CLOSE

15 Amazing Places You Can Tour Virtually

If you can’t check out these places in person, you can at least visit them virtually—no flights or road trips required.

1. The National Museum of Natural History

Learn where we’ve been by taking a look around the stunning exhibits at this Smithsonian museum in the nation’s capital.

2. Taj Mahal

This look at the the famous Indian mausoleum is one of several Airpano flying 360 tours on this list.

3. U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol was completed in 1800, but it still seems to be in a constant state of construction. This virtual tour is a great way to see the landmark, and it's always scaffolding-free.

4. Eiffel Tower

Getting to the top of the iconic Parisian landmark has never been so simple. Click on the different vantage points at the bottom of the page to get a killer view—then click on numbered buildings in the distance to learn more.

5. Louvre

From this page you can choose several different areas of the world-famous museum to explore.

6. Vatican

This page on the Vatican’s website allows you to click on any of several different locations and quickly go inside for a look around. Make sure your computer is muted if you don’t want to hear music.

7. Sistine Chapel

One place the tour of the Vatican doesn't include is the Sistine Chapel. Click here and look skyward to see Michelangelo’s handiwork.

8. Route 66

Get your kicks on Google Street View of Route 66.

9. The Colosseum

Are you not entertained? You will be as you click around this virtual tour of this ancient arena.

10. The White House

This one isn’t a full 360-degree experience, but it still allows you to click on different levels and rooms of the Executive Mansion to learn more and watch videos about them.

11. The Ancient City of Petra

This aerial tour of Petra, Jordan starts at Al Khazneh, the stunning temple carved into a sandstone cliff. Fans of Indiana Jones will instantly recognize it as the location where Indy chose wisely. Drag the mouse around to get a full view of your surroundings.

12. Stonehenge

Click on one of the four Street View options to take a look around this ancient stone, uh, calendar? Jungle gym? Graveyard? Whatever it is, it’s interesting.

13. 9/11 Memorial

If you can’t make it to New York City, you can pay your respects in the meantime by taking the virtual tour here.

14. Yosemite National Park

If you’re sitting in an office, do yourself a favor and take a minute to roam around Yosemite National Park. You can almost smell the grass. As 30 Rock's Liz Lemon would say, “I want to go to there.”

15. The Pyramids

Survey the awe-inspiring achievement of the Great Pyramids at Giza from above.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
arrow
Art
Art Lovers in England, Rejoice: France's Famous Bayeux Tapestry is Coming to the UK
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

One of France’s most prized national treasures, the Bayeux Tapestry, is officially heading to England for exhibition. The loan will mark the first time the fragile 11th century work has left France in nearly 1000 years, according to The Washington Post.

French president Emmanuel Macron announced news of the loan in mid-January, viewed by some as a gesture to smooth post-Brexit relations with Britain, ABC reports. The tapestry depicts the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, a historically important event replete with guts and glory.

Stretching for 210 feet, the Bayeux Tapestry’s nine embroidered panels tell the tale of Harold, Earl of Wessex, who swore an oath to support the right of William, Duke of Normandy, to the English throne once King Edward (a.k.a. Edward the Confessor) died without an heir. But after Edward's funeral at Westminster Abbey, Harold breaks his oath to William so he could be crowned king instead. Believing he was the rightful ruler, William—today remembered as William the Conqueror—decides to wage war and ultimately defeats Harold at the Battle of Hastings.

The historical narrative has endured for centuries, but the tapestry's provenance has been lost to time. Experts think that the artwork may have been created in England, shortly after the Battle of Hastings, although it’s unclear who designed and embroidered the scenes. Its original owner, Bishop Odo of Bayeux, the half-brother of William the Conqueror, may have commissioned the Bayeux Tapestry. He became Earl of Kent after the Battle of Hastings, and this new title would have afforded him access to skilled artisans, The Guardian explains.

The Bayeux Tapestry is currently on display in the town of Bayeux in Normandy. It likely won’t leave France until 2020, after conservators ensure that it’s safe to move the artwork. According to The Telegraph, the tapestry might be be displayed at the British Museum in 2022.

[h/t The Washington Post]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
arrow
Animals
Boston's Museum of Fine Arts Hires Puppy to Sniff Out Art-Munching Bugs
© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Some dogs are qualified to work at hospitals, fire departments, and airports, but one place you don’t normally see a pooch is in the halls of a fine art museum. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is changing that: As The Boston Globe reports, a young Weimaraner named Riley is the institution’s newest volunteer.

Even without a background in art restoration, Riley will be essential in maintaining the quality of the museum's masterpieces. His job is to sniff out the wood- and canvas-munching pests lurking in the museum’s collection. During the next few months, Riley will be trained to identify the scents of bugs that pose the biggest threat to the museum’s paintings and other artifacts. (Moths, termites, and beetles are some of the worst offenders.)

Some infestations can be spotted with the naked eye, but when that's impossible, the museum staff will rely on Riley to draw attention to the problem after inspecting an object. From there, staff members can examine the piece more closely and pinpoint the source before it spreads.

Riley is just one additional resource for the MFA’s existing pest control program. As far as the museum knows, it's rare for institutions facing similar problems to hire canine help. If the experiment is successful, bug-sniffing dogs may become a common sight in art museums around the world.

[h/t The Boston Globe]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios