God bless the internet! But in all seriousness, with everything that’s going on (I’m looking at you, COVID-19, travel bans, and quarantines), virtual tours are the perfect way to satisfy your wanderlust and get your daily dose of culture without leaving home.
From world-class museums offered through Google Arts & Culture (how did we not know about this before?) to local marvels, there’s something to keep everyone entertained.
From Google Arts & Culture Museum Collections
Musée de l’Orangerie , Paris – Works from the likes of Monet, Picasso, Renoir, and Matisse reside in this Place de La Concorde museum in Paris.
- National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City – Researching, preserving, and exhibiting the most important archaeological and ethnographic collections in the country.
- The British Museum, London – Bringing together under one roof the cultures of the world, spanning continents and oceans.
- Anne Frank House, Amsterdam – Opened in 1960, it preserves the secret annex and has a permanent exhibition on the life and times of Anne Frank, as well as an exhibition space about all forms of persecution and discrimination.
- Palace of Versailles, Versailles – A UNESCO World Heritage site for over 30 years, the Palace is home to the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Opera and the Gardens of Versailles.
- Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo – A comprehensive collection of art and antiquities from Japan and other Asian countries.
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. – Established in 1937, it seeks to serve the United States of America by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of works of art.
You can find their full Museum Collection here.
Other Famous Sites and Landmarks on Google Arts & Culture
- Taj Mahal, New Delhi, India
- Stonehenge, Chippenham, United Kingdom
- Temple of Heracles, Agrigento, Italy
- Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
- Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
- Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia
- The White House, Washington D.C., United States
- Great Pyramids of Giza, El Giza, Egypt
- Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City, Mexico
There are thousands (4,692 and counting) of museum Street Views on Google, which include more landmarks and historic sites, in addition to museums.
From elsewhere on the internet:
- YouVisit – Lots of destinations available in both 360° and VR, some of which aren’t on Google, including the Great Wall of China, Zion National Park, and the pyramids of Teotihuacan. They also have tours of universities, hotels, restaurants, and events.
- The Met 360° – six short videos, captured in 360° that showcase The Met’s art and architecture.
- Musée du Louvre – Featuring Egyptian Antiquities, the Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, and the Galerie d’Apollon.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History – Permanent, current and even past exhibits.
- Musei Vaticani – The Vatican Museum’s 360° Tour showcases a few of their museums and chapels.
- The Museum of Flight – 3D models and 360° panoramas allow you to explore the Museum’s airplanes, including Air Force One!
- The MCN – The Museum Computer Network put together an ultimate guide to Virtual Museum Resources and Online Collections.
- Bayut – Travel website Bayut has compiled a list of the best of Dubai museums to explore from home. Thank you Evelyn for finding this amazing resource!
Not into museums? Here are a few more ideas:
- The Metropolitan Opera will be hosting “Nightly Met Opera Streams“. Each performance will be available from 7:30 pm EDT until 3:30 pm the following day. OperaVision has a great selection as well.
- Concerts from Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall are available free for 30 days using the code BERLINPHIL (must be redeemed by March 31st).
- The New England Aquarium is hosting live presentations and has a number of activities and fun facts.
- Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is live streaming Home Safaris at 3 pm EDT on their Facebook page.
- Massimo Bottura has been live streaming free cooking classes (I’d call them cook-alongs tbh) on his IGTV, hilariously and aptly named “Kitchen Quarantine” every day at 8 pm CET (1 pm MDT). If you missed a day, the wonderful folks over at Fine Dining Lovers have recorded previous streams which you can check out here.
- Walt Disney Imagineering released a course with Khan Academy a while back called “Imagineering in a Box”. If you haven’t had the time to check it out, now is a good opportunity. You can find the full course here and the video playlist here.
- If you happen to have an HTC Vive or an Oculus Rift, you should definitely check out Google Earth VR, where you can explore amazing locations like the Matterhorn, Mt. Fuji, Monument Valley, Rio de Janeiro and even Mt. Everest (!).
So there you have it! These are just a few things you can check out if you’re feeling stir-crazy during these strange times, but we know there’s many more and now is the perfect opportunity to seek them out.
Did we miss anything? If you have any more suggestions, we’d love to hear them!