famous museums
Masked tourists at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, one of the most famous museums in the world. The museum has since announced it will be closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images/AFP

Yes, we can still have nice things even in a world on lockdown.

Virtually, that is.

The pandemic has students all over the world cancelling travel and weekend plans for the summer and probably for the rest of the year.

If you’re currently in lockdown and/or practising social distancing, you won’t be able to go out for leisure reasons but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the World Wide Web to immerse in some culture.

Here are four famous museums that offer amazing virtual tours – so you can take a break from your studies and feast your eyes on some beautiful art and historic artefacts.

If you’re taking a History, Art, or Archaeology class, get the most out of these lockdown days with these tours as inspo to take your assignments to the next level.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York

Visit the famed MoMA in New York through a virtual tour where you can check out iconic artworks such as Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” Paul Cézanne’s “Still Life with Apples” and Henri Rousseau’s “The Sleeping Gypsy”.
The virtual tour is made possible through Google Arts & Culture, an online platform through which the public can access high-resolution images of artworks housed in the initiative’s partner museums.
You can also view MoMA’s online exhibition featuring Sophie Taeuber-Arp, a central figure in some of the most important avant-garde movements of the first half of the twentieth century.famous museums
MoMA, one of the most famous museums in the US, closed on Friday 13 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But you can still view their collections online. Source: Jeenah Moon/AFP

Benaki Museum, Athens

This museum in Greece takes visitors on a trip through ancient and modern Greece via 360-degree virtual tours. This is where they can get lost among a vast collection of artefacts – some even dating as far back as 6500BC.

You can explore the museum through virtual tours of all galleries with audio guides in six different languages for the following collections: Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, Benaki Museum of Islamic Art, Benaki Museum / The Ghika Gallery, and Benaki Museum / The Yannis Pappas Studio.

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

One of the most famous museums in Europe is the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. You can visit the beautiful and historical museum thanks to its 360-degree virtual tours which will make you feel like you’re really there.

Got a VR headset? The virtual tours, available of TouristTube, also offer a simulated and more immersive experience with VR headset functionality.

While you can’t actually go inside, you can view the building which is a historical monument itself – located in the centre of Paris and installed in the former Orsay railway station.

You can view online exhibitions featuring the museum’s collection on Google Arts and Culture.

famous museums

An employee walks next to the “Quatre Captifs” statue, by French sculptor Martin Desjardins, in the Musee du Louvre in Paris, one of the most famous museums in Europe. Like the Musee d’Orsay, it is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: Thomas Samson/AFP

British Museum, London

The British Museum is one of the oldest museums in the world, having opened in 1759 to the amazement of the general public.

Virtual tours offer that same wow factor to students as they are able to scroll through collections featuring Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Europe without needing to leave their rooms.

There are also a number of online exhibitions you can check out such as “Buddhist Art in Myanmar,” “Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs” and “The Ancient Maya at the British Museum”.

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