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There’s never been a better time to explore the world. From the Louvre to the Smithsonian to the San Diego Zoo, the world's top museums, zoos and aquariums are now as close as your screen, thanks to virtual tours designed to carry you through their corridors and exhibits. As we spend more time sheltering in place, this online arena offers a welcome break from confinement and negative news and a chance to visit places we might not otherwise experience. From Paris to Manhattan to metro Detroit (of course!), with tours to satisfy all ages and interests, here are 10 of the world's best museums, zoos and aquariums to seek out – without ever having to step foot outside of your home.


Virtual Tourism: 10 Virtual Tours of the World's Top Museums, Zoos and Aquariums

Alexandra Lannen

Meet Alexandra. Professional. Analytical...

Meet Alexandra. Professional. Analytical...

Mar 27 5 minutes read

British Museum: London

Now for something truly epic, the British Museum’s interactive virtual tour of the world’s history spans roughly two million years. Along the way, you can explore the religions, conflicts, and triumphs of civilizations that have dotted our planet through the ages. The museum also allows virtual tourists to wander its halls and discover artifacts, including the Rosetta Stone. You can also supplement your virtual tours with the podcast, A History of the World in 100 Objects, narrated by the museum’s director Neil MacGregor.

San Diego Zoo: San Diego

This legendary zoo offers perhaps the most live animal cameras of all the nation's zoos. Tune in anytime of the day to watch what the giraffes, koalas, tigers and other animals are doing in their habitats. The zoo's website also offers a variety of videos and stories about its inhabitants, as well as a dedicated kids section, that will keep your animal-loving family members busy for hours!

The Henry Ford: Dearborn

Though we're within a short driving distance of the The Henry Ford in Dearborn, we don't always have time in the busyness of regular life to experience this homage to American innovation. While closed during the Coronavirus crisis, The Henry Ford is offering interactive learning experiences for kids of varying ages, including free access to its 20-hour Innovate Curriculum. There is also weekly live and themed content through the Innovation Learning Virtual Series.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: Washington, D.C.

Especially for kids, you can’t go wrong with dinosaurs, fossils and mysterious creatures from the depths. So take them along for this virtual tour and embrace the adventure.

The Louvre: Paris

The world’s largest art museum, this Paris landmark measures more than 782,000 square feet and displays more than 38,000 artifacts and works from prehistory to the present – all of which can be appreciated from your home now. 

Shedd Aquarium: Chicago

This aquarium regularly shares adorable footage of its residents on its Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts. You can also visit the website for live views from the Underwater Beauty exhibit and to swim with the sharks via the Keep Sharks Swimming exhibit. 

Guggenheim Museum: New York, Venice, Bilbao

This museum has an extensive online collection of over 1,700 artworks by more than 625 artists from the museum's New York, Venice and Bilbao locations, and even features recently acquired artworks.

Mount Vernon's Museum & Education Center: Mount Vernon

American history buffs will delight in this museum's interactive virtual tour of George Washington's estate, which allows you to walk the estate, inside and out, and learn about artifacts and Washington's life along the way.

The Vatican Museum: Rome

Explore the stunning Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Raphael's Room and more through the Vatican Museum's 360-degree virtual tours.

MASP: Sao Paulo

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is Brazil’s first modern museum. Thanks to Google Arts and Culture, you can virtually tour this museum where artworks are placed on clear perspex frames, giving the illusion that they are suspended in midair.

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