The coronavirus pandemic has led to the closing of many countries’ borders, which means we won’t be able to travel for the next few months at least. But this doesn’t mean we should miss out on exploring the world, especially if you’re a culture buff. Here are museums, galleries and other cultural offerings you can experience online – with some adorable penguins thrown in too.
This virtual tour goes on for more than five hours but it’s worth every minute and you’ll wish you had more when you get to the end.
State Hermitage is the second-largest museum in the world and around three million artefacts are displayed here. The tour is shot in 4K on an iPhone 11 Pro in one continuous take so you’ll get to experience it as if you’re walking around the museum.
This iconic museum was the first of its kind when it opened in 1759 and and it’s still one of the top attractions in London today. Its virtual tour allows you to choose which collections or regions of the world you’d like to explore. Don’t miss the Egyptian mummies and the ancient Rosetta Stone. Items also have audio descriptions so if you don’t want to read the text that accompanies each of them, just click and listen away.
There are three virtual tours to explore here – Egyptian Antiquities features collections from the Pharaonic period; Galerie d’Apollon, which is famous for its high-vaulted ceiling and central panel; and Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, the original perimeter of the structure when it was originally built as a fortress by the French king Philippe Auguste.
If you’ve always wanted to visit MoMA or just want to reminisce about the time you went there, you can check out its past exhibitions online, right from when the museum opened in 1929.
There are photos of the collections, digital catalogues and even press releases. Search for an exhibition or choose one from the list, which is categorised with dates so you can pick the ones that take your fancy fairly easily.
Renaissance art takes centrestage here and you can browse through more than 300,000 artworks in its digital archives. Immerse yourself in the worlds of the likes of Botticelli and Canaletto, or zoom in on art genres that you like best, such as crystals, sculptures or gems. You could also take a virtual tour around the premises and check out various collections.
There’s a huge collection to explore online and it’s not just exclusively for art lovers as the collections include photography, and fashion & textiles (read also “8 Eco-Friendly Fabrics And Everything You Need To Know About Them“). Browse through 75,000 pieces from the gallery’s collection or check out specific exhibitions such as the colourful and lively Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines. You can join curator-led tours or take virtual tours.
If opera is the cultural activity you enjoy most, you’ll be thrilled to find out that the Royal Opera House has launched free online streams of its past opera and ballet performances. There are also clips of musical masterclasses and rehearsal footage that will give you a unique behind-the-scenes look. And it will be adding more productions from the end of March, check their website for details. Catch them on their YouTube channel or Facebook page.
Warning: animal lovers will spend hours glued to these webcams. So if you’re meant to be working from home, try to be productive too and not be distracted by these cute creatures.
Two zoos in Melbourne have live-stream cameras in some of their enclosures so you can bring the zoo into your home. The penguin cam is too cute for words and other animals you can watch are giraffes, lions, zebras and snow leopards.