Best virtual tours available in 2020 for free
Before I even start this post, I have to say: I know that virtual tours are not the same thing as being there. Of course, I would like that, instead of researching Machu Picchu with the help of my laptop, I do that in person. As matter of fact, I planned to do that this year… But 2020 happened and I have to deal with it. And this is my way.
Do you know that traveling is like some kind of drug addiction: it makes you feel so good that you simply can’t stop. Those goosebumps you feel when you visit some new place or try some new food are something you can’t simply forget. And you want that more and more.
It’s like you have an itch that doesn’t stop until you travel somewhere. And starts an hour after your trip ends.
But what happens when a global pandemic knocks at the door, enters inside your life and gives you that look that tells: I’m here to stay for a while.
It’s a hard time for anyone who likes to travel and explore. It’s impossible just to hop on a plane and go somewhere. No, now you have to check the restrictions of the countries, make expensive tests and even then: a place you want to visit could be closed.
It hit me hard. And I know if you’re little something like me, it hit you as well.
But there is a way to travel to all these places without leaving your home!
I was so happy to see that many places around the world offer virtual tours. Yes, that’s right: you can be at your home and still check the Great Wall of China. You can be in your pajamas and walk around Machu Picchu. How cool is that?
Explore through wonders of the world, museums, castles, or even zoos – the choice is yours. And I think it will help you to short those long quarantine hours.
Virtual tours of castles
I’m sure you always wanted to see how the interior of Buckingham Palace looks like. Usually, you would have to fly to London, wait in a line and pay an entrance ticket. But not today. 2020 did bring us a lot of bad things but the lack of good things available online is not one of them.
What castles you can see virtually? Well many but check my favorites below!
*All the castles on the list are in Europe. Is it our fault that our ancestors liked to build huge and impressive complexes? 🙂
How much of a local would I be if I would exclude Prague castle from this list? I bet you didn’t know that Prague Castle holds the Guinness record – it is the largest coherent castle complex in the world. I even didn’t know that until today! Usually, the tour of one of Prague’s most famous sights costs around 10 euros but virtually is all for free.
The virtual tour of this complex is available on the official link of Prague castle.
355 kilometers away and a few centuries younger, Schönbrunn Palace is a nothing less famous neighbor of Prague Castle. Served as a summer residence of the royal Habsburg family, this castle is insanely popular among tourists. That means also crowded.
Lucky for you, a virtual tour of this famous Austrian monument can be found on Schönbrunn Palace’s official websites.
Photo Credit: Google Arts&Culture
I think I don’t need any special intro for this one. We are all curious to see how does the most famous royal family live. And you don’t even have to fly to London to see it (not that we could, even if we want).
Head to the website of royal.uk and see how does real throne room actually look. Thank you technology!
Palace of Versailles
I loved you Google already, but you stole my heart with Google Arts & Culture! It’s an online platform where, among many other things, we can have a glimpse of the interior of a famous French palace. I missed it last time in Paris but this time not! Check it out on this link.
Virtual tours of World Wonders
It hurts a lot that instead of dwelling into the secrets of Machu Picchu, I’m sitting in my apartment in Prague. But hey, no complaining, let’s grab what we can. And the virtual tour will at least prepare me well for a real deal one day.
Settled down in the Andes, this remarkable UNESCO world heritage site is a dream of every true traveler. Known as the Lost City of Inca, this citadel, located in Peru, is one of the most astonishing sites in the world. It gives me thrills even to watch the virtual tour of this place, I can’t imagine how it would be to visit it one day.
Virtual tour together with an amazing narrative full of historical details can be found on this link
Photo Credit: Youvisit.com
I’ve seen it for myself this year and I can tell you: Petra is something that you need to see in your life. The fact that civilization many years ago has built such remarkable things is mind-blowing. Keep in mind they didn’t have the technology we have today.
Follow the route of the old Nabateans from Bab al Siq (Petra’s Gateway) to Al Dier. It’s virtually but still impressive.
Interested to learn more about Jordan: I’m preparing detailed Jordan Guide. Online very soon.
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is maybe not visible from the moon but it is from your living room!
This one is technically free because there is a simple virtual tour available. But if you pay 5$ you could see much more. I don’t think that is a high price, especially as a support in these hard times.
Check the virtual tour of the Great Wall of China.
Photo Credit: The China Guide
Don’t you love it when a place has a story? And when it’s a romantic one. For those of you who didn’t know, the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife. Do you think Shah Jahan thought that he is building a future world wonder? Probably not!
The coolest thing about this virtual tour is the amazing helicopter view of the complex. You can’t see that in person!
See Taj Mahal for yourself!
Photo Credit: Airpano.com
Besides mentioned, you can explore virtually other famous world wonders as Khumbu Valley in Nepal – who says you will never get to Mt Everest? You can even see Angkor Wat in Cambodia or have a walking tour of the City in Japan.
Other great virtual tours
Sometimes I’m so happy to live in such a modern age. Ok, not sometimes – most of the time. For my parents seeing where Hollywood films are being filmed was not possible. Today I click and in one second I’m in Universal Studios. There are immensely many things to explore online and I selected just some of them below:
Man, I wish I knew this one before. When we went on a tour last year, it was so crowded that I actually didn’t like it. But now, seeing a virtual tour of Vatican museums makes me wanna go again.
Check Paris from the top of Eiffel Tower from the comfort of your home! That’s one of a hell virtual tour!
Photo Credit: Toureiffel.paris
Still didn’t have the chance to check this one for me but I can tell you that I did Warner Bros studios live tour and it was amazing. I’m sure that the virtual tour of Universal Studios is a blast!
Photo Credit: xplorit.com
I mean: do I even have to say more? Your kids are gonna love this one! Check everything that Disney World has to offer virtually.
Hello Mona Lisa, long time no hear! I have to tell you: seeing Mona Lisa in person wasn’t as impressive as one would think. It was so crowded and I honestly didn’t get the fuss about it. It’s a nice painting and I get the symbolic but so many people taking selfies with it? But I loved Napoleons rooms and I’m sure you will love the online version of the tour.
Photo Credit: youvisit.com
San Diego Zoo, USA
San Diego Zoo is one of the most famous zoos in the world. It has the largest population of the critically endangered giant pandas in North America. And you can check all those cute animals live. Yes, you read right: San Diego Zoo went one step further: they are live-streaming some of the animal areas.
Check San Diego Zoo virtual tour.
Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo
Yosemite National Park, USA
During our USA road trip two years ago, we didn’t manage to see Yosemite National Park. Well, we had a plan to change that soon but for now, we are gonna settle with a virtual tour of this stunning place.
Plenty of things to do during long quarantine hours! Jokes aside, I hope you will enjoy exploring all these places. Virtual tours are not only a great way to explore place during a pandemic, but also an excellent way to plan your future trip.
Let me know if you liked the article – I appreciate every feedback!
Until the next reading,
Traveler To Be