Stuck at home during quarantine but still itching to travel? Check out these five museums offering a virtual tour of their galleries. You can enjoy these tours from the comfort of your own couch!

museums are offering virtual tours but this person in a museum observing the art, Photo by Antenna on Unsplash
Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

Self-isolation and stay-at-home orders have many of us on edge. We’re always looking for something new to do that isn’t browsing social media. But with new restrictions on travel, it isn’t possible to visit our favorite museums. Or is it?

These museums in North America and Europe are offering great virtual tours. You can learn something new while experiencing these amazing exhibits.

These are only five of the many museums worldwide giving free virtual tours to help us pass the time. Trust me, these tours are an excellent way to learn about different artworks and artists. The best part is that you can enjoy any virtual tour without having to leave the house.

1. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History—Washington, D.C.

Elephant at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., offering a free virtual tour
Elephant in the Natural History Museum’s lobby in Washington, D.C.
Photo courtesy of The Smithsonian

The Smithsonian is massive. It contains 17 different museums and galleries, including the National Zoo. The Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History is offering an excellent virtual tour. They have both current and past exhibits and options for a virtual tour of their other galleries. You can travel through time with exhibits from dinosaurs to early mankind and beyond.

2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art—New York City

The front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who is offering a free virtual tour
Front of the Metropolitan Museum in New York
Photo courtesy of Google Arts & Culture

This museum tour comes courtesy of Google Arts & Culture. Here, you can take a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This museum is home to quite a few brilliant works of art. More famous examples include works from Caravaggio and Van Gogh. They have exhibits on topics ranging from ancient artifacts or modern paintings. If you enjoy the rich history of art, this is the perfect tour for you.

3. The Louvre—Paris, France

Photo of The Louvre's glass pyramid, who is offering a free virtual tour
The Louvre’s famous pyramid in Paris
Photo courtesy of The Louvre

Even though you won’t get to see the Mona Lisa in this virtual tour, the Louvre has more to offer. They are offering an excellent selection of their exhibits as virtual tours you can take at home. They have many seasons of their Petite Gallerie’s exhibitions to explore. In their Egyptian collection they have hundreds of artifacts dating back centuries. They also offer a tour of the remains of the original moat that surrounded the Louvre when it was first built.

4. The Van Gogh Museum—Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam who is offering a free virtual tour
Outside of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
Photo courtesy of Google Arts & Culture

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is one of my personal favorites. This virtual tour is the best choice for anyone who loves the Dutch painter. The museum tells the story of Vincent Van Gogh’s life through his artwork and letters. Be sure to look for his striking self portraits and flower paintings. They are each highlighted in their own sections of the museum.

5. Museo Frida Kahlo—Mexico City, Mexico

Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City who is offering a free virtual tour
The entrance to the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City
Photo courtesy of Jackie Weisberg

Dedicated to Frida Kahlo, La Casa Azul (The Blue House) is where Kahlo spent most of her life. The virtual tour of this museum shows you the incredible but tragic life of Kahlo and her artwork. Her self portraits give a small glimpse into the artist’s view of both herself and the world around her.