Many people think Sweden is filled with tall, sophisticated blondes, and that is partly true, but what most people don’t realise is that Swedes have a strong tradition of geekiness, too, with a great love of goofy, offbeat and downright weird things that will make the nerdiest among you feel right at home. Here are the absolute geekiest things you can do here.
Stockholm’s Tekniska Museet is about all things geeky, and while on the surface it seems more for kids, it’s anything but. Hosting loads of events from all-night global gaming challenges to interactive AI exhibitions, this is geek heaven. The exhibitions change regularly and there is an extraordinary number of events, so be sure to check their calendar and sign up ahead of time for anything that looks interesting.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Scandinavian Sci Fi, Game and Film Convention
Scoff World, as it’s known, is exactly what it sounds like: a place where sci-fi freaks and geeks gather to meet the people behind, or starring in, their favourite films, books and games, as well as meeting people just like themselves. It’s held in Gothenburg and Malmö and attracts visitors from around the world. Check their website for the latest news.
Facebook’s Arctic Circle Data Centre
Every time a Facebook user clicks, that click gets saved, and it used to be that the information was stored on servers on America’s West Coast. In 2014, though, Facebook opened the Node Pole, its first data centre outside the US. The 27,871-square-metre (300,000-square-foot) facility is in Luleå, Sweden, where the average temperature rarely rises above 18°C, meaning there’s no need for air conditioning, but instead, some big fans to pump in that Arctic air.
A labyrinth of rooms tucked away in a basement in Stockholm’s Kungsholmen district is the perfect place for gamers, particularly if board games are your jam. You can challenge other players, join local or international tournaments and even design games or create art with a gaming theme. Because it’s so cosy, the chances are you won’t want to leave.
One of Stockholm’s newest museums, Stockholm Spelmuseum (‘Museum of Video Games’) offers the chance to learn more about the history of video games, such as Pong and Nintendo games, as well as new developments such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence. You can also play the games and take part in arcade tournaments. It’s great for fans of old-school gaming, so if the original Mario is your thing, head here.
Museum of Failure
Failure is not bad, according to the Museum of Failure; in fact, the brains behind the concept think failure is sometimes the best thing that can happen, because it can lead to great success. The museum is a collection of weird, funny and unusual innovative failures that range from products and services to early computer screw-ups. It’s absolutely fascinating and oddly inspirational.
Nimis in Ladonia
Have you ever wanted to plant your flag on a rocky beach and declare yourself king or queen of all you survey? Well, someone did that in Sweden back in the 80s, and the nation of Ladonia has been around every since. Created by artist Lars Vilks, Nimis (‘too much’ in Latin) is a series of teetering towers made of driftwood, stone and concrete, that has survived despite the authorities wanting to knock them down almost as soon as they were built. Vilks circumvented the law by selling the artwork to the artist Cristo, as well as by declaring it an independent nation. Despite the claimed population of 15,000, no one actually lives here, because ‘all citizens are nomads’.
Back in May 1946, Swedish ice-hockey player Gösta Carlsson claimed to have encountered a UFO, with aliens giving him recipes for natural medical remedies that made him healthy, and which he used to found pharmaceutical companies Cernelle and Allergon. Not everyone believes this happened, including UFO-Sweden, which has said that there is no convincing evidence of the encounter. Either way, there is a nice little memorial just outside of Ängelholm that is a great place to visit.
Pionen Data Center
Pionen is a server housing centre located about 30 metres (98 feet) below the Stockholm bedrock, and it’s also a former nuclear bunker that can withstand a hydrogen bomb. If the power goes out, backup is provided by German submarine engines, but since it’s the brainchild of Jon Karlung, the CEO of Swedish Internet service provider Bahnhof, who has a great love of 70s sci-fi, it also has waterfalls, jungle plants, fog and a conference room with an image of the moon’s surface on the floor. Try to secure a tour. It’s a Bond villain’s dream come true.
Science Fiction Bokhandeln
With branches in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg, the Science Fiction Bookshop offers everything a sci-fi geek might want or need, from books, games and films to the perfect T-shirt or coffee mug. They also organise events, and everyone who works at any of the branches is a true sci-fi fan, meaning they speak your lingo and will guide you accordingly.
Infamous file-sharing upstart Pirate Bay has a well-earned place in computer history. At the Computer Museum in Linköping, which has a section dedicated to file sharing, one of the most visited pieces is the first server used by Pirate Bay, which kicked off a revolution with its sometimes questionable practices – which seem almost quaint by today’s standards.
OK, the name makes it sound as if something filthy is about to happen, but in reality you’re visiting one of Sweden’s most innovative museums. Tom Tits Experiment, in Södertälje, south of Stockholm, comprises four floors and an outdoor area dedicated to all things science. This place is fully interactive, meaning you can get your hands dirty while getting a real feel of how science works and how it impacts our lives in myriad ways.
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