12 Famous Museums Offering Virtual Tours

After stocking up with food and household supplies for two or more weeks, here comes the hard stuff! What can one do while isolating from the outside world beyond surfing the web in a frantic panic for the latest update on the coronavirus or binging on Netflix? For the culturally inclined, some well-known museums from around the world are offering virtual tours! Why not take advantage of them?

Here is a sampling of what is available thru virtual tours:

1)  British Museum, London

Located in the heart of London, this iconic museum is the first public national museum in the world. It is dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of approximately eight million works is amongst the largest and most comprehensive in existence. It allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. You can also find hundreds of artifacts on their virtual tours.


2)  Guggenheim Museum, New York

Google’s Street View feature lets virtual visitors tour the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase without ever leaving home. You can discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras as well.


3)  Louvre Museum

The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. Among the virtual tours available are (1) Egyptian Antiquities, (2) Remains of the Louvre’s Moat and (3) Galerie d’Apollon.

4)  MASP, São Paulo

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a non-profit and Brazil’s first modern museum. It is internationally recognized for its collection of European art, considered the finest in Latin America and all the Southern Hemisphere. Artworks placed on clear perspex frames make it seem like the artwork is hovering in midair. Take a virtual tour to experience the wondrous display for yourself.

5)  Musée d’Orsay, Paris

You can virtually walk through this popular gallery that houses dozens of famous works from French artists who worked and lived between 1848 and 1914. It has the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world! Get a glimpse of artwork from Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Sisley, amongst others.

6)  National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul

This contemporary art 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. It is one of Korea’s most popular museums and can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Google’s virtual tour takes you through six floors of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe.


7)  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This is the largest national art museum in the country dedicated to the art and history of Amsterdam. Explore the masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt. Google offers a Street View tour of this iconic museum, so you can feel as if you’re actually physically there.

8)  Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Immerse yourself in the Smithsonian’s expansive National Portrait Gallery, which includes Portraits of African Americans, First Ladies, Votes for Women, and much more. Becoming increasingly bored as the days go by while you are social distancing from society? Scroll the extensive array of online museum collections here and absorb world culture without even leaving your bed.


9)  The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

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. European artworks from as far back as the 8th Century can be found in this California art museum. Take a Street View tour to discover a huge collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and photographs.


10)  Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

This Dutch art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent Van Gogh and his contemporaries in Amsterdam was the most visited museum in the Netherlands! Anyone who is a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close by virtually visiting this museum. It houses the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters is housed here.


The Vatican Museums feature an extensive collection of important art and classical sculptures curated by the Popes over many centuries. You can take a virtual tour of the museum grounds and iconic exhibits, including Michelangelo’s ceiling of The Sistine Chapel.

12)  Google Arts & Culture

It is an online platform through which the public can access high-resolution images of artworks housed in the initiative’s partner museums. The digital platform utilizes high-resolution image technology and enables users to virtually tour partner museums’ galleries, explore physical and contextual information about artworks, and compile their own virtual collection. The “walk-through” feature of the project uses Google’s Street View technology. To see more of Google Arts & Culture’s collection of museums, visit the collection’s website. There are thousands of museum Street Views on Google as well. 

If museums aren’t your thing, then head over here to live stream ballets, concerts, plays, operas and musicals. There is something for everyone.

Whilst self-quarantining ourselves wherever we might be, we can still stimulate our intellect in many ways as has been shown here. You will come out at the other end of this in a much better position than you were in previously.