In the current times of a global pandemic, the best thing authorities and governments can do is limit our exposure to each other, and in turn, the virus. Social distancing is all the rage right now, and everyone (and their mum) are trying to find ways to not go insane inside their houses and apartments. In the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation, one of the first of such (great) measures put in place by many countries was to order the closure of all places where people gather in relatively large groups – this includes restaurants and pubs, cinemas and theatres, stadiums and betting shops, and of course museums.
However, all is not lost. Once your “workday” is over (head this way to read my top 10 tips for working from home successfully), it’s time to find some entertainment. And what better way to stay entertained than to visit some of the world’s best museums and galleries – from home?
6 Museums and Galleries you can visit online
Millions of people make their travel plans each year based on their love for art, visiting anything from the world’s biggest museums and public galleries to art collections hosted by casinos and smaller, private galleries. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 situation, the visitor numbers of many art institutions are sadly reduced to zero (considering all the closures and restrictions put in place to avoid the spread of the virus).
Luckily, we don’t have to miss out on seeing some of the greatest works of art in the world – we just can’t see them in person. Not many people are aware that many museums have made their collections available online! And to make things even better, these virtual tours are usually free.
So, keep reading for 6 great museums and galleries you can visit online right now – in spite of social distancing or any kinds of quarantine! For each museum, I have included their physical location, but naturally, you’ll be experiencing them from your own home.
#1 The Louvre (Paris)
If you’ve visited Paris and you haven’t seen the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, and the Louvre, have you been to Paris at all?
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the closure of all these famous landmarks in what they call the most romantic city in the world – but you don’t have to give up on seeing at least part of the Louvre’s collection: its Egyptian Antiquities collection, the Louvre’s Moat, and the Galerie d’Apollon can be seen online free of charge here.
#2 The Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam)
The collections of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam can also be seen online through Google Arts & Culture, here. You will be able to explore all three floors of the museum in a first-person view, see digital reproductions of the artist’s works, and even read interesting information about the artist’s life! How cool is that?! If you are a museum lover, you’ll enjoy this digital tour.
#3 Musei Vaticani – The Vatican Museum (Rome)
The coronavirus has caused Italy to go on a literal lockdown, which is not only incredibly sad, but also means that all of the country’s amazing collections of art are now off-limits for even the most fervent art lover. Luckily, in this connected day and age, many of them can be visited virtually, without the slightest risk of infection.
Some of the best-known spots in the Vatican can be visited virtually – and completely free of charge – as long as you have a stable internet connection. You can take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel, the Profane Museum, even the Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis through the Vatican Museum’s website.
#4 Art Basel (Basel, Miami, Hong Kong)
This is technically not a museum or a gallery, but actually an art fair – and its Hong Kong edition was sadly forced to close because of the coronavirus outbreak. Still, those who would like to see all the pieces of art presented there, can do so through its online Viewing Rooms available after registration.
Over 2000 “high-calibre” artworks, presented by more than 200 galleries, will be available via these virtual exhibitions once the event “opens” on March 20th. So, make sure to mark it in your calendar.
#5 The Met 360° Project
Last, but not least, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art that has also gone virtual through a series of 360° videos anyone around the world can see on their website. The videos, all available here, take online visitors on tours of various parts of the museum, which is especially useful considering that the Met has closed all of its locations as of March 13.
Online Museums and Galleries to visit now
There you have it! 6 online museums and galleries you can visit online. While you won’t be able to see these places in person, for the time being, you can still experience them virtually, which is good enough for now. And, when the pandemic has passed, perhaps you’ll find the time to visit them in person! Consider this your “research time”, when you can figure out which of the 6 should be at the top of your list for when you can start travelling again.
Have you been to any of these in person? Would you want to visit them virtually? Let me know in the comments below!