If you’re stuck at home like a majority of the world population at the moment, cabin fever could be something you’re trying to stave off. Wanderlust or the strong desire to travel and explore the world, will be setting in and we’ve got just the way for you to quench that desire. Virtual tours!
While nothing beats seeing something in the moment, these digital excursions allow you to get up close to some of the world’s most stunning destinations.
Visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam or the Louvre in Paris for a dose of art, check out Atlanta Zoo or Shedd Aquarium if you’re an animal lover, or browse the eye-opening exhibits of places like the British Museum and Smithsonian to stimulate your brain. Couch surfing has never been so fascinating.
The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
New York’s Metropolitan Museum Of Art is one of the undisputed kings of the museum world, home to a whopping two million works across 17 curatorial departments. It is in fact America’s largest museum and houses masterpieces from a myriad of mediums, cultures and time periods.
Wander through its cavernous hallways and you’ll be greeted with works from Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Picasso and Van Gogh to name a few; a fully-fledeged Egyptian Temple in all its glory (the only in the Western Hemisphere); incredible sandstone sculptures from 12th century India and countless other historical artefacts and artworks.
Image Source: metmuseum.org
You can see many of these through the institution’s virtual tour programme, The Met 360° Project. There are six short videos available, filmed using spherical 360° technology which offers never-before-seen perspectives in the Grand Hall, The Cloisters, The Temple of Dendur, The Met Breur, The Charles Engelhard Court, and the Arms and Armor Galleries.
Shift your perspective by moving your mouse, smartphone or VR headset and be prepared for a trippy experience!
Click here to start touring The MET.
Located in the Bloomsbury district of London, the British Museum was the first national public museum the world had ever seen when it opened its doors in 1759. One could spend weeks roaming its halls, taking in the eight million works that call them home – the largest collection in existence.
With the expansion of the British Empire came the expansion of its collections leading to the creation of other landmark institutions: the Natural History Museum – which still went by British Museum (Natural History) until 1992 – and the British Library which contains a vast number of manuscripts and books from across the ages.
So how can you explore the British Museum from home? Well, via 11 different ways in fact. Head to Google Street View’s largest indoor space where you can virtually visit more than 60 galleries (including the famed Rosetta Stone in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery). Explore more virtual galleries on the museum’s own website with highlights including the Prints and Drawings collection (Dürer and Michelangelo on display here).
Also indispensable are the Museum Podcast, various digital learning resources, audio tours, the Curator’s Corner on YouTube, a huge collection on Google Arts & Culture, and an extensive blog that could keep you busy for months.
Image Source: britishmuseum.org
Find out more at the britishmuseum.org.
Zoos around the world are closed but many of them are very active online with plenty of ways to see what their furry and not-so-furry residents are up to.
The Atlanta Zoo has its very own PandaCam which has brought joy to millions around the world. Log on to see what the giant black and white bears are up to at any time of the day. There’s enough cute here to keep you hooked for days!
Image Source: zooatlanta.org
Meanwhile, the multi-award winning San Diego Zoo has multiple livestreams on the go, including polar bears, koalas, tigers, baboons, penguins and owls. The kids will love it here as there are also activities and games to participate in.
Baltimore’s famous National Aquarium has an extensive network of virtual tours that take in almost all of its 17,000 specimens. Download the app as an accompaniment while you browse to discover fun facts and other tips.
More aquatic cams are stationed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium which let you check out the cheeky antics of its sea otters, the gracefulness of its jellies or a huge range of open water creatures like sharks, turtles and tuna.
Image Source: montereybayaquarium.org
Become A Virtual Explorer
The sheer amount of virtual tour content on the web is astounding, allowing users to explore the four corners of the globe using state-of-the-art technology and interactive elements.
If you’ve always wanted to go to Disney Parks but haven’t had the means, you can do it via 360-degree panoramas on Google Street View. Made using Street View Trekker, you can move inside and all around walkways and structures at places like Disneyland Park, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Downtown Disney District and many more locations.
Same goes for Legoland Florida Resort where you can take an interactive tour of the blocky surroundings including The Great Lego Race and Miniland USA.
Image Source: virtualvisittours.com/blarney-castle
For something totally different, you can travel to the Emerald Isle to discover Blarney Castle, a 600-year-old castle in Cork, Ireland. The detailed virtual tour takes you to almost every nook and cranny of this stunning site, including the Poison Garden and magical Rock Close where nature and art intertwine.
Nature enthusiasts will want to make a beeline to Google Art & Culture’s ‘The Hidden Worlds Of The National Parks’, an online treasure trove of exploration at its finest. Here you can make your way through five national parks, including Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park, and Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park.
If opera is your thing, The Metropolitan Opera in New York streams live performances every night that they are closed during the isolation period, with each stream being available for 20 hours after the performance.
Image Source: metopera.org
There is so much more available, covering art, culture, nature, technology and countless other subjects. Being holed up at home doesn’t mean you can’t expand your mind and these resources on the web are testament to that.
Click here for more virtual tours like these!