The 20 Best Virtual Museums Around The World

Vatican Museum

When you travel to a new place, do you search out cool museums to check out? I love finding museums that I can relate to, whether it is with science, art, or natural history. With your travel plans on hold or if you can’t travel the world, what do you do to keep your spirits up? One way you can occupy your time is by taking tours through museums around the world virtually. Here is a list of the 20 best Virtual Museums around the world. How many of them have you visited in real life?

The Louvre – Paris, FranceThe Louvre

The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world. You can take a virtual tour of the Louvre through the museum’s exhibits like the Egyptian Antiquities, the Louvre’s Moat, and the Gallery of Apollo. You can also get a 360-degree view of the museum. I haven’t been inside the Louvre yet. When I visited Paris many years ago with friends, I didn’t have enough time to do this art museum justice. It has always been on my list to explore when I go back to Paris. But, until then, I can explore it while sitting on my couch in my pajamas.

NASA Space Center – Houston, USANASA - Virtual Museums

Are you interested in science, engineering, and space, then you have to check out NASA’s virtual tour of the Hubble Space Telescope missions operations and control center. This is a fascinating look into the behind the scenes on how NASA operates and runs the Hubble Space Telescope. I have always been interested in space and even visited the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Have you been to any of these NASA sites? Or any others?

British Museum – London, EnglandBritish Museum - Virtual Museums

The British Museum’s virtual tour is a great interactive way to explore the eight million works of art. You can see Rosetta’s Stone, the Egyptian wing, and many more collections. What is interesting about this museum is that the works of art in the museum were all gathered by explorers from days past who donated them to the museum. Although this process of how the explorers acquired their collections is a conversation in itself.

Museum of Modern Art – New York City, USA

One of the first museums dedicated to modern art, the Museum of Modern Art, has gathered an impressive art collection since 1929. The museum houses over 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings. MOMA’s virtual tour lets you explore over 129 pieces of modern and contemporary art, including Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Uffizi Gallery – Florence, ItalyUffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, is one of the largest Italian art museums and has an impressive collection of priceless Italian Renaissance works of art. Uffizi Gallery is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florence and one of the most visited art museums in the world. You can always expect lines of people waiting to get into the museum. But, you don’t have to wait in a long line, you can visit the Uffizi Gallery virtually and explore the paintings and sculptures to your heart’s content.

Dalí Theatre-Museum – Girona, Spain

Salvidor Dalí has always been an artist that intrigued me. What kind of person could come up with these strange paintings that have you pausing and wondering about the artist? The Museum dedicates itself for showcasing Salvidor Dalí’s life, and he is even buried here under the stage. If you want to check out these fantastic, thought-provoking paintings, you can view them online through the museum.

Ellis Island Museum – New York City, USAEllis Island

From 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island is where 12 million immigrants came through to be processed before they stepped on American soil. You can visit Ellis Island in person, which I highly recommend, or you can take a virtual tour of the island. Ellis Island’s virtual tour gives you another perspective of the island and what it meant for all those people coming from Europe to America.

National Women’s History Museum – Alexandria, USA

The National Women’s History Museum in Alexandria, Virginia, is a fabulous museum to showcase the contributions women have made to America. From their activism for equal rights to honoring the lives and legacies of women, past and present, whose individual and collective contributions have made a difference in our lives. The museum’s virtual tour takes you through the lives of Harriet Tubman, the Women of NASA, Women in the Olympics, Woman’s Suffrage Movement, and many more. Take a look and tell me what you think of these stories in the comments.

Toyota Automobile Museum – Nagakute, Japan

For those who are automotive buffs like me, you can take a virtual tour of the Toyota Automobile Museum. I enjoy going to car museums around the world and have seen some exciting exhibits. Although I haven’t traveled to Japan yet, I like that I can see all of this from the comfort of my own home. The museum tells all about Toyota’s past, and it also has other automobiles on display from Alfa Romeo and DeLorean Motor Company. You can take a Gallery virtual tour by Google and see all the cars on display.

National Gallery of Art – Washington D.C., USANational Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, medals, and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present. It includes the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile created by Alexander Calder. There is also the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden next to the building, which has several pieces from the Museum’s contemporary sculpture collection. You can visit the Gallery virtually through video tours of current exhibitions, in-depth looks at highlights of the collection, online learning opportunities, audio, and video recordings of lectures by artists.

National Museum of the United States Air Force – Dayton, USA

My dad was in the Air Force, so I’m particularly interested in finding out more about his history as he is no longer with us. I want to go to Dayton someday to visit this museum in person. But, until then, I’m excited to see that there is a virtual tour offered by the Air Force Museum. You can view older aircraft from World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War.

The Vatican Museums – Vatican City, Vatican City StateVatican Museum

Exploring the Vatican Museums is impressive to see the Sistine Chapel, the paintings on the walls and ceilings, and the many statues throughout in person. But, for those who cannot make a trip to Vatican City, the Vatican Museum’s virtual tour can take you through the museum’s grounds and give you an up-close look at all the art without the crowds. You can even view online the Sistine Chapel and not be packed in there like sardines with your neck stretched upwards, trying to see it all.

Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Van Gogh Museum houses the most extensive collection of works of art from Vincent van Gogh and also his peers. With 2.3 million visitors, this is the largest visited museum in the Netherlands. You can take a virtual tour of Van Gogh’s life and works, which lets you skip all the crowds. You can also take a 360-degree tour of Van Gogh’s famous Sunflower Gallery on Facebook.

Smithsonian Institute – Washington D.C., USASmithsonian Castle - Virtual Museums

The Smithsonian Institue is a group of museums in Washington, D.C. that was set up in 1846 to increase and share knowledge with visitors. You can take virtual tours through the Museum of Natural History and view collections of dinosaur bones and thousands of other natural history items. It is exciting to see many of the items from the second Night At The Museum movie here.

The J. Paul Getty Museum – Las Angeles, USA

The Getty Center is a collection of galleries that display European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and photography from its beginnings to the present. The highlight when I visited the museum is the view of Los Angeles from the terraces in the vast Central Garden. The Getty Museum is one of the most visited museums in the United States, with over 1.8 million visiting each year. You don’t have to fight the crowds to see the works of art here; you can take the Getty Museum virtual tour instead.

Musée d’Orsay – Paris, France

The Musée d’Orsay is a beautiful museum that is in an old railway station built-in 1898. Musée d’Orsay displays beautiful French paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. You can take the Musée d’Orsay’s online tour and view works of art like Van Gogh’s self-portrait and see the beautiful building these works of art are housed.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – New York City, USAGuggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum is one of my favorite art museums that I love visiting over and over again when I go to New York City. I love the architecture of this Frank Lloyd Wright building, and every time I go, there are different exhibits of modern and contemporary art. One time they had an exhibition of Impressionist paintings (my absolute favorite art period). With five spiral floors of innovative art, this UNESCO art museum deserves to be explored. And if you can’t make it to New York in person, check out the Guggenheim virtual tour.

The Ancient Olympic Games Virtual Museum – Olympia, Greece

The Olympics are when the greatest athletes get together to compete on the world stage. But, have you ever thought to explore where it all started? You can take a virtual tour of Ancient Olympia and learn about the history, the events, and the grounds where the games where held. Fascinating stuff!

Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York City, USAThe MET - Virtual Museums

The MET is the largest art museum in the United States with almost 7 million visitors annually to their three locations you can definitely expect crowds of people. There are over two million works of art to explore, and it is hard to do in just one visit. One way to help you see the collection is to take a virtual tour. The MET has created the MET 360° Project using spherical 360° technology; it allows you to view some fantastic masterpieces. You can also explore the MET’s art collections online.

The Spy Museum – Washington D.C., USA

Last, but not least is the Spy Museum. This museum has the leading collection of spy artifacts in the world and first-person accounts from top intelligence officers and experts. When you go to the museum, you are given the job as a spy. Such interactive fun! Now, the Spy Museum’s virtual tour is a little different than the ones above. This is a virtual field trip in which you will have to order the program you want to do out of six options. This is a fabulous tool for a group of homeschoolers.

Summary

For those who can’t travel the world, all you need is a computer to see some of the most amazing places. I hope that this list of museums that offer virtual tours gets you interested in learning more about the world we live in and all the fantastic things people created over the years. Have any of you been to these museums in person? I would love to hear what you think about them. Do you have any other exciting museums that I need to add to this list?

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5 Comments

  • Bernhard 4July2020 at 10:02 AM Reply

    Thank you very much for the interesting compilation! One tour is missing on this list in my opinion. The exhibition “Picasso, Chagall, Jawlensky” at the Kunstmuseum Basel. The museum has the largest art collection in Switzerland.

  • Heli/ Kukkulalta.com 19March2020 at 5:49 AM Reply

    Awesome list! My days on lockdown in Rome are saved, thanks! And I can have a tour with a glass of wine, too 😉 Stay safe!

    • Heather 19March2020 at 9:50 AM Reply

      Thank you, Heli!I’m so glad you are doing alright in Rome. Stay safe! And I’ll see you soon!

  • Candy Wafford 15March2020 at 10:28 AM Reply

    What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing and I’ll definitely be checking some of these out!

    • Heather 15March2020 at 11:49 AM Reply

      Thank you, Candy! I hope you find them useful, informative, and fun!

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