Kicking off earlier this week, many museums and institutions around the globe have joined in the fun that is Museum Week. The week across social media has turned into a tradition in which museums, famous and not so famous, have shared their secrets and stories with followers near and far. From divulging secret fossils in the floor of the U.S. National Archives, to shots of the Versailles attic space, the week provides a behind the scenes look at museums around the world. If you want to join in on the spirit of Museum Week, you can, by unearthing some museums you have probably never heard of across the globe. Strap on a pair of comfortable shoes and head to these museums you might not know but definitely, should get to know!

1.) The Tenement Museum, New York City

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With a focus on the American urban immigrant history, the Tenement Museum sits at 97 Orchard Street. Visitors can feel as though they have stepped back in time at the five-story brick walkup from 1863. Once home to 7,000 immigrants to New York, the museum features restored apartments and businesses from the mid 19th century. As you roam through a crucial piece of New York history, you will meet costumed interpreters along the way, acting as the former residents.

2.) Museum of Counterfeit Goods, Paris

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Paris might be known for the Louvre, but chances are you’ve never heard of the Museum of Counterfeiting. Opened in 1951, the museum details the scope and international economic impact of counterfeit products. Not only can you learn about the early days of counterfeiting, but you can also test your skills to see if you can distinguish between a real and a fake product. From designer purses to pens, you can see side-by-side comparisons of the real and fake. The museum also helps you learn how to spot the clues of what is real and fake, all while stressing the importance of intellectual property.

3.) Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

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In the middle of the Ozark forest in Arkansas, it seems rather unlikely to find a museum littered with distinctive and famous American art. However, you will find just that at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Located on 120 acres of Ozark forest, the museum features a distinctive look that immerses the buildings into the landscape. In addition to three miles of nature trails, visitors can peruse a permanent collection that spans five centuries with works from Colonial times to modern day. Alice Walton, daughter to Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, largely acquired the collection. Visitors are invited to wander for free, thanks to Walmart.

4.) Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia

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Most art museums feature works inspired by human relationships but perhaps no other museum details when those relationships dissolve like the Museum of Broken Relationships. Set up in a baroque palace in Zagreb, Croatia, the museum details the often emotional and painful fall of the relationship. What started as just a traveling exhibition quickly turned into a full-blown museum where you can see many remnants of past relationships and even contribute your own items from a failed relationship.

5.) Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo, Japan

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Settled into Tokyo in a new location as of 2015, the Tobacco and Salt Museum is certainly not a museum you think of every day. However, the museum details the surprisingly deep ancient connection of tobacco and salt with human history and culture. The two goods were once protected by a government monopoly in Japan. Overall the museum highlights just how important tobacco and salt have been to Japanese history and culture through displays, artifacts, and dioramas.

6.) German Emigration Center Museum, Bremerhaven, Germany

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Perched on the historic site in the New Harbor of Bremerhaven, the German Emigration Center Museum tells the stories of the people who left their country for the New World. The site specifically saw 1.2 million emigrants head off to the New World by 1890. Bremerhaven’s harbors alone waved goodbye to 7.2 million people as the area was once Germany’s last port of emigration. The museum chronicles the lives of those leaving for North America. Each visitor receives a card with a real emigrant’s information and background so that you can follow in their footsteps as you wander through the museum’s exhibits on coming to the New World.

7.) The Hispanic Society of America Museum and Library, New York City

 

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida Bancaja Gallery |The Hispanic Society of America New York

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida Bancaja Gallery |The Hispanic Society of America New York

If you can’t make it to Spain for art, New York’s Hispanic Society of America Museum and Library might be the next best thing. The museum boasts the largest collection of Spanish art outside of Spain. Best of all, visiting is absolutely free. Items span from the Bronze Age to the 20th century. Across paintings, sculpture, photographs, textiles, and rare books, you can roam through the arts and cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, right in the middle of New York City.

With Museum Week inspiring so many museums across the country to share some of their secrets and behind the scenes collections, it might just inspire you to sneak out and pop into a museum or two. You can add to the adventure by visiting one of these museums you’ve never heard of, to uncover collections you’ll be glad you’ve seen.

What museum have you visited that left quite the impression but perhaps others might not know about? Share your museum secret with us in the comments below.

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About The Author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.