While museums, historic sights and natural wonders are off-limits at the moment, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy their treasure without crossing the threshold.
Some fantastic virtual tours give you an in-depth look at works of art, architectural marvels and the spine-tingling natural phenomena.
Here’s our list of some of the best virtual tours.
Museums and Art Galleries
Museo de Prado, Madrid, Spain
Spain’s national art gallery is home to artworks by Goya, Velazquez, El Greco and more. As part of the Museums at Home sentiment, the Prado has created a virtual tour, available in 9 languages.
British Museum, London, UK
The British Museum was one of the first of is kind to be opened in the world and is still leading the way. It has immense graphics and a musical guide through the continents. Take the virtual tour here.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
The Frank Lloyd Wright designed building is just one reason to the Gugg, as it’s affectionately known. Inside there are thousands more as you can discover with Google’s streetview tour and collections database. Click here.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
Dig deep into the Uffizi’s archives and you’ll be treated to some of the greatest Renaissance art in the world. Think Botticelli, Titian and Caravaggio. The Hypervisions tab takes you on curated thematic tours. Let yourself in.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
The Grand Canyon is aptly named, reaching to a depth of 1,857metres at its deepest. You can see all the different layers of rock that have created the canyon, with the oldest base rocks approximately 2 billion years old. With Google Street View Trek, you can hike the Bright Angel Trail. Breathtaking.
Hang Sơn Đoòng, Vietnam
The world’s largest cave, Hang Sơn Đoòng in central Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park, was only explored fairly recently by scientists. Sơn Đoòng 360 is a National Geographic project designed to preserve the cave in digital form before tourism takes its toll. Trek through the cave, with atmospheric sounds accompanying you, and see the Hand of Dog stalagmite, huge sinkholes and immense caverns.
Giants’ Causeway, Country Antrim, Northern Ireland
Legend has it giants built the causeway linking Ireland to Scotland, then had a bit of a tiff and broke it up except for the parts of the coastline. Scientists say the basalt columns were a result of lava flowing into the sea. I know which theory I prefer! The National Trust have a series of virtual tours taken at different times of the day – fantastic views.
Exploring Uluru has been described as the ultimate Australian pilgrimage. It has been home to Anangu people for almost 30,000 years and is sacred to indigenous people. Thanks to Google Street View, you can experience the park virtually both visually and aurally.
Buried under volcanic ash for centuries after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD, the Roman town of Pompeii continues to be rediscovered to this day. In April this year, the archaeologists unveiled a virtual tour of two houses recently excavated. It’s a great view over the whole site as well.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Who wouldn’t want a beautiful building built in memory of them? The Taj Mahal touches the romance in us all, and its architecture is undeniably beautiful with intricate carvings. You can see the detail by clicking on the different points and zooming in and moving around with the virtual tour.
Tomb of Queen Meresankh III, Egypt
The Egyptian Tourist Board has opened up the 5,000-year-old tomb of Queen Meresankh III to the world with its virtual tour created with Harvard University. Hewn from the bedrock, the tomb was excavated in 1927 by Harvard’s George Andrew Reisner who wrote about the paintings, “None of us had ever seen anything like it.” Here’s your chance to view the tomb and its amazing artwork.