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“Very good, especially the tour - book early!”

CERN Univers de particules
Ranked #1 of 28 Tours in Geneva
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Owner description: CERN, in Geneva, is the world’s largest particle physics research centre. CERN has recently brought into service the world’s most powerful accelerator, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), which will provide new insights into the Universe and how it evolved. The entire Universe is made up of particles. But where do they come from? What laws govern their behaviour? The purpose of the "Universe of particles" exhibition is for visitors to confront the great questions of contemporary physics : a journey to the Big Bang.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Derby, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Very good, especially the tour - book early!”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

I'll emphasise this now... BOOK YOUR GUIDED TOUR MANY MONTHS IN ADVANCE! spaces fill quickly. Don't give up if all spaces are filled, look almost daily, seriously, because things do change and they do try to put more tours on when demand is particularly high, but you have to get in there quick.

We managed to book a tour for the four of us to visit CERN, which was done as a surprise mainly for my eldest son (16), a keen young physicist-in-the-making who would like to work with CERN data when he is older.
We are all interested in physics but none of us are scientists, therefore we have some knowledge, probably more than the average Joe, especially my son, but none of us are university level.

So this is the position we were in when we took our visit.

The tours are conducted by genuine physicists who truely do have depth of their subject and are very happy, enthusiastic in fact, to chat particle physics and physics in general to anyone who is keen to do so, over and above the standard content of the tour.

Whether or not you will manage to actually go down to see the Collider is pure luck on the day. We couldn't unfortunately but there's plenty to see and learn without doing so.

I highly recommend the tour. But seriously - book WELL in advance (it's free).

There are also learning centers/exhibitions presented in a variety of styles, many are interactive and you can certainly spend several hours on these. They are designed for people with a range of levels of scientific understanding and are especially suited to those who have an interest in physics but have not studied it at University. There is also alot of information about CERN's history, spin-offs that have benefitted society etc etc, all well presented in a variety of ways, in French, German and English.

I'll state the obvious. This is not an amusement park. If you are genuinely interested in science you'll love it. They've put ALOT of effort into creating genuinely impressive and enjoyable interactive displays to inspire visitors, especially students, and have gone out of their way to make the subjects interesting without dumbing down the information or cheapening the experience. The displays are clever, appropriate and add to the experience. This will help those kids who find science only slightly interesting but are on a school trip there anyway. ie if they find the subject a little boring in general then the interactive and innotive displays will help. They are fun. The fact remains that if you love science and physics you'll enjoy your visit to CERN and the displays will add to that. If you have no interest then no amount of wizardry is likely to truely change that, but you may enjoy the displays anyhow. Like any subject, you're either interested or you are not.

Our entire holiday in Switzerland started out with the fact that we wanted to take our kids to CERN, and other plans developed from there. We are very glad we did - we all thoroughly enjoyed our visit and has served to strengthen my son's already strong ambition. The tour was excellent, the displays were very good and informative, we enjoyed ourselves, learned plenty and there's lots to see. Thank you.

Oh and tram 18 takes you straight there from Geneva.

Visited August 2013
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Olympia, Washington, United States
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“My son's favorite part of our trip”
Reviewed August 28, 2013

A must do for all Geeks! We booked online for our guided tour. Great to have a real particle physicist be our guide and answer are questions. His enthusiasm for his work made it all the more interesting. My son (13) now want to work there some day. Science is so cool.

Visited July 2013
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Thank Lynn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Excellent attraction”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We were booked on a guided tour of CERN which was excellent. When the tour finished we spent time in the visitor centre which catered for all ages. We ran out of time to cycle on the surface the Hadron Collider something to do next time we visit. You can pick the route map up from reception.

Visited August 2013
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Thank Silverfin007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, UK
Level 6 Contributor
231 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
“Interesting if you like science”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

We are split on how much we liked this. It is a little bit like going on a school trip, and if you don't like science, may only be worth visiting if you are passing close by. One of us very much likes science so was keen to go, the other quite likes science, and we were driving close by.

There are two main areas to see, a museum downstairs in the main visitors centre, and exhibits in the globe across the road. I think if you book well ahead there is a more extensive tour.

The museum has plenty of information on the history of CERN, the technology that is buried underground, and the scientific achievements of CERN.

The globe has some funkily designed and lit exhibits but closed early when we were there (wasn't very clear why).

It isn't very obvious what to do when you arrive - parking is through the barriers at the front of the visitors centre. There isn't food available on site, so eat before you go.

Visited September 2012
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Thank midlandsmoggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“book ahead”
Reviewed August 3, 2013

If you want to see more of this center need to book ahead so next time will do that.
There are models on display to give you an Idea how things work and this is across the street from the dome.

Visited June 2013
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Thank 19beachbum57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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