These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch
While there's nothing like setting foot inside an iconic museum and laying eyes on a world-famous sculpture created by a renowned artist centuries ago, it's not always possible to hop on a plane to New York City, Paris, or Florence to tour the gallery halls in person.
But there is a way to get a little culture and education while you're at home, gaining inspiration and intel for future trips as well. Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with more than 1,200 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world.
You get to "go to the museum" and never have to leave your couch.
Google Arts & Culture's collection includes The British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York City, and literally hundreds more places where you can gain knowledge about art, history, and science.
Take a look at just some of Google's top museums that are offering online tours and exhibits. And if you're seeking more thoughtful inspiration from the comfort of your own home, museums around the world are sharing their most zen art on social media. Or, for a dose of nature, you can go "outside" with incredible virtual tours of some of America's best national parks.
The 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 of the World interactive website, a collaboration between The British Museum and Google Cultural Institute.
Guggenheim, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore 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 wandering its halls.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Anyone who's a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close (or, almost up close) by virtually visiting this museum, home to the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 750 personal letters.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
European artworks from as far back as the eighth 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.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
This less well-known gallery houses the art collection of one of Florence'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.
MASP, São Paulo
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a nonprofit and Brazil's first modern museum. Artworks placed on clear, raised frames make it seem like they're hovering in midair. Take a virtual tour to experience the wondrous display for yourself.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
Built in 1964, this museum is dedicated to the archaeology and history of Mexico's pre-Hispanic heritage. There are 22 exhibit rooms filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the Maya civilization.
Not all popular art museums and galleries are included in Google Arts & Culture's collection, but some have taken it upon themselves to offer online visits. For example, the Louvre offers virtual tours on its website.
To see more of Google Arts & Culture's collection of museums, visit its website. There are thousands of museum Street Views on Google as well. Google Arts & Culture also has an online experience for exploring famous historic and cultural heritage sites.