If you love art and culture and you are stranded at home, this post is for you. I will share all my favorite art museums that offer a 360 virtual tour that you can watch from the comfort of your couch.
Of course, nothing compare to the feeling of being part of the installations surrounded by the world’s greatest artworks.
However, when it is not possible, it’s nice to have the chance to enjoy the virtual reality experience.
Thanks to the collaboration with Google art and culture, thousands of paintings, sculptures, installations are now online and free to be admired and enjoyed by anyone.
All you need is an electronic device and an internet connection.
The advantage of this experience is that you don’t have to wait in line for your ticket and, most of all, you will never see artwork from so close.
Also, it’s a chance to distract you from the overwhelming news and take some time for yourself to admire such beauty.
So, without any further ado, please find the best online art museums available.
(There is a bonus at the end, I saved the best for last)
Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York City
In honor of its 150th anniversary and most of all, because they also had to close their doors of the three locations, the MET is currently offering a handful of online exhibits and virtual events for all ages.
Museum of Modern Art – New York
On Google Art and Culture, you can view 129 artworks from MoMA’s collection, grouped in categories by art movements, such as contemporary art, Modernist art, and Cubism easier to browse and understand.
Guggenheim Museum – New York
The iconic New York City building most popular for being designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is offering a Virtual Reality tour that makes you feel you are wondering about the museum itself with an audioguide.
Besides you can admire free online exhibitions featuring the greatest artists and digital school tours for educators.
You can also follow the news on the online events on twitter #MuseumFromHome
National Women’s History Museum – Alexandria – Virginia
The National Women’s History Museum offers a variety of online lectures dedicated to honoring the women that made history. A very interesting tribute to milestone events in the fight for women’s rights through the years.
The National Gallery of Art – Washington, D.C.
Available on the National Gallery website, also close to the public, you can admire 3D virtual tours, at the moment they are:
The Broad – Los Angeles
Time out is offering a full guide on how to enjoy The Broad in Los Angeles fully.
Now that The Broad it’s temporarily closed, they are still “committed to inspiring and foster an appreciation of contemporary art. Through our new digital initiatives, we’ll be offering ways to experience #TheBroadFromHome, to find inspiration through music, poetry, and conversations (from a distance!), and to stay connected to one another. We’ll be debuting new content every week—sign up for weekly updates!”
Among the available online exhibition you can find the remarkable reflective abyss of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away as much as you want, although virtually. Normally in the museum, you can watch it for 45 seconds only.
The J. Paul Getty Museum – Los Angeles
“The collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum comprises Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art from the Neolithic to Late Antiquity; European art—including illuminated manuscripts, paintings, drawings, sculpture, and decorative arts—from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century; and international photography from its inception to the present day.”
Through a 360 virtual tour in collaboration Google Street View we can enjoy the huge collection.
National Museum of Anthropology – Mexico City
Built in 1964 the iconic museum is magnificent wealthy collection of archeological remains, maps and storyboards to present the history of Mexico before the Hispanic conquerors set foot on the mexican coast.
There are 23 exhibit rooms filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the Mayan civilization.
Frida Kahlo Museum – Mexico City
The blue house, Frida Kahlo home, and now the museum has also closed its doors, but you can still have a virtual tour around the rooms where the iconic Mexican painter grew up and spent most of her short and stormy life.
You can also watch an interesting retrospective on Frida Kahlo made by Google Art and Culture.
The museum of art of Sao Paulo – Brazil
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a private, nonprofit museum founded by Brazilian businessman Assis Chateaubriand, in 1947, as Brazil’s first modern museum.
The online art exhibits, created in collaboration with Google Art and Culture, is a tribute to Italian, French and Brazilian painters most of all.
Something that you will notice is the unique installation where paintings are not hung on the walls but on crystal easels that make them look like they’re floating mid-air.
Louvre Museum – Paris
This Parisian museum offers three virtual tours which include, at the time I am writing this:
Egyptian Antiquities, a Collections from the Pharaonic period
The remains of the Louvre’s Moat, originally built as a fortress by King Philippe Auguste
The Advent of the Artist where you discover artworks from Delacroix, Rembrandt or Tintoretto.
Vatican Museums – Rome
The Vatican Museums’ website offers a 360 virtual tour of some of the Museum’s areas, including the Sistine Chapel.
Musée d’Orsay -Paris
Not many know that this spectacular lesser-known museum holds the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist works in the world, and you can virtually walk your way around the best of them such as van Gogh, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Klimt and many more, through the interactive gallery during the museum virtual tour.
Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam
The Dutch museum that honors the life and work of Vincent van Gogh is closed but it’s bringing the museum to you. From the site:
“The museum may be closed, we bring Vincent to you.
Are you looking for ways to entertain your children with an educational twist, would you like to know more about the story behind the famous works of art or would you rather take a look inside the museum?
Thanks to a partnership with Google’s Arts and Culture project they are offering a virtual tour of the museum. Many pieces of the vast collection are available online for viewing with in-depth descriptions of all of the iconic pieces.
The netherlands are not short of great painters and the Rijksmuseum showcases the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt. Google offers a 3D virtual museum tour through Street View, where you can zoom in on every tiny detail of each work of art, and listen to stories about 18 masterpieces, so you can feel as if you’re actually walking around its rooms.
The Uffizi Gallery – Florence
The virtual tour offered by the Uffizi cannot replace the real visit but still, you have the opportunity can scroll through more than 300,000 works in the digital archives of such an iconic museum and see work of the best artists of all time. All the big names are there. I wouldn’t want to miss it.
Pinacoteca of Brera – Milan
In the heart of the art district in Milan, Brera, the Pinacoteca has been a celebration of the greatest artists of all times. Now it’s available on a virtual tour through its best artworks.
National Archeological Museum – Athen
“The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece and one of the most important in the world. Originally destined to receive all the 19th century excavations, mainly from Attica and other parts of the country, it gradually took the form of a central National Archaeological Museum and was enriched with finds from all parts of the Greek world. His rich collections, enumerating more than 11,000 exhibits, offer the visitor a panorama of ancient Greek culture from the prehistory to the late antiquity. ” Read more and check out the virtual tour.
Egyptian Museum – Turin
Real walks thorugh the halls of the Egyptian museum with the museum directors. It’s narrated in italian but you can use the English subtitles.
Museo del Prado – Madrid
With more than 200 years from his opening, the iconic Spanish Museum offers a whealth of art works from painting, sculpture, the decorative arts and works on paper, from antiquity to the 19th century.
Although it’s closed now you can check out its outstanding collection online on the museum site.
Guggenheim – Bilbao
One of Frank Gehry’s most celebrated works, The Guggenheim in Bilbao, with its innovative sculpture-like structure, is considered one of the greatest architectural accomplishment and art spaces of modern times.
The interactive tour, created in collaboration with google art and culture, takes us around its collection of the most remarkable authors of postwar art among which Rothko, Holzer, Koons, Kapoor.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum’s website offers a 3D virtual tour of its public galleries. Click on the plus sign to have a close up of the piece and its description.
Picasso Museum, Barcelona
Besides the extensive catalog on Picasso’s works, the 360 virtual tour offers a visit to the patios of the Museum for a journey through the history of Barcelona.
The Dali theatre- museum – Figueres Catalonia
The museum is completely dedicated to the artwork of Salvador Dalí featuring his development as an artist and his personal life. He is also buried there. The museum offers 3D virtual tours of the spaces and some of the pieces.
Tate Modern Gallery – London
It was only 3 days after the opening of Andy Warhol exhibition, that the Tate Modern had to shut his doors due to the pandemic but worry not because it’s now available online and with a guiding voice over on youtube
The British Museum – London
I visited the British Museum during my recent trip to London. The building is a masterpiece of architecture in itself. The exhibit is a huge collection of objects of archeology from all over the world organized by country, including the Rosetta Stone, plus temporary exhibitions. It was founded in 1753 says it will continue to add to its digital library while the institution remains closed until further notice.
The National Gallery – London
Although the popular museum closed its door, you can still enjoy a panoramic 360 virtual tour of the Gallery of Rooms 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15 and Central Hall.
The Museum Island – Berlin
One island and 5 museums in the heart of the vibrating city of Berlin makes the Museum Island, a Unesco Heritage site since 1999. The magnificent 5 buildings are showcasing the arts and sculpture from classical antiquity, from ancient Greece to the Roman Empire including the legendary bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, the breathtaking Pergamon Altar and the stunning Ishtar Gate. They are now available for us to admire them through Google art and culture virtual gallery.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
Built to celebrate and share the multiple aspect and evolution of the Korean Art, the NationalMuseum of modern and Contemporary Art has now 4 branches including Gwacheon (opened in 1986), Deoksugung (opened in 1998), Seoul (opened in 2013), and Cheongju (expected to open in 2017), each one commited to display the art of Korea but also including international artworks.
National Gallery of Victoria – Melbourne
The modern art museum of Victoria offers very well done and user-friendly 3D virtual tours of their main exhibitions
National Museum – New Delhi
Where you planning a trip in India and you didn’t make it? Here you go. The National Museum of New Delhi boasts thousands of works of art spanning 5,000 years of history, including painting, sculpture, jewelry, ancient texts, armor and decorative arts. Over 600 of those pieces are available to admire online through Google arts and culture.
Because we all love free goodies, I want to share this website that I have just found out. They share free resources of all sorts, book, movies, audiobooks, courses and much more.
You cannot miss it. But sincewe are talking about art here, the Art Institute of Chicago Puts 44,000+ Works of Art Online: View Them in High Resolution.
For further reading
- 15 scary travel experiences stories from a solo female traveler
- The best places to visit in the USA in December for solo travelers
- The most awkward and funny travel stories
- 31 free 360 virtual tour of the best art museums in the world
- The 27 Best Travel YouTube Channels To Follow