With the pandemic’s rising infection rate, it looks like everyone is going to be home for the holidays. Do you miss hiking in national parks or pursuing art museums? Don’t let the fact that you’re cozy in bed stop you from traveling the world. With just a click you can access hundreds of incredible virtual travel tours. So whether you are dreaming of exploring the Vatican on a date night with your partner or hoping to take your kids to see the Grand Canyon National Park, the internet might just be your best friend. Here is a list of 2020’s best virtual tours for this holiday season!
- Abisko National Park, Sweden
Just got a handheld projector for Christmas and want to project something onto your ceiling while you lie on your carpet thinking about life? What’s better than the Northern Lights? You can check out the aurora borealis, in Sweden no less, from the very confines of your depressive episode!
Go over to the Norwegian Lights over Lapland project for a journey through a 360-degree video. Some of the highlights of the video includes a walk through the Arctic birch trees of Abisko National Park and a tour of a Sami hut near a mountain. There’s even a reindeer sled around Lake Torneträsk- sound like a perfect way to get your kids to stop playing Fall Guys for ten minutes!
- Los Glaciares National Park, Argentinian Patagonia
If you’re looking to explore a winter wonderland, there’s no better place to start than checking out a big ol’ glacier. It’s time to head to Patagonia, a region that stretches over Chile and Argentina. Los Glaciares National Park holds The Perito Moreno Glacier, that covers over overing 250 km of land. To break that down for you- it’s a huge chunk of ice. Like the kind you see when celebrities make global warming documentaries on little boats.
Want to see the massive blue glacier for yourself? Check out these interactive images on 360cities. If that’s not enough for you, immerse yourself further in this immersive video of the landscapes beyond the glacier.
- Grand Canyon National Park, USA
You knew this bad boy needed to be on this list. What’s a family holiday without checking out this American gem with rocks that date back around two billion years. With virtual tours, you can have all the fun of exploring natural wonders without the eight hour RV car ride with your screaming children!
The canyon is massive at 445,000 kilometres in length and 1,857 metres deep. With Google Street View Trek you can hike along the infamous Colorado River on the Bright Angel Trail. Don’t feel like walking? What about flying? Get a bird’s eye view of the canyon on AirPano, a VR project with 360-degree images.
- The Vatican, Rome
Don’t have enough money to take your girlfriend to Rome? Feel threatened by her celebrity crush on Timothée Chalamet? Step up the romance by taking her on a virtual tour of The Vatican. Check out Rome’s best architecture, walk through the Sistine Chapel and peep Michelangelo’s legendary frescos. It will sure take her breath away! She won’t even remember to rewatch Lady Bird.
- The Louvre, Paris
Just finished hate watching Emily in Paris? Keep up the French vibes with a tour of considerable the most famous art museum in the world, The Louvre. Take a walk through the distinguished permanent collections and pretend you a single dream girl about to be spotted by a French boy named Louie. Or just look at the art like everyone else. You can see the Mona Lisa- need I say more?
- The Royal Academy, London
Are you more of an architecture fiend? Check out the Sensing Spaces exhibition at The Royal Academy. It’s been praised by a slew of critiques. And there’s no question why, it’s really something to marvel at. I’m not kidding some of the installations are the size of houses. So live your British fantasy, drink some tea and look at some tall pillars this Thanksgiving break.
Bucket List Destinations
- The Acropolis, Athens
Time travel to Ancient Greece from the comfort of your bad Ikea desk chair. If you love classical history, it’s time to visit the Athens Acropolis home to the world famous Parthenon. Ever heard of it? This is some real bucket list type travel. With this tour you can enjoy 360° videos that bring you to the heart of Athens. Then you can retake a bunch of Buzzfeed “Which Greek God are you?” quizzes until you get Athena.
- Palace of Versailles, Versailles
What if you’re over commoner living and want to pretend you’re Mary Antoinette minus the beheading bit? Go full Kirsten Dunst with an interactive virtual tour of the “Hall of Mirrors” in The Palace of Versailles. Stroll around the rose gardens and crystal fountains and sigh dramatically, thinking about how rich you are. Sounds like a good Wednesday night to me.
- Machu Picchu, Cuzco
More interested in traversing the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu? Check out the virtual tour of this Unesco World Heritage site. Look out into the curving green mountains and recreate the perfect holiday trip to Peru, minus the Alpaca keychain you would have brought back for your mom.