You’ve exhausted Netflix, condensed more reading into the last three weeks than you have during four years of college and become a Michelin star chef. And, for much of the country, there’s still at least another month of sheltering at home to go. If you’re starting to climb the walls during the coronavirus lockdown you could consider traveling the world. Virtually, that is. There are tons of virtual tours online. Instead of changing planes and currency, all you have to do is change your position on the couch and enjoy a global and cultural adventure.
Unlike most virtual tours, which offer photos that you can then rotate and progress by clicking your mouse, VR Gorilla — a Dutch company — actually gives you 5-15 minute guided tours of all the all main cities around the world. It’s not CNN or Travel Channel standard videography but there’s an unpretentious enthusiasm about them that cuts through the clutter to deliver concise whistle-stop visits and commentary.
Having sped through all the main cities in the world, next you might actually want to spend some time revisiting them at a more leisurely pace. Museums are magnets for tourists and locals alike and going the Google Arts and Culture page will give you a list of all the museums around the world that offer virtual tours of their collections. Of course, the big name institutions like the MET and The Louvre are represented. There are also some fascinating smaller museums too. Did you know there was an Australian National Surfing Museum or that you can take a tour of Virginia Woolf’s life in London and see the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City? Well, you can. You can blissfully spend a few hours skipping around global museums, looking at art, graffiti, monuments and learning about fascinating people’s lives. All without having to endure long lines for the restroom or wear a mask.
HIGH RESOLUTION GLOBAL TOURS
For those with large LED screens, AirPano.com is a VR project created by a team of Russian photographers focused on taking high-resolution aerial 360° photographs and 360° video. An orgy of pixels portray pictures in crystal clear clarity from across the globe. Stunning visuals make this an in-home experience that just might have you crossing whole continents off your travel bucket list.
U.S. NATIONAL PARKS
After so much time indoors, perhaps you yearn for the great outdoors. In conjunction with Google’s arts and culture site, enjoy some beautifully shot, high quality tours of U.S. National Parks that combine informative guides with 3D navigation controlled with your mouse. You’ll forget all about your encroaching four walls as you explore Alaska’s fjords, Hawaii’s volcanos or Florida’s coral reefs.
EXPERT TOUR GUIDES
The Roman Guy is the Rolls Royce of virtual tours with an expert guide. You’ll need to flash the cash to the tune of around $10-$20. However, make this a group activity on a big screen and enjoy an hour in the company of someone who really knows their stuff with an interactive Q&A afterwards. Learn about Barcelona architecture, the Paris Catacombs or even take a cooking class. Tours cover most of Spain and Italy (different tours for different cities) as well as London and NYC.
BOWIE – THE A.R. EXHIBITION
The David Bowie Is exhibit toured the world, commencing at the V&A Museum in London in 2013 and ending at the Brooklyn Museum five years later. If you missed the exhibit, it was made available last year on an app with additional material. This will cost you $9.99, but it’s well worth the investment. Make a night of it with family members. Get the best sound and vision by linking this to your flat screen, turn up the speakers and relive rock’s golden years from a true original.