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These World-Renowned Museums Are Offering Free Virtual Tours

The term ‘homebody’ is certainly taking on new meaning these days, but adjusting to our interim reality doesn’t have to lack all the culture and excursions we once took advantage of. Many of us are trying to do everything we can to keep life running as normally as possible, from group viewing sessions on Netflix to online concerts, and even exercising our creative bones through virtual learning (psst: If you haven’t heard, all B+C Online Classes are currently FREE with code SELFCARE!).

Now, thanks to Google Arts & Culture, that weekend museum tour you had planned can be experienced with the click of a mouse. The list offers 2,500 of the world’s most famous galleries, art, and exhibits — a huge win for those of us who aren’t big travelers but have been dying for a chance to see a Picasso painting up close! Here are our top picks to give your quarantine a hefty dose of arts and culture.

de Young Museum (San Francisco)

The first on the list has to be a San Francisco favorite of ours, Golden Gate Park’s de Young Museum. To paint the picture: Imagine meandering through the lush Jurassic foliage of the city’s most famous park, and an earthy angular structure begins to peek out through the treetops. As you walk toward it, you realize this museum is a sculpture in itself. A massive viewing tower does an asymmetrical balancing act on the right, while the front entry takes you through a tranquil boulder maze. We’ll leave you to explore the rest for yourself 😉

London’s Natural History Museum

This museum is jaw dropping, and quite literally! The skeletal mandible of a blue whale is the first thing you see as you enter the grand foyer, and then a quick lean to the left puts the rest of the former mammal in view. Online, it’s just as impressive. For those of you who love learning about the history and evolution of life on our planet, or if you just want to feel like you’re getting a virtual tour of Hogwarts, check this one out!

Palace of Versailles 

One of the top visited cultural sites, the Palace of Versailles is home to some of France’s finest 17th-century art. Delicate oil portraits, paintings of heavenly sky gatherings, and priceless baroque artifacts make this collection unlike any other. The palace’s online tour also takes you through incredible views of the famous pools and gardens surrounding King Louis XVI’s former residence.

Museo Frida Kahlo (Mexico City)

Give us ALL the color! The blue house museum that hosts iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s life works and personal effects also happens to be home to our dream wardrobe. If you don’t already know, Frida’s fashion was MAJOR… and she clearly knew a thing or two about pairing statement shoes and jewelry with artful embroidery and traditional woven textiles. Her surrealist style of painting portrays self-expression, feminism, and rich culture that make this exhibit one you shouldn’t miss.

Musée de l’Orangerie (Paris)

Standing in the middle of the water lily room surrounded by Monet’s greatest masterpieces is an overwhelmingly beautiful experience. And this Paris museum’s online tour option puts you right in the heart of the main attraction.

The Art Institute of Chicago

This museum has one of the biggest permanent collections in the U.S., with highly recognizable works from van Gogh to Hokusai. They are currently featuring an exhibit dedicated to famous Greek-Spanish painter, El Greco, showcasing the art that dubbed him a master across Europe.

The Met (New York City)

In the name of fashion, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must on our list. We love that this museum celebrates the expansive forms that art can take, from music to baseball cards to Chanel. We may not be invited to fashion’s biggest gala this year, but at least we get to skip the lines!

The Salvador Dalí Museum (St. Petersburg, FL)

Right now the world feels a bit like a Salvador Dalí painting — time seems to be melting away while we melt into our couches. In that case, we had to give this museum a 10/10 for relatability. You can visit the museum’s website directly to tour the ins and outs of one of the largest Dalí collections in the world. Set in St. Petersburg, Florida, the exterior of the museum is a statement piece in itself. Take yourself on a virtual ‘trip’ for this one!

Keep cultured, friends!