If you love to travel and feel bored and weary of the usual places most tourists go to, we have some bizarre tourist attractions to consider when making your next set of travel plans. From the village of dolls in Japan to Togo’s fetish market, these attractions are sure to make your visit an unforgettable experience.
There are some outrageous tourist attractions out there. We have compiled a list of some of the most unusual ones. Consider these places if you are someone who enjoys unconventional, interesting, and surprisingly weird tourist spots.
Any abandoned village can give you the chills, but what can make it even creepier? Well, place hundreds of life-like dolls in different locations around the village.
This is a reality in the small village of Nagoro in Shikoku, Japan, where a local artist made and placed the dolls. The village was abandoned when Tsukimi Ayano decided to return to her home. She decided the village needed some “life” to ease her loneliness.
During the past 15 years, she has placed approximately 350 dolls throughout the village so it seems like it is inhabited. There are dolls resembling her family members, dolls working in the gardens, and children and teachers in the school.
There are more dolls in Nagoro then there were people at the height of its population.
Just south of Mexico City, there is small island called Isla de las Munecas, the Island of the Dolls. It was once the hideout of Don Julian Santana Barrera, who was exiled from his church because of heavy drinking.
Legend has it that a little girl drowned in a nearby canal and her spirit began haunting Don Julian. To appease her spirit or perhaps frighten her away, he began hanging old, decrepit dolls around the island. The island is home to hundreds of decomposing baby dolls. Don Julio died of a heart attack in 2001, allegedly in the same spot where he witnessed the girl’s drowning.
The island is a tourist destination for visitors fascinated by the dolls and the museum on the property. Some people pay homage to Augustina, Don Julian’s favorite doll, by changing her clothing or leaving offerings.
That’s Right. There is a museum solely intended for toilet seats! Barney Smith, a retired master plumber decided to turn toilet seats into masterpieces. This hobby of gluing items to toilet seats initially started in his garage but stopping by to see his work became so popular for travelers that he decided to display his art in a museum-like setting in San Antonio, Texas.
Smith decorated more than 1300 toilet seats over the course of 50 years before passing away in 2019 at age 98. Some of his art includes toilet seats with license plates from every state, shredded money from the FED and a hornet’s nest. You can also see toilet seats that pay tribute to historical events and individuals.
In Hakone, Japan, Yunessun boasts indoor and outdoor springs and spas for everyone, even kids. It has traditional-themed European and Japanese hot springs, water slides, jungle gyms, hotels and restaurants. Perhaps even more bizarre are the selections of baths visitors can enjoy. Yunessun has wine baths, cave baths, coffee baths, green tea baths, and sake baths. You can even enjoy a foot spa with fish that eat the dead surface of your skin!
One thing to know before you visit –Tattoos must be covered up before you are allowed entry to use the facilities. Also, in specific spa areas and baths, clothing or swimwear is NOT permitted.
Kolmanskop City, in the Namib desert, was once packed with residents and European diamond miners. It was a wealthy, thriving, village settled in the early 1900s. The town has a casino, sports hall, hospital, and a railway station. Kolmanskop is now a ghost town located in the middle of a region known as “the forbidden zone.
Legend has it that miners and residents of the town fled quickly to an area south where diamonds were so plentiful that they could be found simply by scouring the sandy beaches. Kolmanskop has been abandoned since 1956.
Today, the climate has preserved many of the buildings and their architecture. However, they are filled with sand making beautiful subjects for professional photographers and tourists who want to enjoy trekking through the knee-deep dunes.
Because it is in the forbidden zone, you must obtain a permit before visiting Kolmanskop.
The Temple of Rats, or the Karni Mata Temple, located in Deshnoke, India, is a rat haven. This temple was made and named for the Goddess Karni. Legend says that her family members would never die and would reincarnate as Rats. Hence, the rats here are being well-taken care of. Tourists flock to the temple of rats – It is remarkable to see the rats receiving royal treatment.
There are reportedly 25,000 black rats living in the temple and people come from all over to pay their respects to these holy animals. It is the few white rats that are especially revered. Many people who come bring offerings of sweets and other snacks for the rats. Some even share food with them thinking their saliva has powerful healing properties.
Founded by Mr. and Mrs. Farnham, the Colossi, which means the “land of giants,” makes visitors to this outrageous attraction feel puny. The Farnams are collectors of huge fiberglass statutes that adorn their property in Unger, West Virginia. A Paul Bunyan, a Crowned Muffler Man, a Uniroyal Gal, and a giant Santa Claus are among the gargantuan statues you can see.
In San Luis Obispo, CA, there is an alley with walls covered entirely in chewed-up bubble gum that is a popular spot for tourists to come and snap pictures (and maybe deposit a contribution of their own!).
The alley of gum is more than 15 feet high and 70 feet long. Disgusting? Maybe. But that does not stop people from visiting this weird tourist attraction.
A museum of Penises! This is one of the most outrageous and unique tourist spots you can visit in Reykjavik, Iceland. It houses a collection of over 300 penises, representing about 100 mammals as well as a display of penises from creatures and peoples native to Icelandic folklore and history.. The penises you can see here range from hamster penises to whale penises. The museum has the world’s largest display of penises and penile parts and also features phallic art and crafts. Interesting indeed.
Independence, Missouri, is the home of the world’s one-of-a-kind hair museum. Leila’s Hair Museum (LHM) features over 600 different wreaths and 2,000 pieces of jewelry made entirely from human hair! It also has historical hairpieces that were worn by both men and women during the Victorian Era. It also features hairs from famous celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson!
According to the website, Leila’s Hair Museum describes the tourist stop as a place to see a “weird & amazing collection of antique hair art.”
Located in Rockport, Massachusetts is a house made entirely out of actual paper. The Paper House has been up and standing since the 1920s. It was made possible by Elis F. Stenman, a mechanical engineer. It took him 100,000 newspapers and 20 years to complete it! Stenman allegedly intended to use the paper as insulation but ended up making the entire house and its furniture with it. The only thing in the house not made from paper is the piano.
The house has a working fireplace, electricity and running water. It is truly amazing that this house has withstood 100 years of harsh Massachusetts winters! This is an outrageous masterpiece that you don’t want to miss!
High Point, North Carolina is home to the World’s Largest Chest of Drawers. The High Point Chamber of commerce constructed it in 1926 to prove that the town was the furniture capital of the world.
It is a 20-foot building that served as the office of the local bureau of information. In 1996, it was renovated to become a real chest, and to make it seem like a real chest, they hung two enormous socks from one of the drawers. People come from far and wide to snap photos with this monstrous piece of furniture.
The Mystery spot in Santa Cruz, California, offers a wacky mental illusion to all its visitors. It is one of the most uniquely weird tourist attractions in the US.
The Mystery Spot is a structure discovered in 1939 by land surveyors that defies our traditional perceptions of height and space. It is a “gravitational anomaly,” slanted in ways that makes visitors feel as if they are leaning.
Visiting this spot is a disorienting and strange experience but one that generates marvelous memories and photos for tourists.
A tourist attraction dedicated to toilets! In South Korea, in the City of Suwon, you can visit a theme park built in 2012 to honor the culture and history of toilets. The city constructed the Restroom Cultural Park as a memorial to a former mayor, Sim Jae Duck, who took extra steps to revolutionize Suwon’s public toilets.
The park has a sculpture garden dedicated to people on the toilet, fun-facts about human waste and a museum with ancient “toilet” artifacts. even celebrates an annual “Golden Poop Arts Festival!”
Going to a theme park and riding the Ferris wheel normally gives you beautiful views of distant scenery. Have you ever imagined taking such an adventure underground?
If you want to experience such a treat you can – in Salina, Romania. Salina Turda Amusement Park is an underground theme park featuring rides, a bowling alley, ping pong tables, a theater, a lake, and a miniature golf course. All nearly 400 feet underground!
The theme park is inside one of the world’s largest salt mines which dates back to the 1600s. It was used as a bomb shelter during WWII.
Electric Ladyland Museum of Fluorescent Art is a one of a kind tourist attraction located in Amsterdam. The museum is devoted to presenting natural materials, artwork, and man-made objects that are fluorescent under UV lights.
The colorful, vibrant displays are unique. Visitors have the opportunity to participate in and learn about creating florescent art, get a lesson about minerals, and view beautiful work in the art gallery.
Yes, you can visit a museum that revolves entirely around salt and pepper shakers. The shakers in this Gatlinburg, Tennessee shrine date as far back as the 1500s. Andrea Ludden, a former archaeologist, who started on a quest for the perfect pepper mill, developed an obsession of sorts with the variety of options for salt and pepper dispensers. She subsequently founded this museum which displays approximately 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers from all around the world, which she collected for over the course of several decades.
Ludden also opened a sister museum in Guadalest, Spain which houses another 20,00 sets of salt and pepper shakers.
There is a nuclear waste adventure trail and museum located in St. Charles County, Missouri. Its official name is The Weldon Spring Site Remedial Action Project Disposal Cell.
The museum displays the history of what was once the largest explosives factory in America and subsequently, the site of a uranium refinery. The site was abandoned in the 1960s and decades later the EPA discovered what a mess the area was.
The site contained nearly 1.5 million cubic yards of mercury, TNT, uranium, radium and contaminated rubble and waste. Rather than move it all, the waste was entombed right there on the spot. This man-made mountain-cell is now covered in rocks and pebbles and is a popular place for tourists to take a hike. If you have ever wanted to visit the site of nuclear waste, now is your chance. It sure seems outrageous to spend the day walking on top of a nuclear waste pile, entombed or not!
This place is like a human museum of natural history, where visitors come to see lifelike mannequins “living” in the basement prison, going to court for trials on the first floor, and hard at work guarding the building. This truly weird Scottish tourist attraction was nothing more than an abandoned building for decades. It held no prisoners after 1880.
The Inveraray Jail & County Court have the reputation of housing ghosts and being a hot-spot of paranormal activity. You can go on an overnight ghost hunt or even schedule a private paranormal investigation.
In Togo, West Africa, you can find the largest voodoo fetish market on the planet. You can find that tables are lined up with elephant feet, monkey heads, dead birds, animal paws, skulls, and many more parts of dead animals that are frequently used in the practice of voodoo.
These animal body parts are said to have healing properties and can even mend broken relationships. If you are looking for a truly outrageous experience you can’t get elsewhere, the fetish market should be on your list of places to visit.