Today’s top travel news story is not about travelling at all. It’s about virtual tours people can take without ever leaving home. And their popularity is increasing as people look for ways to occupy themselves while being occupied by the foreign invasion of an itty-bitty army that’s keeping them trapped at home and unable to travel. As borders and doors fearfully close, and millions peer out from self-exile, there has been a massive shift in entertainment. Locally board and card games are flying off shelves when and where stores are open, and the internet has never experienced such massive loads on global servers. But not everyone likes playing games or reading to wile away the hours and days, and so many are travelling online. As a person who loves to visit museums, here’s a few of my personal favorite places that I encourage you to digitally visit during this trying time.
Virtual Tours Are Free
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Located in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. Its mission is to bring people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways The collections are vast, with close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art such as ‘Untilled’ by Pierre Huyghe, to European masterpieces such as Peter Paul Rubens’s ‘The Massacre of The Innocents’. Works includes Group of Seven pieces as well as those by established and emerging Indigenous Canadian artists, Its photography collection is home to works by artists such as Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus, and ‘must sees’ are its Gothic boxwood miniatures and Western and Central African art collections. Click here to enjoy.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is home to a world-class collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects, and natural history specimens, featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces. The ROM has more than 45,000 objects viewable through its online archive. Just type in something like “dinosaurs” or “gems” into its search feature and look through thousands of results. Or if you’d rather have a more authentic experience, why not click here to go right into the museum itself, where you can digitally walk through the exhibits!
Museums Offer Insights To The Past And Future
Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Get to know the animals who call our oceans home at the Vancouver Aquarium. It offers live cams so visitors can wath the antics of their favorite critters without even leaving home. The website has a wealth of information and ways we all can help make our oceans a healthier place. I’ve visited the actual facility a few times with my children, and just can’t say enough good things about the folks running the show. Click here to view some of it’s live cams.
Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
A great place to get lost in digital space, the Canadian Museum of History welcomes over 1.2 million visitors each year to its celebrated complex in the heart of the National Capital Region, making it the country’s most-visited museum. With roots stretching back to 1856, it is one of Canada’s oldest public institutions and a respected centre of museological excellence, sharing its expertise in history, archaeology, ethnology and cultural studies both within Canada and abroad. Click here to take a virtual tour.
No Matter What Your Taste, There’s A Museum For You
British Museum, London, England
The British Museum was founded in 1753 and opened its doors in 1759. It was the first national museum to cover all fields of human knowledge, open to visitors from across the world. Enlightenment ideals and values – critical scrutiny of all assumptions, open debate, scientific research, progress and tolerance – have marked the Museum since its foundation.This iconic museum is located in the heart of London, England. Become a virtual visitor to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. You can also find hundreds of artifacts on the museum’s virtual tour. Click here to begin.
Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was founded in 1937, and its first New York–based venue for the display of art, the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, opened in 1939. The need for a permanent building to house Guggenheim’s art collection became evident in the early 1940s, and in 1943 renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright gained the commission to design a museum in New York City, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum officially opened on October 21, 1959. Discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras. Click here to begin your tour.
The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
The National Gallery of Art, and its attached Sculpture Garden, is a national art museum in Washington, D.C.. Open to the public and free of charge, the museum was privately established in 1937 for the American people by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. The museum is the largest in the United States. It preserves, collects, exhibits, and fosters an understanding of works of art. Its collection is truly awe inspiring, but be prepared to spend some as there is LOT to see. Click here to view exhibits.
No Admission Fees Or Closing Times
Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France
Musée d’Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. View them all as you virtually walk through this popular gallery that houses dozens of famous works from French artists who worked and lived between 1848 and 1914. The museum offers awesome video galleries, to visit them, click here.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
The museum was first established in 1969 as the only national art museum in the country accommodating modern and contemporary art of Korea and international art of different time periods. Now one of Korea’s popular museums can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Take a virtual tour through its six floors of contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe. Click here to amaze yourself.
See Sights From The Comfort And Safety Of Home
Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Germany
As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon has a lot to offer – even if you can’t physically be there. This historical museum is home to plenty of ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and, of course, the Pergamon Altar. Sit back and click here to wander through its wonders.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague on November 19 of 1798. The current main building first opened in 1885. It’s the most visited museum in the Netherlands with record numbers of 2.2 million and 2.47 million visitors, and also the largest art museum in the country. Explore the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt. The museum has 8,000 objects of art and history on display, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000. Among them are masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The museum also has a small Asian collection, which is on display in the Asian pavilion. Click here to begin your tour.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Anyone who is a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close (or, almost up close) by virtually visiting this museum – the museum contains the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters. It is the most visited museum in the Netherlands, and the 23rd most visited art museum in the world. Click here to visit.
Virtual Tours Expand Minds
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA
I loved visiting this museum. The J. Paul Getty Museum, commonly referred to as the Getty, is an art museum in California housed on two campuses: the Getty Center and Getty Villa. The primary museum, located at the Getty Center, is on a hilltop above the west side. The Museum houses primarily European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, and decorative arts, as well as photography from its beginnings to the present, gathered internationally. The second campus, the Getty Villa, is located in Malibu and displays a fabulous collection of art and artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. Click here to begin your tour.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
This less well-known gallery houses the art collection of one of Florence, Italy’s most famous families, the de’Medicis. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 specifically for Cosimo I de’Medici to house the Granducal Magistratures of Tuscany. Over time, the top floor loggia became an exhibition of the dynastic collection of ancient sculpture, artwork and artifacts. Today it’s one of the most important Italian museums, the most popular tourist attractions of Florence, and one of the most visited art museums in the world. It has one of the largest and best known collection of priceless works in the world, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance. Click here to virtually wander its halls.
History At Your Fingertips
São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo, Brazil
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo (São Paulo Museum of Art, or MASP) is a private non-profit museum founded in 1947, and Brazil’s first modern museum. The museum is internationally recognized for its collection of European art, considered the finest in Latin America and all Southern Hemisphere. It also houses an emphatic assemblage of Brazilian art, prints and drawings, as well as smaller collections of African and Asian art, antiquities, decorative arts, and others, amounting to more than 8,000 pieces. MASP also has one of the largest art libraries in the country. It provides a up close and personal experience during your virtual tour. Displays make it seem like the artwork is hovering in midair as you browse through its wonders. Click here to visit its treasures.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City, Mexico
Built in 1964, this museum is dedicated to the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic heritage. Just over half a century after its creation, the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA) is recognized as one of the most emblematic venues for safeguarding Mexico’s indigenous heritage and is a symbol of identity and a mentor for generations seeking their cultural roots. There are 23 exhibit rooms filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the Mayan civilization containing significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Columbian heritage, such as the Stone of the Sun (or the Aztec calendar stone) and the Aztec Xochipilli statue.
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