Top 10 tech destinations
It's that time of year when we’re looking outside the office window at the sunny days and thinking where next? Well here’s a few places that have made it onto our list.
Depending on who you believe, and what they’ve promised on social media. This is closer to being a real thing than ever before. There’s stiff competition to follow in the foot steps of Armstrong and Aldrin, with Virgin Galactic and Space X vying to be the first to offer space tourism.
Ok back to earth and there’s some seriously cool stuff to see…
1 CERN, Switzerland
First things first, Switzerland is an amazing country at any time of year. Whether you like hot or cold, it does both in impressive style. It’s also home to the large hadron collider at CERN. In terms of cool things to visit, this is right up there with it’s -271.3ºC cooling that makes it colder that outer space. And let’s not forget Higgs Boson, the reason we need the large hadron collider in the first place.
It’s also the home of loads of antimatter experiments and Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN when he developed the world wide web. We think it’s fair to say that this is the home of amazing science and technology that’s well worth a visit.
2 Foundation Louis Vitton, Paris, France
This place is about much more than a repeat pattern. It’s a global centre of excellence in design that extends way beyond it’s fashion roots. We particularly like the way it’s often overlooked by visitors to Paris who are drawn to the big ticket sites and miss this sublime treat, check it out.
3 Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Laverstoke, UK
We’ve not been drinking, honest. We had to include this in our list, check out the architecture! It looks absolutely stunning from the outside. Step inside and ‘hello’ if you like Gin you’ll be in seventh heaven. You can explore every aspect of the production and of course there’s loads of opportunities for a tasting…or three.
4 Akihabara district, Tokyo
Akihabara is considered by many to be a cultural center and a shopping district for video games, Anime, Manga, not to mention, just about any type of computer goods ever produced. As you walk around there’s an ever present reminder of where you are, with characters and icons from all the popular anime and manga prominently featured in shops and cafes. If you like gaming, this is an absolute must see.
5 Autostadt, Wolfsburg, Germany
An entire city dedicated man’s obsession with the car. Exquisite design and architecture oozes from every angle, every object and every experience. This is a place like no other, even if you’re not that into cars, you can’t help but be impressed by the style and sophistication of this place.
There’s interactive sculpture, science workshops, challenges, restaurants, bars. This is a city in every aspect, giving you the opportunity to explore style and culture on a level that sees it competing with some of the finest cities in the world.
And of course no visit is complete without a closer inspection of Car Towers. The fully automated stacking and vending of vehicles across two fully glazed, circular silos that dominate the skyline. With o ver 500 cars a day are being vended, forget people watching, this mesmerising to watch.
6 NASA, Kennedy Space Centre, Florida USA
No where on earth comes close to the NASA experience. It has been at the forefront of the race to space, its accolades include the Apollo, Skylab and the Space Shuttle programs. There simply is no where on earth to get closer to the amazing scientific and technical achievements made over the past 50 years. As we look back and celebrate the achievements of yesteryear, what better place to head to in 2019 for inspiration about the future?
The Space centre is located on the Florida keys, so there’s lots of opportunities to explore the ‘space coast’ whether that's indulging your senses at Universal Studios or Disney, taking in the natural beauty of the Everglades or exploring a little further afield in Miami, this trip needs a good amount of time to take it all in.
7 Arecibo Radio Telescope, Puerto Rico
The Arecibo Observatory houses the world’s largest radio telescope. This is simply stunning, both visually and in terms of what it can do. Let’s start with the outside, this beautiful structure features a huge, spherical reflector dish, 300m in diameter and made of 40,000 perforated aluminium panels embedded into the surrounding jungle.
The ‘magic eye’ at the centre of the telescope is suspended by cables, sitting almost 140m above the dish. This 900-tonne platform houses an intricate system of antennas and other tech for focusing the radio waves received from deepest space. Both the tech and the structure are mind blowing. Thankfully, it is open to the public (sort of, at least an observation platform is).
8 Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel, China
This is the nearest most of us will ever get to space travel. It’s minimalist but not in the coolest sense of the word, more in a neon meets decade old film set sort of way, where everything has a rather dark bluey/purple haze. Everything is made to feel futuristic with the control and interaction all coming via touch screen interfaces and ‘bots. At just $12 a night this looks like a lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously, probably best experienced as a single overnight stay. Check it out.
9 Courchevel Airport, France
Airports are definitely upping their game, the designs are getting smarter and the services often border on hotel like quality. But we’re looking for something more, well Courchevel certainly doesn’t disappoint on any front. This airport is all about the location. When you mix air travel with stunning geographical features you get the highest airport in Europe.
Courchevel is built into the side of a mountain, that’s pretty trick by anyone’s standards. The landing strip isn't flat and the whole experience of flying into or out of Courchevel is unbelievably cool.
If you’re wondering how it works, arriving aircraft land uphill, with the gradient slowing the plane, useful given how short the runway is. Departing planes take off downhill, using the slope to build extra speed, again, useful with such a short runway. Probably best experienced with the full snow and ice covering for maximum impact, but we think it would be just as stunning in the summer.
10 H.R. Giger Bar, Gruyere, Switzerland
The H.R. Giger Bar is one of those places that will blow you away. This amazing and unique interior has to be seen to be believed. The attention to detail makes this every bit the movie set – the ceilings, walls, floors, all the fittings including chairs and tables are all based on the original ‘Alien’.
One of only two locations in the world, we think this one has the edge being on the same site as the Giger Museum. There are more Giger Bars planned, including Las Vegas, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans.
What did we miss?