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17 Museum Virtual Tours to Take from your Sofa

If you or someone you know is stuck at home over the next few weeks, we are here to help with these museum virtual tours that you can take from your sofa for free!

Obviously being stuck at home is not going to be the highlight of anyone’s year… and there are many MANY other things to think about in terms of having enough groceries and other supplies for two weeks. But after the initial shock of having to stay home wears off, you will invariably be looking for ideas to keep yourself (and potentially your children) entertained. 

Probably this is going to mean some attempt to stave off the boredom with the use of technology, a lot of Netflix, and a lot of browsing the internet.

But there is a way to get a little culture and education while you’re confined to your home. There are literally over 500 museums and galleries around the world that have virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous exhibits in their venues.

We have compiled our favourite virtual tours from around the world as well as the best of Brisbane and Australia.

Now, you get “go to the museum” without having to leave your sofa.

Virtual tours from your sofa

The museums include the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York City, and literally hundreds of more places where you can gain knowledge about art, history, and science. This collection is especially good for students who are looking for ways to stay on top of their studies while schools are closed.

Worldwide Virtual Tours

Take a look at just some of the top museums that are offering online tours and exhibits.

1. British Museum, London

This iconic museum located in the heart of London 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 the museum’s virtual tour.

2. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Google’s Street View feature lets visitors tour the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase without ever leaving home. From there, you can discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras. Check it out here.

3. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

This famous American art museum features two online exhibits through Google. The first is an exhibit of American fashion from 1740 to 1895, including many renderings of clothes from the colonial and Revolutionary eras. The second is a collection of works from Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer. You can see both exhibitions here.

4. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

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. Get a peek at artworks from Monet, Cézanne, and Gauguin, among others.

5. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul

One of Korea’s popular museums 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.

6. Pergamon Museum, Berlin

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. Discover it here.

7. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Explore the masterworks 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 wandering its halls. It really does!

8. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

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 largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters. This one is epic!

9. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

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. This is a gorgeous museum in Los Angeles.

10. Uffizi Gallery, Florence

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, but anyone can wander its halls from anywhere in the world.

11. MASP, São Paulo

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a non-profit and Brazil’s first modern museum. 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.

12. The Louvre

With virtual tours of their Egyptian rooms, the remains of the Louvre’s moat and Galerie d’Apollon you can take detailed tours of the Louvre on their website without the crowds!

Virtual tours around Australia

Australia was not left out when the virtual tours were being created! Check out our favourites!

13. Queensland Museum

Queensland Museum

The Queensland Museum had a Google employee visit in 2015 to create a virtual tour of our hometown museum. The museum has this easy to navigate virtual tour available right now!

14. Queensland Gallery of Modern Art

See the world from a new perspective at QAGOMA. Together, the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art offer compelling experiences that will move and surprise you. Check out their virtual tour here.

15. Sydney Opera House

“It stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind.” Expert evaluation report to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, 2007.

Walk around outside the Sydney Opera house here.

Always wanted to check out the inside? Click here.

16. Sydney Observatory

We are uniquely placed to demonstrate how technology, engineering, science and design impact Australia and the world. Stroll through the gardens and admire the view of Sydney Harbour here. Go inside to look at the museum here. 

17.Melbourne Museum

Wander through the halls of the Melbourne Museum here.

And if that doesn’t keep you busy for at least 3 days, well you are jut not trying hard enough!

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

7 thoughts on “17 Museum Virtual Tours to Take from your Sofa”

  1. This is wonderful, thank you.
    Just to let you know that the link for the Uffizi takes you to the J. Paul Getty, which is also lovely, but I was really hoping to see inside the Uffizi.

  2. This is kind and generous. I have been to a few of these museums. Now I can share them with my family during this time to enjoy our them together. Thank you!


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