Ever wonder what the Acropolis of Greece is really like? Or the Eiffel Tower? While we may all be stuck at home, thanks to the internet and some incredible videos and photography, we can now embark on virtual tours of some of the world’s most famous landmarks.
(Virtually) step into another time and place, as we share some of our favourite places that you can explore from your very own home.
The ancient pyramids of Giza have been fascinating people for over 4000 years and make up one of the most important archeological sites in human history. They were the tombs of the great pharaohs of Egypt, and the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only surviving ancient wonder of the world left.
You can go on a virtual tour to learn about these incredible structures. See the pyramids up close, and virtually wander to the Great Sphinx.
The Khmer Empire sprawled across Southeast Asia, and left many incredible monuments, but perhaps the most celebrated is the stone city of Angkor. Today, it’s an archeological park that covers around 150mi2/400km2 of ground, and is studded with ancient temples.
The most famous is undoubtedly Angkor Wat. This is the largest religious monument in the world, and before the empire converted to Buddhism, it was dedicated to the Hindu God, Vishnu. The UNESCO-listed site has a virtual tour that includes 360° video simulations – the closest you’ll come to actually being there.
As a site, Stonehenge dates back 5000 years, and archeologists believe it was once used for cremations. Then, around 2500 years ago, the megalithic stone circle that we know today was erected. However, in all that time, we still haven’t discovered what Stonehenge was actually used for – it remains an enigma.
In fact, the site has spawned all sorts of tales. Legend has it that Merlin magicked the stones from Ireland and had giants put them together. It’s been theorized that it’s an alien landing site, a fertility symbol or the work of the Romans. You’ll have to decide for yourself, by taking the interactive virtual tour put together by English Heritage.
Pop open some champagne at home, and tour the lofty heights of the Eiffel Tower ‘in’ the City of Lights. The defining symbol of Paris, this iron tower was constructed to be part of the World’s Fair in 1889. It was supposed to reach 300m in height, and in that, it succeeded. Today it stands at 324m/1063ft in total.
Google has made a wonderful interactive tour where you can wander the grounds, enjoy the views from the top and learn about the tower’s history and construction.
If you haven’t heard of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, it’s likely that you’ll still recognize the rising karst pillars topped with trees. The park was the inspiration for the alien planet of Pandora in James Cameron’s Avatar. The terrain is so unusual that in 2004 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This park is also home to another unique feature, the world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge. With this 360° video tour by AirPano, you can experience the heights of the bridge from a far less vertigo-inducing position!
The white fins of Sydney are instantly recognizable, and if you’ve been dreaming of an adventure Down Under, this virtual tour is for you. Google partnered with the Sydney Opera House to produce this excellent 360° video tour.
On it, you can watch the sunrise over Sydney Harbour, and then wander into the opera house. But an events hall like this wouldn’t be complete without a performance. Luckily, on this tour you’re treated to the beautiful voice of the soprano, Nicole Car.
North America doesn’t have very many old cities, but Quebec City is one of them. The Château Frontenac Hotel tops the town, and is the most striking building in the city. But as Quebec City is one of the oldest colonial settlements in the region, you’ll find it’s studded with Old World charm.
Explore Quebec City and stroll through the Petit-Champlain District and Place Royale on the 360° video tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Shibuya Crossing of Tokyo is famous throughout the world. And you can experience the bustling nature of this crosswalk during rush hour, thanks to the Japan National Tourism Organization’s 360° virtual reality tour.
In fact, this fun video is packed full of Japan’s celebrated sights and activities. Meet the geisha of Kyoto, run through the torii gates of Fushimi Inari Taisha, feed the deer of Nara and dine on sushi in Osaka.
The ancient Acropolis, and its most famous site, the Parthenon, is the iconic symbol of Greece. It has stood for well over 2000 years, and is emblematic of Greek antiquity.
Are you dreaming of a sun-strewn landscape? Missing the smell of salt from a sea breeze? Or maybe you just want something outside of your day-to-day – well, we’ve saved the best VR tour for last.
Thanks to Google, you can go on a virtual tour of the extraordinary Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai’i. See the fiery might of the volcanoes and walk through ancient lava tubes. Or stroll beneath the canopy of emerald rainforests, and get so close to the sea you can almost touch it.
This tour is perfect for experiencing a little nature, and it’ll give you plenty of travel inspiration for your next adventure.