In our last blog post, we discussed 5 tips for planning your first post-pandemic trip to help you look to the future during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we know that with such an uncertain future, you may still be looking for a way to satisfy that travel bug while staying safe at home. If visiting museums is one of your favorite things to do while traveling, then you’ve come to the right place! Beyond being a way to learn about a culture, regularly visiting museums can actually increase your quality of life. A study by the Museum Association states that “museums can increase our sense of well-being, help us feel proud of where we come from, can inspire, challenge and stimulate us, and make us feel healthier.”
To help you get started, we’ve gathered 5 museums from around the world that you can tour right from the comfort of your own couch. All you need is a good internet connection and you can instantly be immersed in a different world, and maybe even learn something new.
Founded 150 years ago, the Met has become known for its global collection of art with pieces dating back 5,000 years. Whether you want to learn more about ancient Greek or Roman sculptures or freshen up on American history, this museum truly has it all. According to their mission statement, “The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.” You can view their online exhibitions, also known as primers, here.
Just across the pond, the National Gallery has one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, with pieces from the 15th to 20th centuries. Here you can see paintings from renowned artists like Botticelli, Michaelangelo, Rembrandt, Monet, and Van Gogh. Their virtual tours give you the option of experiencing the museum from your computer, phone, or even virtual reality if you have a compatible device. Their virtual exhibitions can be found here.
Originally known as the Royal Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Museo Del Prado is an ode to the collections of 16th and 17th century Spain monarchs. Because of this, the museum houses a vast collection of paintings, and sometimes even more than a hundred pieces by the same artist. For over 200 years, the Prado has showcased Spanish history and culture through art. See some of their collection here.
The Vatican is not only the epicenter of Roman Catholic culture, but home to an extensive collection of art, archaeology, and anthropology. It also contains some of the Apostolic Palace’s most extraordinary and artistically significant rooms. The Vatican’s longstanding mission is that art should be accessible to everyone, which is exactly why they offer 360 tours of their halls and museums online. One-click and you’ll instantly be transported to an Italian vacation. Visit the Vatican here.
As the only national art museum in the country, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art houses an international collection across time periods. They have both an indoor museum and an outdoor sculpture garden, which are all available to tour via Google Arts and Culture. Touring this museum will provide you with a unique insight into Korea’s rich art history as well as its architecture. You can find the museum's multiple virtual tours here.
So, does your travel bug feel satisfied yet?
We hope this list of virtual tours helps bring a piece of the world to your home. However, we know that virtual tours aren’t the same as visiting the museums in person, so hopefully, this inspires you to plan your next trip! Remember, while you can always book an overseas museum tour online with your credit card, this may come with unnecessary fees or, more commonly, poor exchange rates when converting to the museum’s local currency. We recommend asking if the tour operator or museum will accept a wire transfer instead. If so, great! You can easily send your payment in the country’s local currency using your free moneycorp online account. Best part? It only takes a few minutes to sign up!