15 museums across the world that you can visit for free online

03/23/2020

Dare to visit these 15 museums across the world without leaving your place!

When visiting a new city, it feels like time is never enough. There’s always something you missed – a museum that was already closed, a restaurant that was fully booked, a monument that was located too far from the centre. This is not necessarily a bad thing – as it gives you a reason to come back.

You may not be able to return to those cities right now… or could you? In this article we tell you about 15 museums you can visit right from where you are. You don’t need to leave your house, you simply need a wi-fi connection.

1) Paris - The Louvre

Paris - The Louvre

Photo @mattdub03

Walk through the corridors of Louvre like you’re actually there. Did some piece of the Egyptian collection grab your attention? Zoom in! You can see it closer and find information about it below.

You enjoy looking at Italian baroque ceiling paintings… if only you could look closer and for a longer time without getting a pain in your neck… through Galerie d’Apollon – one of Louvre’s galleries – you actually can!

2) New York - The Solon R. Guggenheim Museum

New York – The Solon R. Guggenheim Museum

Photo @renolaithienne

Before even looking at the artwork, the building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is already impressive! Just like The Louvre, in this museum you can also “walk around” and get details about the pieces you care about most. Not to miss: works from Franz Marc, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and Jeff Koons.

3) Figueres - The Dalí Theatre Museum

Figueres – The Dalí Theatre Museum

Photo @miseriv

You might have never heard about the Spanish town of Figueres (1h30 by train from Barcelona), but you’ve certainly heard about the painter Salvador Dalí and his most famous painting “The Persistence of Memory” with the weird melting clocks! Learn about the artist through a virtual tour and, once again, you’re gonna be impressed by the architecture of the museum!

4) Vatican - The Vatican Museums

Vatican – The Vatican Museums

Photo @bertomacario

Going to Rome and not seeing the pope is very possible but going to Rome and not visiting the Vatican and its impressive museums… that should be a crime! But hey, visiting the Vatican museum online actually has a very important advantage: you avoid the crowds and the expensive ticket. Obviously, the part you can’t miss is the Sistine Chapel. Can you identify its most famous painting? The creation of Adam?

Other very impressive rooms are: Raphael’s Room; Room of the Chiaroscuri and New Wing.

5) Seoul - The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Seoul – The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Photo @mikethrom

Let’s leave Europe and head for a more exotic destination: Seoul in South Korea! Contemporary art can be very surprising by itself, now give it an Asian touch and you’ll find something out of this world. Visit www.mmca.go.kr/eng and enjoy a free guided tour to the museum by the curators of MMCA.

6) Cusco - Machu Picchu

Cusco – Machu Picchu

Photo @jeshoots

Machu Picchu must be on 90% of all travellers’ bucket lists. The combination of what’s left of the Inca lost city together with the surrounding beauty of the Andes mountain range makes this a wonderful place – elected one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. But visiting it is not exactly cheap. Trains from Cusco cost between $47 and $62. Moreover, a bus trip down to Machu Picchu and up again will cost $24. You can also walk, it will take about 90 minutes but it’s free.

Perhaps you would also like to visit the museum Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón? And learn why and how Machu Picchu was built? It will cost $7 and you will have to be able to find it, which is not so easy… It’s a 30-minute walk from the town of Aguas Calientes, at the end of a dirt road near the base of Machu Picchu.

Does it sound like you have a lot to plan before you go there in person? For now, you can virtually explore the place using Google Arts and Culture.

7) Washington D.C. - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Washington D.C. - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Photo @albrb

Can a virtual tour be even better than a real-life tour? Maybe not in terms of quality but in terms of exhibits available to visit? Virtual wins. Permanent access to current and past exhibitions in naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-your

8) Versailles - Palace of Versailles

Versailles – The Palace of Versailles

Photo @louispaulin

It’s not hard at all to fall in love with the Palace of Versailles. Both inside and outside, the palace it’s just stunning. Starting from the inside, don’t miss the Hall of Mirrors – a huge gallery filled with 350 mirrors. History was made here: the Treaty of Versailles – a peace agreement which officially ended World War I – was signed in this room in 1919. Before leaving this hall, take a look by the central window and enjoy the best view of Versailles. The Grand Chapel is another place not to be missed, admire the gothic architectural influences together with baroque aesthetics, while imagining Marie Antoinette getting married right here.

Shall we go outside now? Head to the Grand Canal and take a minute to the admire the huge lake that took 11 years to be constructed or alternatively, you can rent a boat by the hour. The Fountains of Versailles are another cool outside attraction as they feature a musical fountain show which run every weekend and every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday during summer.

Do you feel curious and want to keep exploring? Visit the virtual exhibitions available at en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/resources/virtual-exhibitions

9) London - The British Museum

London – The British Museum

Photo @claudiotesta

The online version of the British Museum allows you dive across time and continents in a very interactive way to explore the different cultures of the world. You can also read more about the objects by clicking on them or listening to the museum curators. Visit britishmuseum.withgoogle.com to start exploring!

10) McLean & Cleveland - NASA

McLean & Cleveland – NASA

Photo @shapeofshape

You don’t need to be studying physics or even sciences to be excited about space. Spatial exploration is just one of those things that fascinates everyone. So if you ever dreamed about visiting NASA, you’ll be happy to know you can do it from your home.

NASA has two research centres available to visit: Langley Research Center in McLean, Virginia and Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

In both centers you can walk around, stop for some more detailed information and even watch a video.

11) Florence - The Uffizi Gallery

Florence – The Uffizi Gallery

Photo @d3lmekyo

If you ever been to Florence you’ve certainly heard about this gallery, famous for its Roman art sculptures (SPOILERS: lots of naked men!). It is definitely one of the 9 hidden gems of the city (and if you want to find the others, check our article about the secrets of Florence!).

If you would like to visit this gallery online, accessing to the galleries’ website you will find all the artworks divided in 3 categories: painting, architecture and sculpture. Click on each piece to find out out its history. Through Google Arts and Culture you can also virtually walk through the gallery.

12) Alexandria - The National Women's History Museum

Alexandria - The National Women’s History Museum

Photo @raquelrgarc

Have you watched the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures”? The movie takes place during the 60’s and focuses on three African American women who fight to build a career in NASA – a company ruled by white man and where racism is very present (to the point that black people must use a separate bathroom!). “The Women of NASA” is one of the online exhibitions available on the museum’s website, so if you want to discover the facts behind the fiction, check this one!

However, there are many more stories about women to find out about – 28 to be exactly. Click on the different sections and find pictures, illustrations and videos about other ‘hidden stories’ which unfortunately you probably never learnt about in school.

13) São Paulo - The Art Museum of São Paulo

The Art Museum of São Paulo

Photo Creative Commons Zero - CC0

When imagining your trip to Brazil you probably think about paradisal beaches and happy people dancing and enjoying life. What about museums? What differentiates this art museum from other beautiful ones is the way the artworks are displayed. Attached with glass and a concrete block – instead of the typical attached to the wall style, it almost seems like the paintings are floating in the air.

Make your own tour through the interior of the museum by accessing Google Art and Culture.

14) New York - The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET)

New York – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET)

Photo @robertbye

If you’re a fan of “This is Us” you probably already saw the episode about New York (sorry about the spoiler!) in which Rebecca dreams about visiting the MET museum as an adult after doing it so many times as a child. Find out about Rebecca’s favourite painting (search for “Madame X” by John Singer Sargent) and also watch the series of six award-winning videos which allow you to virtually visit the museum.

15) Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture

Photo @gilberfranco

You enjoyed this article so much that you hoped this list was longer? Google Arts & Culture lets you explore more than 2500 museums and galleries around the world. Wanna catch them all? Quarantine may not last that long!

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