Virtual Tours: 35 Destinations, Museums and Attractions You Can Experience Online

Stuck at home amid the coronavirus outbreak? Enjoy museums, performances and nature from the comfort of your couch.

U.S. News & World Report

35 Virtual Tours to Experience Online

Travel Destinations, Museums and Attractions You Can Experience Virtually

The British Museum has an online museum complete with numerous artifacts from all over the world.Getty Images

Coronavirus has rapidly spread throughout the world, forcing many to practice social distancing, work remotely and forego highly anticipated vacations. But even if you're confined to your home, you can still explore the world's greatest attractions.

Galleries, museums, concert halls, national parks and zoos have virtual experiences that are free for users to experience. Read on for a list of where to find some of the best online escapes.

For Museum and Art Lovers

Run by the Google Cultural Institute, Google Arts & Culture provides free, virtual access to a number of museums and cultural heritage sites worldwide. In a matter of seconds you can explore selected works in the Tate Modern's London museum collection then take a virtual tour of the Colosseum in Rome. Here are a few highlights:

  • Musée d'Orsay in Paris: See works by Degas and Renoir, and take a virtual tour of the museum here.
  • The White House in Washington, D.C.: Take virtual tours of different sections of the White House and see some of its art collection here.
  • Doge's Palace in Venice: Explore a selection of the Venetian treasure's artworks here.
  • Museum of Modern Art in New York City: See an online exhibit, paintings by Cézanne and images of the museum's installations here.
  • Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam: View two online exhibits and learn about more than 100 pieces by Van Gogh here.
  • Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy: Learn about Botticelli's famous "The Birth of Venus" painting and take a virtual tour of the gallery here.
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles: View nearly 16,000 pieces from the Getty's collection here.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City: Peruse 26 online exhibits and over 200,000-plus items from the Met's collection here.
  • Château de Versailles in Paris: View an eight-part exhibit and learn about nearly 400 works of art here.
  • Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: See works by Dutch greats like Rembrandt and Vermeer here.
  • See a full list of museums, exhibits and sites here.

Versailles Palace is one of many global attractions you can experience online.Getty Images

The British Museum in London offers a comprehensive exploration of its collection. Its interactive software allows users to view the collection based on topic (such as art) or region (like the Americas). What's more, exhibits include audio commentary users can listen to for additional insight. View the items here.

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea has curator-led tours and discussions of its exhibits. Check them out here.

The National Gallery in London offers virtual tours of nearly 20 different rooms in the museum. Take the tours here.

The Louvre in Paris runs virtual tours of three of its exhibits: "Egyptian Antiquities," "Remains of the Louvre's Moat" and "Galerie d'Apollon." Explore them here.

New York's Guggenheim has much of its collection online, complete with high-resolution images of the art and information on the works and artists. See it all here.

The Vatican has 360-degree virtual tours of its museums and the Sistine Chapel. Explore its art and majesty here.

And if you want to get the kids involved, the Boston Children's Museum has a virtual tour of its facility. Check it out here.

For Performing Arts Patrons

The Berliner Philharmoniker is providing free, digital concerts for one month. Sign up by March 31 for access to more than 600 concerts from the last 10 years.

The Kennedy Center, located in Washington, D.C., has a digital library filled with clips of theater, dance and music performances as well as full-length performances. Access the full library here.

New York's Metropolitan Opera is running "Nightly Met Opera Streams;" filmed performances from its "Live in HD" series. The operas begin at 7:30 p.m. EST and will remain online for 20 hours. The series started March 16. Find more information and a list of upcoming operas here.

Beluga whales are one of several species you can see through the Georgia Aquarium's cameras.Getty Images

For Science and Nature Enthusiasts

NASA runs virtual tours of its Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virgina, and Mission Operations at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington provides virtual tours of its exhibits (including some exhibits no longer on display) here.

[Read from U.S. News Health: Travel in the Time of Coronavirus.]

Zoos and aquariums nationwide have animal cams that livestream what the critters are doing. Some of the institutions include:

Meanwhile, Google Arts & Culture has 360-degree virtual reality tours of several national parks, including Bryce Canyon in Utah, Kenai Fjords in Alaska, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. It also has several online exhibits from parks nationwide. Check it all out here.

Should you need a museum break, hop on to your favorite streaming service to check out a nature documentary. "Our Planet" (on Netflix) explores different environments all over the world and the "Disneynature" series (on Disney+), offers a few family-friendly options.

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