With so many of us confined to our homes in this time of social distancing, it can be difficult to find something to keep our minds occupied. We bring you a list of world-class museums you can visit online, from the safety of your home. These virtual tours of landmarks and museums let you explore these destinations from around the globe so that you can still feel like you’re seeing the world, even while you’re in quarantine. Most are available as interactive features in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, and others are in a video format. All are free and can be seen and experienced from the comfort of your couch.
Here Are Some Of The Best Virtual Tours Of Landmarks And Museums You Can Take From Home
The Musée D’Orsay, Paris
Once a Beaux-Arts railway station, the Musée d’Orsay is now known for its vast collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works (from 1848 to 1914). Masterpieces by artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Auguste Rodin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin and Claude Monet are displayed here. You can take a virtual tour of the impressive art-nouveau building—plus its gardens—and view famous works, including Van Gogh’s ‘Self-Portrait, Whistler’s ‘Portrait of the Artist’s Mother’, and Degas’ ‘The Ballet Class’. The virtual tour of this museum even lists historical information on the artists, paintings, and the building itself. You can visit it here.
British Museum, London
Another museum you can visit virtually from your home is the British Museum, home to one of the largest collections of art and artefacts. With almost 8 million objects to marvel at from around the world, you could spend hours exploring this museum, even virtually. You can wander around the Great Court and its iconic glass and steel roof, before visiting cultural treasures such as the Rosetta Stone which led to the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Parthenon Marbles that showcase the peak of Greek culture and civilisation, and even an Easter Island statue that measures 7.9 feet. Check it out here.
The Uffizi Gallery, Florence
The Uffizi is one of the most celebrated art galleries in the world. It features a rich collection of Italian Renaissance art cultivated and curated by Florence’s ruling house of Medici over centuries. You can explore works by Renaissance Old Masters such as Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’, Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Annunciation’, Caravaggio’s ‘Medusa’, and Michelangelo’s ‘Doni Tondo’. Go on the virtual tour here.
Another world-class museum you can visit online is Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, which displays thousands of objects of Dutch art and history. Take a virtual tour and see if you can spot iconic artworks from the Dutch Golden Age by notable painters such as Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt. Visit here.
This museum is one of the largest in Germany. It houses a large collection of antiques and many historic objects. You can explore the ruins of ancient monuments excavated from around the world, such as the Pergamon Altar (a massive stairway from the Ancient Greek city of Pergamon dating back to the 2nd century BCE), the Ishtar Gate of Babylon (a grand entrance gate from ancient Mesopotamia, built by King Nebuchadnezzar II with beautiful blue glazed bricks) and the Market Gate of Miletus (a Roman gate twice almost destroyed by an earthquake and WWII, but reconstructed each time). See it here.
State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
The collection of the State Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artefacts. It’s spread across five palaces, and it usually takes weeks to cover the entire collection, including famous pieces like Titian’s ‘Penitent Magdalene’, Henri Matisse’s ‘The Dance’ and Antonio Canova’s ‘Three Graces’. So, while you’ve got the time, why not check it out here?
The Guggenheim, New York City
The Guggenheim is known for its expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art. You can tour the halls of the museum and its famous spiral staircase to view works like Van Gogh’s ‘Mountains at Saint-Remy’, Alexander Calder’s sculpture ‘Red Lily Pads’, and the ‘TV Garden’ installation by Nam June Paik. You can take a virtual tour of this landmark museum here.
The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York City
Also known as the ‘Met,’ this museum contains works from the past 50,000 years of human creativity. It has paintings, sculptures, photographs, antiques and costumes. The online tour lets you browse the entire collection and visit online exhibits like, Arms and Armor Galleries and The Art of Music through Time which include audio briefs from the curators. Check it out here.
The Art Institute Of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago has over 300,000 pieces of art and is one of the oldest museums in the USA. On the virtual tour of the museum, you can access most of the museum and view a huge collection of works from Monet, Degas, and Cézanne. Explore the museum here.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
California’s J. Paul Getty Museum is set against a backdrop of dramatic architecture and tranquil gardens. It houses works dating from the 8th through to the 21st century, including a huge collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts and photographs. Through the virtual tour, you can view both artwork and sculptures on display and also enjoy the amazing architecture. Check it out here.
National Museum Of Anthropology, Mexico City
This museum in Mexico City is another you can visit virtually from your home. It’s dedicated to pre-Hispanic archaeology and history with 23 exhibition halls filled with ancient artefacts, including some from the Mayan civilization. Don’t miss the Stone of the Sun, giant stone heads that were found in the jungles of Tabasco and Veracruz. See the museum here. If you’re interested in the works of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, you can see those as well on the Museo Dolores Olmedo virtual tour.
The Museu De Arte De São Paulo
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo, also called the MASP, is known for its collection of European and Brazilian art. You can see the amazing works of art mounted with concrete blocks and glass, made to look like they’re floating in mid-air. Check out works like Renoir’s ‘Pink and Blue’ and Diego Velázquez’s ‘Portrait of the Count-Duke of Olivares’ in the tour here.
The Tokyo National Museum
The Tokyo National Museum houses art and archaeology from all over Asia, including amazing collections of Greco-Buddhist art and ancient Japanese art. It’s an amazing world-class museum you can visit online. In this virtual tour, you can see all kinds of historical artefacts, as well as famous works like Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave Off the Coast of Kanagawa’, a Gandhara standing Buddha statue, and full sets of Samurai armour. Take a look here.
The National Museum Of Modern And Contemporary Art, Seoul
One of the most popular museums in South Korea, the MMCA consists of six floors of art curated from Korea and around the world. Though the museum’s collections are spread out in locations at Gwacheon, Deoksugung, Seoul, and Cheongju, you can take a virtual tour of MMCA Seoul to see the museum’s exhibits of some of South Korea’s best abstract and contemporary art. See it all here.
The Taj Mahal, Agra
Standing on the banks of the Yamuna River in Agra, the Taj Mahal complex includes stunning formal gardens, raised pathways, sunken flower beds, and a reflecting pool. This 17th-century ivory-white marble mausoleum was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. While you can’t go inside, you can explore the rest of the complex here.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris
This iconic structure was built in 1889 by Gustav Eiffel for the Exposition Universelle. Today, there are three different levels for visitors to see; the second has a famous restaurant, while the others give amazing views of Paris. You can now experience these from anywhere in the world right here on a virtual tour of the landmark you can take from home.
Pyramids Of Giza, Cairo
The breathtaking Pyramids of Giza were Constructed by Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure between 2550 to 2490 BCE. The pyramid complex also includes the statue of the Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers’ village and many palaces. You can explore all of this on the virtual tour here.
The Colosseum, Rome
The Colosseum is one of the most iconic sights of Rome. Built between 70 and 80 AD, It was in use for almost 500 years for gladiatorial matches, executions, battle reenactments, and other public spectacles. Though parts of it are in ruins, you can still visit the outside here.
Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru
Machu Picchu is another major landmark you can visit virtually from your home. This magnificent Incan city set between two towering peaks in the Andes was built in the 15th century and later abandoned. Normally, it’s reached by foot, train, or helicopter, but now you can walk through the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru from your living room here.
The Palace Of Versailles, France
You can walk through France’s Palace of Versailles, including the famous Hall of Mirrors, from your own home at any time. In addition to the lavish architecture, the palace includes canvas art and beautiful murals. Have a look here.
The National Palace Of Sintra, Portugal
The National Palace of Sintra is an exceptionally well-preserved palace and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The architecture is stunning and well worth a look, which you can do here.
Harry Potter Exhibit, London
The British Library’s popular Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition is now available online for you to visit anytime. It exhibits rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic that inspired the Harry Potter stories. Take the tour here.
So, Are You Ready To Travel The World From Home?
While you won’t quite get the same effect as being there in person, being able to take these virtual tours of landmarks and museums is sure to be an exciting experience for those interested in art, history and culture. If you want to see more places from all around the world, there are TONS of other places on Google Arts & Culture, and you can check out the full list here.