When you think about vacationing in France, you probably dream of strolling the romantic streets of Paris, exploring the vineyards and lavender fields in Provence, or soaking up the sun in the French Riviera. But France has a weirder side, too — and you can find it in the offbeat museums both large and small that dot the country. From the cutely quirky to the downright bizarre, these 10 museums are sure to leave you scratching your head and thinking “Qu’est que c’est?” on your next trip to France.
10. Musée Dupuytren
Science doesn’t have to be boring. It can be incredibly fascinating — and at times stomach-turning — like at the Musée Dupuytren in Paris. The museum is dedicated to the exploration of diseases and malformations, so it’s a perfect stop on a Parisian vacation for budding doctors and anatomy buffs. What makes the museum weird? Jars upon jars of disease-riddled human brains, fetuses, malformed organs, and detailed illustrations of anatomical abnormalities from the 17th and 18th centuries. A tour of this museum’s often gruesome displays is definitely not for the faint of heart! The chilling collection came about when Dr. Guillaume Dupuytren, celebrated surgeon and personal physician to Louis XVII, died in 1835, and his curious assortment of anatomical abnormalities was passed on to the Faculty of Medicine of Paris. Today, the museum is largely frequented by medical students, but it’s open to the general public for several hours a day.