In 2001, probably the most interesting place throughout the whole of Gothenburg was opened: Universeum. It is a science centre, conveniently located next to Liseberg and the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre (Swedish: Svenska Mässan). There are several exciting exhibitions to visit here that will definitely be of interest for adults, young people and even children. One tip is to plan your visit before you get there to give yourself the best possible experience!
Start by booking a room in a suitable hotel. There are several central hotels to choose from, such as the nearby Hotel Panorama and central Hotel Odin. From these hotels you can easily take the tram directly to Universeum. Visit Universeum's website to see if there is something special happening on the day you want to visit. It might be that one of the members of staff goes through VR technology with the visitors or leads a session of "shark spotting” inside Ocean Zone.
Once you have come in, you are free to walk around and discover the various exhibitions and departments completely on your own. Most begin with Water’s Way and Ocean Zone. From there you can continue to the Reptilarium, the Rainforest and eventually the exhibitions Teknoteket, Space, Health and The Chemistry Lab.
Visitors to the Ocean Zone at Universeum. Photo: Universeum
Water’s Way is an exhibition that takes you through Sweden's landscape, from Norrland all the way to Skåne, with water as a guide. Visitors can take part of Swedish nature as well as the insects and animals that are found in different places around the country.
Water's Way puts Swedish wildlife on display, both on land and in the water, while the Ocean Zone shows what is hidden in the depths of the world's oceans. It is a natural continuation that includes fish and underwater animals from large parts of the world. The variety of fish in the Ocean Zone is huge; you will find both bony fish such as perch and salmon as well as cartilaginous fish such as sharks and rays. Even flatfish can be found, well camouflaged at the bottom of the Ocean Zone.
Sand tiger shark in the Ocean Zone at Universeum. Photo: Universeum
The Reptilarium gives you the chance to discover snakes, lizards and other reptiles from all corners of the world. The reptiles may seem a bit scary at first but they are also exciting, and have been very important in several areas, from physics and chemistry to medicine and technology. The exhibition also has several fun experiments and tests. Learn how snakes see the world and find out if your reflexes are faster than a king cobra’s!
Central bearded dragon Oliver. Photo: Universeum
You will immediately notice a difference in the atmosphere as you enter the rainforest. Just like the real forest it is both hot and humid here. The climate has to mimic a typical rainforest in South America, so that the exotic plants and even the exciting animals can thrive. Here you will find colourful birds, basilisks and caimans, as well as cheeky monkeys, curious tamarins and terribly dozy sloths.
It continues in this fashion throughout the whole of Universeum. Some of the most popular exhibitions concern human science, from space technology and the human body to the digital technology of the future. Remember to also take advantage of the terrace, especially when the weather is warm and sunny.
Visitors to the Space exhibition. Photo: Universeum
At Universeum you will find Roberta's Restaurant, with food made from locally produced, organic ingredients. Here there is something for everyone, regardless of your diet or any allergies. There is also the opportunity to have a coffee at Café Tukan inside the museum. Here you will find coffee, juices, good sandwiches, delicious salads and other nice things to nibble on. Of course, you can also bring your own food if you wish. On the second floor there are both tables and chairs for everyone to use.
Although Universeum is ideal for children of all ages, strollers are not really suitable. Of course, they have thought of this, Universeum offers stroller parking and baby carriers that you can borrow. There are also plenty of nurseries and toilets if needed. Most parts of the large facility are accessible for wheelchairs or other types of disability access. There are also wheelchairs, which can be borrowed if needed.
Usually, Universeum is open from 10am to 6pm, but some days they are open a little longer. The entrance fee varies depending on age. For children under three, it is completely free. For children between the ages of three and sixteen, admission is SEK 135. For adults it’s SEK 190 and seniors (65+) SEK 155.
Goeldi’s monkeys in the rainforest. Photo: Universeum
At the end of your visit, don’t miss the shop. The concept is simple and appropriate. Here you will find clever and interesting toys that are both fun and educational. There are games, puzzles and exotic stuffed animals, and more. After a visit to Universeum there are plenty of things to talk about but if you want to see more of the city itself, we recommend our guide Attractions and things to do in Gothenburg.