Paris is known as one of the most sophisticated and cultured cities in the world. It is home to the best museums that hold together some of the most prized possessions of art, history and culture. People from all over the world travel distances far and wide to just see the Mona Lisa, the stunning Impressionist works of Monet, and some truly thought-provoking displays of contemporary art. However, there is also a side of Paris that is less refined, low-brow, and well, unpleasant. If you’re not into the conventional types of museums and you have taste that is a little different than the rest, you might want to check out this list of the weirdest museums in Paris! And if you’re looking for a list of the best museums in Paris, don’t forget to download our free 2020 Paris Museums Guide!
1. The Paris Sewer Museum
Known in French as Le Musée des Égouts de Paris, this museum ranks pretty high on the list of the strangest museums in existence. Visitors to this museum will be taken deep under the city for a tour of Paris’ vast network of sewers. Expect it to be dark. Expect it to be smelly. But of course! You’re in a sewer! But jokes aside, a visit here is quite educational as you’ll learn about the history of sewer systems and hygiene in cities from ancient history to modern times.
- Address: 93 Quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris
* The museum is currently under renovation until 2020.
2. The Museum of Counterfeiting
To put it simply, Le Musée de la Contrefaçon is a real museum of fake things. This museum was put together by an organization of manufacturers in 1951. Here, you’ll find more than 350 authentic items paired with its counterfeit or fake counterpart. The items displayed range from simple things like pens, toys, and toiletries to more luxurious goods like clothing and accessories. You’ll be scratching your head by the end of your visit especially after seeing a counterfeit Tabasco sauce!
- Address: 16 Rue de la Faisanderie, 75116 Paris
- Open from Monday – Saturday 2pm-5:30pm
- Entrance fee: 6€
3. Musée Fragonard d’Alfort
There are 2 things to know before anything else: 1. This museum is not to be confused with Musée du Parfum by Fragonard. 2. This museum is not for the faint of heart.
More often known among locals as Musée Fragonard, this museum is located inside one of the world’s oldest veterinary schools that was founded in 1766. During your visit, you should expect a wide collection of anatomical oddities and dissections. You might feel uncomfortable upon the sight of animals displayed in cross-section. The museum also has on display a collection of monstrosities like Siamese twin lambs, a 2-headed calf, a 10-legged sheep, and a colt with one huge eye!
- Address: 7 Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94700 Maisons-Alfort
- Open on Wed, Thu, Sat and Sun 2pm-6pm
- Entrance fee: 8€ (free for those under 25 years old)
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4. Le Musée des Vampires
The Museum of Vampires was born out of the imagination of Anglo-Saxon literature professor Jacques Sirgent who is a self-proclaimed “vampirologist“. Jacques himself takes you on a tour as you look at the many historical objects related to vampires on display: cross-bows, bats, and lots of books! He will share myths and legends about vampires as well as his own theories. You may or may not believe them but you will certainly be entertained. People who are interested in visiting this museum expect to be frightened. While that’s certainly on the menu, the visit also aims at understanding why the idea of vampires has remained so successful in popular culture.
- Address: 14 rue Jules David, Les Lilas
- Visit the website for more info.
* This is a private museum therefore you must call ahead to schedule your visit. Call +33 1 43 62 80 7
5. Le musée des moulages
We’ve saved the best one for last. If you’re not interested in a conventional museum visit, this one may just do it for you. Le Musée des Moulages or the Museum of Casts is located inside one of Paris’ biggest hospitals. This museum is especially aimed at those with a strong stomach as what can be viewed on display are over 4,000 wax casts of human body parts. More particularly, these are human body parts affected by warts, syphilis, fungus and other skin diseases. Of course, the more common, but still gross pimples make several appearances, too! Originally meant to target dermatology students, this collection is the largest in the world and makes for an interesting and unique experience in Paris.
- Address: 1 Avenue Claude Vellefaux, 75010 Paris (located inside Hospital Saint-Louis)
* Visits by appointment only. For reservations, call +33 1 42 49 99 15 or email email@example.com.