Categories
Arts & Culture Entertainment

21 Sites Offering Virtual Tours and Live Streams for Travelers Stuck at Home

As the world grinds to a halt in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many would-be travelers find themselves stuck at home, dreaming of their next trip. Fortunately, the internet is here to help. You can take a virtual tour of the world’s great art museums, watch live streams of adorable animals in aquariums and zoos, and even catch a Broadway show, all from the comfort of your couch.

Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

Though Italy remains in lockdown, the Vatican Museums have put a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel on their website so you can explore its magnificent artwork without the crowds.

Google Arts & Culture

Use the Street View section of Google Arts & Culture for a peek inside dozens of museums and landmarks, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the Australian National Surfing Museum in Torquay, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Broadway HD

Broadway may be dark right now, but you can stream shows like Kinky Boots, Miss Saigon, and Macbeth through subscription service Broadway HD. You can start with a seven-day free trial, then pay a monthly or yearly fee.

Zoos Victoria, Australia

Two zoos in Victoria, Australia, are bringing some of their most popular critters visible through live cams. Tune in for a glimpse at penguins, baby snow leopards, giraffes, and lions.

The British Museum, London

Take a virtual tour through time and space as you explore the British Museum’s wide-ranging collections, from Japanese porcelain to ancient Egyptian artifacts.

The Metropolitan Opera, New York

Need a culture fix? The Met is streaming archived opera performances each night through March 29 while the opera house is closed, including works from Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and more.

Monterey Bay Aquarium, California

Be mesmerized by tropical fish, sharks, jellyfish, penguins, and birds on the live cams of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.

The Frick Collection, New York

Survey the works of Old Masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer in a Gilded Age mansion with a virtual visit to the Frick Collection.

Skyline Webcams

What’s happening at the Roman Colosseum or at the Zocalo in Mexico City? Spoiler alert: Right now, not much. But there’s something soothing about being able to look out over famous landmarks and beautiful beaches, even if they’re eerily deserted at the moment. Check out the full lineup of destinations at Skyline Webcams.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

Madrid’s Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, currently closed, is offering a virtual tour of its Rembrandt and Amsterdam Portraiture exhibition, scheduled to run through May 24.

National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.

Get your fill of dinosaur fossils, minerals, Egyptian artifacts, and more with a virtual tour of this Smithsonian institution, including past and current exhibits.

Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin

The Berlin Philharmonic is making the performances in its Digital Concert Hall free for everyone who signs up by March 31.

San Diego Zoo, California

Let cute furry animals ease your cabin fever by tuning into the live cams from the San Diego Zoo, featuring koalas, pandas, polar bears, elephants, and more.

360Cities

Providing 360-degree views of cities and natural areas across the globe, 360Cities offers a fun way to virtually visit rainforests, monasteries, and geysers. Check out the site’s curated collections or search on a world map.

Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle

Need a moment of Zen? This conservatory is posting daily live streams of plants and flowers on its Instagram account.

Yosemite National Park, California

Explore Yosemite’s waterfalls, lakes, and rugged rocks through the imagery at Virtual Yosemite.

The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Peek around the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II.

Google Earth

Take in 360-degree views of the Matterhorn, the Hoover Dam, the Florence Duomo, and more on Google Earth.

Florida Beaches

Give yourself a virtual vacation with rolling waves and sunshine from live cams across the Fort Myers and Sanibel areas of Florida.

Tenerife, Spain

See spectacular aerial views of beaches, mountains, parks, and rocky coast in Spain’s Canary Islands chain.

National Palace Museum, Taiwan

Navigate your way through the serene gardens and priceless exhibits of Taiwan’s National Palace Museum via this virtual tour.

Working From Home? Make it Comfy

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

More from SmarterTravel:

Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.

By Sarah Schlichter

Deputy Executive Editor Sarah Schlichter's idea of a perfect trip includes spotting exotic animals, hiking through pristine landscapes, exploring new neighborhoods on foot, and soaking up as much art as she can. She often attempts to recreate recipes from her international travels after she gets home (which has twice resulted in accidental kitchen fires—no humans or animals were harmed).

Sarah joined the SmarterTravel team in 2017 after more than a decade at the helm of IndependentTraveler.com. Sarah's practical travel advice has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Budget Travel, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A journal. Even years later, reading my notes from a trip can bring back incredibly vivid memories."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Road tripping and hiking through the rugged mountains of Patagonia."

Travel Motto: "'To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.'—Freya Stark"

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle. I get restless on long flights and like to be able to move around without disturbing anyone else."

Email Sarah at sschlichter@smartertravel.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *