The future is now!
The future is now! .Martin./CC BY-ND 2.0

Hollywood spends countless millions designing fictional futuristic settings, but all over the world there are absolutely real places that seem to have already transcended our times, no special effects needed. These seemingly science fiction-inspired spots have embraced the possibilities of the future to make the present a far more out-there experience than many of us fully appreciate. We recently asked Atlas Obscura readers in our Community forums to tell us about the most sci-fi-esque places they’ve ever encountered, and the responses were light years ahead of our expectations.

Check out out some of our favorite responses below, and if you have an unforgettable, futuristic place of your own that you’d like to recommend, tell us about it in the forums, and keep the conversation going! Time travel is still a fantasy, but these places bring you the future today.

Thomas Chung/CC BY-SA 2.0

Seattle Central Library

Seattle, Washington

“I just love the red monochrome, it feels so sci-fi to me. Probably because of 2001: A Space Odyssey.” maren

Matt.Kerrie/Public Domain

Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Atlanta, Georgia

“Looking up at all the floors that stacked higher and higher was mind-boggling. It felt super futuristic!” shatomica

Eric Chan/CC BY 2.0

Guggenheim Museum

New York City, New York

“It’s old hat now, but the Guggenheim in New York City springs to mind, only because when my parents took me there back in the 1960s, when I was around 9 or 10, I desperately wanted to skate down those ramps.” lindacantoni

brandiatmuhkuh/CC BY 2.0

Ars Electronica Center

Linz, Austria


Gunther Hagleitner/CC BY 2.0

Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

“I thought it looked pretty space-aged!” depechekitty

GlenFC/CC BY 2.0

Canadian Museum of Human Rights

Winnipeg, Canada


Tim Reckmann/CC BY 2.0

Burj Khalifa

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“I visited the Burj Khalifa in Dubai a month ago and thought it was very ‘outer space’ looking! My friends commented on my photos of it that it looked like I was on another planet.” pennywindfield

Steven Rieder/CC BY-SA 2.0


Brussels, Belgium

“I didn’t get to go inside, but outside was super cool!” heatherrs

chriskay/CC BY-ND 2.0

Gardens by the Bay


“Super futuristic!” darbyfish50

Jason Goecke/CC BY 2.0


Palm Springs, California

“One of my favorite weird science-fiction looking places.” dmertl

Cacaphony/CC BY-SA 3.0

The Museum of Pop Culture

Seattle, Washington

“I’m surprised that no one chose this museum in Seattle. The building also houses a music museum. The exterior reeks of science fiction.” alanrogers250

Josh Hallett/CC BY-SA 2.0

High Museum of Art

Atlanta, Georgia

“The Atlanta art museum has been used in a lot of sci-fi movies.” Ljpurtee

Emma Heirendt/CC BY 2.0


Taos, New Mexico

“When driving over to them it looks like a scene straight out of Star Wars. They are so cool.” Lolaswhitetrashparade

TxStateFAN/CC BY-SA 3.0

Alkek Library

San Marcos, Texas

“I always felt like I was headed to a dystopian capitol building walking up those stairs.” galacticvalkyrie

Nestor Lacle/CC BY 2.0

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Seoul, South Korea


Min Zhou/CC BY 2.0

Metropol Parasol

Seville, Spain

“The ‘mushroom’ in Seville, Spain is one of the most futuristic buildings I have seen.” — skrisi13

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.