If you haven’t started using Google Arts & Culture yet, and you are looking to explore museums from home or virtual tour for free from home, here is an internet treasure trove for you! It is a fantastic tool which has partnered with many museums and archives to bring you images, tours and information about so many interesting places and artefacts all around the world.
To whet your appetite, here are 7 places around the world you can explore using Google Arts & Culture as your virtual tour guide:
Tour France’s finest buildings, from Calais to Marseilles
If, like me, you’re a complete Francophile this is the tour for you. French Connections takes in more than 100 museums, galleries and institutions, giving you a virtual tour of France from your armchair.
Where can you go? You could climb Mont Blanc and take in the spectacular views. Or, if you’re a city lover, climb the Eiffel Tower and look across the Parisian skyline. I spent ages looking around the beautiful Chateau de Chambord and admiring the lavender fields in Provence.
Pride of Place: Queer women of England
Using photos from the Historic England Archive and Google street view, this is a fantastic virtual tour of buildings associated with LGBTQ women in English history.
Explore a variety of places from Henley Bridge, with sculptures designed by Anne Seymour Damer, to Anne Lister’s Shibden Hall in Halifax, to HM Prison Holloway in Islington where suffragette Ethel Smyth was incarcerated.
Head to Easter Island and see the Maoi up close
Though Rapa Nui (the indigenous name for Easter Island), is over 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile, so an arduous journey at the best of times, you can explore it here and learn about the Maoi statues.
Explore these sacred statues and the stories behind them, as well as admire the beautiful landscape of Rapa Nui, which is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
Get out in the ocean with the Australian National Surfing Museum
Here’s a virtual museum tour with a difference: welcome to the Australian National Surfing Museum, which celebrates the history of surfing and beach culture.
Walk around the museum to discover the history of surfboards, visit the surfing hall of fame and see artefacts relating to the culture of surfing. I really enjoyed virtually exploring this museum, which is completely different to any I’ve seen before!
Literature lovers, tour the places that inspired your favourite books
From Thomas Hardy’s Dorset and Cornwall to James Joyce’s Dublin, this virtual tour will take you to the landscapes and buildings that inspired some of the most celebrated books around the world.
Although I did love seeing Hemingway’s Paris and Central Park through the lens of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, my favourite was exploring Harry Potter’s London.
Take a trip to India and explore the Taj Mahal
I’ve always wanted this beautiful monument. There are extensive virtual tours to the Taj Mahal that you can take here, which allow you to see both inside and out, as well as the views from the top.
Alongside this, I spent a long time reading about the love story behind the building of the Taj Mahal, a monument constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his deceased wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Read about the Taj Mahal as an enduring symbol of love here.
Visit iconic theatres around the world
As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage”, and here you can see famous stages from Brazil to Russia, Vienna to Sydney.
It is absolutely fascinating to be able to actually be on the stage and see where some of the most iconic performances in history have taken place, such as 13-year-old Mozart’s performance at the Teatro Bibiena in Mantua on it’s opening night.
Have you been exploring virtual museum tours with Google? Leave your favourite ones in the comments below!