Tech world tour: the 7 holiday attractions every geek should visit

Because some things are still best experienced outside a VR headset...

Forget open–top bus tours, crumbling cathedrals and gallery jaunts around major European capitals - you deserve an altogether geekier holiday treat.

Not that we can help if you've already booked a fortnight in the Scottish highlands or a trek across the Gobi desert. But for places with greater nerd potential, we've picked out the attractions you should secretly add to the family itinerary.

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Miniatur Wunderland (Hamburg, Germany)

Converting your entire loft into a miniature railway ‘for the kids’ demands a research trip. And we don’t mean to a model village somewhere in rural Devon. Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland is the world’s largest miniature railway, with eight sections connected by 13km of track covering a colossal 1,300 square metres.

Naturally, this isn’t your average scaled down universe. Police cars are programmed to track down criminals. Firemen tackle blazes. And pilots take off from an airport which cost €3.5 million (about RM16 million) to build. Head here and chances are you’ll want to turn over your entire house into a miniature recreation of your home town.

Book tickets to Miniatur Wunderland

Zeppelin Rides (Friedrichshafen, Germany)

Clambering into an oversized picnic basket and clinging on for dear life. Just two reasons to give hot air balloons a wide berth. Especially when there’s a chance to go up and away in Germany’s infinitely cooler cousin instead.

Friedrichshafen’s Zeppelin NT lets you take to the skies in this most colossal achievement of aviation history, flying high over the Bavarian countryside and central Munich. This is a modern Zeppelin rather than a creaking 19th century model, but we promise you’ll still feel like a monied German baron for the duration of the flight. Handlebar moustache not required.

Book a Zeppelin ride 

CERN (Geneva, Switzerland)

Head deep into the Geneva suburbs and you’ll find the most important scientific site in the world. It was here in CERN’s laboratories where the World Wide Web was created and the Higgs Boson was discovered. Get clued in on particle physics in the vast Globe, which boasts a dome as large as St Peter’s cathedral in Rome.

Learn how CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has changed the way scientists understand the universe. And see how the LHC’s parts work up close. Physics–loving staff run free guides every day and it doesn’t cost to look around the exhibitions either.

Book a CERN tour

Image credit: Matt Kowalczyk