Tour Museums Online
While museums have shut their doors and travel has all but stopped, virtual museum tours have helped people trot the globe from home. Many of the greatest museums on the planet, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea, offer a range of tools for visiting their galleries and exploring their collections virtually.
Our newest virtual game uses those online museum tours and tools to send you to many famous museums and destinations. The Around the World Scavenger Hunt sends players on a hunt for fascinating art and breathtaking vistas on five continents. As you travel from North and South America to Europe, Africa, and Asia, you’ll answer fun, tricky questions about the places you visit, be it the British Museum, the Pyramids of Giza, or the streets of Kyoto.
Of course, the Around the World Scavenger Hunt can’t go everywhere—otherwise the game would be a hundred hours long! Here are just a few more of our favorite virtual museum tours.
When in Rome…
The Musei Vaticani, or Vatican Museums, in Rome offer virtual trips to more than two dozen of its museums. Take a closer look at ancient inscriptions at the Jewish Lapidarium, or stroll through Raphael’s Rooms, covered floor to ceiling in astonishing frescoes by Raphael and his school in the early 1500s. Of course, the star of this particular show is the virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel. Get a detailed look at every inch of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, from the comfort of your own home.
…Bathe as the Romans Did
Actually, we’re not in Rome anymore, Toto. We have landed, appropriately enough, in the city of Bath, England, to view their Roman Baths. The remarkably preserved “thermae” dates back nearly 3,000 years to the early age of Roman Britain. If you take their virtual tour of the bath and pump rooms, you’ll see stunning architecture and holograms envisioning the baths in use by ancient bathers.
Down Ol’ South America Way
Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, you can explore the São Paulo Museum of Art, one of the finest museums in the Southern Hemisphere. Known in Portuguese as the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, or MASP, it boasts collections of Brazilian, European, African, and Asian art and antiquities. Take the virtual museum tour of their distinctive main gallery, filled with art seeming to float free throughout the room.
Once again we say merci to Google Arts & Culture, this time for its virtual tour of the Gardens of Versailles. Sure, Louis XIV’s French palace is nice and all, but three months into Coronavirus quarantine, it sure is nice to gambol about in the gardens.
Let’s Go to Tokyo
Opened in 1993, the Edo-Tokyo Museum is the foremost museum dedicated to the history of Tokyo (which used to be called Edo). The museum features ludicrously detailed city models of Edo and Tokyo from the late 1500s all the way to the 1960s. To get the most out of the virtual museum tour, click on the map icon (it looks like a tri-fold treasure map) on the bottom of the screen, and then visit specific rooms in the Model section. Our favorites include #6, a watery scene filled with dozens of boats and hundreds of little people, and #10, the Ginza “Bricktown” model. See if you can find the aftermath of a cart crash!
Photo Credits: Rome photo by Christopher Czermak on Unsplash; Vatican Museum photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash; Roman Baths photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash; MASP photo by Wilfredor / CC0 via Wikimedia Commons; Gardens of Versaille photo by Armand Khoury on Unsplash; Edo-Tokyo Museum photo by Wiiii – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons