As Covid-19 continues to spread, more people are self-isolating, practising social distancing or in quarantine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take in some of the world’s most popular attractions. A number of tourism hot spots are opening a virtual door to their facilities free of charge, allowing the public to enjoy popular locations without leaving their living rooms.

Here are a few virtual “field trips” you can take for free without leaving your home.

The Louvre

Visit the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries and contemplate the facades of the Louvre. You can browse a selection of virtual tours based on the Louvre’s permanent collections, from the Galerie d’Apollon to its impressive Egyptian antiquities. An expandable mini-map allows you to highlight exhibits you want to see with just a few clicks, and there are detailed descriptions for each room.

Come along on a virtual tour and enjoy the view.

https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne

The Vatican

The Vatican is host to hundreds of spectacular artworks, history artefacts and superb architecture. From Raphael’s Rooms to the Sistine Chapel, even going on a virtual tour is an impressive experience. If you have a VR headset, you can get an even closer experience, as the tour is compatible with WebVR.

http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/tour-virtuali-elenco.html

Sistine Chapel

Instilling a sense of wonder in everyone who enters, the 15th-century Sistine Chapel is most renowned for Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes. You’ll have them (and the rest of the place) to yourself if you visit virtually.

http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/cappella-sistina/tour-virtuale.html

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the most lavish and romantic architectural tributes on earth.  Watch this video to see how the marble exterior seems to change colour throughout the day, from early-morning pinks to dusky blues, while the persistent thrum of tour groups makes the scene that much more realistic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=665AHTNpf2o

The Palace of Versailles

Escape to the gilded (and expansive) palace of Versailles, home to French King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.  Explore their extravagant (separate) bedchambers, saunter through the Hall of Mirrors, gaze at the pastel ceiling of the Royal Opera House and follow the gravel paths of the renowned royal gardens.

https://artsandculture.google.com/project/versailles

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