeamish. Featuring medical oddities, deformities, dissections and plaster casts, the Mutter Museum is definitely unique. If you ever wanted to see a gigantic colon, trephinated skulls or Siamese twins, this is your place. Travelers interested in the bizarre should definitely put this at the top of their bucket list.


(photo courtesy of



Island of the Dolls-Mexico City

The Island of the Dolls (Isla de las Munecas) is located among the canals just south of Mexico City. Accessible for travelers by boat, it is the current home of hundreds of terrifying, mutilated dolls, hanging, and in some cases nailed to trees. The man who maintained this bizarre doll forest was said to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl that drowned in the nearby canals. Oddly enough, he was found drowned in the very same canals in 2001.


(photo courtesy of



Winchester Mystery House-San Jose, California

The Winchester House is a strange monument to obsession  and paranoia. This Victorian style mansion, built by a gun manufacturing heiress (The Winchester Rifle) who believed she was cursed by those slain by the guns her family manufactured. To confound these spirits, she had  the Winchester built with a series of fake stairways, trapdoors, dead end hallways, labyrinths, and  doors that lead nowhere. It is open to the public with daily guided tours (stay with the group or you may be lost forever!)



The Thin House-London, UK

Yes, people actually live in this building, located in upscale Thurloe Square. It was recently sold for several million dollars, and is one of the thinnest occupied structures in the world. You can get there via the South Kensington Tube. if you want to take some photos.


(photo courtesy of



Museum of Bad Art-Boston

The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) in Boston is the "world's only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms." Travelers seeking the tacky and fantastically ugly can see truly horrible art, ranging from bad Elvis paintings to hilariously pretentious sculpture.  Make sure you read the guest book here, which can sometimes be as funny as the 'art' itself.


(photo courtesy of



This unique quasi-amusement park is located on a manmade island in Tokyo Bay. There are several oddities to see here, including a replica Japanese Statue of Liberty, unique architecture, and a gigantic life size Gundam robot. Along with the typical Japanese penchant for strangeness, there are also some cool museums here, including the National Museum of Emerging Innovation, where you can pet a robot seal!


(photo courtesy of



Gum Wall-Seattle

A great and gross monument to "crowdsourced art". Bring your hand sanitizer and chewing gum to the second most disgusting attraction in the world (the Blarney Stone in Ireland takes first place). The Seattle Gum Wall is just what it sounds like-a bunch of chewed gum stuck to a wall. Situated in Post Alley, near a theater in Park Place Market, the Gum Wall began in the grunge era of the early 90's, when people, irritated that they had to wait in line to get tickets to the theater, started sticking their used gum on the wall. There is a similiar, but smaller gum wall in San Luis Obispo, California.




Have an odd or unique attraction in your city that you think wanderers shouldn't miss? Share it with travelers in the discussion below!





Mutter Museum, weird, odd, bizarre, unique, strange, urban, cities, vacation, travel, tourism, Philadelphia, Island of the Dolls, Mexico City, Winchester House, San Jose, Thin House, London, England, Museum of Bad Art, Boston, Odaiba, Tokyo, Gum Wall, seattle

The Conversation

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Sharlene McKinnon wrote: 9:01pm October 17, 2012

I've been to London many times but not heard of the thin house. I'd add the embalming fluid bottle house in BC to the list.

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Adam Zettler wrote: 12:51pm October 22, 2012

Hi Sharlene: Yes the Thin House is not very well known.
If anyone is interested in the Embalming Fluid Bottle House in Kootenay, here is a link...

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