Take a Virtual Tour of These Museums Any Time

posted by Sharon May 1, 2020 26 Comments
Virtual Tour of Museums Met New York City

A virtual tour of a museum is a wonderful way to enjoy art and history without leaving your own home. With worthy museums located all around the world, we will never be able to visit them all. When wanderlust strikes and you can’t zip to another country, an online tour offers an opportunity to expand your vision and enjoy culture without crowds, noise, and stress.

So many museums offer virtual tours. To help you narrow down which ones to “visit,” I’m highlighting some that I have been to and personally appreciated. Whether or not you ever do travel to these places, you can take in the best of what they have to offer. Some are large and some are small, and all have left a mark on my life. I’m pleased to share these with you and hope you will enjoy them online.

Musee D’Orsay in Paris

This is the museum I most often recommend to Paris visitors. The D’Orsay is in the former Orsay railway station, which was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900.DOrsay Museum Paris

The glass ceilings let in natural light to illuminate the art. The museum, opened in 1986, is spacious and inviting. You’ll enjoy seeing the building as well as the art.DOrsay Museum ParisCollections cover the years of 1848 to 1914. The D’Orsay owns one of the largest collections of Impressionist paintings in the world, with works by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Claude Monet. Sculptures and photographs are also on display.DOrsay Museum Paris

Visit the Musee D’Orsay.

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The D’Orsay Museum in Paris

Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

This house is where young Anne, her family, and four others went into hiding during World War II. When conditions in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam threatened Jews, Otto Frank ushered his family into hiding at the back of the building where he ran his business. Friends built a revolving bookcase to hide the door to the annex. Anne lived this way for two and a half years, until her arrest. Anne wrote a journal of her experiences, not knowing that her words would one day be published and spread far and wide.Anne Frank House Amsterdam

The museum website offers an excellent virtual tour of the Anne Frank House, along with historical background and information. The annex is preserved as it was during Anne’s time here, and it’s fascinating to see.anne-frank-house-amsterdam

Visit the Anne Frank House.

Read More
Anne Frank House: 7 Reasons You Should Visit
Anne Frank’s Amsterdam Neighborhood

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the largest art museum in the United States. It’s home to more than two million works of art. Covering 5,000 years of history, exhibits aim to show “both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.” Choose from many exhibits to tour online.Metropolitan Museum of Art New York CityMetropolitan Museum of Art New York City

I was last at the Met in December 2019, and spent a delightful rainy afternoon wandering here. My favorite current exhibit was Arms and Armor. Full-size suits of shiny silver are on display designed for both men and horses. You can see this exhibit here (it’s a link for kids, but aren’t we all young at heart?): Arms and Armor at the Met.

Metropolitan Museum of Art New York CityFor a variety of tours, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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A Morning at the Met in New York City

The British Museum in London

This “Museum of the World” is vast and looks at history as a way of connecting people. Extensive online offerings cover Art and Design, Living and Dying, Power and Identity, Religion and Belief, and Trade and Conflict. Choose from different continents to explore these topics from different cultures. You can also click on the timeline to narrow down the era. This is a fun website to play around with, no matter what your interests may be.British Museum LondonBritish Museum LondonBritish Museum London

Visit the British Museum.

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Visiting the British Museum

The Louvre in Paris

Louvre ParisOf course, the list must include this world-class museum. Online treasures include antiques from Egypt and the Galerie d’Apollon, built as a homage to the Sun King, Louis XIV and recently restored.Louvre Paris

Louvre ParisLouvre ParisEspecially interesting is the virtual look at the famed Mona Lisa. In person, you battle hordes of people to get near this rather small work of art. Now you can relax and learn about the Mona Lisa from the comfort of your couch.

Visit the Louvre.

The Capitoline Museum in Rome

The Capitoline Museum overlooks the Forum, with the Colosseum beyond, so it is in the heart of the city. It’s easy to miss, as it’s in the shadow of popular tourist draws, but it’s worth a visit, online or in person, because it is filled with amazing works of Roman art.Capitoline Museum Rome

The creation of the museum goes back to 1471. Pope Sixtus IV gave a collection of bronze statues to the people of Rome and housed them here. From that time on, donations of artworks were gathered here. During the later 16th century, Pope Pius V decided to get rid of “pagan” art in the Vatican, and those treasures were brought to the Capitoline Museum.Capitoline Museum Rome

The online tour begins in the courtyard and continues through the galleries. This is a visually appealing and fun online site.

Visit the Capitoline Museum.

The Vatican Museum

This great depository of art developed several 360-degree online looks at different areas. You can drag your cursor from floor to ceiling and study all the fascinating objects and art and architecture. This museum is often so packed with people that it’s difficult to see much. The first time I visited, the crowds pushed me along and I actually lost my tour group for a while. The next time I went, I booked an early morning tour so I could go through before the official opening. I was able to sit down in the Sistine Chapel and gaze at the famous ceiling at leisure.

Online, you can take all the time you want to look at all the treasures.Vatican RomeVatican Rome

Visit the Vatican Museum.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

You can click on more than 4,000 works of art to learn more about them. Pick your favorite Van Gogh masterpieces and learn more about them. This is another website that has an enjoyable and extensive children’s section where you can learn more about the artist’s life and his most famous works.Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Visit the Van Gogh Museum.

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles

Getty Museum Los AngelesJ. Paul Getty collected more than 400 works of art, including European paintings. Since his death in 1976, the museum has continued to acquire art. Sculptures, paintings, and photographs span the eighth to the 21st centuries. The most well-known painting belonging to the Getty Center is Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises.Getty Museum Los Angeles

Online tours take you to different galleries. One of my favorites to visit is the Eighteenth-Century Pastel Portraits.Getty Museum Los Angeles

Visit the Getty Museum.

Read More
Art and Gardens at the Getty Museum Center
The Getty Center: Light, Space, and Views to Enjoy

What virtual tours caught your eye? Which would be your favorite to visit? Have you found others that you’ve enjoyed?Virtual Tour of British Museum London

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Virtual Tour of Museums - Exploringrworld.comOnline Tours of Museums - Exploringrworld.com

 

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26 Comments

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Josy A May 2, 2020 at 6:32 am

Oooh I didn’t know these had all started making virtual tours online. It would never be the same as seeing things in person, but it’s a good way to view some artifacts/art when we’re all stuck at home.

Thanks for this Sharon!

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Jennifer Rankin May 2, 2020 at 10:05 am

Great info! I have been to the louvre and orsay but they were so crowded it was hard to see. I am going to check out the virtual tours instead! Thanks.

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Jean-Marie May 2, 2020 at 10:23 am

What an incredible list! I definitely want to try them all out! Thank you for sharing!

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Audrey May 2, 2020 at 11:07 am

Visiting the Louvre virtually, at least you skip the line! We went to Paris at the beginning of December, the lines are monstrous.

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Katie | KatieGoes May 2, 2020 at 11:10 am

How cool! I never knew you could do that. Thank you for keeping us busy through these times.

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Julie May 2, 2020 at 4:02 pm

It’s so cool that you can tour these musuems virtually!! Definitely will be touring some of these with my kids this week!

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iemexploring May 2, 2020 at 4:16 pm

wow how stunning is this post! what an awesome idea. I love the virtual tour of the lourve! thank you so much for sharing. Iemexploring xx

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Farrah May 2, 2020 at 9:55 pm

Yay! Thanks for putting this together! I love the Met + would love to go back in person again someday, but definitely super happy that there are virtual tours for now! :]

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Cathy Keller May 3, 2020 at 9:38 am

Thank you!! I can even revisit museums I’ve already been to visit! Wow!

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Ann May 6, 2020 at 1:29 am

What a beautiful thing to do!
I have always wanted to visit Anne Frank, but I did not have the time when we visited netherlands, so I am definatly doing that tiour. Thank for the tips!

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Nancy Hann May 6, 2020 at 7:54 am

I just LOVE that so many sites are publishing virtual tours. I’ve had the privilege to visit a few of these in real life, but I wouldn’t mind visiting again. I wish I had time to just sit and stroll through these places online. Thanks for sharing!

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Sarah May 6, 2020 at 8:51 am

I’ve always wanted to visit Ann Frank’s house but never managed to get tickets. Didn’t realise I could view this one virtually. Obviously, I’d prefer to see it for real but I’ll settle for this for now,

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Becki May 6, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Wow, what a fabulous selection of museums. I’ve only made it to a few of those in real life so this is a fabulous opportunity to have a look around without actually being able to get there and also to see what fabulous things I’ve missed out on. It was great to see the Anne Frank house on there because that’s so difficult to get tickets for, so it’s handy to know if I can’t get a ticket that I would be able to do the virtual tour.

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Sue May 7, 2020 at 6:15 am

This is a fantastic selection of museums & being able to visit them virtually now is amazing. I have been to a few in real life. The thing I love about many of these is the stunning architecture of the buildings which are worth a visit even without the amazing collections they house. Thank you for compiling!

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Jan May 8, 2020 at 2:30 am

A great choice of museums around the world! I have made it to just a few. It is interesting that all these Museums have made it possible to have virtual tours. I have not done many virtual tours and must start doing it online! 🙂

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Andi May 8, 2020 at 10:09 am

I have not visited The Getty Museum yet and have always wanted to! I think I will take a little break next week during a work day to explore it virtually!

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Jay Artale May 8, 2020 at 12:27 pm

I went on a trip a few years ago to Paris and Amsterdam. I’m a big Van Gogh fan, and was impressed by his paintings in the Musee D’Orsay in Paris, and how close you could get to them, and there was plenty of time and space to absorb the pictures.

The highlight of the trip was going the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, but it was so packed and busy and you couldn’t stand and appreciate the art, because there was a roped off walkway that they kept people just funneling through. I was so disappointed with it.

So of the two, my fondest memories are of the Musee D’Orsay, and I’d love to go back.

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Yukti Agrawal May 9, 2020 at 8:46 pm

I have been to Paris and was amazed to see so many museums with lovely collections. It is great that you have created a post for virtual tours on museums as nobody can travel right now. As I have not been to Amsterdam, so would love to do some virtual tour of those museums now.

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Katherine June 10, 2020 at 8:45 am

I had no idea that the Anne Frank house had a virtual museum. I remember visiting years ago and how it really affected me. I think another visit is in order.
I’ve only been to Paris for a couple of days and didn’t have enough time to go to any museums other than a quick trip to the Louvre. So a virtual trip to the Musee D’Orsay would be lovely!

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Kelly June 10, 2020 at 7:11 pm

This is so great! A bunch of my favourite museums are on this list and I had no clue you could do a virtual visit! Such a great idea. I will definitely be doing a virtual visit of the Vatican Museum in my free time since I have never been there 🙂

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Coni June 11, 2020 at 5:06 am

One of the few good things about the times of isolation was to discover online tours of museums. I’ve been to most of these, but it has been amazing to “return” and enjoy them from the comfort of my couch. I’ll take a look at the ones you’re suggesting that I haven’t visited 🙂

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Kay June 11, 2020 at 6:13 am

I love that a lot of museums are jumping onboard with virtual displays. Yes, to accommodate for COVID closures, but also it’s just more accessible in general! This should be the norm!

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Erin June 11, 2020 at 7:11 am

During lockdown I’ve really enjoyed doing virtual museum tours. I haven’t done the British Museum yet, so adding it to my list for this weekend! Thanks so much for this thorough list.

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I love Croatia June 16, 2020 at 4:37 am

Thank you on a detailed impressive guide! Saved your post for the future

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Alisha June 19, 2020 at 5:15 am

Superb Blog I found it really amazing!

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Chelsea Messina June 25, 2020 at 8:17 am

The British Museum in London looks BEAUTIFUL! I’m adding that, and Anne Frank’s House to my Europe museum bucket list. Thanks for sharing an inspirational virtual experience during these quarantine times.

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