Even if you aren't able to visit a museum or gallery in person, there are still many ways that you can experience all of its magnificent artwork and artefacts from home. Many museums and galleries around the world have virtual tours, allowing us to explore to our heart's content without ever leaving our couch. We've researched the best virtual tours of museums and galleries from across the globe, and here are a few of our favourites!
The Best Virtual Tours of Museums and Galleries
The Uffizi Galleries
One of the most famous art galleries in all of Italy, Le Gallerie Degli Uffizi is home to many famous pieces of art that shaped our time and changed the art world as we know it, including "The Birth of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli and "Medusa" by Caravaggio. Thankfully, even if we're unable to visit Florence, the Uffizi has numerous online tours and collections to peruse. Scroll through the many artwork and exhibitions online, or have a look through their Digital Archives. The website also has a section called HyperVisions, where HD photos and long descriptions bring the artwork to life, even in your own living room.
The Louvre Museum
Anyone who has visited Paris or dreams of visiting Paris knows that the Louvre Museum is high on the list of notable sightseeing spots. Home to Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", among many other extremely important artwork, the Louvre remains one of the world's foremost art museums. Thankfully, the museum has made many of its art available to view online, including some of its exhibition rooms and galleries. It also showcases some of its famed artwork in high resolution, perfect for scrolling through from home.
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Found in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is an absolute delight. If you can't visit in person, it has wonderful virtual tours of many of its permanent, past, and current exhibits. Virtually wander through its vast halls as you take in all of the natural wonders on display... you'll feel as though you're really there.
The Tate Modern
The Tate Modern, found in London, is an amazing resource of modern art. Fortunately, the museum has made tens of thousands of artworks available for viewing online, ideal for viewing from home. On the website, view exhibitions, art, displays, video and audio files, and archive items, so you can stay entertained for hours. It's also possible to walk through the museum using Google Streetview, which can be fun for the whole family.
The Van Gogh Museum
Surely one of the Netherlands' most famous artist is Vincent Van Gogh, the artist behind so many of the world's most beloved paintings. If you're unable to visit Amsterdam, the next best thing to viewing his art is to virtually walk through the Van Gogh Museum, where you can move throughout the gallery and stop to look at the highlighted artwork. The virtual tour is hosted on a website called 360 Stories, which is a great resource for other galleries in Amsterdam and beyond.
Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo
Head to Brazil for our next virtual tour, where you can explore the gorgeous Museu de Art de Sao Paulo from your own home. MASP, a modern art museum, has many virtual exhibits that you can discover by installing the Google Arts and Culture app; once installed, you're able to navigate through the museum as if you were really there in person. There are also numerous stories and collections to browse through online, so curl up with a cup of tea and be prepared to be transported to another world through art.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
One of New York City's top art galleries, the MoMA is famous for its fantastic exhibits and its collections of influential pieces. Discover the beauty of MoMa without leaving your own home by browsing through the tens of thousands of artworks listed online, including audio files where you can listen to experts discuss the gallery's exhibits. Even if you're unable to visit New York, it's an amazing way to learn about the art that calls the city's Museum of Modern Art home.
The British Museum
One of London's best museums is the British Museum, home to many important artwork and artefacts from around the globe. If you're unable to visit in person, touring the museum online is a great way to discover, learn, and explore its many collections. With over a million images and more than two millions records online, you're sure to stay busy scrolling through its virtual collection. You can also walk through the museum using Google Streetview.
The State Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, is known as one of the best collections of art across the globe, and is the second-largest art museum in the world. Home to thousands of artworks including those by Matisse, Rembrandt, and El Greco, the museum has an extensive online system that allows for virtual tours throughout the complex. Move from room to room to explore some of the most fascinating and influential art in the world, all without leaving the comfort of your home.
The J. Paul Getty Museum
Another virtual offering with the Google Arts and Culture app, you can scroll your way through the excellent J. Paul Getty Museum found in Los Angeles. With an amazing array of art that ranges from the 8th to the 21st century, there's sure to be something that catches your eye. Browse through the thousands of pieces of art made available online, or walk through the museum on a virtual tour. Either way, you'll be left feeling inspired!
The Natural History Museum of London
London's Natural History Museum has long established itself as one of the best natural history museums in the world, and even more exciting? You don't even have to leave your house to explore it. Use the Google Arts and Culture app to to browse nearly 300,000 items, learn more about its many exhibits with interactive tours, or virtually walk through the museum as if you were visiting in person. It'll be a guaranteed hit with everyone in the family.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
Head all the way to South Korea with only a click of a button! Transport yourself online to Gwacheon, where you'll find the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Dedicated to the history of Korean art, this beautiful museum focuses on Korean architecture, design, and crafts. Experience it yourself by the Google Arts and Culture app, where you can explore the museum through its online collections.
The Vatican Museums
A must-visit for many people when they head to Rome, seeing the Vatican Museums is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you can't get there in person, there are thankfully virtual tours of the Vatican Museums so that you can get your fill! The highlight of the online tours has to be the Sistine Chapel... and in this case, you definitely don't want to forget to look up.
What are you waiting for? Start your virtual exploring today! And make sure to check out even more travel inspiration by scrolling through our Explore by Expedia homepage.