#TravelTuesday: Five museums you can visit virtually

07 April 2020 - 00:00
By Sanet Oberholzer
The Louvre museum in Paris.
Image: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images The Louvre museum in Paris.

We're sure if you have to hear the word ‘lockdown’ one more time you might just jump through your skin. We feel the same. But #TravelTuesdays are meant to inspire, not agitate, and for this reason we’ve put together a list of world-renowned museums that you can visit from the comfort of bed.

These museums all offer free online virtual tours that enable viewers to get a glimpse of the collections they hold, from Paris to Italy and New York. We hope they will inspire you until the next time you can take a trip in real life.

1. The Louvre is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris but just because people across the globe are stuck indoors doesn’t stop those who have always wanted to visit from not gaining an inside peek. It offers four virtual tours. Discover the ceilings of the Galerie d'Apollon and artworks from some of history’s most famous artists or marvel at Egyptian antiquities. To join a tour, visit louvre.fr.

2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses over two million works of art. Using spherical 360° technology, the museum has made six videos available on YouTube that allow viewers to explore the museum’s spaces from various angles all controlled by you. For a behind the scenes look at how they created this project and access to all the videos on one page, visit metmuseum.org.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Image: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg/Getty Images The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

3. Italy is one of the countries in the world hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. But just because it’s closed the Vatican Museums doesn’t mean they’re any less impressive. If your dream is to explore the immense amount of artworks collected by the popes from the 17th century, you can visit the museum grounds and iconic exhibits such as St Peter’s Basilica and Raphael’s room through its seven virtual tours. Just do not forget to “look up” at the 360 degree images – you wouldn’t want to miss the intricate murals on the ceilings, especially in the Sistine Chapel. Visit museivaticani.va.

The interior of the Sistine Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica.
Image: Frank Bienewald/LightRocket/Getty Images The interior of the Sistine Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica.

4. Under the ‘virtual visit’ tab on the website of the Dalí Theatre-Museum, it reads “visit the museum as you have never done before”. Whether you have or haven’t visited the museum, this virtual visit is as immersive as they come. Starting from the entrance to the museum, you can make your way through its halls and courtyard and discover Dalí’s unusual art up close and personal. Located in the artist’s home town of Figueres in Catalonia, Spain, the museum is entirely dedicated to the artist’s life and work. As you explore, just remember that Dalí is buried in a crypt below the stage. The idea is spooky – and not just virtually. Visit salvador-dali.org.

The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres.
Image: Kai-Balduin Kertscher/Ullstein Bild/Getty Images) The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres.

5. The Rijksmuseum is arguably the most popular museum in Amsterdam. It was once part of the Royal Palace and today it is home to some of The Netherlands’ most prized artworks. The eight museum views on Google Arts and Culture allow you to roam the museum as you would using Google’s street view. As you make your way through the various floors, pavilions and stairs, discover artworks signed by legends of the Dutch Golden Age such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. To explore the Rijksmuseum or to see what other museums are available to explore on Google Arts and Culture, visit artsandculture.google.com.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Image: Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.