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The app that lets you visit the world's best tourist spots from your own home

The app that lets you visit the world’s best tourist spots from your own home

Art galleries and museums across the world have closed their doors in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

It means that many are going without their usual culture fix in the interests of public safety, and self-isolating at home instead.

But there is a way you can still explore exhibitions at some of the globe’s top cultural institutions – using your own mobile phone.

The Google Arts and Culture app has virtual tours and online exhibitions from leading galleries and museums, including the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and The National Gallery in London.

Dozens of virtual reality tours mean you can take in top tourist sites despite the travel restrictions in place across the globe.

Wander around the foot of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, admire the Trevi Fountain in Rome, and see The Water Tank Project in New York.

A virtual reality view of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro – and the views from the top
(Image: Google Arts Culture)

Your phone can take you around the incredible covered square of the British Museum in London, the contemporary spaces of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, and the beautiful Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

If your favourite thing to do on holiday is take in an incredible view, you can do that on Google Arts and Culture too.

Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, and even the Taj Mahal are free to explore using Google‘s street view technology.

Theatre fans can see inside the Sydney Opera House, the Bolshoi Theatre, and the Paris National Opera, while film buffs can take a virtual stroll down Hollywood Boulevard.

There’s an entire collection of Italy‘s most beautiful locations for those missing the heavily impacted country, including the Venice Canals, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the ruins of Pompeii.

A virtual tour of the Venice Canals
(Image: Google Arts Culture)

You can even get up close and personal with some of the most famous art works of all time – without having to step over any ropes – with high definition photos of works by Van Gogh, Klimt and William Morris.

All you need to do is download the free app and start exploring.

It barely scratches the surface of our planet’s vibrant cultural scene, but you can certainly kill a few hours by taking a virtual trip around the world’s best tourist spots.

For more ideas and inspiration to pass the time and stay entertained during lockdown, visit our new Stay In section.