Daydreaming about future travels? Tired of the same old view? If you could use a fresh perspective right about now, a virtual museum visit may be just the ticket. With free access to hundreds of museum collections, exhibits, and tours available via your computer or smartphone, there’s no shortage of ways to broaden your visual horizons.
The British Museum in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York, the Munch Museum in Oslo, the National Museum in Tokyo—and dozens of other renowned repositories around the globe—are all just a few clicks away.
A few suggestions to get you started:
Fall down a rabbit hole at the Google Arts & Culture website, featuring virtual content and images from more than 2,000 museums and archives in 80 countries. Or download the free mobile app, also called Google Arts & Culture, which includes nifty interactive options like projecting masterpieces onto your own walls or discovering your doppelgänger in a portrait.
Take a five-hour virtual tour of Russia’s vast Hermitage. Captured on iPhone in a single take, the video showcases both digital technology and the glories of the famed St. Petersburg galleries.
Get a look at the Louvre without waiting in line. The world’s most-visited museum offers multiple virtual tours.
View selected galleries and rooms of the Vatican, and enjoy the opportunity to ogle the ceiling of Michelangelo’s mind-blowing Sistine Chapel without getting a kink in your neck.
Check out the Metropolitan Museum of New York’s digital collection and short virtual tours of highlights like the medieval collection at The Cloisters and the Egyptian Temple of Dendur, dating back to 10 B.C.
For something completely different, stop by the Museum of Broken Relationships. Located in Zagreb, Los Angeles, and cyberspace, the collection consists entirely of symbolic personal artifacts and first-person accounts of love gone wrong.