Take a Virtual Drive in Cities Around the World While Listening to Local Radio

Start the morning in Tokyo, then take an afternoon drive in New York.

Don't you love the feeling of cranking your car radio and just taking an afternoon drive? There's nothing like cruising around a city — especially a city you're seeing for the first time — and taking in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

When you're craving a city break but can't set off on vacation for whatever reason, there is still a way to immerse yourself in urban life around the world — moreover, from the comfort of your own home.

Driving tour of New York City
Drive & Listen

Drive & Listen was created by Erkam Şeker and released to the world in May 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. A perfect virtual escape, the website puts users in the driver's seat on streets all over the world (about 150 and counting). Adding to the experience, you can even tune into the radio, control the speed of the vehicle, and hear the street noise (at the decibel of your choice).

Şeker, originally from Istanbul, Turkey, was studying for his Master's in Munich, Germany, at the time Drive & Listen dropped. Şeker told Lonely Planet that he originally thought of the website because he was homesick, then the idea grew into a chance for antsy travelers to enjoy the feeling of going abroad without actually going abroad, or just to provide a different way of exploring a new city.

Driving tour of Tokyo
Drive & Listen

Drive & Listen takes you on tours of streets in major cities like Paris, New York, London, Beijing, Istanbul, Tokyo, and many more. Some drives include famous landmarks like the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, and the Tokyo Tower. Other drives are less familiar, like one that traverses Yekaterinburg, Russia, in the snow, and another that wanders around Sofia, Bulgaria, at different hours of the day.

Şeker has said he uses YouTube and dashcam footage to create the drives, which you can filter to see only nighttime journeys or rides in the rain. In addition to car drives, the website has expanded to also include walks, bike and motorbike rides, train routes, flights (from the cockpit!), and even water routes on various vessels — kayaks to barges — drone footage, and ski runs (ever wanted to test drive one before gearing up?).

It goes beyond cities now, too, also offering virtual nature walks and drone footage of fall foliage and mass blooming events.

To get lost (literally and metaphorically) in dozens of cities around the globe, visit Drivenlisten.com, but beware: You will probably lose hours to aimless virtual wandering. Get the popcorn ready, pick a destination, and dive in.

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