Five destinations for tech heads
Do you think a classic games arcade holds just as much fascinating history as the British Museum? Do your ears crave the sweet sound of your Mac powering up more than the music of the Vienna State Opera? If you think so, then we're confident you'd appreciate a holiday destination that combines the joys of travel with a hearty dose of technology.
Ahead of National Coding Week, starting on 17 September, we've rounded up five of the world's hotspots that are an absolute must for tech lovers. Whether you fancy a pilgrimage to the former stomping ground of Jobs and Wozniak or you'd rather pay homage to the world's first ever electronic computer, the Citybond team has come up with some techie adventure options to consider.
Silicon Valley, USA
The mothership for tech heads the world over, Silicon Valley is home to a veritable who's who of technology giants, with the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook and Tesla all headquartered in this illustrious region. Visitors can take guided tours of the public areas or pick out the key areas themselves. To go back to its roots, head to 367 Addison Avenue, Palo Alto, where Bill Hewlett and David Packard began their audio oscillator business back in 1938. While in the area take a selfie next to the main campus signs for the big companies. Or at Apple HQ at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, visit the Apple Company Store, which sells a plethora of branded merchandise you won't find anywhere else.
Since emerging from behind the Iron Curtain, Estonia has quickly established itself as one of Europe's most vibrant tech hubs. Estonian developers Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu and Jaan Tallinn were responsible for producing the back-end of Skype. And its capital city of Tallinn – one of the first places in the world to offer free wi-fi on its streets - is a hotbed for tech start-ups. The blossoming district of Telliskivi Creative City is home to more than 200 NGOs and businesses. It’s also packed with hip coffee shops, quirky bars and restaurants, alternative theatre spaces and boundary-pushing galleries. Estonia’s innovations continue: they’re setting up a new visa specifically for the ‘digital nomads’ of the world.
Grand Canal Dock, Ireland
Nicknamed Silicon Docks, this thriving Dublin hub is home to around 7,000 tech professionals, who work at the European headquarters of heavyweights like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as myriad smaller enterprises and start-ups. You’ll need to be an employee to go into any of the buildings, but the area is still worth the 20 minute walk from Dublin city centre - not least because of the fascinating way it blends old with new. You'll see ultra-high-tech office buildings rubbing shoulders with the historic warehouses and tiny workers' cottages that once made this area one of the largest docks in the world. Try Hidden Dublin’s Docklands Experience Tour to find out more.
Bletchley Park, UK
Silicon Valley might be the nexus of the modern-day tech scene, but Bletchley Park, a Buckinghamshire mansion that once housed the top-secret World War II Codebreakers, is where it all began. Within the grounds of this Victorian estate, the staff of the Government Code and Cypher School effectively ushered in the Information Age by developing the world's first electronic computer Colossus, and using machines such as the Turing/Welchman Bombe to industrialise the code-cracking process. Today, the site offers visitors a fascinating insight into the lives of the intrepid team who helped break the Nazis' notorious Enigma code, as depicted in the film The Imitation Game.
São Paulo, Brazil
The largest city in the Americas, São Paulo is responsible for producing 40% of all Brazilian patents, so you won't be surprised to learn that it's become a breeding ground for Latin American start-ups. Head for Campus São Paulo, a Google-owned space for entrepreneurs, to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, get involved in workshops and enjoy the on-site cafe and games areas. And be sure to check out the fantastic Brazilian networking app Beer Or Coffee, which allows you to quickly and easily track down like-minded techies and share ideas, or simply find somewhere nearby to grab a quality cup of Java.
Wherever you plan on heading this year it’s good to know that Citybond Suretravel is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours when away.
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