Have social distancing and travel restrictions left you feeling a little uninspired? Well thanks to virtual tours, you can still feed your creative soul by traveling to some of the world’s best museums, galleries, and historic buildings from the comfort of your living room.
While physical locations may be closed or difficult to travel to at the moment, many attractions have opened their virtual doors so you can still be inspired by the amazing exhibits and architecture.
The researchers at Heal’s have compiled a list of the best virtual tours with history lovers in mind. From galleries to stately homes, here are the most enlightening and cultural virtual tours you can visit straight from your living room.
Experience the best museums in the world from the comfort of your home and breathe in the culture and history of these museums to enlighten and inspire you.
The FIDM Museum and Gallery preserve and interpret fashion objects and support materials with outstanding design merit. With this virtual tour, you can learn and engage with some of the museum’s most amazing collections from the empire period to the art of television costume design.
This art museum is famous for owning the Mona Lisa, and the virtual tour offers you the opportunity to view its popular works up close. You can explore panoramas of the museum’s Egyptian antiquities; the galleries; and even special exhibits, such as the Founding Myths: From Hercules to Darth Vader.
From a Ming Emperor’s seat to an encyclopedia of wondrous objects, Manchester Museum has a vast collection of online resources to explore from the comfort of your living room. The virtual experience allows users to spark some creative energy while exploring the fascinating objects and stories.
Five thousand years of art and design make up the Victoria & Albert Museum collection. Fashion is one of the museum’s strong suits and the virtual Gallery of Fashion takes viewers through the history of clothing design around the world. Further exhibits also include spotlights on Balenciaga, Schiaparelli, Indian textiles and the politics of fashion.
Founded as the Imperial Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry in 1863, today’s museum features a unique collection of applied arts and is an excellent hub of contemporary art. Originally established as an exemplary source collection, today’s MAK Collection continues to stand for an extraordinary union of applied art, design, contemporary art and architecture.
Architectural Designs and Structures through Time
Visiting some of the world’s greatest architectural wonders has never been easier, thanks to virtual tours. With just a few clicks you can navigate through highly immersive and interactive visits for an inspiring look into some unique architectural structures and designs.
From the outside, the façade of Casa Batlló looks like it has been made from skulls and bones. The “Skulls” are in fact balconies and the “bones” are supporting pillars. The designer, Antoni Gaudí, used colors and shapes found in marine life as inspiration for this innovative building. The beauty continues inside and as part of this virtual tour, you can explore every room in the building, taking inspiration from each corner.
With soaring vaulted ceilings, murals and tapestries, the Vatican’s museums are creatively rich sites. The virtual tours allow you to explore seven spaces, including the Sistine Chapel. Wander around the rest of Vatican City with a You Visit tour that takes in Saint Peter’s Basilica and Square, complete with a tour guide narrating each interactive space.
With Google’s Street View you can get up close and personal with Jordan’s Rose City, Petra. Grab your headphones and get fully immersed in this stunning city steeped in history and impressive architecture. Petra is more than four times the size of Manhattan, but the virtual experience allows you to explore caves, temples and tombs spread out for more than 100 square miles with just a click of your mouse.
This ornate marble mausoleum is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The building was designed to be completely symmetrical and in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake, everything would fall away from the tomb inside. Explore the impressive design and architecture of India’s crown jewel without leaving the house.
Visit Stately Homes
Not all homes are simply bricks and mortar. Some are marble and gold, grand columns and sweeping dining rooms filled with antique furniture. From sprawling estates to elaborate palaces, this is the ultimate list of magnificent stately homes and historical buildings that offer virtual tours. Get inspired by the grand architecture, careful design and craftsmanship of these stunning buildings.
The Winter Palace was the official residence of the Russian Emperors from 1732 to 1917, but today the palace forms the Hermitage Museum. This Baroque-style masterpiece is St. Petersburg’s most famous landmark and among the world’s most lavish palaces. The mint, gold, and ivory exterior are eye-catching and extravagant. The inside is equally spectacular and the virtual tour allows you to explore all of the palace’s 1,057 rooms featuring velvet and gold detailing.
It’s hard to imagine a grander residence than the elegant Palace of Versailles, also known as the Château de Versailles. Every aspect of the building has been impeccably carved, smoothed and polished. This was France’s principal royal residence from 1682 until the French Revolution in 1789. The central gallery boasts elegant chandeliers and is home to around 5,000 pieces of antique furniture and 6,000 priceless paintings. With this virtual tour you can explore the palace’s art and design from royal portraits to iconic interiors.
This magnificent castle in Sozopol is the stuff of dreams and fairy tales, and its alternative name—In Love with the Wind—only adds to its charm. It was designed by champion wrestler Georgi Kostadinov Tumpalov, who worked with a team of builders to craft the medieval-style structure from 20,000 tonnes of stone. The 360-degree virtual tour allows you to explore the elegant chapel and jaw-dropping winery. This castle really has to be seen to be believed.
Pena Palace is breathtaking with its butter-yellow turrets and brick red towers rising above the treetops in hilly Sintra. This multicolored beauty is an example of 19th-century Romanticism and was commissioned by King Ferdinand II and completed in 1854. It has been home to Portuguese royals through the years. The virtual tour allows you to explore the outer walls of the castle to really take in the magnificent architecture.
One of the finest lasting examples of Japanese castle architecture, Himeji Castle in the Hy?go Prefecture, dates to the 14th century. The castle’s interior appears simplistic with little decoration but the design is clever and many of the walkways turn back on themselves to confuse invaders. View the virtual video to explore the grand architecture of this beautiful building.