We might be confined to our cities and our homes during the COVID-19 outbreak, but that won’t curb our wanderlust for the world’s most beautiful destinations. While we hunker down with home workouts, focus on good sleep and improving our diets, we’re keeping ourselves occupied, productive, as well as staying cultured and curious. Here are 10 virtual tours of museums, parks, and wonders of the world you can visit from the comforts of your couch.
Take a tour of the Louvre in Paris
Originally a fortress built by French king Philippe Auguste, the largest art museum in the world has shuttered its doors. Thankfully, its exhibits are still open virtually. Four tours are up on the site. Marvel at artefacts from the Pharaonic period at the Egyptian Antiquities exhibit, see the famous high vaulted and painted ceilings of the Gallerie d’Apollon, view the remains of the Louvre’s moat, or go on an educational journey with ‘The Advent of the Artist’ that shows you how craftsmen evolved to become respected artists in the Renaissance period.
See tours here
See the Northern Lights in Canada
Witness nature’s most beautiful light show from your screen, thanks to a livestream from Churchill Northern Studies Center in Churchill, Manitoba. The camera is perched just below the aurora oval, giving viewers incredible front row seats to the Aurora Borealis. The live viewing hours are all night and is organised by Polar Bears International, a group of conservationists, scientists, and volunteers working to aid polar bears’ survival in the arctic.
See the light show here
Visit the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is famous for its ornate Renaissance frescoes by Michelangelo, as well as paintings by other Florentine Renaissance masters, such as Botticelli and Perugino who detail various popes, as well as the lives of Christ and Moses. Keep your eyes peeled for the chapel’s most famous works: The Creation of Adam, and the nine stories from Genesis. Once you’re done with your adventure, hop on over to the other six tours of the Vatican museums.
Visit the Sistine Chapel and other Vatican Museums here
Walk the Great Wall of China
Still considered one of the world’s most jaw-dropping wonders, the Great Wall of China is taking you on a virtual hike of its ancient fortifications that stretch more than 3,000 miles across Chinese provinces. The tour gives you views from the watchtower, Jinshanling to Shimatai (one of the most beautiful sections of the tower), as well as the tower in winter.
Hike the Great Wall of China here
Stroll the halls of Buckingham Palace
While witnessing the changing of the guard outside Buckingham palace is a quintessential part of any family-friendly London trip, most people have no clue what the royal institution looks like on the inside. On its official website, you’re free to discover the Drawing Room, the Throne Room and the Blue Drawing Room, as well as the velvet-swathed Grand Staircase.
Visit Buckingham Palace here
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is one of the most lauded zoos in the world as it has a reputation for excellent animal and wildlife care. The expansive institution is home to some of the beautiful animal habitats that’s complete with realistic landscaping and foliage. It is home to the largest population of endangered pandas. Bring wildlife into your home with live cams of the pandas, tigers, baboons, and giraffes.
Watch the animals here
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
If you’re deathly afraid of hiking volcanoes, you can still do so virtually. The immersive The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks by Google Art and Culture whisk you away on an educational tour that navigates underground caverns, flies over volcanoes, and perches precariously on volcanic cliffs.
Hike the volcanoes here
Visit the Amazonian Rainforest
Thanks to nonprofit group Conservation International, you can now explore the Amazonian rainforest through an immersive 360-degree virtual reality (VR) video. Descend from towering trees to see the stunning sights of the great forest and meet the forest’s native Kamanja Panashekung, who’ll take you to see wildlife up close. You’ll end the tour with a deeper understanding on why the rainforest is crucial to mankind’s survival.
Explore the rainforest here.
The Great Barrier Reef
Take a dive along the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough, who’ll take you on an interactive journey. A map plots your adventure across five locations, each complete with a wealth of information of the various ecosystems, and underwater excursions from a state-of-the-art research vessel. Hear from marine biologists and scientists on the front line of research to discover how to save the reef and its inhabitants in the face of climate change.
Mars and Space stations
Travel beyond the world from your couch. Jet Propulsion Library’s tie up with NASA lets you view MARS from a 360 degrees aspect, via a WebXR project. Alternatively, head to the NASA website to tour its international space stations.
Visit Mars here
Visit the NASA international space stations here
Unless otherwise stated, all images are courtesy of stock photos from Pexels and Unsplash