Virtual Tour through the Jade Museum


Tour around the permanent and temporary exhibition rooms of the Jade Museum, Costa Rica.

12 Famous Museum Virtual Tours You Can Take At Home

You don’t have to leave the house to explore museums with the kids! Check out these 12 Famous Museum Virtual Tours You Can Take At Home! Best part is they are totally FREE!

Virtual museum and monument tours: how to explore the wonders of history from your home

Many museums have opened up their doors to the wonders of virtual reality, letting you ‘walk around’ and admire exhibitions from the comfort of your own home. Emma Slattery Williams of BBC History Revealed shares just a few of the museums, artefacts and historical spaces that you can explore from afar…

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Published: April 21, 2020 at 2:29 pm

The Vatican

Where? Vatican City

You don’t need to be in Rome to visit the smallest sovereign state in the world. The Vatican has created a series of virtual tours that let you loose inside the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church – the home of the Pope and one of the most important churches in Christianity, St Peter’s Basilica.The Vatican City traces its history back to the fourth century, when a church was built over the tomb of St Peter – one of Jesus’s 12 apostles and widely regarded as the founder of the Catholic Church. In the 16th century, a new church replaced the 1,200-year-old one, and it’s still standing today. This is the current St Peter’s Basilica – and the tomb of St Peter is believed to be directly under the high altar. The basilica is a renowned piece of Renaissance architecture.

A range of 360° virtual tours will transport you around some of the grand rooms and chapels within the Vatican, allowing you to admire the exquisite paintings and sculptures of one of the largest art collections in the world. You can also take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel one of the highlights of a trip to the Vatican, the chapel is perhaps most famous for its impressive ceiling mural, painted by Michelangelo. It’s also where the papal conclave (the election of a new pope) typically takes place.

The Vatican boasts many museums within its complexes, too, and it has opened up a number of these collections to virtual visitors. One that you can peruse through your phone is the Pio Clementino Museum. Named after the two popes who supervised its creation, Clement XIV and Pius VI, it houses ancient Greek and Roman sculptures as well as the finely-carved sarcophagus of St Helena – the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who was famously the first Roman ruler to adopt the Christian faith.


Where? Petra, Jordan

The ancient city of Petra in Jordan is one of the world’s most valuable archaeological sites. Known as the ‘Rose City’, every dwelling, tomb and temple was painstakingly carved directly into the sandstone cliffs – with the rockface’s vibrant colour giving many of the buildings a distinctive rose-pink lustre.

Settled by the Nabataeans in the 3rd century BC, the city flourished until at least the 6th century AD. There’s evidence of a Crusader outpost in the vicinity in the 12th century, but after that the ruins were lost to the Western world until their rediscovery in the 19th century. Since then they have attracted worldwide attention – particularly from Hollywood directors. The city has often been used as a filming location, perhaps most famously as a backdrop for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: the eastern entrance to Petra inspired the film’s invented Canyon of the Crescent Moon.

Google has created a virtual tour of the mysterious city that allows you to clamber among the cliffs and experience this ancient wonder first-hand. Trekking through the city, you can explore a number of locations, accompanied by an audio track that’s brimming with fascinating facts about Petra.

Palace of Versailles

Where? Versailles, France

The marvellous imagination of King Louis XIV transformed what was once a small hunting lodge into an extravagant palace that became the home of the French court. The Sun King wanted to create a royal residence that would be the envy of the world, and it seems he succeeded: his successors continued to add to the palace until revolution rocked the country in 1789, and the palace today is a sprawl of 2,300 rooms, each more elegant than the last.

A virtual tour (offered by Google) takes you into some of the palace’s grandest rooms – including the Hall of Mirrors, where the walkway’s glittering chandeliers and opulent gold furnishings are dizzyingly reflected in the myriad of mirrors that line the walls. The hall was also the site where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, thereby ending World War I.

Some of the palace’s past and present exhibitions can also be explored online.

The Anne Frank House

Where? Amsterdam, the Netherlands

In 1942, Otto Frank and his family went into hiding in a secret annex above Otto’s offices. The family had moved to the Netherlands from their native Germany in the summer of 1933, after the Nazi Party’s rise to power. The Nazis occupied the Netherlands in 1940, and two years later Otto decided to take his wife and two daughters into hiding. They moved, suddenly and secretly, into an annex within his office, where they were soon joined by another Jewish family, the Pels, and a family friend, dentist Fritz Pfeffer. The Franks remained here for 761 days.

This virtual tour lets you experience what it was like in the cluster of rooms hidden behind a bookcase. It was here, secluded from the outside world save for the small cadre of helpers in office beyond, that young Anne Frank would chronicle her and family’s lives in her diary. If you have a virtual reality headset, you can also navigate the annex in VR.

Anne’s last diary entry was on 1 August 1944. Three days later, the Nazis raided the annex the Franks, the Pels and Pfeffer were sent to Nazi concentration camps. Otto was the only one to survive, freed from
Auschwitz when the Soviets liberated it in 1945. Anne and her sister Margot ended up in Bergen-Belsen, where they both died of typhus – aged 15 and 19 respectively – just a few months before it was liberated. Otto returned to Amsterdam, where he discovered that Anne’s diary had been found and saved by one of their former helpers. It was published as The Diary of a Young Girl in 1947, and since been reprinted in 60 languages.

The Colosseum

Where? Rome, Italy

Imagine the roar of the crowd as a gladiator stands victorious in the Colosseum’s pit, blood-stained sword in hand, having just bested their foe in deadly combat. From grand mock battles to one-on-one bouts and grisly executions, the Colosseum was the heart of life in ancient Rome and could hold around 50,000 spectators. Since 2010, visitors to the arena have been able to navigate the underground tunnels known as the hypogeum, where the animals and warriors who awaited their turn in the arena were kept.

Now, with the help of Google, you can explore the Colosseum’s labyrinthine walkways and virtually stand in the grand amphitheatre that was once home to Rome’s greatest – and bloodiest – entertainment. How do you think you would have fared?

The British Museum

Where? London, UK

The British Museum houses some of the most famous artefacts from across the world (and across time) – and now you can stroll through the museum online. As well as virtually roaming the museum’s galleries, you can also look in depth at their collections. From the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles to Hoa Hakananai’a – the moai statue from Easter Island – there are priceless objects from a wealth of civilisations waiting to be explored.

The National Computing Museum

Where? Milton Keynes, UK

It seems only right that the location for the National Computing Museum is in the grounds of Bletchley Park, the centre of Allied codebreaking during World War II and the site of the development of the world’s first computer. Most of the museum’s exhibits can be explored via a virtual tour, including the world’s oldest working computer, the Harwell Dekatron. The museum also holds a replica of the device used to crack Germany’s Enigma code.

Museo Nacional de Anthropologia

Where? Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico’s national museum, located in Mexico City, has some of the country’s most important pre-Columbian artefacts, including the Aztec Calendar stone, known as the Stone of the Sun, giant head sculptures from the Olmec civilisation and treasures from the Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Another highlight of the museum is the supposed headdress of the Aztec emperor Moctezuma – a man who, it’s said, drank 50 cups of hot chocolate a day to enhance his ‘prowess’. Get up close to some of these amazing finds with the museum’s 360° virtual tour.

The National Museum of Natural History

Where? Washington, DC, USA

Run by the Smithsonian Institution, this venerable edifice is one of the most visited natural history museums in the world. Go online to take a walk through the exhibits, which range from the dinosaurs that used to roam America (including a 11.6m-long Tyrannosaurus rex), the world-famous (and quite unusually blue) Hope Diamond and a fossilised Neanderthal.

The Tyrannosaurus rex on display was found in 1988. It’s unusual in that more than 80 per cent of its skeleton was uncovered.

The Louvre

Where? Paris, France

Standing in the ground of the former royal palace of the same name, the Louvre Musuem is the largest art museum in the world. In just a few clicks of a mouse, you could be admiring the opulent Grand Salon in the apartments of Napoleon III before casting your gaze on the sculptures of the Ancient Greeks. In addition to its most famous resident – Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’– the Louvre houses one of the world’s largest Egyptian collections, a combination of objects from the French royal collection, as well as from Napoleon’s Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign in 1798. This latter campaign led to the discovery of thousands of artefacts and gave birth to Europe’s fascination with Egypt and the rise of Egyptology.

We update this page regularly, so keep checking back for new recommendations of virtual tours. Last updated 21 April 2020

Take a virtual tour of these NYC cultural institutions from home

New Yorkers are spending more time at home than likely ever before, as the novel coronavirus pandemic has led to limits on how many people can gather in one place at any given time, and the widespread closure of the city’s myriad cultural institutions.

But many of those institutions—museums, parks, performing arts centers, libraries, and more—have risen to the challenge, providing virtual access to their buildings and collections. In a challenging time, these virtual experiences offer New Yorkers many ways to stay entertained and connected to the city’s plethora of incredible cultural offerings.

Below, find a list of what’s available from various online platforms, museums, and more.


Several New York City museums can be experienced via Google’s Arts & Culture platform, including the Met, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Cooper Hewitt. In addition to providing a glimpse at those museums’ collections, the platform also lets you explore their buildings—so if you’ve never visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s nautilus-inspired Guggenheim building, now’s the time to do so (virtually).

In a partnership with the New York Latino Film Festival, each week El Museo del Barrio will feature shorts, films, and documentaries from the fest on its website. The American Museum of Natural History is sharing previously recorded tours via its Facebook and Twitter accounts. History buffs can listen to more than 350 oral histories from New Yorkers on the Coney Island History Project’s website in addition to exploring their online collections.

Many city museums have also shared items from their collections using the hashtag #MuseumAtHome and #MuseumMomentofZen on Twitter—both are good to follow if you need a moment of levity in the middle of a stressful time.


Though New York City’s library branches are closed, many of the services that they provide—including access to e-books, research materials, and more—are available digitally. See what’s available via the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Public Library.


Many city parks remain open, but one of the most popular outdoor spots—the High Line—has closed for now. But you can still go on a virtual tour of the elevated park through Google Arts & Culture.

Looking for some activities in honor of Earth Day? The Museum of the City of New York has a bevy of resources for young environmentalists. A video explains the day’s origins and features readings of two ecologically themed picture books. For a jaunt in the outdoors without physically going outside, the New York City Parks Department offers virtual tours of some of its flagship green spaces, including Central Park and the Staten Island Greenbelt. The [email protected] webpage also offers an array of digital content including live broadcasts from park rangers, of how-tos for up-cycled art projects, and of meditation sessions.

At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Sakura Matsuri, or cherry blossom festival, has been an annual tradition since 1982. The garden was forced to cancel this year’s festival, but it’s still possible to admire the blossoms from afar: virtual tours will be available on its Instagram and Facebook pages.

And the Natural Areas Conservancy has a nifty online map that charts the more than 20,000 acres of the city’s natural areas—forests, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, and streams—if you’re hankering for some outdoor exploration.


The New York Landmarks Conservancy has a video series called “Tourist In Your Own Town,” which takes viewers on tours of historic landmarks (including President Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace and the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum).

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has launched Seneca Village Unearthed, an online exhibit and collection of artifacts from what was once New York City’s largest community of free African-American landowners. The exhibit offers access to nearly 300 artifacts for a glimpse of what life was like for Seneca villagers in the mid-19th century.

Urban Archive is another resource chock full of digital resources to explore in partnership with 40 museums, cultural organizations, and government agencies. The archive offers a seemingly endless collection of curated historic images and their histories. For instance, as part of the #NewYorkfromHome campaign, the Municipal Arts Society and Urban Archive create two digital tours: Epidemic, New York in 1918, and Hospitals through History.

The 92nd Street Y has also made videos from its archives available to watch at home, and will livestream some of its planned concerts.

In the first in a series of online shows created for the Pace Gallery, the digital exhibit Saul Steinberg: Imagined Interiors brings together drawings, collages, and photographs by New York-based cartoonist and illustrator Saul Steinberg. The show explores interior spaces as sites for introspection and creativity, and will be on view online until April 6.

Pottery & Ceramics

Japan is a country that still embraces the beauty of pottery and ceramics. There are plenty of places around the country that are well worth the trip if you love tableware (What I’d give to go back to Arita!), but in the meantime, here a few virtual options:

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka

See a selection of ceramics and porcelain pieces from Japan and China.

Sagawa Art Museum*

This museum, located in Moriyama, is home to some of the most amazing Raku ware, a type of Japanese pottery traditionally used during tea ceremonies. Many of the museum’s collections can be seen online.

Sekido Museum of Art

The ceramics on display at the Sekido Museum of Art come in interesting shapes and are often decorated with intricate and eccentric patterns. A must-browse for anybody who loves colorful ware.

10 amazing virtual museum tours

Virtual Museum Tours are steadily becoming more and more common. VR has the power to transport users to places they might never be able to visit in real life so welcoming digital visitors into the museums of the world is a natural fit. It’s also a huge win for students across the globe as they get to explore some amazing pieces of world history with unprecedented access and ease.

This really strikes a chord with me as an international educator, working in a British curriculum school in the Middle East. Access to museums here is limited and exhibits tend to focus on Middle Eastern history. There’s nothing wrong with this of course – there’s some amazing artefacts to be seen – but our curriculum goes much further. Take for example when I was working in Year 3 when I first moved here in 2008. Much like the Year 3 students I had been teaching in London, the pupils in Dubai worked on an Ancient Egypt project. Of course the students back home got to visit the British Museum to see some of the world’s most famous Egyptian relics. No such luck for the students here (though I did visit the museum during a trip back home with a camcorder and record them a little walkaround tour.)

Some museums opt for virtual tours in the form of interactive online maps. Others choose to share image galleries or banks of 3D scans of their artefacts. VR offers the most immersive experience though and here I’d like to share ten of my favourite virtual museum tours. I’ve tried to choose from a range of platforms to highlight the variety on offer.

1. National Museum of Natural History PLATFORM: Web VR

This famous museum in Washington has several virtual tours integrated directly onto the web. Using Web VR means that virtual visitors can utilise any headset, provided a Web VR enabled browser it used. The tours include both permanent and past exhibitions with the core tour offering dozens of panoramic images that can be navigated via an on-screen map or interactive arrows. What the tour lacks in supporting content (there’s no additional multimedia for the exhibits) it certainly makes up for in scope and range, with dinosaurs, sea life, geology and more in focus.

2. Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum PLATFORM: Wonder 360 app (iOS/Android)

Created with InstaVR (a platform I’ve been exploring myself recently), this virtual tour from The Smithsonian presents the Renwick Gallery in interactive form. Nine leading contemporary artists created site-specific, gallery-sized installations and you can navigate through the halls of the museum to explore them. Multimedia tags can be selected to bring up additional information, videos and more.

3. National Museum of Iraq PLATFORM: Google Expeditions (iOS/Android)

There are several museum tours available within Expeditions. I chose this one of the National Museum of Iraq as I felt it was a great example of a museum that many people may never visit due to its location. The great thing about accessing them this way is that a teacher can guide the students through a shared virtual tour, directing their focus and using the integrated information to explain more about what they are seeing.

4. Hintze Hall, NHM London

Thomas Flynn is the Cultural Heritage Lead at Sketchfab and has produced some outstanding models for their Heritage and History wing. This 3D scan of the Hintze Hall in London’s Natural History Museum is an excellent example. With multiple focus points, the VR visitor can quickly get up close to some of the amazing exhibits, each accompanied by annotations to share more information. These short text overviews are accompanied by hyperlinks to additional detail about the chosen focal point from the museum’s website. It’s not the biggest, most complete or even most polished museum tour on the list but it does herald a future where more and more visitors will capture their own 360 scans and build VR tours for themselves.

5. The Louvre PLATFORM: YouVisit (Web VR/iOS/Android)

YouVisit has really been gathering steam lately within higher education circles with their university campus tours. Here they offered a guided tour through the Louvre in Paris which can be accessed via the web or directly within their free VR app. The tour begins outside and moves through ten areas of the museum. Each location offers additional images, videos clips and information about the exhibits.

6. The British Museum PLATFORM: Boulevard (Oculus Rift/Gear)

The Boulevard app (formerly called Woofbert) offers multiple immersive VR museum experiences including this latest from The British Museum itself. Available free on the Rift and Gear, with other platforms in development including the HoloLens, it is fast becoming into one of best places to look for virtual museum tours.

5. Boston Children’s Museum

Best for: Mimicking the real thing

A children&rsquos museum would be the best place to take the kids when they&rsquore off from school, but a virtual experience will have to do for now. The Boston Children&rsquos Museum welcomes online visitors into its exhibits (no lines!) and you can supplement the images with your own at-home activities and games.

Lesson Plan and Worksheet

  • Use the arrows at the bottom of the screen to move through nine different scenes.
  • Click, hold, and drag the icon to explore the 360 degree image for each scene.
  • Click on the (i) icon for more information about each scene and to learn about the historical photos and artifacts featured.

This lesson was adapted from an activity created in conjunction with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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Take a virtual stroll through the exhibition

The Natural History Museum

Step inside the world of Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature at the Natural History Museum.

From roaring dragons to mischievous Nifflers, the wizarding world created by J K Rowling is full of remarkable animals.

Magizoologist Newt Scamander™ is an expert on these magical creatures and the author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them™. We invite you to follow the pages of Newt's book and explore the wonder of our natural world through the magic of fantastic beasts.

Discover the real animals that are as extraordinary as any mythical creature. And, like Newt, see the need to protect them for generations to come.

People have told stories about dragons, merpeople, unicorns and sea monsters for thousands of years. But what inspired the tales of these remarkable creatures? Could strange encounters with dinosaur bones, narwhal tusks and giant squid lie behind such stories?

Like many explorers and naturalists, Newt Scamander™ has travelled the world seeking fantastic beasts to study and observe.

Leave the mysterious museum behind the head off on an expedition into the unknown. Prepare to meet fantastic beasts with magical powers and try to spot the animals that share their amazing abilities.

From nature's most extraordinary dancers to its champions of camouflage, our world contains a remarkable diversity of animals to discover.

Newt Scamander™ protects and cares for fantastic beasts that are threatened, mistreated or misunderstood by other wizards.

In our world, human activity is endangering the future of many animals, with tens of thousands of species at risk of disappearing forever.

Now that you have encountered fantastic beasts in the wild, discover what we can do to save them. Meet some of the Earth's most vulnerable animals and find out how remarkable people around the world who, like Newt, are working to ensure we value and respect the creatures that share our planet.

'It is my fondest hope that a new generation… will find in its pages fresh reason to love and protect the incredible beasts with whom we share magic.' – Newt Scamander™

For more information and to book tickets to the exhibition, visit the Museum's website.

To find out more about the Wizarding World, visit

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21)

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Watch the video: Jade Museum: San José Day Tour (January 2022).