The COVID-19 pandemic means most vacations and travel experiences have been put on hold for the near future. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still tour the world’s incredible museums. Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, you can now take virtual tours of over 1,500 museums across the world. Here are 20 famous museums you’ll want to start with.
1. Musée d’Orsay – Paris, France
Take a tour of Paris’ stunning museum of Impressionist art. Housed in a former train station, you’ll be able to see the beautiful architecture along with incredible works by the likes of Van Gogh, Degas, Rembrandt, and more.
2. Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam, Netherlands
You won’t find a more complete collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s work. On the virtual tour, you’ll see over 150 items, including Van Gogh’s self-portraits, pieces from his Japanese-inspired phase, and the infamous Sunflowers canvas.
3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York City, USA
If you want a museum tour that’ll take in more than just art, this is the one for you. Over 200,000 of The Met’s eclectic collection is online, so you can explore everything from art and furniture to fashion, weapons, and Egyptian architecture.
4. The State Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg, Russia
In real life, you could literally spend days at this museum, which is actually made up of four museums including the famous Winter Palace. Online, you can see highlights from the collection, including paintings, marble sculptures, and more.
5. The Olympic Museum – Lausanne, Switzerland
Given that the Olympic Games began in Greece, it seems a little surprising that the museum dedicated to the Games is located in Switzerland, but there it is. Whether you’re looking for photos of the world-changing moments from the games, in-depth analysis of famous sporting personalities, or up-close looks at the medals and the Olympic torch, it’s all here.
6. The Israel Museum – Jerusalem
Established in 1965, this museum features the most extensive collection of Biblical and Holy Land archaeology, along with an array of Fine Arts, Jewish Arts, and Life Writings. It’s an interesting insight into the culture, people, and history of this hotly contested region.
7. Imperial War Museums – London, England
This collection spans five different museums, including the Imperial War Museums (located in Lambeth, London), and the Churchill War Rooms. There are 17 themed online exhibitions including some dedicated to D-Day, the Amiens peace of 1918, and VE Day celebrations, along with art pieces and items from important events in both World Wars.
8. Museo Freida Khalo – Mexico City, Mexico
The original museum in Mexico City is located in the Blue House, Khalo’s former home and studio. Now, visitors can head online to see personal items, photographs and works from one of Mexico’s most famous artists.
9. The Jewish Museum – New York City, USA
One of the world’s premiere museums dedicated to Jewish History, this museum located on New York’s Museum Mile features a range of paintings, engravings, and important metal items, many of which you can now see online. At the moment, they’re also offering an exclusive virtual tour of Hanukkah lamps.
10. Glass Museum – Murano, Venice, Italy
You probably won’t be getting to Venice and Murano any time soon, but you can certainly get an up-close-and-personal look at the incredible glasswork that takes place on the island. From vases and statues to plate and glasswear, you’ll find it all here.
11. Kobe Fashion Museum – Kobe, Japan
You might not think of Kobe as the place to go to visit an incredible fashion collection, which is exactly why you should jump on this online tour quicksmart. From stunning haute couture and customs to elegant gowns and textiles, the collection here spans space and time in a collection that moves from East to West and from past fashions to current streetwear.
12. Museu Nacional – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bridging the gap between historic preservation and scientific innovation, this working museum is one of the leading museums of South America and carries an extensive collection about the region’s indigenous and modern populations. Check out vases, masks, photos and more as well as 10 collections focusing on things like Indigenous Brazil and Pre-Colombian archeology.
13. Frontiers of Flight Museum – Dallas, USA
Part of the Smithsonian Collection, this massive museum in Dallas, Texas is dedicated to flight and space. It also carries 30 iconic pieces, such as the Apollo 7 command module. Check out online-exclusive tours like Footsteps to the Moon and WWII Tuskagee Airmen.
14. The Bhau Daji Lad – Mumbai, India
Originally established as the Indian arm of the Victorian & Albert Museum, this is the oldest museum in Mumbai and houses an extensive collection that examines Indian art and culture. Online, you can get a look at the sculptures, weapons, and textiles from the collection, along with a tour of the restoration and renovation that’s being done on the beautiful 18th century building.
15. Sigmund Freud Museum – Vienna, Austria
This museum dedicated to psychologist Sigmund Freud is housed in his former apartment and office in the center of Vienna. In real life, you can walk through the spaces looking at letters, photographs, personal items, and the office that is set up as he would’ve had it nearly a century ago. The online tour gives you all the highlights you need.
16. German Historical Museum – Berlin, Germany
Tucked away in Berlin’s Mitte distriction, this insightful museum explores Germany history from the Middle Ages to the fall of the Berlin Wall with over 7,000 objects. Online, you can explore the collection in exclusive themed tours, and see the building designed by American architect I.M. Pei (he’s the one responsible for the Louvre’s pyramids in Paris).
17. Melbourne Cricket Club – Melbourne, Australia
Cricket buffs are going to want to take this virtual tour ASAP. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is hallowed ground for cricket fans, and many make the in-real-life pilgrimage to the museum dedicated to everything cricket that’s located in the basement. Since you can’t get there right now, take the opportunity to visit virtually – you’ll be able to see exhibitions dedicated to the Ashes and famous cricketers, along with photographs, newspaper clippings, and personal items from famed Australian cricketers.
18. MoMu Fashion Museum – Antwerp, Belgium
Dedicated to Belgian fashion, this museum features all manner of clothing from Belgian’s past and present. Online, you can view themed exhibitions, including a celebration of 15 years of Belgian fashion.
19.The Victoria & Albert Museum – London, England
This stunning museum in London has everything from art and statues to fashion and furniture (and so, so much more). Luckily, you can see most of this online now. Inspired by the various exhibitions at the real museum, the online showcases are themed to specific interests – try The Politics of Fashion, or Balenciaga: Master Craftman
20. American Jazz Museum – Kansas City, USA
Dedicated to all things jazz, this museum features instruments, posters, personal items, sheet music and more from America’s greatest Jazz artists. As part of the virtual tour, you can even see Duke Ellington’s piano!
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