The best virtual tours to go on right now

Published: April 10, 2020

Family looking at phone on couch Photo by fizkes/Shutterstock

For many of us, weekends are usually spent exploring your city or town, heading to museums and art galleries. Just because we’re stuck inside right now doesn’t mean you have to change your plans. In fact, you may be busier than ever because it’s now possible to explore the world from the comfort of your couch thanks to a number of attractions offering free virtual tours.

Why not take a trip to France and see the Louvre? Or head downtown Toronto and go through the collection at the Royal Ontario Museum? You can expand your mind and see just about anything—from zoo animals to space cameras—there is a virtual tour or online stream for everyone. Here are our top picks:

Louvre

Take a quick trip to France and see one of the most popular museums in the world—without any line ups. You can explore the Petite Gallerie, completely devoted to art and education, or head to the Sully wing for a view of the Egyptian artifacts.

Van Gogh Museum

See the artwork of this legend all the way in Amsterdam thanks to Google’s Arts & Culture link. You can virtually walk through every floor and “stand” in front of any painting you want for as long as you’d like.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The iconic MET is a not to be missed experience if you ever find yourself in New York. Head here for a virtual tour of the two buildings and a look at over 200,000 treasures from centuries past, plus free access to some of their special exhibitions.

The British Museum

You may have found yourself in the Netherlands earlier, but now we’re in England at one of the best places to learn about human history and art. This interactive map explores the different continents and their influence on culture dating all the way back to 2,000,000 BC.

Royal Ontario Museum

Go inside some of the greatest natural history collections we have in Canada with the ROM’s online exhibits. This is less of a tour rather than a browse through photographs of the documented specimens, but it is one of the most impressive catalogues out there.

National Gallery of Canada

Want a private tour by the director and CEO of the National Gallery? Tune into Sophie Suda’s Instagram Live tours, where she will walk you through the capital’s most famed gallery and answer any questions you have. This is a great opportunity to experience a more interactive educational event.

Machu Picchu

If you’re scared of heights, this virtual tour is for you. Head to Peru and explore one of the seven Wonders of the World without doing any of the climbing. Drag your mouse around the screen for 360 degree views, look out over the edge, virtually walk up to the highest point, and even check in on some of the alpacas the area is known for.

Acropolis

Now it’s time to go to Greece and see one of Europe’s most sacred monuments. Acropolis means “edge of the city” and you’ll understand where its name comes from when you have a full view of Athens during this virtual tour.

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Now you can skip one of the longest line ups in the world and experience this once in a lifetime tour without any other visitors stepping in your way. There are seven separate virtual tours you can take to get the full picture of Vatican City, plus descriptions of the art, sculptures, and archeological finds.

NASA Space Cam

Everyone can feel like an astronaut thanks to this view from the International Space Station, with sunrises and sunsets coming and going every 45 minutes.

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