The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world in every single aspect. And we will not go back to the old ways of working, shopping, interacting with others and enjoying art and culture. However, new technologies like augmented and virtual reality have bridged the gap between the need to stay at home and the wish to continue exploring the world. Among various examples in this sense, there are some VR museum tours you can enjoy from the safety and comfort of your home.
Top Technology Helped Museums Stay Open During Quarantine
Non-essential institutions were the hardest hit during the stay-at-home mandates. Museums are among these institutions. Once visited by tens of thousands of people each day, iconic museums like The Louvre, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The British Museum were suddenly so empty, that curators could hear the echo of their footsteps on the corridors.
Thus, they resorted to new technologies, such as 360-degree videos, to map their exhibit halls and offer public VR museum tours. Many of these experiences are available for free. More detailed and guided virtual visits are available for a fee, allowing museums to continue generating revenues.
VR Museum Tours Recommendations
Now that we made you curious, it’s time to share some recommendations. We believe that these are among the most exciting and awe-inspiring VR museum tours you should try:
The beloved Museum of Modern Art in New York is our starting point. Honestly, every American should visit MoMA at least once in their lifetime. The museum inspires by its architecture, as much as by its exhibits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not put a stop to the curators’ team to bring art in front of people. MoMA hosts frequent VR museum tours focused on specific themes or artists. You can find out ahead of time about each of them by subscribing to their newsletter.
2. The Louvre
The Louvre is the largest and probably the most popular museum in the world. Its main claim to fame is that it is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, an exhibit visited by millions in pre-pandemic times.
Now art lovers can explore the iconic Louvre by taking VR museum tours along its corridors. Aside from the “Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass” VR experience, there are other tours that cover specific themes, such as:
- The Body in Movement
- Founding Myths: From Hercules to Darth Vader
- The Advent of the Artist.
You can discover all VR museum tours and other interactive activities the Louvre offers on their dedicated page.
3. The Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is not a museum per se, but it is one of the most visited landmarks in the world. The ceiling painting by Michelangelo is nothing short of a world wonder, representing a triumph of Renaissance art.
You may not be able to travel to Italy to see it in person, but thanks to detailed VR museum tours organized by Musei Vaticani, you can see each fresco in crisp detail. Once you are finished exploring this amazing work of art, you can take other virtual tours across Vatican City, which cover, among others:
- Raphael’s Rooms
- The Hall of the Papyri
- The Gallery of Urban VIII
- The New Wing.
All VR museum tours in the Vatican are available for free here.
4. The State Hermitage Museum
From Russia with love, we bring you the second-largest art museum in the world: The State Hermitage Museum. Located in chilly St. Petersburg, some of the museum’s most famous exhibits include Leonardo da Vinci’s Benois Madonna, Danaë by Titian, and the Crouching Boy by Michelangelo.
Housed in six different buildings, The Hermitage is a challenge to visit even if there were no travel restrictions. Thankfully, you can enjoy its collection at your own pace through VR museum tours. The Hermitage has created some of the most detailed virtual tours you can find, covering practically all its collections.
Explore and enjoy the Hermitage art collections here.
5. The British Museum
We could not conclude our list of VR museum tours without one of the largest museums in the world. From ancient artifacts to modern art, you can find everything you wish in London’s iconic museum.
To make it more accessible to the general public, The British Museum partnered with Google Arts & Culture. Now, you can take VR museum tours from the dedicated mobile app or on your computer at this link. The virtual tours cover both the outdoors of the museum and the interior collections.