Five Inspirational Science Museums Around the World to Celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science
This year, February 11 marks the eighth annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Established by the United Nations, this day aims to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology and raise awareness for gender equality in this field. To mark this important initiative, we are sharing five inspirational science museums that champion women in science and are inspiring the next generation of female scientists and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students. With two thirds (66%) of travelers wanting to explore the world to express their personal passions and beliefs,* a trip that includes a visit to an extraordinary museum is a fantastic way to support this social change. From visionary museums in Rio de Janeiro and Dubai to immersive exhibitions in San Francisco and Amsterdam, these museums will inspire and empower visitors from around the world.
California Academy of Sciences – San Francisco, California, United States
Set in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, visitors can discover a vast array of incredible exhibits dedicated to the wonders of the natural world at this museum and research center. The Academy is home to an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and a sample of rainforest that blends in seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. With nearly 40,000 live animals under its roof, from cute African penguins to mesmerizing butterflies, and even the Academy’s beloved alligator named Claude, travelers can truly immerse themselves in this biodiverse spot. The museum champions women and girls in science, with world-renowned female scientists and researchers working on leading projects in the study of frogs and evolution, and it hosts regular inspirational women in science events for the public to attend. The Academy also runs a multi-year, paid internship and youth development program for locals from communities typically underrepresented in STEM fields – in particular girls and women.
Where to stay: The Chateau Tivoli Bed and Breakfast is just a short drive away from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Set in a turreted 19th century mansion with charming chandeliers and exposed brick walls, it comes with an educational spin and features lavish rooms and suites named after famous people with local ties. The B&B offers a delicious breakfast each morning, so guests can dig into a hot stack of filling American pancakes drizzled with sweet maple syrup before heading out for an enlightening day.
Museum of the Future – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Museum of the Future is an architectural marvel that encapsulates the innovative and visionary culture of the city of Dubai. Covered in calligraphy, the museum’s design ‘speaks Arabic’ and is built in a circular shape to represent humanity and set upon a green mound to represent the earth. This interactive space encourages visitors to immerse themselves in futuristic experiences such as an imagined space station and a magnificent mixed reality recreation of the Amazon rainforest. The Tomorrow Today exhibition showcases a range of technology prototypes, many of which were invented by women, whilst the Future Heroes exhibition will inspire the next generation of scientists, offering children educational exploration and play. Visitors can explore the museum across its five floors and discover themes of climate change, ecology and health, and how innovation can inform our collective hope for the future. To explore Dubai from new heights, travelers can ascend the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and take in panoramic views. Or join a hot air balloon tour in the morning to catch the sunrise while enjoying incredible views of the city, as recommended by local travelers**.
Where to stay: The Jumeirah Living World Trade Centre Residence, Suites and Hotel Apartments are just a short walk away from the Museum of the Future and located in the World Trade Center in Dubai – a 38 storey skyscraper and the city’s main hub for events, exhibitions and conventions. The aparthotel features a rooftop swimming pool and a restaurant on the top floor which serves up an exquisite afternoon tea with panoramic views of this futuristic city. For guests with sustainability in mind after visiting the museum and discovering the sustainable innovations aiming to support the future, this Booking.com Travel Sustainable stay bans single-use plastics and offers tours by local guides and businesses.
NEMO Science Museum – Amsterdam, Netherlands
NEMO Science Museum is famous for its distinctive boat shaped building and its fun energy, featuring hundreds of games and hands-on displays for the whole family to get involved in. From engineering to physics and biology, exciting exhibitions are spread across the five floors of the museum. In the center, visitors can even experience the specially designed chemistry lab and watch mind-blowing scientific experiments. The rooftop of NEMO offers incredible views of Amsterdam and hosts an open-air exhibition, Energetica, which consists of sculptures and installations demonstrating the energy captured from wind, water and the sun. The museum aims to engage the younger generation, ideal for the 45% of travelers who plan to travel with their immediate family in 2023.* It’s also involved in several female empowerment international projects including the current EU-funded Future Space project which aims to encourage secondary school students into astronomy and science careers.
Where to stay: For a truly unique and memorable trip, the Hotelboat Fiep offers guests the chance to stay on an old cargo ship overlooking the NEMO Science Museum. This comfortable hotelboat, located in the historic harbor of Oosterdok, features fun-furnished cabins and a terrace so visitors can meet fellow guests aboard the boat. Delicious, freshly baked breakfast rolls are served every morning to set guests up for a jam-packed day exploring Amsterdam.
Museum of Tomorrow – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Designed by the Spanish neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava, the Museum of Tomorrow juts diagonally into the sky and is situated in the harbor of Brazil’s vibrant city. A symbol of modernization, this experimental museum focuses on ideas rather than objects, and combines the knowledge of science with the creativity of art to explore challenges the human race will face – from climate change to population growth and genetic engineering. The museum champions the development of scientific thought in women and young girls by demystifying science and connecting it to daily life. Its ethos revolves around the theme of sustainability and is sure to inspire future female STEM students and encourage them to play their part in tomorrow's innovation. Surrounded by beautiful reflecting pools and gardens, the attraction is located on the Copacabana coast, a lively neighborhood attracting visitors to its golden beaches and mosaic-tiled promenade – and highly recommended to visit by local travelers**.
Where to stay: Vila Santa Teresa is a luxurious hotel for a sleek and modern stay, just a short drive away from the Museum of Tomorrow. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Sugarloaf Mountain, guests can enjoy a reflective moment gazing out at the breathtaking views from the sun terrace after an inspirational day exploring a futuristic world. This stunning stay boasts an incredible outdoor pool and tennis courts as well as a relaxing spa where guests can book restorative and relaxing treatments to unwind.
Bloomfield Science Museum – Jerusalem, Israel
The Bloomfield Science Museum is a welcoming space that encourages curiosity and empowers visitors to explore science – perfect for the 76% of travelers who wish to have more meaningful travel experiences in 2023.* Located in the Givat Ram neighborhood, this informal institution features an IMAX theater and a science garden with interactive outdoor games so kids can engage with science first-hand. It also hosts fascinating exhibitions around infrastructure, electricity and illusions, and provides family-friendly activities such as bubble experiments for all ages to get involved. The museum itself encourages girls to pursue STEM in both academia and careers, working closely with the Ministry of Education in Israel to actively promote gender equality in this field. Located opposite the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a trip to this museum will no doubt inspire and empower the leading female scientists of the future. Outside of the museum, travelers can visit the nearby historical Western Wall and the City of David to explore the religious and archaeological sites of this ancient city.
Where to stay: A quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle of this capital city, the Albi Hotel is just a short walk away from the Bloomfield Science Museum as well as the largest public park in Jerusalem – the luscious Sacher Park. The boutique hotel, surrounded by ancient art galleries and synagogues offers stylish rooms and a rooftop terrace with a hot tub and lovely views of the city. A trip to the nearby Machane Yehuda Market where travelers can browse bakeries and spice shops for an authentic taste of the Middle East is highly recommended.
*Travel Predictions 2023 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,179 respondents across 32 countries and territories were polled (including 1014 from Argentina, 1006 from Australia, 505 from Austria, 504 from Belgium, 1009 from Brazil, 503 from Canada, 1009 from China, 1010 from Colombia, 505 from Croatia, 505 from Denmark, 1010 from France, 1001 from Germany, 500 from Hong Kong, 1005 from India, 504 from Ireland, 504 from Israel, 1008 from Italy, 1003 from Japan, 504 from Mexico, 502 from The Netherlands, 1007 from New Zealand, 1009 from Portugal, 507 from Singapore, 1008 from South Korea, 1001 from Spain, 505 from Sweden, 508 from Switzerland, 500 from Taiwan, 504 from Thailand, 1006 from the UK, 1009 from the US and 504 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2022.
**Based on local travelers input from Booking.com’s Travel Communities who have visited the destination in the past.