With the ongoing health crisis brought about COVID-19 outbreak, most museums and attractions have temporarily closed as a precautionary measure. Most people have to lay aside their travel plans as a result of tourist spots temporarily closing their doors to visitors. However, some of these attractions have thought of a clever way to let people see their beauty and charm: virtual tours. Scroll down below to find out about the museums and attractions that offer virtual exhibits and tours.
List of temporarily closed and still operating attractions due to Covid-19
1. View artworks inside the Louvre Museum (Paris, France)
What’s not to love about the Louvre Museum? Aside from being the largest museum in the world, it features 38,000 stunning artworks from renowned artists all over the world. Sadly though, with most of the European countries bearing the brunt of the pandemic, the Louvre has to temporarily close its doors to visitors. Fortunately, there’s a virtual tour of the Louvre! Be amazed by Egyptian artifacts with the online Egyptian Antiquities tour; see the Louvre’s origin with the Remains of the Louvre’s Moat tour; or, pay homage to the late King Louis XIV with the Galerie d'Apollon tour.
Virtual tour website: Louvre Online
2. Revisit UK's past with British Museum (London, the UK)
Do you want to learn about the history of the United Kingdom? British Museum is one of the grand museums where you can do exactly that. But with rising COVID-19 cases in the country, museum administrators have to temporarily close down the museum until further notice. Not to worry though, as you can still embark on this online tour where you’ll find yourself gawking at numerous artifacts inside the museum. Plus, the museum partnered with Google to create an interactive timeline for its viewers itching to step into this museum. With this interactive timeline, you’ll see numerous artifacts from the museum and its relation to humanity’s past. You’ll surely feel like you’re on a museum tour with the audio prompts providing context into what you’re seeing.
Interactive website: British Museum
Virtual tour of the museum: British Museum by Google Arts and Culture
3. Be amazed at the natural artifacts at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington DC, the USA)
The National Museum of Natural History is the most visited natural history in the world. Here, you’ll find 145 million specimens of varied flora and fauna. However, the museum temporarily closed its doors due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The only way to visit this museum is through a virtual tour that will take you right inside its hallways. The tour itself is extensive and you can roam the museum’s ground, first, or second floor without breaking a sweat. A tip: go to the first floor and marvel at the enormous reconstruction of dinosaurs on David H. Koch’s Hall of Fossils.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Virtual tour of the museum: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
4. Get your creativity flowing with Museu Picasso (Barcelona, Spain)
Pablo Picasso is known all over the world as a creative and provocative artist whose works include Guernica. There’s a museum dedicated to his works in Barcelona, Spain. Here, you’ll discover how the painter evolved his creative works over time. You’ll also gape at the 4,251 artworks housed inside. But since Spain is on lockdown — for now — the museum is not open to visitors at the moment. If you are into Picasso’s works, then you’ll be glad to know that the museum has provided a virtual tour of the museum instead.
Virtual tour of the museum: Museu Picasso
5. Glance at exhibitions on display at History of Science Museum (Oxford, the UK)
Focused entirely on promoting science to the general masses, this museum is different from the others since it is located in the prestigious University of Oxford. Various scientific instruments on display here make sure that the visitors learn a great deal about the history of science. There was even a famous blackboard by Einstein himself in the museum. Since it was closed, however, visitors wanting to view the museum had to log in to the museum’s website to view numerous instruments that are fundamental to scientific development. Still, one can learn a great deal on various scientific instruments via their website.
History of Science Museum
Interactive exhibition website: History of Science Museum
6. Marvel at volcanoes at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii, the USA)
You may have wondered how the Hawaii island chain came to be. The natural forces of the planet gave rise to the majestic island itself. In this park, you’ll catch a glimpse of the continuously erupting volcanoes that shaped the island chain. But since the park is closed, you’ll have to make do with a digital tour offering 360-degree views of the park. On this digital tour, you’ll find yourself touring the Nahuku Lava Tube with an audio guide providing educational information. Plus, this tour will transport you inside a lava tube — you’ll also get a peek at an erupting volcano that continuously spills lava.
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Interactive tour of the Nahuku Lava Tube: Google Arts and Culture’s Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park site
7. Tour the wonderful fjords at Kenai Fjords National Parks (Alaska, the USA)
Fresh from an interactive tour of Hawaii’s fiery landscape, this next interactive tour will take you to the icy world of Alaska. This national park is surrounded by numerous fjords carved by glaciers. One of the popular attractions here is Exit Glacier, which you’ll be exploring on the interactive tour. As you embark on the tour, the audio guide will guide you through the crevasse of the glacier. You’ll get to experience first-hand the effect of global warming on glaciers with the interactive timeline featuring the glacier’s recession over the years. With the help of a VR headset, you can also experience kayaking through the icy-white icebergs.
Kenai Fjords National Parks
Interactive tour of Exit Glacier: Google Arts and Culture’s Kenai Fjords National Parks site
8. Explore the remnants of Blarney Castle (Blarney, Ireland)
Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold located in Ireland. It was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry, though earlier fortifications had been built before he turned it into a castle. Today, the stronghold is open to the public, but the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Europe forced it to close temporarily. If you really want to visit this place, you’ll be glad to know that there is an interactive 360-degree view of the various parts of Blarney Castle instead. The interactive, 360-degree view will immerse you into a view of the poison garden, family room, rock close, fern garden, and the castle’s interior.
360-degree view of Blarney Castle’s interior: Blarney Castle
9. Dazzle at architectural wonders with The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the USA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is not just a single museum. There are actually three branches of the museum, with each one located in New York. Each museum houses a vast collection of ancient and modern art. Since there is an ongoing case of COVID-19 in the locality, all the three museums are temporarily closed. Instead of despairing over the museum’s temporary closure, you can peek inside the museum’s interior for free at The Met’s 360-degree Project website. On their website, you’ll have to chance to peek once more at Great Hall, The Met Cloisters, Temple of Dendur, The Met Breuer, The Charles Engelhard Court, and Arms and Armor Galleries.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met 360-degree Project website: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
10. Delight in a 360-degree view of Taj Mahal (New Delhi, India)
Do you know that there is a Google Street View of every major tourist attraction in the world? With Google Street View, you can now visit the Taj Mahal while staying in the comfort of your own home. The street view of the Taj Mahal is just enough to give you an idea of how large and dazzling the place is. And more importantly, the 360-degree view of the whole place can temporarily quell the urge to travel here as you get a view from every direction.
Interactive street view of Taj Mahal: Google Street View of Taj Mahal
11. Stand in awe at Sistine Chapel's artworks (Vatican City)
You will literally stand in awe with this interactive, digital tour of the Sistine Chapel. Plus, this is not the only place you’ll be digitally exploring as there are numerous tour options available on Musei Vaticani’s website. Do explore all the rooms, chapels, and museums, but prioritize Sistine Chapel first. The biggest advantage of this interactive tour is the immersive view that you can enhance by wearing a VR headset. See the Sistine Chapel in all its glory and beauty as you marvel at Michelangelo’s artworks on this interactive tour.
Virtual tour website: Sistine Chapel
12. View the daily routines of marine animals at New England Aquarium (Boston, Massachusetts, the USA)
Many aquariums across the US are closed due to COVID-19 outbreak. However, doesn’t stop New England Aquarium from showing their enthusiasm for presenting mind-boggling facts to would-be visitors who are now confined to their homes. Every day, the aquarium hosts a live presentation that you can watch. You’ll learn a lot about the biology of a certain aquatic animal as you engage with their presentation. Plus, every live presentation is accompanied by a related activity that you can do to quell the boredom and monotony while at home.
New England Aquarium
Live presentation website: New England Aquarium website
13. Watch cute animals in their habitat at San Diego Zoo (San Diego, California, the USA)
Maybe you just can’t get enough of cute animals while you’re on home quarantine. If that is the case, then San Diego’s solution is perfect for you. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak blew up, this world-famous zoo is has been providing live streams that people watch to satisfy their need for viewing cute animals. Now, as San Diego Zoo temporarily closes its doors to visitors, you may consider watching the animals on live cameras instead. You’ll never get bored with the selection of live cameras — there are baboon, penguin, panda, and elephant cams plus many more if you head to their website.
San Diego Zoo
Live cam website: New England Aquarium website
14. Boost your adrenaline with Disneyland's Incredicoaster (California, the USA)
Do you want to know how it feels like riding a rollercoaster? It is now possible with this interactive video where you get to experience riding the Incredicoaster, a rollercoaster inside Disneyland California. Surely, this digital ride can try to make up for that cancelled trip to Disneyland. Prepare to get your adrenaline pumped as you tumble and turn during the ride.
15. Celebrate the bloom of cherry blossoms (Japan)
Cherry blossoms are highly associated with the Land of the Rising Sun. While Japan has not yet imposed any lockdown or quarantine, majority of the visitors who come to this country are from countries that had already imposed a travel ban. For those who can’t visit Japan, an interactive tour to its cherry blossoms may suit them well for the time being. This tour is also best experienced with a VR headset. Glide along Hanami as you watch the calming cherry blossoms and view the surrounding environment.
Livestreams: Musical, arts, theatres
16. Let your emotions flow with Metropolitan Opera House's drama shows (New York, the USA)
Metropolitan Opera House is one of the premier theatres in New York. Here, you can watch several shows that will surely invigorate your emotions. For now, though, the theatre house is airing its drama shows online. As of the moment, you can watch Il Trovatore and La Traviata right at your own desktop or your smartphone. The drama shows streamed online change every night so don’t miss out on their superb show offerings.
Metropolitan Opera House
Website: Metropolitan Opera House
17. Attend a show at Social Distancing Festival
If your plans to go to a concert or a festival is ruined by the ongoing situation happening around the world, then fret no more. Social Distancing Festival offers an alternative where you can see upcoming talent shows right from the comfort of your own home. There are many talents that you can view and choose right on the website — from theatre and opera to music, dance, storytelling, and many more! Once you’ve chosen a talent show that you fancy, you can go ahead and click the link to the online streaming site right from the information page.
Social Distancing Festival
Website: Social Distancing Festival
18. Subscribe to BroadwayHD
Nothing is more thrilling than watching live performances inside a theatre itself. However, with the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, theatres have to close down as a precautionary measure. Still, you can watch your favourite performances by streaming them on your mobile devices and PCs. Broadway HD offers an alternative venue for watching live on-demand performances anytime and anywhere. Theatre fans will love the extensive selection of Shakespeare-based and Tony-award-winning blockbusters. While there’s a subscription fee to access live performances, you can always try it out for seven days to see if it fits your wants.
Price: 8.99 USD (monthly); 99.99 USD (yearly); 7-day free trial
19. Satisfy your itch for theatre with Theatre without Theatre
How do stage actors fare when they’re not reciting their lines and performing on the big stage? Well, this Instagram page will answer your question. Here, you’ll see various behind-the-scenes of a theatrical production, with actors and directors revealing what went beyond a certain production. And if you’re lucky, you can watch a live play right on Instagram.
Theatre Without Theatre
Instagram feed: Theatre without Theatre
20. Be inspired from monologues on 24 Hours Plays: Viral Monologues
Monologues are a crucial part of a theatrical performance as you get to gauge an actor’s skill in delivering lines. Now, you can watch famous actors blurt out their lines in an online setup. The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues is a website where you can see various actors recite lines from renowned plays. Here, you’ll see the Instagram feed where the monologues are originally played. Plus, you also get to see the names of the actors and writers. If you are a theatre fan and want to kill time, watching monologues is a great option.
24 Hours Plays: Viral Monologues
Main website: 24 Hours Plays
Instagram feed: 24 Hours Plays’ Instagram page
21. See a compilation of performances from PBS Great Performances
PBS has compiled videos of great performances ranging from theatrical productions to live orchestras. You can select from different video clips and episodes on its website. Plus, you can browse from different collections and extras to satisfy your craving for live performances. It doesn’t end there, however, as the site also features interactives that you can tak to boost your information about a famous play or production.
PBS Great Performances
Website: PBS Great Performances
22. Listen to interactive stories at Audible Theatre
Besides showcasing great e-books that you can read at home, Audible is now also showcasing interactive stories that you can listen to while killing time. Audible Theatre brands itself as a platform redefining storytelling. It’s hard not to see why — each story are narrated in an interactive way with famous actors. This is not just your regular storytelling site. As you listen, pay attention to the actor’s voice, the background song, and the sound effects all combining into one interactive story. Every interactive story is also bundled with the corresponding e-book of your choice.
Selections of story: Audible Theatre
23. Watch your neighbours perform on Ottawa Live Streams
There’s an interesting Facebook group where you can watch various people stream their musical performances online. The best part about this is you can join the group and watch the performances even when you’re not a part of it. After all, it’s a public group, and the moderators are calling more people to join the fun. Here, you can watch people perform with the help of their instruments like piano and guitar. Plus, you also get to see some bands that you might consider putting in your “to-watch” list. Overall, this Facebook group promotes musical performances to keep you entertained ahd help you fight the boredom.
Ottawa Live Streams
Facebook group: Ottaw Live Music Streams!
24. Watch famous musicians on their Instagram feed
In this current situation, social networking sites provide an alternative avenue for entertaining yourself and keeping in touch with others. And if you fancy a live performance, then you’re in luck. Famous musicians like Chris Martin and John Legend are live-streaming their musical performances online via Instagram. As the #TogetherAtHome movement grows momentum, more and more artists are jumping into the bandwagon and are recording themselves perform too. You can watch your respective artists perform online by going over their respective social media pages, or by following the #TogetherAtHome trend.
Live-streams of famous musicians
Twitter Trend website: #TogetherAtHome
25. Drown to the sounds of The Berliner Philharmoniker's Digital Concert Hall
Berliner Philharmoniker is one of the prestigious orchestras in the world. Based in Germany, this orchestra has been around since 1882. It has won several awards throughout the years, testifying to the grandeur and majesty of its production. This time around, the orchestra is going digital. You can now watch their splendid musical performance as you snuggle in your own bed or sofa. Digital Concert Hall is offering a limited promo where you can access films and concerts from the Berliner Philharmoniker for free. Just sign up on their website, redeem the voucher, and voila! You can now drown to the enchanting harmony of the orchestra.
Digital Concert Hall - Berliner Philharmoniker
Website: Digital Concert Hall
Redeem code: BERLINPHIL
Embark on a virtual tour
The ongoing spread of COVID-19 has forced a lot of people to stay at home instead. As such, many people now find themselves canceling their planned trips. Some museums and attractions, however, are finding new ways to connect to its would-be visitors. These spots are offering virtual tours that you can embark on in the safety and comfort of your own home.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.