Though a small country, Croatia has many bizarre and unique museums. Did you know that the world’s most famous site of prehistoric Neanderthal man is located in Hrvatsko zagorje? Or that there is a museum entirely dedicated to hangovers in Zagreb?
Croatia has a lot more to offer in the museum department beyond old dishes and paintings. Below is a list of unorthodox museums to visit including what makes them special and how to find them. You have no excuse!
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The facts are these…
Weird and unique museums in Croatia
The Krapina Neanderthal Museum is located at Hušnjakovo hill – the world’s most famous site of Krapina prehistoric Neanderthal man (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) called “Krapinski pračovjek”. Its fossil remains were found in a cave at Hušnjakovo hill in 1899 by notable Croatian professor, geologist, paleontologist, and paleoanthropologist Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger.
Within a modernly-equipped museum, you will learn about the life, rituals, and anatomy of the neanderthals, see sculptures of their actual size, and visit the site where they were discovered. It is estimated that Krapina prehistoric man lived in the Paleolithic 130.000 years ago.
Name: Muzej krapinskih neandertalaca (Krapina Neanderthanl Museum)
Opened: 2010 (old museum in 1969)
If you like to take selfies, you will enjoy the Museum of Selfie and Memories that offers various selfie environments like a golden bathroom, a colorful ball pit pool, or pink flamingos. It is a place to have fun with your traveling buddies while taking memorable photos.
Name: Museum of Selfie and Memories Dubrovnik
Peek and Poke is a museum of computer history whose setup is made of calculators game consoles, rare and obsolete computers from the 20th century, and a library of computer books and magazines. It is an ideal place for younger generations to learn about past computer technologies in a fun and interactive way. Computer geeks will have the TIME OF THEIR LIVES.
The museum has more than 1500 exhibits ranging from the Procalculo calculator from 1914 to SGI Onyx used for Jurassic Park effects. It is possible to donate private items to the museum and rent a selection of museum exhibits for film production, music videos, and commercials.
Name: Peek and Poke
The Museum of Sinjska Alka is dedicated to a traditional Croatian knightly competition annually held in Sinj. The museum exhibition includes uniforms, equipment, and weapons used in playing Sinjska alka. It also includes statues of the players called alkari.
A special attraction of the museum is a real size display of the procession held during the Sinjska alka game. The reconstruction of the Battle of Sinj from 1715 enables visitors to experience the battle in a multimedia environment.
Name: Muzej Sinjske alke (Museum of Sinjska Alka)
Froggyland’s collection includes 507 stuffed frogs of green frog species. It is the only specialized museum of its kind in the world.
All frogs exposed in the museum were stuffed by a demanding technique of stuffing through mouths, so they have no external cuts. Frogs are arranged in 21 exhibits thematically showing various themes from life including frogs playing musical instruments, cooking meals, attending school, and drinking beers and smoking.
The items exposed in the Museum of Illusions will totally fool your eyes. During the visit, your friend may appear much smaller than you, you might hang from the ceiling, or your head may appear on a plate on the table.
It is best to visit it with at least one friend since you need another person to experience everything the museum has to offer. It will shake your confidence in your senses.
The same museum is available in Zagreb and Zadar and will soon be available in Dubrovnik. View their site here.
Name: Muzej iluzija (Museum of illusions)
Vučedol near Vukovar is one of the most significant archeological sites in Europe from the Neolithic period. The site is most notable for the Vučedolska jarebica/golubica (Vučedol dove), a ceramic sculpture of a bird in dark color decorated with white ornaments like bows, necklaces, and wavy lines on the wings.
Vučedol culture which encompasses a wider cultural complex from the Carpathians to the eastern Alps and the Dinara has been named after this archaeological site. Within the museum, you will discover the details about this site and its impact on the rest of the Croatian culture.
Vučedol people lived 5.000 years ago, but they were ahead of their times in many ways. They first used separated plates for serving food and 26 different types of pots while other cultures were using only 2-3 pots. They also distinguished between left and right shoes and invented the oldest Indo-European calendar called Orion.
Name: Muzej vučedolske kulture (Vučedol Culture Museum)
The former Yugoslavia was the third hemp grower in the world.
The Cannabis Museum educates visitors about the hemp plant – its morphology, species, medical use, and the history of its use in different cultures. You’ll learn about important figures from the history of cannabis and the status of hemp in different eras, starting 6.000 years ago and including periods of prohibition. Part of the exhibition is interactive.
The museum compares the current hemp situation in the world with future forecasts. In spring, they plan to organize workshops on making hemp rope and bio blocks. There is a real hemp plant exposed in the museum and tickets double as rolling papers. Clever.
Name: Muzej kanabisa (Cannabis Museum)
In the Chocolate Museum Zagreb, all chocolate lovers can enjoy learning about its history dating back to the indigenous people of South and Central America. You can observe sculptures of ancient Aztecs, porcelain chocolate makers from baroque European courts, tins of chocolate drinks from the industrial revolution, and chocolates from the first Croatian factories.
If you want to learn about how chocolate is produced and taste 9 types of premium chocolates, this is the right place to go. The museum offers workshops where you can learn to prepare chocolate pralines. You can also buy their chocolates without entering the museum.
Name: Muzej čokolade (Chocolate Museum)
The Museum of Broken Relationships provides a rich collection of items documenting the downfall of human relationships. The exhibition is full of personal items that have been privately donated. Some examples include a Darth Vader toy, an ax, underwear, handcuffs, mobile phones, letters, wedding rings, and private photographs. Every item is accompanied by a short story provided by the owner.
The journey through the disintegration of love is funny, touching, sad, and at times, shocking and unsettling. People are always encouraged to donate to the collection.
Name: Muzej prekinutih veza (Museum of broken relationships)
The Museum of hangovers is the first museum of its kind in the world. It was invented after a group of friends had a crazy night at the Zagreb Beerfest festival. In a local bar, one of them told a story about waking up with a bike pedal in his pocket. From then, the idea to gather objects telling silly stories from drunken nights was born. Six months after, the idea came to life.
In addition to funny drunken stories, visitors can play darts, practice walking in a straight line, attempt to drive a simulated car with “drunk” glasses, and learn about the consequences of drinking alcohol.
Name: Muzej mamurluka (Museum of hangovers)
The Police Museum collects, preserves, and exhibits objects related to the history of the Croatian police called MUP and their activities related to fighting crime and maintaining public order and peace. It doesn’t have a permanent setup, but it holds occasional exhibitions, lectures, school events, and other educational programs.
The material of the museum is related to civil protection, criminal and communication techniques, acknowledgments of the Ministry of the Interior, police uniforms and equipment, weaponry from the Croatian War of Independence, police vehicles and signs, firefighting, and military ordinariate.
Name: Muzej policije (Museum of police)
Zagreb 80’s Museum shows life in former Yugoslavia within a reconstruction of the everyday life of the Zagreb family. It intersects the past and the future showing the way of living, heritage, memories, and emotions. Guests can learn by interacting with all available installations that will send them back to this colorful decade.
Some of the most adorable exhibitions include a minuscule old-timer Zastava 750, moped Tomos, legendary video games Atari and Commodore 64, and toys produced by Mehanotehnika. The museum also offers renting services for the purposes of filming and photography.
Name: Zagreb 80’s Museum
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Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.