Stuck at home? You can still enjoy amazing sights and experiences!
Virtual tours have afforded us the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of experiences from the comfort of our screen, and what better time to take advantage of these resources than the present?
Many of the world’s most iconic locations now offer virtual tours, meaning you can visit museums, world heritage sites, and other attractions from the comfort of your couch. You don’t need a VR headset, either, although some attractions do support virtual reality for a more immersive experience.
So if you’re looking for things to do at home, and in need of a change of scenery, simply grab your laptop, tablet or phone, and join us on a world tour filled with history, nature and – of course – technology.
1. Machu Picchu
A simply stunning UNESCO World Heritage site, Machu Picchu is a visual wonder that just has to be seen. You no longer need to fly all the way to Peru to see it in all its glory, however, as the virtual tour is comprehensive, immersive, and filled with fascinating insights.
With 360-degree views of the ruins of Inca settlements and lush green landscapes, you can visit every popular vantage point and learn more about the history of the famous site thanks to a helpful voice narrator. OK, you can’t feel the warm breeze around you, but if you turn on the heat and have a handy desk fan set to low, it’s almost as good as the real thing. Almost.
Behold the marvel: Machu Picchu
2. The Louvre Museum, Paris
An attraction visited by millions of tourists in person every year, the Louvre Museum has also created a selection of virtual tours based on its permanent collections. Explore Egyptian antiquities, the Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, and the decorative arts of the Galerie d’Apollon.
The tour is easy to navigate, with an expandable minimap that lets you highlight exhibits to view with just a couple of clicks. You can also find out more about each room in The Louvre, with detailed descriptions that will probably make the room you’re actually sitting in feel frightfully dull in comparison.
Take a trip: Louvre Museum
3. Smithsonian Museum Of Natural History: Washington, D.C.
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History virtual tours allow visitors to take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum from their desktop or mobile device. Visitors can also access select collections and research areas at our satellite support and research stations as well as past exhibits no longer on display.
Browse the exhibits: Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
4. Georgia Aquarium, Georgia, USA
Nothing beats the beauty of nature, so it’s good to know you can still get your daily dose of “aww” from the safety of your sofa. The Georgia Aquarium has over 50 species ranging from sea lions to underwater puffins, with many available to view via webcam. There’s also a daily and weekly livestream that’s aimed at piquing children’s interest in animals, and a great at-home educational tool if you want to entertain the little ones.
Ever wondered what a Beluga Whale gets up to in its spare time? Just click on the link below and find out.
Sea more: Georgia Aquarium
5. Phoenix Zoo, Phoenix, USA
Committed to upholding its mission of providing experiences that inspire and motivate people to care for the natural world, the Phoenix Zoo recently launched its Digital Safari, a place where anyone can go to stay connected with videos, virtual safaris, blogs, live educational programming, glimpses behind-the-scenes of caretaking provided by keepers, in-depth stories of the zoo and its residents, photos, animal facts and – coming soon – daily activities!
Go on a Safari: Phoenix Zoo
6. Athens Acropolis, Athens
A must-visit destination for history buffs, the Athens Acropolis includes the world-famous Parthenon, and is a cultural hotspot for tourists. Choose between popular sites such as the Theatre of Dionysus and enjoy in-depth videos that provide a fascinating and educational insight into ancient Greece.
There are plenty of photographs to view and engrossing facts to learn, so don’t be surprised if you become an armchair expert in no time. Now, where’d you put that amphora of wine?
Get to the Greek: Athens Acropolis
7. The Vatican, Rome
Filled with spectacular architecture and historic monuments, The Vatican is within your virtual reach, with a host of museums providing online tours. Step into the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms, which are adorned with simply sensational artwork.
The tour is compatible with WebVR, so you can pop on a VR headset to get an even closer look at some of mankind’s most memorable creations. It’s truly breathtaking, even when viewed through a screen!
When in Rome, visit: The Vatican
8. OdySea Aquarium, Scottsdale, USA
Home to more than 6,000 animals, OdySea Aquarium invites you to experience the wonders of aquatic life from wherever you are. Take an underwater adventure via the virtual classroom, which offers coloring and crafts, recipes to create at home, and digital experiences, including the live shark cam!
Dive in: OdySea Aquarium
9. A 3-Minute Tour, Tokyo
What if we told you that you could ride in a Tuk Tuk, walk across the famous Shibuya crossing, win a Pikachu from a claw machine, and make friends with a robot… all in under three minutes. That might be physically impossible, but with VR it’s a breeze.
If you’ve ever wanted to take a whistle-stop tour of Japan, the Japan National Tourism Organization has created a 360-degree virtual reality video that lets you do all of the above, and lots more.
Simply put on a VR headset to experience a surreal thrill ride, where you’ll go from feeding a deer to facing off against a sumo wrestler in a matter of seconds. The video is also viewable in 2D, and well worth a look.
10. The Royal Academy of Arts, London
If you’re amazed by architecture, the Royal Academy of Arts has a virtual tour that will make you go “ooo” and “ahh” for hours. The Sensing Spaces exhibition uses high-quality 360-degree photography to give visitors a taste of its structures and remarkable exhibitions – it really does feel as if you’re actually there.
Each exhibition is complemented by further information for users to read through, but you’re encouraged to come to your own conclusions, and think about what each space means to you.
Visit the exhibition: Sensing Spaces