A planetarium is one of the best places for people to learn about and experience the majesty and beauty of the expansive universe around them. These dome-shaped astronomical theaters transport guests from light-polluted cities to the night sky, planets, and the galaxies beyond on an adventure to learn about meteors, constellations, black holes, and so much more. Planetariums are a great way for people of all ages to spend a few hours or a day, particularly on a cold or rainy day. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent planetariums for people to enjoy throughout the world. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Peter Harrison Planetarium, London, England
The Peter Harrison Planetarium in London provides a way for audiences to experience the wondrous night sky and take a memorable tour of the sprawling Universe while learning from expert commentary given by astronomers from the Royal Observatory. Equipped with an advanced digital laser projector, this 120-seat, state-of-the-art planetarium is the only one in existence in the city and makes up the Royal Observatory’s southern half. Multiple informative shows are presented during the day at the Peter Harrison Planetarium, including shows for children, and it’s usually best for visitors to book a ticket for shows in advance.
Blackheath Ave, Greenwich, London SE10 8XJ, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-20-83-12-66-08
2.Melbourne, Scienceworks Museum Planetarium, Melbourne
The Melbourne Planetarium at the Scienceworks Museum in Melbourne, Australia features a fulldome video projection system, 7.1 surround sound system, reclining comfortable seats, and a 16m domed ceiling resulting in a show of spectacular movement and color that creates an immersive and unique environment for astronomical experiences. Shows at the Melbourne Planetarium are both entertaining and informative, designed for a range of ages and audiences. These shows last between thirty and forty-five minutes and include a live presentation of that night’s sky, as well as any other major astronomical objects able to be seen in the sky.
2 Booker St, Spotswood VIC 3015, Australia
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The Planetarium in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark provides educational entertainment with its immersive shows for the whole family. Visitors can explore the various exhibitions, watch a movie in the spacious Dome theater, and immerse themselves beneath a starry sky. At the center of the Planetarium is The Dome, which is the largest of its kind anywhere in northern Europe. The Dome’s massive screen provides a unique experience for audiences, giving a feeling like they are a part of the show. All films begin with a trip to space and include presentations of the starry night sky for that day.
Gl. Kongevej 10, 1610 København V, Denmark, Phone: +45-33-12-12-24
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4.Ontario Science Centre Digital Planetarium, Toronto
The Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada is home to the city’s only planetarium. The Digital Planetarium is open every day of the week to the public, as well as on the majority of holidays. Opened in 2008, the planetarium features a technologically advanced combination of 3D, state-of-the-art digital software and imagery and projector technologies. Programs present at the Ontario Science Centre’s planetarium include live presenters who help guests learn how to identify constellations and planets. Visitors can choose from three different digital presentations, each around twenty-five minutes in duration. There’s even a program designed for children under five years old.
770 Don Mills Rd, North York, ON M3C 1T3, Canada
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5.Space Place at Carter Observatory, Wellington
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Located in Wellington, New Zealand, the Space Place at Carter Observatory shares the stories of the skies of New Zealand through a series of multimedia exhibits, the full-dome digital planetarium, the Thomas Cooke telescope, and a number of interactive galleries. Visitors can learn about the galaxies, constellations, stars, planets and more, as well as the contributions of New Zealand to space and astronomy sciences. Space Place offers an array of shows on its full-dome, digital planetarium screen for guests of all ages, from the exploring and wonders through te tuarangi to the planets and the adorable Nga Tautangata.
40 Salamanca Road, Kelburn, Wellington 6012, New Zealand, Phone: +64-49-10-31-40
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Cosmonova in the city of Stockholm, Sweden provides a stunning, unique, and immersive experience that aims to make guests feel what it's to be in the middle of an adventure, on the scene. The Cosmonova is located at the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet and is made up of a planetarium, 3D theater, and IMAX theater with themes varying from deep sea monsters to dinosaurs to planets. IMAX movies, the largest film format in the world, are shown on a dome-shaped, 760-square-meter screen. Films are presented on the hour and visitors should note that only guests ages five and up are permitted.
Frescativägen 40, 114 18 Stockholm, Sweden, Phone: +46-8-51-95-40-00
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7.Inishowen Planetarium, Inishowen
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Located at the Inishowen Maritime Museum, the Inishowen Planetarium offers people of all ages a chance to view a variety of shows providing a feeling of “full-sensory immersion.” This digital, full-dome theater presents four shows every day, covering much more than astronomy. In addition to shows about the stars and planets, the Inishowen Planetarium also offers shows about global climate and prehistoric sea monsters, as well an “Enchanted Reef” show that’s a great option for children. Guests should also take time to explore the many exhibits and artifacts at the Inishowen Maritime Museum after a visit to the planetarium.
4 Coastguard Station, Eleven Ballyboes, Greencastle, Co. Donegal, F93 T2KA, Ireland, Phone: +35-37-49-38-13-63
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8.Planetarium of Plovdiv, Plovdiv
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Boasting an eight-meter dome and a special projector, the Planetarium of Plovdiv in Bulgaria is a digital planetarium that can be found within the city’s Regional Museum of Natural History. The planetarium was built by Evans & Sutherland, a leader worldwide in the field, in 2015 and is able to accommodate up to fifty guests. Prior to the full-dome shows, a live lecture is presented about various themes and lasts around ten to fifteen minutes. This lecture is most often about the night sky seen over Plovdiv, including the best and brightest constellations that can be seen during the season.
Hrysto G. Danov str. 34, Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria, Phone: +359-32-63-30-96
9.Digitales Planetarium im Naturhistorischen Museum Wien, Vienna
The Digitales Planetarium im Naturhistorischen Museum Wien is the planetarium located at the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria. The planetarium features state-of-the-art full-dome technology and an inner dome of approximately 8.5 meters in diameter, providing live presentations for guests on a range of topics, such as astronomy, the deep sea, prehistory, and biology. The live shows and full-dome films are offered multiple times a day, and while they are presented in German, films are available in English as well. Two such shows are the Live Show about the night sky and “Journey Through the Night for Kids.”
Burgring 7, 1010 Wien, Austria, Phone: +43-1-52-17-70
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10.Belgian Planetarium, Brussels
The Belgian Planetarium in Brussels is located at the Royal Observatory of Belgium and offers a unique experience for visitors to explore the expanse of the universe as if they were in the heart of it. A place for discovering the beauty of a starry sky, the planetarium features a semi-spherical dome beneath which audiences can go on an adventure where astronomical images, panoramic landscape, and canopy of heaven blend together. Guests are immersed during shows in fascinating images projected across the 840-square-meter dome. The astronomy base includes over 100,000 stars and takes guests beyond the solar system.
Avenue de Bouchout 10, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium, Phone: +32-80-05-51-69-49
11.Technical Museum Planetarium, Zagreb
The Technical Museum Nikola Tesla in Zagreb, Croatia shows the evolution of technology and science, where guests can view the inventions of Tesla, watch a rotating magnetic field, and experience a model 350-meter mine beneath the museum. In addition to its permanent exhibit displays, the museum is also home to the Nikola Tesla study, the Apisarium, and the Planetarium, which presents interesting shows for audiences every day. The Technical Museum has collected around ten thousand items representing the industrial era of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Guests are only able to visit the Apiary during the summer months.
Savska cesta 18, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia, Phone: +385-14-84-40-50
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12.Planetarium Praha, Prague
The Planetarium Praha, or also known as the Prague Planetarium, is a popular attraction among families with children and school groups in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic. Located in the Stromovka park, the planetarium was established in 1960 and still continues to offer both entertaining and educational shows to the public. While the shows presented at the Planetarium Praha are primarily in Czech, there are some shows available in English, with headphones provided for English translation. With a surface area of slightly over 840 square meters, the dome of the planetarium is one of the world’s largest domes.
Královská obora 233/233, 170 00 Praha, Czechia, Phone: +42-02-20-99-90-01
13.Ursa Starlab, Helsinki
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The Ursa Starlab in Helsinki is operated by the Ursa Astronomical Association, the country’s largest and oldest amateur astronomy association with more than 18,000 members throughout Finland. The primary focus of the association is to share information about astronomy and provide a comprehensive, up-to-date view of space to members, as well as the general public of all ages. The members of this organization first designed and built their portable planetarium in 1984 and have exhibited it at fairs in addition to the planetarium being used at schools throughout southern Finland. Around twenty people can be accommodated at the planetarium.
Kopernikuksentie 1, 00130 Helsinki, Finland
14.Planetarium Galilee, Montpellier
The Planetarium Galilee in the city of Montpellier, France is located in the middle of the Odysseum and provides both an educational and fun-filled adventure into astronomy. Shows are presented on the hemispheric screen above audiences and each show session typically consists of two different parts: a look at the night sky and a film projection. These shows are designed to leave guests wonderstruck and feature the latest in digital imagery technology to imitate the experience of travel through the stars and galaxies. Thanks to its range of entertaining activities for all ages, the planetarium has become one of Montpellier’s important attractions.
Centre Commercial Odysseum, Allée Ulysse, 34000 Montpellier, France, Phone: +33-4-67-13-05-50
15.Thessaloniki Planetarium, Thessaloniki
© Thessaloniki Planetarium
The Thessaloniki Planetarium in Greece brings the magical world of space to audiences on Earth, unveiling black holes and meteors, white dwarfs and red giants, the birth and death of stars, life aboard the International Space Station, and even the “Big Bang” right before their eyes on a hemispherical dome screen. Equipped with real-time astronomical software and a state-of-the-art projection system, the Planetarium in Thessaloniki offers real-time space navigation capabilities and uncompressed, high resolution picture playback to bring guests a largely unknown and distant world and an opportunity to see the planets, stars, galaxy, and much more.
6th Km Thessaloniki Rd. Thermi, Thessaloniki 570 01 Greece, Phone: +30-23-10-48-30-00
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16.Planetario Venezia, Venice
In terms of facilities and size, the Planetario Venezia, or Venice Planetarium, is Italy’s third most important planetarium and is the only facility that is able to project spectacular and realistic “artificial horizons” that span all 360 degree of the heavens. The Planetario Venezia uses mechanical and optical means to provide a very life-like replica of the night sky’s panorama, offering a memorable astronomical experience for audiences. The Venice Planetarium welcomes the general public to view the stars, planets, and the galaxy beyond during its scheduled projections between the month of October and the month of May.
Parco pubblico Askenasi, Lungomare d'Annunzio, 30126 Venezia VE, Italy, Phone: +39-33-88-74-97-17
17.Artis Planetarium, Amsterdam
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The Artis Planetarium in the canal-filled city of Amsterdam, Netherlands takes guests on a journey through space from the comfort of their seats. Admission to the planetarium is free with a ticket to enter Artis Park and visitors can take in one of two different shows depending on when they visit. Spacetrip is offered on Saturdays and Sundays, taking guests on an adventure to explore stars, moons, planets, and even whole galaxies. From Monday through Friday, visitors can see Habitat Earth, which shows what it means living in a world in which all life on Earth is connected.
Plantage, 1018 CN Amsterdam, Netherlands, Phone: +31-2-05-23-36-70
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18.Northern Lights Planetarium
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The Northern Lights Planetarium in Tromso, Norway was the country’s first planetarium that opened to the general public. This unique planetarium today is part of the Science Center of Northern Norway, the facility presents full-dome shows seven days a week with and about the northern lights, showing constellations and taking a journey through both the solar system and further beyond to distant galaxies. The Northern Lights show is both a stunning visual and documentary showcasing the Aurora in myth, history, and science. Planetarium shows are included in the cost of admission to the Science Centre of Northern Norway.
Hansine Hansens veg 17, 9019 Tromsø, Norway, Phone: +47-77-62-09-45
19.Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium, Lisbon
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Located in Lisbon, the Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium is situated next to the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Museu de Marinha in Belém. Originally opened in 1965, the planetarium has been redesigned to feature the most modern planetarium equipment, such as a central sphere featuring thirty-two fixed star projectors. This technology enables the Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium to present over nine thousand stars across both celestial hemispheres, nebulae, star clusters, constellations, and the Milky Way galaxy. There are also several auxiliary educational features, presentations associated with specific parts of the year, and special exhibitions designed for younger visitors at the planetarium.
Empire Square, Praça do Império, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal, Phone: +35-12-10-97-73-50
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20.Brasov Planetarium at Zoo Brasov
The Brasov Planetarium at Zoo Brasov is Romania’s largest planetarium and presents movies covering an array of topics, such as astronomy, biology, and geography. Planetarium shows last around thirty to forty minutes and give guests an opportunity to take a journey to some of the planet’s most remote places, as well as the planets of the galaxy. Visitors can also view animations to help them gain a better understanding of the fields of biology, astronomy, meteorology, and geography. The spacious Bra?ov Planetarium is able to accommodate a little more than one hundred people in its 300-square-meter amphitheater.
Strada Brazilor 1, Bra?ov 500313, Romania, Phone: +40-2-68-33-77-87
21.Saint Petersburg Planetarium, Saint Petersburg
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The Saint Petersburg Planetarium is located at the St. Petersburg College and is a great place to go in the city for people of all ages wanting to explore more of the universe around them. This “star theater” features a domed, 24-foot ceiling that accurately simulates the night sky of any location or any time. The planetarium offers free planetarium shows to the public on Friday nights, hosted by the facility’s resident astronomer and featuring a live narration during the visual show. These shows are typically around 45 minutes in duration, with the portable telescope and observatory available after the show.
Park Aleksandrovskiy, 4, St Petersburg, Russia, 197101, Phone: +7-81-22-33-49-56
22.Planetario de Madrid, Madrid
The Planetario de Madrid offers projections, workshops, exhibitions, and a number of activities, such as stargazing, that take visitors on an adventure in unraveling the cosmos’ wonders and mysteries. Reopened in 2017 after a major refurbishment, the Madrid Planetarium now features state-of-the-art technology that includes powerful astronomy software and a high quality, modern screen system, as well as new exhibition areas. In addition to its regular planetarium shows, there are several activities and fun shows for children. Guests can also view the night sky in real time within the middle of the city thanks to the planetarium’s Megastar-2 projector.
Parque Tierno Galván, Av. del Planetario, 16, 28045 Madrid, Spain, Phone: +34-9-14-67-34-61
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23.Planetarium at Swiss Museum of Transport, Swiss Museum of Transport, Luzern
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The Planetarium at the Swiss Museum of Transport in the city of Luzern in Switzerland takes guests on a journey to the stars, no matter the weather. Audiences can experience a memorable space walk from their comfortable seat in the most up-to-date and largest planetarium in the country. The dome of the Planetarium, which measures eighteen meters in diameter, displays a beautiful night sky during shows, while a commentator explains many astronomical wonders. Using the latest technology, the Planetarium is able to create a spectacular starry sky across its dome and take audiences on an adventure through space.
Lidostrasse 5, 6006 Luzern, Switzerland, Phone: +41-4-13-75-75-75
24.Dark Sky Wales Planetarium, Pontypridd, Wales
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The Dark Sky Wales Planetarium in Pontypridd, Wales is a state-of-the-art digital facility that presents stunning shows designed by professional astronomers and using the latest technology. This unique inflatable planetarium is able to accommodate as many as thirty-five kids or a fewer number of adults. Each of the planetarium shows, which last 20 to 45 minutes, are presented by a professional astronomy educator who takes audiences on a trip through the modern cosmos of nebula, galaxies, and planets, a mythological tour of constellations, or a tailored show. During all of the shows, guests are immersed in an impressive audio and visual experience.
36 Graig Rd, Ynyshir, United Kingdom, Phone: +44-14-43-52-33-50
25.Hamburg Planetarium, Hamburg
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The Hamburg Planetarium in Germany was one of Europe's first to utilize full-dome 3D technology for producing sky shows. These shows are offered in a number of languages through headsets. A “multimedia orchestra” of projectors help create a near perfect simulation of space across the domed hall, realistically conveying both the uniqueness of the planet Earth and cosmic events. In addition to educational exhibits and the observatory, the Hamburg Planetarium also hosts a variety of cultural events; such as lectures, music, and poetry; in its main hall that dates back to 1930. Visitors can also head out to the observation deck.
Linnering 1, 22299 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-4-04-28-86-52-10
25 Best Planetariums in the World
- Peter Harrison Planetarium, London, England, Photo: pauws99/stock.adobe.com
- Melbourne, Scienceworks Museum Planetarium, Melbourne, Photo: hit1912/stock.adobe.com
- Planetarium, Copenhagen, Photo: jezekp/stock.adobe.com
- Ontario Science Centre Digital Planetarium, Toronto, Photo: ByAlice/stock.adobe.com
- Space Place at Carter Observatory, Wellington, Photo: Yevgen Belich/stock.adobe.com
- Cosmonova, Stockholm, Photo: Tryfonov/stock.adobe.com
- Inishowen Planetarium, Inishowen, Photo: Andrey ZH/stock.adobe.com
- Planetarium of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Photo: Fotolia Premium/stock.adobe.com
- Digitales Planetarium im Naturhistorischen Museum Wien, Vienna, Photo: Pavel/stock.adobe.com
- Belgian Planetarium, Brussels, Photo: EugeneF/stock.adobe.com
- Technical Museum Planetarium, Zagreb, Photo: allexxandarx/stock.adobe.com
- Planetarium Praha, Prague, Photo: romanple/stock.adobe.com
- Ursa Starlab, Helsinki, Photo: Artsiom Petrushenka/stock.adobe.com
- Planetarium Galilee, Montpellier, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Thessaloniki Planetarium, Thessaloniki, Photo: Thessaloniki Planetarium
- Planetario Venezia, Venice, Photo: Mihail/stock.adobe.com
- Artis Planetarium, Amsterdam, Photo: Reinhold Wittich/stock.adobe.com
- Northern Lights Planetarium, Photo: ivan kmit/stock.adobe.com
- Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium, Lisbon, Photo: Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium
- Brasov Planetarium at Zoo Brasov, Photo: CLAUDIO/stock.adobe.com
- Saint Petersburg Planetarium, Saint Petersburg, Photo: Agnieszka Rodowicz/stock.adobe.com
- Planetario de Madrid, Madrid, Photo: bsanchez/stock.adobe.com
- Planetarium at Swiss Museum of Transport, Swiss Museum of Transport, Luzern, Photo: Artsiom Petrushenka/stock.adobe.com
- Dark Sky Wales Planetarium, Pontypridd, Wales, Photo: Nikolai Tsvetkov/stock.adobe.com
- Hamburg Planetarium, Hamburg, Photo: Sven Petersen/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: bsanchez/stock.adobe.com
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