Stockholm has plenty of worldly delights going for it, but locals also adore a bit of stargazing. It’s this fascination with dark skies that explains why the city has so many attractions dedicated to outer space. Interactive exhibits, telescopes, cool space tech – you name it, Stockholm has it. Here are the stellar spots that kids (big and small) will love.
The Sweden solar system
Remember when you had to create the solar system for a class project? Try Stockholm’s version for size – the world’s largest scale model of our planetary neighbourhood. The Ericsson Globe arena represents the sun while Earth, to scale, is just up the road in the museum of Natural History. Neptune – again, to scale – is 229km away in rural Söderhamn.
Behold the wonders of Earth in mindblowing super-high definition with IMAX movie A Beautiful Planet, shown regularly and narrated by Jennifer Lawrence (that’s Katniss Everdeen or Mystique to your kids), at this cinema-cum-planetarium at the Stockholm National History Museum.
National Museum of Science and Technology
A permanent exhibit at the fascinating Tekniska – science and technology – museum of Stockholm, displays many interactive examples of the ingenious tech that keeps modern observation and communication satellites in orbit. One for budding scientists and engineers.
Every youngster who has every stargazed will be able relate to the city’s tiniest work of public art. Just 15cm tall, the statue depicts a boy gazing up at the heavens and was originally cast in 1967 by artist Lisa Eriksson. She called him ‘The Boy Who Looks at the Moon’, but these days he’s known simply as ‘Järnpojke’, or ‘the iron boy’. Find him at 2 Trädgårdsgatan.
Sweden’s largest optical telescope sits atop Stockholm University and is used for training stargazers and seeking supernovas. If you ask nicely when you visit, you can pop in to the meeting room of the Solar Physics department, where there’s also a Lego model of the huge 1m Solar Telescope that Sweden installed in the Canary Islands.