The 12 Best Virtual Vacations You Can Take Without Traveling

virtual travel destinations

While recent events may have kept us off planes and, well, on our couch, travel still remains one of the best ways to demonstrate our global interconnectedness and humanity. So for now, because we are all in this together (and separately from our individual couches), we’ll have to be armchair voyagers as we explore museums, libraries, and historical, religious, and cultural sites. Learning and discovery don’t have to stop. Keep reading to find out about the best virtual vacations from the comfort—and safety—of your own home.

Have a Virtual Adventure at the Grand Canyon

The National Park Service does more than educate sightseers in person when they visit any of the 61 national parks. You can view the Grand Canyon via 360-degree photographs on an archeology virtual tour, go on a virtual hike past layers of earth to the famous Phantom Ranch, or float down the Colorado River on a rafting trip.

Online: View virtual tours, maps, and photographs through the National Park System’s website.

See Llamas at Machu Picchu

Wendy Altschuler

High in the Peruvian Andes mountains sits Machu Picchu , an ancient citadel built in the 15th century. A visit here will reward you with stunning mountain views, llama sightings, and great hikes throughout olden ruins.

Online: Visit the citadel online through a 360-degree virtual tour , provided by You Visit.

Wander Through the Sistine Chapel in Italy

Located in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is famous for the Renaissance frescos that brighten up the interior. In person, when open to the public, The Sistine Chapel is crowded, and it can be difficult to view all of the artwork. A virtual tour is not only a great way to appreciate the chapel without the interference of too many people, but you can also see the gardens, Pontifical Villas, and Vatican City museums.

Online: See the Vatican grounds, including the Sistine Chapel , by clicking on arrows to move up, down, left and right throughout each tour. You’ll also be able to zoom in to get a better look at the paintings.

Visit the Land of Creation

Jerusalem is home to three monolithic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is one of the most notable locations in Jerusalem . Located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City in Israel, this religious site is said to be where Jesus was crucified, where his empty tomb is located, and where he is believed to have been resurrected.

Online: Experience 360-degree virtual tours of Jerusalem, including The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Western Wall, Old City markets, Mount of Olives, and much more via Samsung XL.

Tour the White House

Visiting Washington, D.C. , is inadvisable right now, but you can still go on a virtual tour of the White House . See the Eisenhower Executive Office Building positioned next to the West Wing where White House Staff offices are located. Click through a 360-degree view of the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office, the Secretary of War Suite, the War Library/The Law Library, and The Indian Treaty Room. Learn about how the art and décor of the White House has changed with each Presidential occupancy. You’ll have the opportunity to view the Entrance Hall, Cross Hall, East Room, Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room, State Dining Room, Vermeil Room, China Room, East Garden Room, and more.

Online: Google Arts & Culture offers a wide variety of virtual reality tours.

Visit the Guggenheim Museum in New York City

 Courtesy of The Guggenheim Museum

New York City’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is one of the most stunning Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures in the country. The white spiral ramp in the interior takes you from the bottom to the top in an organized and visually pleasing way.

Online: Google Arts & Culture will lead you through the museum’s multiple floors, highlighting 600 artworks along the way. You’ll be able to zoom in and out and rotate your view 360 degrees.

Understand the Natural World in Washington, D.C.

TripSavvy / Victoria Chamberlain

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History , home to 125 million artifacts, is one of the most-visited natural history institutions on the planet. Visit the exhibits—permanent, current, and past—from your desktop or mobile device on a virtual tour. You’ll be able to click on blue arrows as you navigate through each exhibit, located on the ground, first, or second floors. Be patient as pages load and click on camera icons to get a close-up view of a particular object.

Online: The museum’s website showcases a wide variety of exhibits via virtual tours.

Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York City

If you’ve never been to New York City, then the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island and the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island are likely high on your travel wishlist. Both islands, which are part of the same National Park System, are worth exploring. Go on a virtual tour of Ellis Island to see where more than 40 percent of Americans can find family history and climb inside of the Statue of Liberty.

Online: The National Park Service has virtual tours of Ellis Island , created by Heritage Documentation Programs, and the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Scholastic also has an informative Teacher’s Activity Guide that will allow you to see photos, listen to audio, and learn about Ellis Island on an interactive tour.

Smile Back at Mona Lisa in Paris

kwanchai_k photograph / Getty Images

The Louvre in Paris is the largest art museum on the planet, home to more than 35,000 displayed works, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. While this historic museum is usually congested, especially on the weekends, you can visit virtually, from the comfort of your own home, and see the museum’s most impressive works. If nothing else, this online experience can be valuable research for when you travel to Paris in the future.

Online: Immerse yourself in the museum’s galleries and exhibits via virtual reality. See Egyptian antiques, the Louvre’s moat, and, of course, Mona Lisa’s smile. The museum’s website also has a number of videos that you can watch to get a better understanding of the museum’s art. Note: You’ll have to download Flash Player. You Visit also has a great 360-degree virtual reality display of several museum galleries.

Witness the Treasures of England’s British Museum

 TripSavvy / Gautier Houba 

Home to the Rosetta Stone, Greek vases, Egyptian mummies, an Easter Island statue, an Aztec double-headed serpent sculpture, and n umerous other artifacts and artworks , the British Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. See impressive examples of human history, art, and culture through a virtual tour.

Online: See the British Museum via Google, where you can navigate a timeline to view specific artifacts.

Learn About Amsterdam’s History and Culture at The Rijksmuseum

Merten Snijders /  GettyImages

The Rijksmuseum is one of the most visited museums in Amsterdam, and for good reason. See works from the Dutch Golden Age by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Ruisdael, Steen, and more. The building itself is also a work of art and worth viewing through virtual reality.

Online: Virtual tours, of the interior as well as the exterior, are available through Google Arts & Culture.

360° Panoramic Creations:

virtual travel destinations

We create high-quality stabilized video having 8k and 4k resolution, 48 or 24 frames per second together with high-quality post-processing. Videos are supported by the most advanced technologies, such as virtual reality headsets (including Samsung Gear VR), different electronic devices and YouTube channels.

We use different types of moving and fixed objects (tripods, monopods, cars, helicopters, building cranes, etc.) to record videos. For aerial shooting we usually use drones with fully gyro-stabilized unique suspension. Panoramic video covers up all the space around the camera 360x180 degrees without black spots at both nadir and zenith viewing angle.

360° videos are available in any format you choose: .mp4, .avi, .mov, etc. All the videos are made and kept in frames, making it possible to encode them into any available format and bitrate with the resolution up to 8k.


Our team creates high-quality 360° photo-panoramas with 35000x17500 pixels resolution (in the equidistant projection) and carries out professional post-processing and corrections of any complexity. We develop virtual tours which are suitable for all browsers, support both Flash and HTML5 technologies and are compatible with different mobile devices and virtual reality headsets (including Samsung Gear VR).

We use different types of moving and fixed objects (tripods, monopods, cars, helicopters, building cranes, etc.) to record videos. For aerial shooting we usually use drones with the fully gyro-stabilized unique suspension. Panoramic video covers up all the space around the camera 360x180 degrees without black spots at both nadir and zenith viewing angle.

Ready 360° photo-panoramas cover up all the space around the camera 360x180 degrees without black spots at both nadir and zenith viewing angle.

Info-points (description buttons that can be placed in the panorama), embedded pictures, video and audio can be added to the virtual tour.

virtual travel destinations


Our team creates high-quality 360° photo-panoramas with resolution from 1 to 3 gigapixel and carries out professional post-processing and corrections of any complexity. We develop virtual tours which are suitable for all browsers, support both Flash and HTML5 technologies and are compatible with different mobile devices and virtual reality glasses (including Samsung Gear VR).

Info-points (description buttons that can be placed in the panorama), embedded pictures, video and audio can be added to the ready virtual tour.


We can make panoramic timelapses with the given viewing angle and resolution up to 12k with professional post-processing and without black spots at both nadir and zenith viewing angle. 360° timelapses are supported by the most advanced technologies, such as virtual reality glasses (including Samsung Gear VR), different electronic devices and YouTube channels.

360° timelapses are available in any format you choose: .mp4, .avi, .mov, etc. All the timelapses are made and kept in frames, making it possible to encode them into any available format and bitrate with the resolution up to 12K.

Content sales:

virtual travel destinations


On the basis of 360° panoramas we create virtual tours of any complexity, branded with logos and design elements of the company’s website together with embedding interactive elements, such as photos, slideshows, videos, descriptions, switch-points to other panoramas, audio descriptions, 3D sounds.

Our clients receive a fully functional virtual tour developed in HTML5 and supported by any computer or mobile device (iOS, Android, Windows Phone).

360° Photo    Price List


For almost 10 years of travelling around the world our team has gathered an extensive stock of pictures, taken from both flying devices and the ground.

Any picture presented at our stock can be licensed for any kind of possible use. We can also offer the photos of ultra-high quality (the longer side up to 103,000 pixels).

You can also take a look at the spherical panoramas published on the website . Any of the 360° panoramas represented on the website can be converted into a printed image of very high quality.

Photogallery    Price List

virtual travel destinations


By filming 360° video since 2011, our team has gathered an extensive stock of clips, taken from both flying devices and the ground.

Any video presented on our website can be licensed for any kind of possible use.

360° videos are available in any format you choose: .mp4, .avi, .mov, etc. All the videos are made and kept in frames, making it possible to encode them into any available format and bitrate.

360° Video    Price List


We are one of the software developers of applications based on 360° photos and videos. Currently, there are 7 applications in our portfolio. One of them was top-rated in 84 countries and listed among the best applications of the year 2014 according to App Store.

These applications can also be used for demonstration of panoramic content with the help of virtual reality devices, such as Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard and analogues.

Exhibition installations:

virtual travel destinations


AirPano team has the experience of creating panoramic cinemas and video-walls, making it possible to demonstrate our panoramic content at different kinds of events, exhibitions and in museums. The size is only defined by the premises, the quality of projector and the dimensions of plasma screens. Such solutions usually make a deep impression on visitors.

The control is carried out by a tablet or Kinect devices.

virtual travel destinations


We are ready to create applications with panoramic content working on touch screens of any size. Both AirPano panoramas and the client’s material can be the basis for this kind of software.

We create virtual tours of any complexity, branded with logos and design elements of the company’s website together with embedding interactive elements, such as photos, slideshows, videos, descriptions, switch-points to other panoramas, audio descriptions, 3D sounds.

virtual travel destinations


Our virtual tours and 360° videos are supported by all the types of virtual reality headsets (VR): Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Sony Morpheus and others.

We can also develop special software for operating on Samsung Gear VR, if required.

AirPano in cooperation with Polden Studio carries out the installation of the binocular usage of the client’s or our own content. With the help of binoculars, the client can present the panoramic content at different kinds of events, exhibitions and in museums. This kind of devices usually attract a lot of visitors and leave a deep impression on them.

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virtual travel destinations

52 Places, Virtually

While you’re stuck at home waiting for travel restrictions to be lifted, we invite you on a virtual visit to each and every one of our Places to Go in 2020.

Supported by

By Paige McClanahan and Debra Kamin

  • Published April 14, 2020 Updated July 27, 2020

When we published our list of 52 places to visit in 2020 three months ago, no one could have guessed how much our world would change. And now, given our stay-at-home circumstances, we’d like to invite you on a series of virtual journeys: You can wander into the belly of an Egyptian pyramid, explore the house where Mozart was born, or fly over the rocky peaks of Glacier National Park. Sure, you’ll be looking at a screen, but you’ll see new places, hear new languages and pick up some interesting tidbits about other cultures. Call it a warm-up for that moment when you’ll actually be packing your bags and heading out for your next adventure.

[Sebastian Modak, the 2019 52 Places Traveler contacted friends he met on his journey around the world to see how they were doing during the pandemic. ]

virtual travel destinations

1) Washington D.C.

The U.S. capital makes for an engaging and varied virtual destination. Without leaving your sofa, you can commemorate the 100-year anniversary of American women winning the right to vote by visiting the Library of Congress’s online exhibition about the suffrage movement, then click through another informative exhibition from the National Archives . To explore the city further, tour the buildings around the Capitol, wander through the National Museum of Natural History, and explore the many online resources offered by the National Air and Space Museum , the National Gallery of Art and the National Museum of African American History and Culture . The annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which was due to run through April 12, has gone completely virtual. Visit the festival’s website to take a video tour of the tidal basin and watch highlights from previous years.

2) British Virgin Islands

Anyone dreaming of white sand beaches might enjoy browsing the views from this collection of webcams scattered around the British Virgin Islands. Admire the shifting light over Scrub Island Marina, or just watch the breeze wafting through the palms in front of Soggy Dollar Bar. You can also sail around the islands with a group of friends who visited last year.

3) Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

The Amazon jungle is about as remote as you can get, but you can get a sense of the place from home by reading the remarkable story of the tourist who spent nine days lost in the region’s dense rainforest (he said that monkeys helped him survive). Or skim around the waterways and look out for birds, turtles, caimans and other wildlife.

4) Greenland

Get a bird’s-eye view of Greenland’s stunning frozen scenery in this elegant nine-minute video from the Swiss filmmaker Stefan Forster. Without leaving your sofa, you can also watch the Northern Lights shimmer over the country’s snowy mountains, or even learn a few words of Greenlandic (Aluu!).

5) Kimberley Region, Australia

Australia’s wild northwestern corner is another out-of-the-way region that offers a gorgeous natural escape. To visit from afar, start with Tourism Australia’s guide to the Kimberley , then dive into a vivid photo gallery of the otherworldly Bungle Bungle Range, and wrap up with a fun video tour of some of the region’s most popular spots.

6) Paso Robles, Calif.

Paso Robles is known for its wineries, and good news: You can now visit many of them online , while enjoying a glass of whatever you have on hand at home. The area’s vast and dreamy Field of Light at Sensorio installation is closed to visitors, but this collection of images and videos gives a vivid sense of the place.

Embark on your own Sicilian adventure by exploring this series of panoramic photographs and videos from around the Italian island. (Just click on “Sicilian tour map” to get started.) Gape at the ceiling of the Monreale Cathedral, admire the ruins at the Valley of the Temples, or take in the sweeping coastline at Cefalù. For a loftier perspective, spend a few minutes watching this impressive footage of a recent eruption of Sicily’s Mount Etna.

8) Salzburg, Austria

Get an online taste of Austrian tradition through some entertaining snippets offered up by the Salzburg Puppet Theatre. Start with 10 minutes or so of The Magic Flute — composed by Mozart, Salzburg’s famous native son, then skip over here to take a virtual tour of Mozart’s birthplace.

Tokyo’s MORI Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless offers a range of immersive videos that take you inside the museum’s trippy and wonderful exhibits. Start in the forest of resonating lamps , then move on to the universe of water particles , or the weightless forest of resonating life . Want to get “outside”? Head over here for a virtual rickshaw ride around the city.

10) Caesarea, Israel

The Roman ruins of Caesarea occupy a beautiful stretch of Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Enjoy the landscape, as well as a lofty view of Caesarea’s impressive amphitheater, in these sweeping aerial shots . Then head over to the Jewish Virtual Library to find more detailed images of the ruins and to read about the history of the site.

11) National Parks, China

The world’s remaining giant panda population is set to get a helping hand from China’s proposed new Giant Panda National Park, which will spread over five mountain ranges and more than 10,000 square miles. You can read about the development of the park here and here . Or just get straight to the point and enjoy the highlights of these panda cams , which offer a glimpse into a panda center that lies within the proposed park.

12) Lesotho

One of the top sights of this tiny mountain kingdom is Maloti-Drakensberg Park, which straddles part of the country’s border with South Africa. The park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site , is home to the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings in sub-Saharan Africa. Check out these images from around the park, then enjoy some drone shots of the country’s dramatic landscape.

13) Colorado Springs, Colo.

There are a number of ways to get to the top of Pikes Peak, the 14,115-foot mountain that rises above Colorado Springs, without leaving your house. You can ride the cog railway (which — in real life — is scheduled to reopen next year after major renovations). You can hike . You can drive yourself up the Pikes Peak Highway . Or, if you’re maybe a little bit crazy, you can even try to run .

14) Krakow, Poland

This ancient city in southern Poland can be fully explored through an extensive virtual walking tour . Go for a guided stroll through the Old Town, admire the ornate interior of the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, or visit the peaceful grounds of the Old Jewish Cemetery. Then head over to the National Museum in Krakow to peruse its collection online.

15) Jodhpur, India

The 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, which stands at the top of a cliff above the city of Jodhpur, can be visited online . Wander through the ornate rooms and admire the views down to “the blue city” spread out below, then visit the Mehrangarh Museum Trust to learn about the history and architecture of the site. You can also check out these highlights from the international folk festival that the fort hosts every year.

16) Western Sweden

Good news, nature lovers: Without leaving home, you can spot a moose in the forest, go for an evening swim, or enjoy the views from the top of a spectacular waterfall. These 360 videos of the Swedish outdoors allow you to choose your own perspective as the scene unfolds. Enjoy.

Explore some of the great pyramids of Egypt with this panoramic video , or this clickable virtual tour . Then have a look inside the Pyramid of Giza with this 360 video from the BBC. You can also watch this video or read this story about the development of the Grand Egyptian Museum, an enormous complex that is nearing completion.

18) La Paz, Mexico

La Paz sits on the coast of the Sea of Cortez (also known as the Gulf of California), which has been described as “the world’s aquarium” because of its extraordinary biodiversity. The region’s islands and protected areas have been recognized by UNESCO, although the site was added to the organization’s “in danger” list last year because of ongoing threats to the vaquita, an endemic porpoise. Learn more about the region, then check out UNESCO’s gallery of images . You can also get lost in this mesmerizing scuba-diving video .

19) Grand Isle, La.

Get to know this tiny barrier island off the coast of Louisiana with this short video , then read about how environmentalists are working to protect the island’s remaining maritime forest, which serves as a critical habitat for migratory birds. Finally, get a sense of the size of the place with these flyby shots along the coast.

20) Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur’s Chow Kit neighborhood is home to one of the most popular markets in the city. Following along with an American family, you can wander among the stalls loaded with pineapples and plantains and plucked chickens. Then take a few minutes to learn some words of Malay , the native tongue of more than 33 million people .

21) Jevnaker, Norway

You can explore the many sculptures of Norway’s futuristic Kistefos Museum and Sculpture Park by clicking your way through this interactive map . You can also watch this video of the museum’s emblematic “Twist” structure taking shape (and get a taste of the Norwegian language at the same time).

22) The Bahamas

So brilliant is the sunshine on display in this panoramic tour of the Bahamas that you might be tempted to put on sunglasses (or at least dim the brightness of your screen). Gaze at the turquoise waters of Pipe Cay, stroll across the boardwalk through Lucayan National Park, then gape at the size of the ships in the cruise terminal in Nassau.

23) Kampot, Cambodia

Ride along with two young travelers as they explore Cambodia’s riverside city of Kampot and tour a nearby pepper plantation . Or just enjoy some drone shots of the city and nearby Bokor Mountain, which is home to a waterfall, a Buddhist temple and a towering statue of Lok Yeay Mao , whom locals revere as the protector of the mountain and sea.

24) Christchurch, New Zealand

The largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, Christchurch offers a range of cultural attractions, some of which are available on the web. Start with a tour of the online exhibitions of the Canterbury Museum, including a look at the evolution of New Zealand’s tourism posters. Then head over to the website of the Christchurch Art Gallery, where you can browse the artwork and even create your own gallery .

25) Asturias, Spain

The Asturias region in northwestern Spain is home to dramatic mountain scenery , sacred sites and even an extensive network of ancient Roman gold mines . Asturian dairy farmers continue to produce the region’s celebrated products, including cheeses and various types of milk, cream and butter. You can browse a photo gallery of local farmers at work, and other lovely images from the region here .

26) Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

Get your first taste of this remote Canadian archipelago with this panoramic video from Parks Canada. You can also take a close-up look at some of the area’s bald eagles with this GoPro footage , or learn about the proud history of the Haida nation .

27) Austin, Texas

Austin, the capital of American cool, is packed with quirky landmarks, vibrant street art and sparkling green spaces. Dive into all of them thanks to YouVisit, an immersive virtual reality platform whose Austin tour will take you from the elegant grounds of the Texas Capitol to the summit of Mount Bonnell and even to the packed, smoky barbecue pit of Salt Lick BBQ . And for a taste of Austin’s celebrated live music scene, take a look back at last year’s Austin City Limits music festival.

28) Sabah, Malaysia

Amid the volcanoes, dense rainforest and fluorescent blue water on this corner of Borneo, Sabah’s Mount Kinabalu, with its distinctive granite peaks, sits like an imposing crown. And now you can hike to its summit from home, thanks to Google Street View, whose trekkers captured sweeping panoramas all the way to the top. Want more thrills? Follow along on the world’s highest via ferrata (a mountain pathway of bridges and cables), which sits on Kinabalu.

29) Churchill, Manitoba

Wildlife enthusiasts head to Churchill, Manitoba, the Polar Bear capital of the world, for a glimpse of these incredible white mammals. Get to know some special sea bears , then climb into a Tundra Buggy, an all-terrain vehicle that can handle snow drifts, via an on-dash webcam, whose stunning footage can be viewed from home.

There is perhaps no better spot on earth to see gorillas than Uganda, home to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park , a habitat for half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas. And the virtual reality house VR Gorilla will take you right into the dense forest to meet them up close.

In the City of Light, it’s the world-famous cultural treasures that shine the brightest, and chief among them is the Louvre, the largest art museum in the world. But while this iconic Parisian landmark is closed to the public, several galleries, including Egyptian Antiquities and Galerie d’Apollon, remain open for online exploration. And for those who prefer art of the wearable variety, Paris’s fashion museum, the Palais Galliera , has an annotated online library of 10 collections, with vivid photography to click through.

32) Lake District, England

With craggy fells, rolling hills, glacial landforms and more than a dozen ribbon lakes, it’s no wonder that the natural wonders of the Lake District served as muse for William Wordsworth and all of English Romanticism. Meander through Dove Cottage , where Wordsworth wrote some of his most seminal works. And you, too, can be inspired by the charming district’s beauty, thanks to municipal webcams offering live feeds on a number of its lakes.

33) Tajikistan

For roadsters and adrenaline junkies, the remote Pamir Highway, a spectacular, high-altitude passage marked by yak sightings, gargantuan potholes and jaw-dropping mountain views, is the ride of a lifetime. And if you can’t drive it yourself, you can still ride shotgun with the travel blogger and videographer Pete Rojwongsuriya , who did. Don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt.

34) Antakya, Turkey

Antakya, also known as Hatay, overflows with rich treasures of Christian history, both below ground in its current archaeological excavations, and above it in stone churches carved into mountainsides. Explore the city in this time-lapse tour , then step into one of those treasures, the Church of St. Pierre, to explore frescoes and mosaics dating all the way back to the fourth century.

35) Leipzig, Germany

There’s no doubt that Leipzig knows how to party. The city has a long musical legacy; Bach wrote some of his best works here, so treat yourself to his great organ works , as performed in Leipzig’s St. Thomas Church. Then get a bird’s-eye view via a sleek drone video of the city that will show you its Renaissance architecture, its bustling market square, its arenas, green belts and cultural spots.

36) Lima, Peru

Lima is a triple threat kind of city, with riches in gastronomy, culture and history. Plan a 36 hours itinerary with the help of this video , then satisfy a craving for Lima’s abundant museums, including the National Museum of the Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru , which is open for virtual visits thanks to the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

37) Molise, Italy

Pastoral Molise, home to the traditional Transumanza ritual , remains blessedly undiscovered but has a notable artistic pedigree. At its foundation is the Praitano-Eliseo collection, the most significant collection of Molise art from the 19th and 20th centuries. You can now explore it online, thanks to a project, “From the Invisible to the Visible,” created by the Regional Directorate of the Museums of Molise. The site is in Italian; click on “i ritratti” in the upper right corner to navigate to the paintings.

38) Copenhagen

Spend one day in modern, sustainable, efficiency-focused Copenhagen via a virtual tour through its landmarks, then zoom in further. The city is home to CPH:DOX , one of the largest documentary film festivals in the world. And this year, when the coronavirus forced the city to cancel its physical event, it offered a virtual stand-in as substitute. Visitors can stream conferences, meetings and workshops, and even rent competition films for their own home viewing.

39) Richmond, Va.

The Virginia Museum of History and Culture, a state history museum and research library operated by the 190-year-old Virginia Historical Society , is currently closed to visitors. So it’s made more than 250 hours of lectures (spanning women’s history, popular culture, the lives of famous Virginians and more) available online, as well as virtual tours, links to videos like this one on Pocahontas, podcasts, and interactive games for kids.

40) Mount Kenya

On Mount Kenya, the sleeping volcano that is Africa’s second-highest peak, you might see wild elephants and white-tailed mongoose . You’ll most certainly see glaciers and grasslands; bamboo and peat-filled bogs. YouTuber Milosh Kitchovitch has captured all the wonders in 4D so you can explore it yourself, from home.

41) Minorca, Spain

Dive into a virtual tour of the pristine beaches and rugged wilds of beautiful Minorca with VR Menorca, whose 360 degree panoramas of the Balearic Island’s landmarks come with vivid captions and details. The new arts center on Minorca’s Isla del Rey, from top gallery Hauser & Wirth, is now delayed until 2021; for an extra cultural kick in the meantime, you can explore their extensive online exhibitions.

42) Oberammergau, Germany

Oberammergau, a tiny Bavarian village with colorful frescoes, unspoiled Alpine views and a centuries-old woodworking legacy, is best known for its once-in-a-decade Passion Play , now canceled for 2020. But its other charms can still be enjoyed from home, including a webcam feed of its adrenaline-spiking Kolbensattel Alpine Coaster.

43) Plymouth, England

The year 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey from Plymouth to the New World. And while the southwestern English city has had to cancel many of its commemorative events, the Mayflower Trail App , which is meant to turn your phone into a mobile tour guide while on the ground, offers an excellent window into history from home, as well.

44) Atlantic Forest, Brazil

The breathtaking biome that is Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is ground zero for global conservation efforts, and for good reason: one of Earth’s richest and most diverse ecosystems, it’s home to a stunning variety of wildlife. The Rainforest Trust has captured footage of 11 of its most elusive mammals , including the southeastern common opossum and the capybara — the largest rodent in the world.

45) Belle-Île, France

On Brittany’s “beautiful isle,” there are grottoes, jagged cliffs and colorful rock formations, making the Tour de Belle-Île, its annual yacht race, particularly thrilling. The next Tour de Belle-Île will be held in May 2021, but you can enjoy footage of the 2019 contest now. Belle-Île was also beloved by Claude Monet; his Belle-Île collection , rife with daydream blues and moody shadows, can be enjoyed on Wikimedia Commons.

46) Val D’Aran, Spain

Val D’Aran is at its finest in the snow, when its magnificent slopes and valleys become a pristine escape for those armed with skis and snowboards. See for yourself via this webcam of the ski resort Baqueira/Beret. But this Catalonian valley is also thrilling on two wheels and in warm weather; take an armchair ride through its cycling routes to see why.

47) Mongolia

Google came to Mongolia in 2014, intent on opening up the proud nomadic culture and rugged, dramatic vistas of this Asian country to the world. Today, those riches are online and waiting to be explored. The National Museum of Mongolia can now be visited via the Google Cultural Institute; Google Street View has also captured many of its sites in stunning 3-D.

48) Juliana Trail, Slovenia

Slovenia, a pint-size nation of quaint villages, green rivers and gorgeous glacial lakes, is a wonderland for trekkers and adventurers. To get a taste of i ts new 166-mile hiking loop, you can explore the virtual reality zip-line up Mount Triglav , the highest peak along the Juliana Trail, and also savor views from its summit.

49) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s colorful and chaotic capital has a thriving food scene and a gleaming new international airport. Until you can visit in person, watch the traditional Ethiopian dancer Melaku Belay move rhythmically through the city; join YouTube food vlogger Mark Wiens as he eats his way through Addis’s street food stalls, and then cook a feast yourself with help from the Ethiopian Swedish celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

50) Transylvanian Alps, Romania

Just looking at the multitude of hairpin turns along the Transfagarasan , a paved mountain road loop-de-looping over the Transylvanian Alps in Romania, is enough to give you butterflies. But thanks to Google Street View, you can up the adrenaline from home, navigating them yourself with nothing more than a few clicks of the mouse. After your stomach calms, enjoy 360 panoramic views of Domogled-Valea Cernei National Park, then savor this meditative drone footage from above the Faragas Mountains.

51) Urbino, Italy

The year 2020 marks 500 years since the death of Raphael, the great Renaissance painter who was Urbino’s favorite son. Take a virtual tour of the major Raphael show at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome marking that anniversary. Much of the important ideas of the Italian Renaissance were hatched from within the studiolo (study) of Duke Federico III da Montefeltro, who served as Lord of Urbino in the 15th century, and you can also drop into its hallowed hallways, which sit within Urbino’s imposing, magnificent Ducal Palace.

52) Glacier National Park and Whitefish, Montana

Part of Montana’s Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park is an American treasure under threat from climate change. The park is currently closed, but thanks to both Google Earth and Smithsonian Magazine, its more than one million acres, dotted with over 100 lakes, are still open for online exploration. Want more? Meditate on some of the park’s most captivating views, which can be seen here.

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Bucket list travel: the world’s best virtual tours.

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Although the pandemic abruptly halted international travel, wanderlust never ceased. Forced to stay home, many people felt even more of an itch to explore new places and get out into the world. As a result, virtual tours surged in popularity over the past year as a welcome escape from life in lockdown. And while people are tip-toeing into travel again, there’s still a large portion of the population that loves to take a virtual experience from home without compromising safety.

A range of travel companies adapted during the course of the pandemic, acknowledging our collective reality. They began morphing guided trips into digital experiences available to anyone with a Wi-Fi connection. “We’re in an explosive period of virtual tourism,” says Bernard Frischer, founder of Flyover Zone , which isn’t new to the field. Flyover Zone has made a name for itself by creating “teletours” of cultural heritage sites. But with the pandemic, according to Frischer, people have gotten “used to these remote technologies that bring the world to their office or living room.”

Major event companies like Eventbrite, which connects creators with a broad community, introduced new technology to move events from in-person to online, and to attract and reach new audiences. “When the COVID-19 global pandemic hit, Eventbrite’s customers were put to the ultimate test—in-person events were paused and the world was told to stay home and apart,” says Tamara Mendelsohn, CMO at Eventbrite. “Yet, from March to April last year, we saw events related to virtual travel and virtual tours increase eight-fold on Eventbrite and show continuous growth throughout the year.”

Now with a virtual tour from Flyover Zone called Baalbek Reborn, you can tour one of the most ... [+] important locations in the Roman Empire. Pictured here: Baalbek's Temple of Jupiter.

By transitioning their events to virtual, event creators generated revenue they might have otherwise missed during the pandemic and they connected with new, global audiences. “In fact, of the virtual events hosted in the U.S. in 2020 on Eventbrite, one quarter of the audience came from overseas locations,” says Mendelsohn.

And while the pandemic won’t last forever, Flyover Zone’s Frischer sees virtual tours as a lasting effect that will whet people’s appetite for real-world tourism going forward. “We compare a virtual tour to a sample chapter of a book that you can download for your e-reader. It’s not designed to make you not want to explore the whole book,” says Frischer. “It’s designed to make you want to read it all.”

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This seems to be the sentiment across the virtual travel industry. “Even as conventional travel resumes, we continue to see a rise in Amazon Explore experiences booked and anticipate that the new service will continue to grow in popularity,” says an Amazon Explore spokesperson.

Travel the world from your couch through one of these fantastic virtual experiences.

An image from the virtual tour of Baalbek Reborn.

Flyover Zone

If history is your thing, you can’t miss one of Flyover Zone’s teletours—virtual visits to some of the world’s most important cultural heritage sites. Led by experts in the field, these teletours allow you to see details up close and show you the renderings of how the heritage sites originally looked through 3D modeling.

Try: Baalbek Reborn . Part of the ancient Rome Empire but built thousands of years before Rome, Baalbek is an historic site in Lebanon that is as significant as places like Pompeii and Machu Picchu (but far less well-known). Flyover Zone partnered with the German Archaeological Institute and the Ministry of Culture - Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon to create this free virtual experience, which is available on a number of platforms, from iPhone to Oculus. You can see areas that are off-limits and even travel back in time and see what this incredible site looked like in the year 215. The tour is hosted by the very people who excavated the site, bringing the ancient world to life. Cost: free.

With Amazon, you can explore Berowra Valley National Park in the North Shore region of Sydney, ... [+] Australia.

Amazon Explore

The company that sells pretty much everything recently added Amazon Explore —live virtual travel experiences like landmark walking tours and cooking classes—to its inventory. The experiences are livestreamed one-on-one with a host who is on location, and two-way audio allows for plenty of dialogue and question-asking. You’ll be able to browse by a variety of filters to find the virtual experience of your wanderlust dreams. Many experiences allow users to purchase artisan-made products, which supports small businesses and allows guests to shop for one-of-a-kind “souvenir” items. 

Try: Explore the Australian Wilderness . Find hidden natural treasures in the wild valleys that surround Sydney. You’ll learn about native flora and fauna and discover majestic sculptured cliffs and caves at Berowra Valley National Park. Cost: $40.

Now you can view the Aurora Borealis in Iceland on a virtual tour.

Airbnb Experiences

When the pandemic hit, Airbnb migrated its popular Experiences concept to a 100% virtual travel platform. Now, Online Experiences offers hundreds of sessions, allowing entrepreneurs from around the world to connect with and share their passions with the travel-hungry over Zoom.

Try: Aurora Hunting in Iceland . Spend two hours with your on-location host in search of the Northern Lights. As you go, your host will teach you all about the natural spectacle with enthusiasm and expertise. Cost: from $30.

Get a peek at Tutankhamun’s Tomb with Eventbrite.

Eventbrite allows businesses to share their events to a broad community. The service is home to millions of global events and experiences, but swiftly worked with event creators to add online experiences to the its platform. In 2020, Eventbrite’s digital platform soared for virtual experiences with over 1 million online events and over 75 million attendees worldwide.

Try: Tutankhamun’s Tomb: Ancient Egypt Virtual Tour . Interested in the story—and the curse— of Egypt’s most famous king? A licensed tour guide hosts this live event from Egypt with a local expert. Together, you’ll explore King Tut’s tomb, the Golden Mask, and treasures at the Cairo Museum. Cost: $10.

Have a virtual wine tasting in California.

 Indagare launched its Global Classroom to offer private classes for people seeking new experiences. The company offers a myriad of options, from cooking lessons to guided wine and mixology tastings to history tours.

Try: Wine Tasting with Schramsberg and Davies Vineyards . Virtually travel to Schramsberg, the second-oldest bonded winery in Napa Valley, and meet a second-generation vintner. He will talk you through a few bottlings and highlight the history of the vineyard, set in California’s North Coast. Cost: pricing upon request.

Listen to the sounds of Motu Tane Island in Bora Bora with Unify Cosmos.

Unify Cosmos

Listen to the most relaxing sounds in the world with Unify Cosmos , a new interactive soundboard featuring audio clips from faraway locales. Some psychologists assert that taking the time to stop and listen to the sounds of your surroundings can boost well-being, increase generosity, and enhance life satisfaction. So step away from the stresses of the pandemic and listen to natural, peaceful sounds from Bora Bora to Barbados.

Try: Motu Tane Island, Bora Bora . Drift away to Polynesia with the sounds of the sea. You’ll hear storm clouds roll in and the waves crashing down. The powerful hums of nature will take you far away. Cost: free.

Learn about green tea in Japan.

Arigato Japan Food Tours

 Arigato Japan Food Tours launched Online Experiences with local hosts and discovered that this is a great way to connect with future travelers. In fact, the company views these virtual tours as the newest way of travel planning and research—more than just a one-time experience. With each experience, you’ll make new friends in Japan and great local connections for future travel.

Try: Green Teatime in Shizuoka . Learn the magic of green tea, its important role in Japanese culture, and why Shizuoka is so famous for its green tea. You’ll also get all the tips to brew the perfect cup at home. Cost: $15.

See pierogis being made in Krakow, Poland.

Intrepid Urban Adventures

Intrepid’s new Urban Adventures online tours allows families who have been working and learning remotely to connect virtually with local tour guides and their families around the world through hands-on experiences that give a glimpse of local culture and traditions. The collection currently includes four experiences, with plans to expand to other experiences and destinations in the coming months. 

Try: Online Krakow Experience: Traditional Pierogi Cooking Class . Learn to make authentic Polish pierogi from scratch. You’ll join a Krakow-based cook from your own kitchen to learn the tricks of the trade. Along the way, you’ll pick up some tidbits about Polish culture and language. Cost: from $29.

See street art in New York City.

Google Arts & Culture

Partnering with over 2,000 museums and archives around the world, Google Arts & Culture is an online platform that allows viewers to experience some of the world’s art and artifacts. High-resolution imagery, augmented reality, and interactive experiences bring these cultural highlights to life online.

Try: 9 Amazing Street Art Murals in New York. Visit the locations of stunning works of art along the streets of New York City. After all, there is no shortage of great street artists in the Big Apple. You’ll be able to “walk” along the streets with the virtual reality features. Cost: free.

Experience Tokyo's cherry blossoms with Tours by Locals.


This marketplace of tours connects travels with local guides in 193 countries. Until international travel is safe again, ToursByLocals has 175 live virtual private tours to choose from. You’ll be able to chat with a local guide in real-time over the course of your cooking class, history lesson, or walking tour.

Try: Tokyo Cherry Blossoms Tour . Japan’s national flower, Sakura (cherry blossom) is a symbol of renewal and optimism. Much of Japanese culture has been influenced by these beautiful flowers. Join your Tokyo-based guide as you virtually roam under cherry blossom trees followed by a virtual picnic as she shares her experiences in Japanese culture and cuisine. Cost: $125.

Tour Jane Austen's House Museum in Chawton, England, from home.

Jane Austen’s House Museum

In some cases, individual tourism sites have transformed their usual tours into virtual reality. Jane Austen’s House Museum in the United Kingdom took matters into its own hands when the government ordered nonessential sites to shutter. Over many months, the site’s trustees discovered inventive ways to keep Jane Austen fans engaged with online events and a virtual tour of the famed writer’s home.

Try: 360-Degree Virtual Tour of the Jane Austen House. Launched last October, now anyone can explore Austen’s home without having to travel. The guided tours give avid fans an exciting resource to learn more about the life and times of Jane Austen. Cost: $7.

Take a virtual gog sled ride in Fairbanks, United States

Explore Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska, is among many cities around the world that have digitized some of its leading attractions—including, in Fairbanks’ case, dog sledding and the stunning Northern Lights. With Explore Fairbanks , these attractions are now available to explore as 360-degree “tours.”

Try: 360-Degree Dog Sled Ride . Available to view on YouTube, this digital dogsled ride can feel surprisingly life-like. Set it up to play on the biggest screen you have, and you’ll feel transported into a snow-covered forest. Cost: free.

A scene from The Other Art Fair LA in 2018. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Other ... [+] Art Fair)

The Other Art Fair Virtual Editions

The leading artist fair for discovering emerging artists has launched a new series of innovative virtual reality art fairs, The Other Art Fair Virtual Editions . These VR art fairs offer highly experiential programming for fair-goers, including the chance to explore artist booths, take part in a live video chat with artists for a one-on-one about the artist’s process and their work, and participate in live fair tours, workshops and lectures. Virtual Editions is making a worldwide tour in 2021, including dedicated VR art fairs in Los Angeles, London, Sydney, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, and Toronto, and each fair will feature artists and VR programming unique to that city. With Virtual Editions, you can now attend local art fairs from around the world, be in-the-know about new emerging artists, and update that Zoom background with new artwork while supporting local talents.

Try: At The Other Art Fair LA (March 30 to April 4), you can explore a curated selection of over 115 independent and emerging local artists with thousands of pieces to suit every budget. Next up after that is The Other Art Fair Brooklyn (May 6 to 9). Cost: free.

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Take a virtual vacation to these 6 destinations

Maya Stanton

Mar 31, 2020 • 4 min read

St. Lucia panoramic © RONALD RAOUL

The social media series "7 Minutes in Saint Lucia" aims to give visitors a taste of the island life © Saint Lucia Tourism Authority

At home and dreaming of all the trips you’ll take when you have the chance? To satisfy that sense of longing for the wider world, a handful of tourism boards have launched initiatives to keep globetrotters connected while they’re stuck on the ground – and though they might not earn you a new passport stamp right away, they’re sure to fuel your wanderlust for future travels. Here are six destinations to visit from afar – at least until you can get there in person.  

1. Portugal

As most European countries have at this particular juncture, Portugal is hitting pause on all nonessential travel and asking its residents to shelter in place. But the tourism board doesn’t want that to be cause for despair, and it’s putting its money where its mouth is with a new video called "Can't Skip Hope," made totally by teams working from home. Featuring archival footage and a smartphone-recorded voiceover, the video ties imagery from across the nation – landscapes, monuments, people, and attractions – in with what the board is calling a message of hope: “It is time to reflect. It is time to take a break, for the good of the world. For now, we can dream of those incredible days to come. We are in this together.”

The 2020 Olympic Games might be postponed until next summer, but in the meantime, Japan is rolling out the red carpet for virtual visitors from around the world. A 360º VR movie hits the country’s highlights, from the 333-meter-high Tokyo Tower to Kyoto’s Bamboo Forest Road to Shibuya’s fast-paced nightlife. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss Yayoi Kusama’s Red Pumpkin sculpture in Naoshima, scenes from the Kawaii Monster Café in Harajuku, a restaurant where a conveyor belt whisks plates of sushi to and fro, practitioners of the arts of kabuki and sumo, and much, much more. To feel like you’re on the ground, check out the Shibuya Crossing livecam , head for Niseko Village , in the shadow of Mt. Fuji, or take a zen view of Hirono Park in the Shizuoka prefecture. For something a bit more down to earth, try the YouTube livestream from Toyooka City’s Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork, where a pair of oriental white storks is currently in nesting mode, looking after two chicks that recently hatched. 

3. South Africa

Last week, South Africa became the continent’s first nation to go into lockdown, prohibiting all domestic and international flights going forward. In response, the country’s tourism board has launched an initiative to urge visitors and locals alike to stay at home – and provide them with plenty of eye-candy-style inspiration in the process. Titled “Don’t travel now, so you can travel later,” South African Tourism’s videos focus on the people, places, and experiences that make the destination such a draw – and underscore just how wonderful it will be when everyone can move about freely again. “Just you wait til we can travel again,” the narrator intones. “Boy, we’re going to travel.”

The UK might be on lockdown , but Visit Britain is doing its best to share the island nation’s pleasures , from bingeable movies and TV series to dance party–worthy playlists to pub quizzes that will keep those gray cells sharp . Try a deep dive into the shooting locations of the eight Harry Potter films , channel the Great British Bake Off and learn to make traditional scones for your afternoon tea, explore the flora and fauna of England’s famed gardens, or just settle in with some classic literature – it might not the same as experiencing it all in person, but it’s a pretty good substitute.

Chile 360° app screenshot - sunrise at Ahu Tongariki

If Easter Island is on your bucket list, Imagen de Chile’s new app will give you a whole new perspective on Rapa Nui’s world-famous moai . Available via free download for iPhone and Android, Chile 360º   offers a VR view of Ahu Tongariki – the largest ahu ever built – and its 15 statues, as well as stunning scenery from the rest of the country, from Parque Nacional Torres del Paine in southern Patagonia to northern Chile’s remote Atacama Desert . Away from the app, you can also pull out the VR glasses for tours of the European Southern Observatory , a much-lauded astronomy organization, and the Museo Histórico Nacional , both in Santiago.

St. Lucia panoramic © RONALD RAOUL

6. St. Lucia

St Lucia has closed its ports to international and private flights until April, but the tiny Caribbean island’s twin Pitons, lush greenery, and silver beaches are the stuff of travel fantasies, even if they’re temporarily out of reach. To give would-be visitors a taste of the local action, the social media series “ 7 Minutes in Saint Lucia ” is airing twice a week on Instagram Live , Facebook , and Twitter with yoga classes, mediation sessions, cooking lessons , dance parties, and more, all under the hashtag #7MinutesinSaintLucia. 

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10 Virtual Travel Ideas That Will Transport You to Another Place

Travel to the destinations you love—or would love to visit—from the comfort of your couch..

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10 Virtual Travel Ideas That Will Transport You to Another Place

Explore world landmarks from the comfort of home.

Photo by Shutterstock

Although there’s no true replacement for getting on a plane or in a car and visiting a place in real life, many travel industry professionals and digital creatives have banded together to create some remarkable virtual travel experiences. We’ve been sharing many of these with the AFAR audience over the past few weeks as many Americans shelter in place at home , using them to fulfill our wanderlust.

These virtual travel experiences are proof that even while at home, you can still learn something new about a place, meet and interact with the locals who live there, and see some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. If you, like us, are feeling the travel urge but unable to go anywhere IRL, use some of these 10 virtual travel ideas to explore, learn, and connect with a new (or old favorite) destination.

Visit a museum without the crowds

From the Musée d’Orsay to the MoMA, Google’s Arts and Culture has collaborated with some of the world’s most famous museums to digitize their galleries so you can still visit and tour galleries while their doors are (physically) shut. Outside of Google’s initiative, other museums are also offering their own virtual tours. Five of our favorite virtual museum tours include:

  • The Louvre Museum in Paris
  • Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
  • Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City
  • The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
  • The San Diego Museum of Art in California

Read more: Virtual Museum Tours, Performances, and Tutorials to Keep You (and Your Kids) Entertained at Home

You can take a virtual tour of Bryce Canyon National Park.

You can take a virtual tour of Bryce Canyon National Park.

Photo by Joyce Marerro/Shutterstock

Explore and learn about a U.S national park

While you normally wouldn’t want to go on a hike in your slippers, The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks series lets you explore several of the United State’s national parks without lacing up your boots. A collaboration between Google Arts & Culture and the National Park service, these interactive, 360-degree virtual national park tours immerse viewers in an awe-inspiring, yet educational, tour of the parks. Through Hidden Worlds, you can watch the sunset and go stargazing in Utah’s Bryce Canyon or swim through the corals in Florida’s Dry Tortugas —all while learning about each one with a park ranger by your side.

Read more: How to Visit a National Park Without Actually Visiting a National Park

Learn more about this school of sweetlips in the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough.

Learn more about this school of sweetlips in the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough.

Photo by Tracey Winholt/Shutterstock

Travel to the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough

As one of the most incredible yet at-risk natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef sits high on the list of many travelers’ must-see lists. While we can’t go there in person right now, David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef: An Interactive Journey gives the next best thing: a virtual, multimedia experience aboard the Alucia research expedition vessel in which viewers can see, hear, and learn about the unique underwater ecosystem with the acclaimed Planet Earth host.

Read more: This Virtual Tour of the Great Barrier Reef With David Attenborough Is the Escape We Need

Explore Venice virtually with I Love Venice's live cams.

Explore Venice virtually with I Love Venice’s live cams.

Photo by Dimitry Anikin/Unsplash

Wander around Venice’s canals

Venice may not be inviting outside visitors back to the city yet, but you can still tour the city’s streets and canals virtually through 19 live streams on YouTube channel, I Love You Venice . From the Rialto Bridge to Campo Santa Maria Formosa, the channel lets viewers explore some of the city’s most scenic areas—without bumping elbows with the crowds that normally frequent them.

Read more: Live Streams of Cities, Beaches, and Wildlife for Virtual Travel

Meditate with monks or learn how to make ricotta cheese with dairy farmers through Airbnb Experiences and Indagare's Global Classroom.

Meditate with monks or learn how to make ricotta cheese with dairy farmers through Airbnb Experiences and Indagare’s Global Classroom.

Courtesy of unsplash

Connect with locals in other countries

While virtual tours and livestreams let you see places around the world from home, there is one part of travel they miss: meeting and connecting with the people who live there. Fortunately, travel companies such as Indagare and Airbnb have created online opportunities that foster these experiences.

Recently, Airbnb launched an online version of Experiences, which is hosted over Zoom so travelers can still connect with local hosts around the globe during quarantine. Sign up for a 90-minute session to learn how to make ricotta cheese with Sonoma dairy farmers, or spend an hour meditating with Buddhist monks in Japan , all without leaving the house.

Similarly, Indagare Travel, a luxury travel agency, has launched a Global Classroom series where you can join virtual lectures, such as “Behind the Scenes at Changing of the Guards with Andrew Wallis,” or more hands-on courses, such as an Irish soda bread baking class—all for free. They also have additional, paid offerings .

Read more: Airbnb Launches Online Experiences Via Zoom

Missing Rome? Recreate a day in the Italian city with a virtual travel itinerary.

Missing Rome? Recreate a day in the Italian city with a virtual travel itinerary.

Photo by Cosmin Serban/unsplash

Recreate a day in your favorite destination

If you need more than just a quick fix, use one of these creative at-home travel itineraries to recreate a day in another destination. AFAR editors have curated hour-by-hour guides that take you through virtual tours, sightseeing adventures, recipes to help you whip up a taste of each destination, and recommendations for music, books, and films that will make you feel like you’re there.

Spend a full day recreating a trip to one of these popular destinations at home:

  • Explore a food-and-art filled day in Paris
  • Take an urban adventure in Tokyo
  • Tour Rome ’s streets, history, and food
  • Experience Honolulu ’s island flavors
  • Dive into New York City ’s music, theater, and food
  • Drink and learn about Napa Valley ’s wine
  • Get to know New Orleans ’s history, culture, and Creole cuisine
  • Go from jungle to dance floor in Puerto Rico

Trade in the safari jeep for a couch and tag along on a game drive online.

Trade in the safari jeep for a couch and tag along on a game drive online.

Photo by Hendrik Cornelissen/unsplash

Go on a safari game drive

If you’ve always dreamed of seeing the Big Five, you can now trade a bumpy jeep for a cushy couch and tag along with world-class safari guides through Singita’s virtual game drives in countries like Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Tune in to see if you’re lucky enough to catch a rare glimpse of a leopard climbing a tree or family of lions feasting on freshly caught prey, all while learning about wildlife and conservation efforts in sub-Saharan Africa .

Read more: 5 Virtual Travel Ideas You Can Do Right Now

Watch a film or TV show set in another country

For a more classic virtual travel experience, watch a movie or TV show that takes place in a location you love—or would love to visit. To help you out, the AFAR editors listed their favorite films set in Paris , movies based in New York City , and flicks that will take you to Rome (figuratively, of course) that you can stream right now.

Read more: The Best Travel Shows to Stream Right Now

You can order NYC's famed bagels from Zucker's with Goldbelly.

You can order NYC’s famed bagels from Zucker’s with Goldbelly.

Courtesy Goldbelly

Eat an iconic dish from another city

Whether you’re a home cook or not, there are lots of options for bringing some of the world’s most iconic drinks and dishes to your home—just try your hand at one of these cocktail or meal recipes from around the globe.

Not in the mood to cook? No problem. Food delivery service, Goldbelly , delivers some of the United States’ most iconic dishes nationwide . With just a few clicks, you can have authentic Charleston biscuits or pastrami from New York City shipped to your door.

No matter which way you choose, don’t forget to order yourself a bottle of wine (or three)—delivered straight to your door—to enjoy with your global delicacy.

Read more: You Can Get America’s Most Iconic Foods Shipped to You, Wherever You Are

Turn your home into a wellness retreat

If you’re craving rest and rejuvenation more than adventure, consider turning your home into the world’s most exclusive wellness retreat. We reached out to several experts at spas and hotels around the world to learn how to create an at-home wellness retreat . Here are their top tips, as well as some of their favorite little luxuries (all under $50) to give your place a touch of that authentic spa mood.

>> Next: How to Recreate Your Canceled Europe Trip at Home

Visit Monaco

60 Virtual Tours To Travel The World During The Coronavirus Pandemic

  • Post last modified: Updated on March 19, 2024
  • by Post author: Chloe Smulian

free virtual tours to travel the world for free

A comprehensive list of free virtual tours that will intrigue and delight all types of travel lovers. Discover the Seven Wonders of the World, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites and iconic landmarks around the world from the comfort of your home! Experience your first virtual travel experience with us.

With extensive travel bans, citywide lockdowns and strict social distancing measures, it’s hard not to eventually let cabin fever weigh you down. This is especially true if you’ve got a healthy addiction to travel like us. So we’ve found a way around the problem – virtual travel!

Obviously it doesn’t replace the real thing, but it’s better than nothing. It’s also a great way to get travel inspiration and learn some interesting facts about the destination until we can travel again.

It will give you something positive to look forward to while we all do the responsible thing and #stayhome. Treat it like Facetiming the world!

It’s also a great thing to do with kids at home. They’ll especially love the wildlife live webcam feeds! This list is guaranteed to keep them occupied for days if not weeks!

So whether you love city escapes, exploring museums or learning interesting facts about the natural and man-made wonders around the world, there’s something for everyone.

Make sure you share this with your friends and family who love travelling too.

In this guide

What do you need to virtual travel the world, 1. great wall of china, 2. chichen itza, mexico, 3. christ the redeemer, brazil, 4. petra, jordan, 5. taj mahal, india, 6. rome colosseum, italy, 7. machu picchu, peru, top unesco sites in africa, top unesco sites in asia, top unesco sites in europe, top unesco sites in north and south america, iconic landmarks and buildings in usa, iconic landmarks and buildings in the united kingdom, iconic landmarks and buildings in italy, iconic landmarks and buildings in germany, iconic landmarks and buildings in france, iconic landmarks and buildings in israel, virtual tours of top natural wonders and attractions, virtual tours from the top: city skylines, free virtual museum tours, live webcam feeds for wildlife watching and scuba diving, virtual tours: how to travel for free from home.

Virtual touring the world is easy. All you need is a laptop, cellphone or tablet and an internet connection. You don’t need a VR set (virtual reality set), but if you have one it’s a bonus.

We recommend using Google Chrome web browser because some of these virtual tour websites are not in English. Chrome makes it really easy translating foreign languages to English or whatever language you prefer.

Lastly, have a little patience as some of these virtual tours take a bit longer to load.

New Seven Wonders Of The World Virtual Tour

Everyone’s heard of the Seven Wonders of the World. But did you know that there are two different lists for the 7 Wonders of the World?

No? We didn’t either. The list most people know is the New Seven Wonders of the World. But there’s also the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World.

Are you one of the those rare humans that can list all New 7 Wonders of the World?

virtual tour the 7 wonders of the world including great wall of china, christ the redeemer, chichen itza and petra

Often cited as the only human-made structure that is visible from space. The Great Wall of China is probably the most well known Wonder of the World. It captures over 2,000 years of history and stretches more than 21,000 km across several provinces in China. That’s as long as 5 times the length of Australia!

This iconic landmark is usually teemed with tourists all year round. But you can visit it crowd-free on this Great Wall of China virtual tour.

The ancient city of Chichen Itza is one of the most well restored Mayan sites in Mexico and also its biggest tourist attraction. El Castillo may be the most famous pyramid of Chichen Itza, but there are many other ancient ruins to explore.

If you love astronomy, you’ll love learning how each structure was intricately designed to align with specific planets and stars. Sounds fascinating?

You can virtually tour Chichen Itza and explore some of its most popular sites and facts right from the comfort of your own home.

The cultural icon of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a symbol of Christianity across the world. The Christ The Redeemer statue is the largest art deco statue in the world. It stands 38 meters tall (around 13 storeys high) and stretches 28 meters wide.

It was built by the Roman Catholic community of Brazil following the end of World War I. The community was concerned about the growing ‘godlessness’ when Brazil officially became a republic and the church was officially separated from the state.

You can skip the 200+ step climb to the top on this stunning virtual tour of Cristo Redentor .

Also known as the ‘Carved City’ or the ‘Lost City’, Petra is known as one of the oldest cities in the world. It is estimated that the city was established in the 4th century (312 BC) but was only discovered by Western civilisation in the 1800s.

Only 15% of Petra has been explored by archaeologists, so not much is known besides it being home to about 800 tombs.

It’s simply one of those places that you have to see to believe that it exists in real life. Petra is still on our travel bucket list, but this virtual tour is probably one of our favourites!

machu picchu, rome colosseum and taj mahal virtual travel experience

One look at the Taj Mahal and it’s easy to see why it’s a wonder. It’s considered to be one of the most magnificent masterpieces of architecture in the world. Besides that, it’s also a symbol of love. Don’t believe us? See the Taj Mahal in VR for yourself.

The emperor built it in remembrance of his third wife who passed away giving birth to their 14th child. Today the couple remains buried together beneath the main inner chamber of the Taj Mahal.

It took more than 22,000 workers, 1,000 elephants and 22 years to build this incredible structure. Now there are concerns that it will crumble into pieces as its wooden foundations are rotting away.

Did you know that Italy has the most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world? There are a total of 51 World Heritage sites within Italy of which the Colosseum is the most famous.

Historically, the Colosseum was a place where gladiator fights and executions took place in Ancient Rome. Today it stands as a symbol of power and majesty of the Roman Empire. It’s also one of the most popular tourists attraction in the world.

Machu Picchu is famous for being the Lost City of the Incas. It is believed that this is where the Incas escaped to when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century.

Besides its historical significance, Machu Picchu also showcases the Incas’ incredible mastery of stone. The stones used to construct some of the most beautiful structures in Machu Picchu were cut so precisely and wedged so closely together, that a credit card cannot be inserted between them.

Not only was this more aesthetically pleasing, it also has engineering advantages. The stones were designed to bounce through earthquake tremors and fall back into place. This was only possible because no mortar (or cement) was used and the reason why Machu Picchu still stands today.

Virtual Tours of Top UNESCO World Heritage Sites

famous unesco world heritage sites in africa include the drakensberg mountains, great pyramids of egypt and kilimanjaro

8. The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the most famous landmarks around the world. Its sheer colossal size and perfect symmetry makes you wonder how this world icon was constructed more than 4,500 years ago.

Today, the Pyramids of Giza are the only surviving members of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World.

9. Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Kilimanjaro is one of the largest volcanoes in the world and also home to Africa’s highest mountain.

If you love hiking as much as we do, then Kilimanjaro is probably on your bucket list too. Close to 35,000 people attempt to hike Mount Kilimanjaro every year. But only 40% of them successfully reach the summit and around 5 to 15 people die every year attempting it.

There isn’t a proper virtual tour of Kilimanjaro , but you can get some awesome 360 panoramic views using Google Map street views. Just drag the little yellow man to the circles on the map to ‘explore’ the area.

Save Me For Later

pinterest save image for 60 free virtual tours to travel the world from home during self quarantine

10. Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa

Not only is the Drakensberg Mountains a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, it’s also a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. Drakensberg is culturally significant because it hides more than 20,000 San rock paintings inside its nooks and crevices.

These rock paintings are important because they represent the earliest form of human creativity. They also symbolise the beginning of art in the world today.

We’ve had the privilege of hiking the Drakensberg Mountains when we lived in South Africa. If you plan to hike it too, make sure you read our top Drakensberg hiking trails of the Royal Natal National Park . We also share tips on how you can hike the Drakensberg with children .

Since that’s not possible right now, you can enjoy the magnificence of the Drake nsberg on this beautiful virtual tour.

world heritage sites in asia like bagan, angkor wat, terracotta army in china

11. Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is known as the ‘sea of temples’ because it has the largest concentration of Buddhist temples in the world. There were originally 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries built here in the 1000s and 1100s. But only 2,000 of them still exist today.

Needless to say that the entire Bagan Archaeological zone is too vast to explore by foot alone. You can compliment your walk with a ride on old rickety bicycles, hot balloon rides or on this mind blowing virtual tour of Bagan .

12. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is famous for being the largest religious monument in the world. Yes, it’s even bigger than Bagan! Before the fall of Angkor Wat in the 15th century, it was actually the largest city in the world.

Unlike Bagan, most of Angkor Wat still exists today. It was built with durability in mind because it was designed and dedicated to the immortal gods.

13. Terracotta Army, China

This World Heritage Site isn’t a temple, but a mass grave. It’s the burial ground for the First Emperor of China and his world renowned Terracotta Army.

No one knows exactly how many terracotta warriors were made. But it’s been estimated that more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses were sculpted. And if that wasn’t amazing enough, each soldier has its own distinct facial features and were all built to life-size.

It took around 40 years to ‘build’ the entire army and its sole purpose was for protecting the emperor in his afterlife.

You can wander between these soldiers yourselves on this Terracotta Warrior virtual tour.

virtual tour of top unesco world heritage sites in europe like stonehenge and the acropolis of athens in greece

14. Acropolis of Athens, Greece

‘Acropolis’ translates into ‘high city’ in Greek. Most cities in ancient Greece had their city centres built on a mound or a hill. This is where they would build their important temples and where citizens could retreat to if under attack.

The most famous acropolis of Greece is, of course, the one in Athens with the iconic Pantheon dominating its skyline. The Acropolis of Athens has withstood the test of time, including bombardments, earthquakes and vandalism. Yet it still stands today as a reminder of the rich history of Greece.

15. Stonehenge, United Kingdom

Also known as the Bronze Age Ring of Standing Stones, Stonehenge is one of the UK’s most unique sites and visited attractions. It’s a prehistoric monument steeped in all kinds of myth and speculation because no one knows its true origin or purpose.

Some believe that Stonehenge was a Druid temple, built by ancient Celtic pagans as a centre for their religious worship. Others believe it to have astronomical significance as the light from sunrise and sunset aligns with the stones during summer and winter solstice.

Why don’t you decide for yourself based on the interesting facts you’ll learn on this Stonehenge virtual tour.

world heritage sites in the US and south america

16. Mesa Verde National Park, USA

Mesa Verde is the largest and one of the most spectacular archeological sites in the USA. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it encapsulates how Native Americans once lived by carving their homes into the cliff.

It’s one of the most well preserved ruins of the Ancestral Pueblo people in North America and you can virtually explore Mesa Verde right from the comfort of your own home.

17. Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Guatemala

At first glance, the Mayan Ruins of Tikal appears to be quite similar to the ruins of Chichen Itza. They were both major cities in the history of the Mayan civilisation and are both declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The biggest difference between the two is that Tikal is less visited and often less crowded compared to the more popular Chichen Itza. That’s because Tikal is located in the remote Guatemalan forests whereas Chichen Itza is much easier to access.

Some areas of Tikal remain unmapped or excavated too. So if you love hidden gems, make sure you visit the Mayan Ruins of Tikal , even if it’s only by virtual tour for now.

18. Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island is a Chilean island in the south Pacific Ocean. It’s famous for its 900+ giant statues known as Moais, which are scattered around the entire island.

It is believed that the Rapa Nui natives built these Moais to honour chieftains and important individuals from their village. They believed that by doing this, the spirit of the person would forever watch over the tribe and bring good fortune.

Today, Easter Island is believed to be the most remote inhabited island in the world. That’s why it’s also very expensive to get to. But have no fear, you can admire Easter Island virtually until then.

Iconic Landmarks and Buildings Around the World

Some of the most iconic and recognised landmarks and buildings around the world that you can explore for free from home.

free virtual tour of white house and statue of liberty

19. The White House, United States

Anyone can visit the White House free of charge. But you have to register and request a tour online and wait between 3 weeks to 3 months to visit. Skip the wait on this White House virtual tour.

20. Statue of Liberty, USA

More than 130 years ago, France gifted the Statue of Liberty to the United States to celebrate the friendship the two endured during the American Revolution. Today it represents freedom and democracy in the USA.

21. Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom

The official residence of The Queen and a must-visit when in London. Skip the long 3 month wait and the €30 entrance ticket and see Buckingham Palace virtually.

the leaning tower of pisa, vatican city and doge's palace

22. The Vatican, Italy

Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the seat of government. More than 5 million people come to Rome every year to feast their eyes on the prized paintings and sculptures of the Vatican and to experience the most religious and cultural site in the world. Check out for the tour.

23. Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most recognised landmarks in the world. The intention was to build the tallest bell tower for that era in order to show off Pisa’s growing wealthy and prosperity. The ‘leaning’ part of the equation was actually an engineering mistake.

24. Doge’s Palace, Venice

More than a 1,000 years ago, Doge’s Palace was the home to the ruler of Venice and the seat of power for the Venetian Republic. Today it is one of Venice’s must-see museums. Wander around the corridors of the Doge’s Palace or along one of its many surrounding canals on this beautiful virtual tour.

25. Reichstag Parliamentary Building, Berlin

The Reichstag is one of the most important buildings in Berlin today. Built to symbolise the reunification of Germany. It’s one of the few parliamentary buildings in the world that allows the public to watch over government processions. Similar to the White House, it’s free to visit but you have to book months in advance for a tour. Wait no more as this virtual tour of the Reichstag is pretty awesome.

Wondering how travelling in Berlin and Germany has changed since COVID? Find out what it’s like to visit Berlin during the coronavirus pandemic .

famous sightseeing spots in france include the louvre museum, palace of versailles and the catacombs of paris

26. Palace of Versailles, France

Did you know that the Palace of Versailles was a mere hunting lodge before it became the world’s largest palace? It’s one of the most important landmarks in French history because it symbolises the power and downfall of the French monarchy.

Explore its opulent, regal interior and admire its intricate details on this Palace of Versailles virtual tour.

27. The Louvre Museum, Paris

The Louvre use to serve as the royal palace for the French monarchy. It only became an art museum after the royal family moved their residence to Versailles. Today it is the world’s largest art museum and an iconic historical monument in Paris.

28. The Catacombs of Paris, France

It’s no coincidence that the word ‘catacombs’ rhymes with ‘tombs’. The Catacombs of Paris is the world’s largest underground burial site. The city was growing too fast for its cemeteries to handle the bodies of the dead. The solution was to move the bodies and bury them underground. Archaeologists estimate that around 6 to 7 million bodies were buried down there. Creepy…

29. The Holyland, Bethlehem and Jerusalem

Also known as the most sacred place on earth. It is here at The Holyland that the main religious faiths believe that God first entered into a relationship with the human race.

armchair travel experiences of the top natural attractions in the world including the northern lights, cliffs of moher, niagra falls and raja ampat

30. Niagara Falls , Canada – see live video feeds of these world famous falls on EarthCam.

31. The Northern Lights , Canada – another great live webcam to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Remember to watch this in the evening Canadian time.

32. Victoria Falls , Zambia – a magnificent virtual tour of the world’s largest waterfall.

33. Sahara Desert , Africa – explore the world’s largest desert without getting sand in your eyes.

34. Mount St Helens , USA – travel back in time and witness the day Mount St Helens erupted back in 1980.

35. Mount Everest , Himalayas – the only way to trek the world’s highest mountain without training is going on this virtual tour. Remember to click on the arrows to explore around.

36. Cliffs of Moher , Ireland – discover the most beautiful natural landscapes of Ireland on this gorgeous virtual tour.

37. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park , USA – one of our favourite virtual tours from the whole list. Not only is it mesmerising, but you can also learn so many interesting facts on this tour.

38. Grand Canyon , USA – enjoy a virtual hike and explore one of the most famous national parks in the USA.

39. Yellowstone National Park , USA – a nature lover’s paradise. Make sure you use Google Chrome for this tour.

40. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park , China – otherwise known as ‘Avatar Mountain’. The mesmerising, otherworldly landscapes that inspired the ‘floating mountains’ in one of our favourite movies, Avatar.

41. Galapagos Islands , Ecuador – A scuba diver and nature lover’s idea of paradise! This is right on the top of our travel bucket list.

42. Raja Ampat , Indonesia – The epitome of utopia. Hundreds of jungle-covered islands as far as the eye can see and some of the best beaches, coral reefs and scuba diving spots in the world.

360 panoramic views over some of the best city skylines in the world like new york, tokyo, hong kong and paris

43. New York Skyline – New York, New York! Head up to the 102th floor of the Empire State Building on this virtual tour and admire the city that never sleeps from above.

44. Tokyo Skytree , Japan – Teleport yourself to the highest structure in Tokyo and admire the vibrant capital city of Japan from the top. We hope you aren’t afraid of heights because the Tokyo Skytree is 634 meters tall which is more than double the height of the Eiffel Tower.

45. The Eiffel Tower , Paris – Head to the top deck of the Eiffel Tower and marvel at the City of Love on this breathtaking virtual tour.

46. The Peak , Hong Kong – Ever heard the phrase ‘A New York minute is a Hong Kong second’ before? Discover one of the most populous and expensive cities in the world from its highest peak. When you’re ready to visit Hong Kong in person, make sure you read our 7 tips to travel Hong Kong on a budget before you go.

47. St Paul’s Cathedral , London – Admire London’s epic skyline from the top of St Paul’s Cathedral.

You should download the Google Arts and Culture app to your phone if you’re a museum lover. You’ll find tons of stunning virtual tours and interesting things to learn from the arts and culture world. Here are some of our favourite free virtual museum tours.

free museum virtual tours during the coronavirus pandemic and travel bans

48. The British Museum , London – The famous British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture. Their permanent collection consists of more than 8 million pieces of artwork. Making it one of the largest and most comprehensive compilations in the world.

49. Musée d’Orsay , Paris – If you love French art whether that’s paintings, sculptures, furniture or photography, you’ll love the Musée d’Orsay Museum.

50. Pergamon Museum , Berlin – Explore one of the largest and most visited museums in Germany. The Pergamon Museum is known for its antiquity collection and Islamic and Middle Eastern artworks.

If you love history and want to learn more about the story behind the Berlin Wall like why it was famous and so important. We’ve explained it simply (i.e. Story of the Berlin Wall for dummies) in our Berlin Wall by Bike guide.

51. Rijksmuseum , Amsterdam – The national museum of the Netherlands that holds some of the world’s most famous artworks from artists like Vermeer and Rembrandt.

52. Van Gogh Museum , Amsterdam – Another jewel from Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum needs no introduction.

53. The Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York – Also known as The Met. This is one of the largest museums in the world. You can easily spend days if not weeks here admiring everything from antiquities, paintings, sculptures to modern art and fashion. A museum that has something for everyone.

We saved the best for last. Watch wildlife and underwater sea life from home via live webcam feeds! If you didn’t know you could do that, now you know.

free live webcam feeds of wildlife and aquariums around the world

54. Tau Game Lodge in Madikwe , South Africa – The beautiful Madikwe Game Reserve is located on the edge of the South African border close to Gaborone, Botswana. They have a 24 hour live webcam looking over one of the water reservoirs where the animals come to drink.

55. Kruger National Park , South Africa – Have you always dreamt of going on safari? Wait no more! WildEarth is hosting daily safari rides, twice a day so you can see some of South Africa’s most beautiful wildlife live with their awesome rangers! This is definitely one of our favourite wildlife webcam feeds! Support WildEarth with a donation if you can during these difficult times.

56. African River Wildlife, Kenya – There are more than 10 live webcam feeds here so you’re spoilt for choice. Head over to and enjoy ‘Facetiming’ these amazing creatures.

57. Virtual Dives with National Marine Sanctuaries – Discover the underwater world with virtual scuba diving! There’s a host of coral reefs waiting for you to explore. Just click on the video and use your mouse or VR set to look around.

58. Underwater Cave Diving – Even certified scuba divers like us are not allowed to explore underwater caves without the right technical qualifications and training. So whether you’re a scuba diver or not, you’ll most definitely enjoy this cave scuba diving virtual tour.

Want to learn how to scuba dive? Check out our Beginners Scuba Diving guide where we share how you can save time and money getting certified.

59. Georgia Aquarium – ‘FaceTime’ with the residents of Georgia Aquarium via their live webcams. See sea lions, puffer fish and even the elusive beluga whale.

60. Monterey Bay Aquarium – Another amazing aquarium with an array of live webcams. Spy on sea otters, jellyfish, penguins and even turtles and sharks.

We had a lot of fun looking for different ways to ‘travel’ the world from home. We hope you enjoyed your first experience of ‘armchair travel’. We’d love to hear which one was your favourite.

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10 of the Best Virtual Reality Travel Experiences

  With the time and expense required to travel being prohibitive to many, there are alternative ways of indulging your wanderlust – including via the burgeoning world of Virtual Reality.

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: Cubicle Ninjas)

There are a huge number of VR companies all vying to create ever more unique experiences for consumers – and one of the biggest growth categories has been travel. And what better time to get a taste of exploration and adventure from the comfort of your living room, equipped only with a VR headset, than now, when travel is a luxury that many just can’t stretch to? We’ve picked out 10 of the best virtual reality travel experiences currently on the market.

So which VR headset should you go for? Our favourite is the Meta Quest 3, which launched onto the market in mid-2023 and is the successor to the Meta Quest 2. For immersive games and travel experiences, we believe the Meta Quest 3 is destined to become the leading VR headset over the coming years. It’s pretty affordable, too, and unlike other headsets, doesn’t require cords or a computer. You can purchase the Meta Quest 3 at

Guided Meditation VR

Developed by Cubicle Ninjas, Guided Meditation VR is designed to bring peace, joy, and calm back into your daily life by teaching you ancient meditation practices in a cutting-edge way. It features over 40 lush environments to escape the everyday, 30-plus hours of guided meditations on anxiety, depression, maternity, resilience, sleep and zen, and hundreds of hours of calming musical audio tracks to help enhance your meditation experience. Users can also customise their sessions to their own specific preferences and needs, including the option to switch into Motion mode and gently float through beautiful vistas like you would on a lazy river, leaving the worries of your life behind before returning calmer and stronger.

PRICE £10.99 HEADSETS Meta Quest 3

Be anywhere in the world with anyone, instantly, in this captivating game developed by Wooorld Inc. Visit hundreds of cities, architectural landmarks, natural wonders, and vacation spots in incredible 3D detail, and get tips about the best places to visit, the hidden gems, where to get the best food and all the tourist traps to avoid. You can also create your own 3D avatars with face and body tracking and test your worldly knowledge by guessing where you are after being teleported to 5 random locations, with only the landscape, flora, architecture, and road signs for clues. The game can played as collaboratively as you wish, with options to explore the world with friends and meet new people, or hop into a Solo World without any distractions.

PRICE Free HEADSETS Meta Quest 3

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: Wooorld Inc.)

Blueplanet VR Explore

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: Blueplanet VR Explore)

Highlighting sacred and fragile locations of natural beauty and cultural heritage, Blueplanet VR Explore  is a collection of remarkable places across the world. With freedom to move around and explore, the virtual reality experiences are captured in volumetric 3D with great detail and accuracy. The scenes look and feel like these places do in real life, and enable you to freely move around to enjoy and explore these remarkable, fragile, and priceless environments. Concern for the environment often comes from direct experience, and being as close as we can get to experiencing a sense of actually being there, Blueplanet can help encourage people to appreciate and protect these treasures.

PRICE £18.99 HEADSETS Meta Quest 3

BRINK Traveler

Travel to some of the world’s most amazing natural wonders in fully immersive 3D and feel like you’re really there in this awe-inspiring game by Brink XR. Step into a scene akin to a postcard as you visit a total of 28 (with more on their way) of the most breathtaking places on Earth. In-game highlights include room-scale walkable areas in each destination, a virtual guide and assistant to learn about where you’re visiting, and the chance to shoot photos to share with friends. You can either play the game solo or with friends and family in multiplayer mode.

PRICE £11.99 HEADSETS Meta Quest 3

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: BRINK XR)

National Geographic Explore VR

Created in partnership with National Geographic, a world-leading society in the fields of geography, cartography and exploration, this magical VR experience invites you to discover two of the most iconic locations on Planet Earth. Don your explorer hat and head to Antarctica for an exhilarating expedition. Navigate around icebergs in a kayak, climb a vast ice shelf and survive a snowstorm as you hunt for a lost emperor penguin colony. Visit the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru and get immersed in amazing digital reconstructions of the legendary site. Witness mummy worships, raise a cup of sacred chicha and encounter cute and furry alpacas as you match Hiram Bingham’s photographs from when he rediscovered the citadel. Be sure to take a camera as your best snaps may even make it into the prestigious National Geographic magazine.

PRICE £7.99 HEADSETS Meta Quest 3

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: Force Field Entertainment B.V)

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

Fans of the hugely popular TV blockbuster The Walking Dead can now join the world of zombies in this new VR adventure. Travel through the ruins of New Orleans as you fight, scavenge, and survive, each day unravelling another mystery lurking within the city’s historic quarters. Encounter desperate factions and lone survivors who could be friend or foe. Whether you help others or take what you want by force, every choice you make has consequences. What kind of survivor will you be for the people of NOLA? Scavenge for anything that you can; weapons, food, tools, and clues. Be wary of the living and the dead, with spatial audio drawing attention to any loud noise. Craft makeshift gear out of scrapped material; blades, guns, medicine, and more. Test your morals and make difficult choices for yourself and others. It’s all here, bringing the small screen to life in a big way.

PRICE £29.99 HEADSETS Meta Quest 3

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: Skydance Interactive)

Narrated by award-winning actress Anna Friel, this trail-blazing VR series opens the door to some of the planet’s wildest environments while redefining the limits of 3D-180 cameras. Meet the humans protecting our most precious wildlife, explore the great savannahs of Kenya, discover the ancient jungles of Borneo and dive into the rich coral reefs of Raja Ampat. Encounter elephants, orangutans, manta rays and some incredible humans, all in stunning cinematic footage filmed from the air and deep into the ocean. The series was produced in partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF),

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: PHORIA)

The world is your oyster with this interactive, immersive VR experience that’s designed to be played by the whole family. There’s global travel and adventure in which your friends and family can join city tours, hot air balloon rides, back-country road trips, and plenty more. Or you can simply kick back and relax, practice meditation and get back to nature – all in the company of a guide or going solo, if you prefer. Other features include photo sharing, soundtracks, a range of fun games and media customisation.

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: AARP Innovation Labs)

Rome Reborn: The Pantheon

Created by Flyover Zone, an American company specialising in virtual travel applications that present the world’s most important cultural heritage sites and monuments, Rome Reborn is one of five applications that present different areas of ancient Rome. This particular one transports users over the entire ancient city, focussing on the Pantheon, perhaps the best-preserved building from antiquity. In the company of two virtual guides, you’ll get to explore the exterior forecourt and interior sanctuary of the reconstructed complex as you listen and learn about the Pantheon’s design and decoration, as well as the nature of the religious cult once housed within it.

PRICE £3.99 HEADSETS Currently only available on Oculus Rift

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: Flyover Zone Productions)

Monte Fitzroy is Argentina’s most famous mountain landmark and is even used as the logo for outdoor retailer, Patagonia. It is a place that immediately evokes a sense of adventure. At the foot of the mountain is a beautiful and remote glacial lake known as Laguna Sucia. Most people who visit Monte Fitzroy view it from a location that is much easier to access. Laguna Sucia requires a much tougher hard-to-access trail that culminates in one of the most beautiful and remote glacial lakes in existence. You are rewarded with a sense of almost meditative stillness as you approach this untouched natural amphitheatre. This VR experience utilises Pterovision, a 3D technology that integrates computational photography, 360 Video, and gaming and allows you to take off like a bird, fly around the lake, visit the waterfalls along the edge, and fly over glacial formations beneath the mountain peaks. Numerous narrations will tell you about the challenges we faced when filming in this location, as well as educate you about the geology, culture, and history.

PRICE $2.99 HEADSETS Currently only available on Oculus Rift 

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: Specterras Productions)

Gala360 – Travel & Relax

Taking you on awe-inspiring virtual adventures across the globe, Gala360 is the result of the magic touch of an array of exceptionally talented photographers who have captured their globe-trotting trips in all their glory before being rendered into VR form. In professional 6K resolution, more than 300 tours around the world are featured, with some also including narration which allows you to listen to the stories behind the trips. Most of the tours are free, but you can pay a small fee to unlock more.

PRICE Free HEADSETS Currently only available on Oculus Go (soon available on Quest 2)

virtual travel destinations

(Photo: Gala 360)

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Take a Glow-in-the-dark Tour of an Australian Forest, Enjoy Teatime in Japan, and More With This New Virtual Travel Company

Beeyonder offers more than 350 virtual travel experiences in nearly 50 countries.

Jessica Poitevien is an international storyteller and regular contributor to Travel + Leisure.

virtual travel destinations

The idea of connecting with people and places online is nothing new, but virtual experiences have undeniably gained a higher level of popularity since the pandemic forced almost everyone around the world to stay home. Familiar companies like Amazon and Airbnb began offering online tours, classes, and other digital travel experiences, but new names also sprung from the hardships over the past year.

Beeyonder is one of them.

Launched in December 2020, Beeyonder brings people on virtual adventures around the world, exploring nearly 50 countries, plus Antarctica. And though the company was established in the midst of the pandemic, its inspiration and purpose stems from its founder's experience as a bilateral amputee.

"While being a bilateral amputee doesn't prevent me from traveling, I do have joint issues that prevent me from walking long distances without a significant amount of pain," Beeyonder founder Brittany Palmer told Travel + Leisure . "I thought how wonderful it would be to be able to see things I may never get to see in person through virtual experiences."

She also thought of her husband, who suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2013 and spent weeks in the hospital and several months at home in recovery.

"Based on [those] experiences, I started looking into how many people in the U.S. have disabilities and other conditions that prevent or inhibit travel, and found that there are [more than] 40 million people in that category — limited mobility, hospital/homebound, those who have degenerative diseases, agoraphobia, a fear of flying, those on parole," Palmer explained. "I wanted to provide the ultimate equal access to travel."

With that, Beeyonder was born. Now, anyone can sign up for the company's 350 virtual experiences, which include glow-in-the-dark tours of an Australian forest to see biofluorescent and bioluminescent wildlife, fungi, and leaves; a dive into the world of the Vikings in Norway; and teatime in Japan. Beeyonder offers both private and group options, each led by a qualified guide. The experiences are also interactive, so guests will be able to speak with their guides and ask questions.

According to Palmer, the response from customers has been overwhelmingly positive.

"We've had families from across the country, a rehabilitation center for adults suffering from brain injuries, a nonprofit working with adults and kids with developmental disabilities, and many more, all of whom have had wonderful experiences," she said.

And although countries are reopening their borders and travel is picking up again, Palmer believes that virtual experiences are here to stay .

"Based on surveys we've conducted, most people plan to continue to do virtual tours, even after the pandemic subsides. There are millions of people in the U.S. alone that have disabilities that prevent or inhibit travel. They will still need virtual tours to see the world."

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she's always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram .

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Best virtual tours that you can take without leaving home

Alina Bradford

Need to get out of the house and go on vacation, but finances, health, or other circumstances have you staying at home? Virtual tours are the next best thing. They allow you to travel to exotic locations, including space, without ever leaving home. Here are some of the best ways to take a staycation getaway using virtual tours.

Best virtual tour app for Android

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The Seven Wonders app allows you to travel to the seven wonders of the world from your phone. The app supports the use of Google Cardboard but you don’t have to use it. You can just hold your phone up to your face — as you move the phone, you’ll see a 360-degree view of whatever location you’re visiting.

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With the Sites in VR app, you can take tours around the world using a virtual reality headset or just your phone or iPad. You can choose from cities or countries to visit, or you can go inside famous landmarks, like the pyramids. There are even space panoramas for a little out-of-this-world entertainment.

AirPano is a free site that allows you to wander beautiful locations all over the world. The best features of these virtual tours are choosing to take a helicopter view over the landscape or a walking trail through the area. The site also has articles about the location you are visiting and allows visitors to leave comments. If you really like a tour, you can choose to buy it as a download.

Sometimes you just want to leave this planet behind. That’s where virtual space tours come in handy. The Exoplanet Travel Bureau , powered by NASA, is here for you. You can choose an exoplanet and travel around its alien surface. Of course, the planets are artist renderings, since we haven’t actually traveled there yet, but they’re fascinating just the same. NASA at Home has many more space-themed virtual and augmented reality tours, too.

The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks is a Google project that lets you explore five different U.S. parks, including Florida’s Dry Tortugas, Hawaiian volcanoes, the Kenai Fjords in Alaska, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, and Utah’s Bryce Canyon. Each tour starts with a little history lesson about the area, and then you can dive into the 360-degree landscape. There are also audio tour guides that help you along your journey, explaining what you’re looking at and a little of its history.

Sometimes you don’t know where you want to go, and that’s OK. The Random Street View generator (powered by Google Maps ) is the answer. It will take you on a virtual stroll down a random street somewhere in the world. Be careful, though. Exploring random locations is a bit addicting. One minute you may be virtually walking down a highway in Michigan, and then with a click, you could be in an alleyway in Romania. The best part is that you get to see places that other virtual tour sites and apps don’t offer.

With Google Earth , you can go anywhere on our planet, from your hometown to the other side of the earth. You can use the website to take your journey, or use the app together with VR equipment to enhance your experience. Other than the awesome street views and ability to travel just about anywhere, you can also enhance Google Earth with your own videos and photos of places you have been in person.

If you’re an animal lover, there are many great virtual zoo exhibits that you can visit from your home. The San Diego Live Cams , for example, let you watch live footage of a wide range of animals, from baboons to penguins. Some other great animal cams can be found at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute , The Houston Zoo , and EarthCam .

There are plenty of ways to visit our fishy friends, too. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Georgia Aquarium, and The National Aquarium all have fantastic live webcams that allow you to watch sharks, jellyfish, stingrays, and much more.

When it comes to fine art, it’s hard to do better than a virtual tour of the Louvre . The website has a variety of tours you can take throughout the gallery, including The Galerie d’Apollon, Louvre’s Petite Galerie, and the east side of the Sully wing. When you’re finished at the Louvre, check out the virtual tours of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea , the Musée d’Orsay in Paris , and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in Brazil .

There are also virtual tours that can take you back in time, sort of. You can see amazing exhibits of curiosities from the past, like dinosaurs, Egyptian relics, Stone Age tools, and more at The Natural History Museum in London ,  The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History , and The British Museum .

Longing for a walk in the woods or a tour through habitats that rarely see a human? No problem. There are plenty of virtual tours to satisfy you. Conservation International, for example, has a 360-degree tour through the Amazon that is narrated by an indigenous guide. Other virtual hikes you might enjoy include a trip through the redwoods at Muir Woods National Park , a stroll through the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, and a tour of New Zealand’s Great Walks .

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  • Virtual Reality

Alina Bradford

As rival Apple is rumored to be eyeing an entrance into the metaverse, Microsoft, an early proponent of mixed and augmented reality applications, is criticized for its blurry vision behind the company's own HoloLens strategy. While HoloLens notched big early wins, including scoring a U.S. Department of Defense contract, subsequent delays, project cancellations, and high-profile executive departures may have resulted in the death of the HoloLens 3. Still, despite a scathing profile by Business Insider, it appears that Microsoft remains, at least publicly, committed to its HoloLens endeavors for now. The company has gone on record to refute the publication's reporting that HoloLens 3 has been killed.

There are a number of factors that may be causing Microsoft to pivot from its early bet on HoloLens, but the Microsoft profile cited internal divisions and the lack of a unified strategy among the top reasons for concern. As a result of the chaos, it appears that the largest collateral damage to Microsoft's infighting is the cancellation of its next-generation HoloLens 3 hardware.

Actronika, a startup company known for its HD haptics technology has a futuristic new product. Expected to be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2022 is Skinetic, a haptic vest that should make virtual reality experiences feel a lot more realistic.

Skinetic works much as you'd expect. The wearable vest makes VR feel more immersive by bringing life-like sensations and touch-like experiences to areas of the body like the chest when paired with a compatible headset. As reported by Business Wire, the technology "works with 20 patented vibrotactile voice-coil motors, capable of generating a wide range of vibrations that cover 100% of human vibrotactile perception."

It seems that virtual reality may be about to become even more real than ever before -- all thanks to a new VR headset. Pimax, a company that manufactures VR equipment, announced the upcoming release of a new 12K QLED VR headset that will feature technologies such as eye tracking, full-body tracking, and refresh rates of up to 200Hz. The headset, dubbed Pimax Reality 12K QLED, is part of the company's venture into the metaverse and a step toward bringing true realism to using VR.

During today's Pimax Frontier event, the company's representatives talked at length about the goals behind the product -- naturalness, self-awareness, and freedom. Pimax wants to bring these qualities into virtual reality and the metaverse, allowing people from all over the world to interact and explore virtual worlds together. While VR technology already allows for some of that to happen, Pimax wants to take it to the next level with its new invention -- the Reality 12K QLED VR headset.

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Fun and Free: 20 Best Virtual Travel Experiences

We may be living in extraordinary times, but the travel industry is making huge efforts to help make life more enjoyable for parents and kids with virtual travel experiences — and to teach them something new at the same time. Family-friendly hotels, destinations, attractions and even sports teams are producing virtual travel content that will delight kids and parents alike. And the best part: It’s all free. Here are some fun virtual travel and e-learning experiences that you won’t want to miss.

virtual travel destinations

Become a junior marine biologist with Six Senses. (Photo courtesy of Six Senses)

1/20 Virtual Travel: Become a Marine Biologist

Get ready for a new type of homeschooling, where turtles are teachers and reef fish can be made out of egg cartons and bottle tops. Six Senses has launched a new, online Junior Marine Biology Program . It’s a free, 10-week virtual travel program inviting marine lovers of all ages to become a marine biologist at home. This adorable concept originated on-property at Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives . Now it’s been reinvented as part of the company’s new #AtHomeWithSixSenses initiative. Although the structure is slightly different to what children might enjoy on a vacation in the Maldives, the objective is the same. It aims to help foster an understanding of marine biology and see first-hand the importance of conserving our oceans. The course is open to everyone and there’s content suitable for all ages.

READ MORE: “26 of the Best Hotel Kids Programs”

virtual travel destinations

Naifa and Sharaf show how to make towel animals at the underwater SEA restaurant at Anantara Kihavah Maldives. (Photo courtesy of Anantara)

2/20 Virtual Travel: Make Towel Animals

What kid doesn’t love getting a towel animal on their bed at a hotel? The housekeeping teams from Anantara hotels around the world have created a series of cute instructional virtual travel videos so that junior hoteliers in the making can practice their towel art skills. All you need is a couple of bath towels to bring a touch of the tropics to your bathrooms. First up, Naufa and Sharaf from Anantara Kihavah Maldives take us under the waves at the underwater restaurant SEA to create a manta ray. Twirl up a turtle with the Anantara Eastern Mangroves. Create your own elephant, Thailand’s national animal, at Anantara Siam Bangkok. Make a bunny with Manish from Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island. After you have fun with the little ones, share your creations on social media using the hashtag #AnantaraEscapism.

READ MORE: “You Can Now Sleep with Elephants in These Amazing Jungle Bubbles”

virtual travel destinations

Learn to be a top chef with Club Med. (Photo courtesy of Club Med)

3/20 Virtual Travel: Become a Top Chef

Kids can learn the fundamentals of cooking — with supervision from an adult — by trying their hand at exclusive recipes provided by Club Med, the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept (celebrating its 70th anniversary this year). Through the new Club Med at Home virtual travel platform, a weekly series of activities designed to inspire and engage families at home, kids can access recipes and how-to videos of Club Med culinary favorites, like Club Med’s world-famous White Chocolate Bread , a traditional French brioche (berries included) from Club Med Valmorel or freshly-made guacamole courtesy of Club Med Cancun Yucatan.

READ MORE: “8 Amazing New Skills Your Kids Can Learn on a Club Med Vacation”

virtual travel destinations

Learn about wildlife with Paws Up. (Photo courtesy of Paws Up/Facebook)

4/20 Virtual Travel: Take Part in Wildlife Activities

Paws Up invites kids everywhere to take part in a series of “Live from Big Sky Country” videos being aired from Greenough, Montana. Get up close and personal with the resort’s experts in wildlife, outdoor activities and art. Some of the virtual travel activities that young at-home travelers can experience include a “Painted Horses” workshop, where an equestrian manager will show how to identify traits about horses, including how to tell its age. In “Sheds and Feathers,” kids can take part in an expedition to identify the different animals that make Montana their home. With the “Fuego y Fuego Challenge,” join wilderness experts as they attempt to build fires without using matches and follow that up with gourmet s’mores. Or paint with abstract artist Danielle LaGoy, who will show how to use foliage to create a painting. You can find the series on Paws Up’s Instagram Highlights and Facebook video page .

virtual travel destinations

Learn about Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of Visit Costa Rica/Facebook)

5/20 Virtual Travel: Check Out Nature in Costa Rica

Experience pura vida with a virtual visit to the lush Central America country of Costa Rica , which is inviting travelers to explore five of the country’s volcanoes through Google Earth. Virtually visit Arenal Volcano (home to 75% of Costa Rica’s bird population and one of the most well-known hot springs), Irazú Volcano (the country’s tallest volcano) and more —without the crowds. You can also travel during meal times by cooking Costa Rican dishes in your own kitchen. Through Tasty-style video tutorials, families can make local favorites like Gallo Pinto (a traditional breakfast dish), Sopa Negra (a delicious soup) and more . Want more travel inspiration? Check out films like Jurassic Park, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams and Paddington, all of which feature scenes of Costa Rica’s tropical climate, diverse landscape and biodiversity.

READ MORE: “Family Vacation Guide to San Jose, Costa Rica”

virtual travel destinations

Learn about the world with Austin Adventures.

6/20 Virtual Travel: Learn about the World

With recent school closures and restrictions in place due to COVID-19, Austin Adventures launched “Virtual Adventures for Kids” in an effort to help bring some positivity to the world, give children something to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes and give parents a small break. Austin Adventures president Kasey Austin — who has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and has been named the world’s top family guide — hosts the virtual travel adventures. Expect things like a Yellowstone National Park Virtual Adventure featuring videos of Old Faithful and a Q&A session with hundreds of great questions from the audience such as “Can I swim in a hot spring?” and “How many bears are in Yellowstone National Park?” There was no better candidate to host these adventures than Austin. The Virtual Adventures are open to anyone but are recommended for children ages 6-12.

virtual travel destinations

See the penguins at the Oregon Zoo. (Photo courtesy of the Oregon Zoo/Facebook)

7/20 Virtual Travel: Get to Know Our Furry Friends

Caretakers at the Oregon Zoo are giving a behind-the-scenes look at what the animals are up to while the zoo is closed to the public. Kids and adults alike delight in the near-daily animal videos that are posted to the zoo’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels. On March 23, a fluffy new chick joined the Oregon Zoo’s Humboldt penguin colony. The chick will spend the next three months living its life in parallel to much of the human world: nesting in a cozy box, growing and staying healthy and drinking fish smoothies (okay, maybe not that last one). Watch all this — and so many more heartwarming moments.

virtual travel destinations

Under the waves at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. (Photo courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific/Facebook)

8/20 Virtual Travel: Visit California

California is paradise for kids, and now pint-sized travelers can get outside, learn and explore without leaving their homes, thanks to virtual travel experiences across the state. For animal lovers, enjoy live cams at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, The Oakland Zoo , as well as the California Coastal Commission . Science and tech buffs will love the “Stuck at Home Science,” a family-friendly space for STEM learning with easy-to-follow activities at The California Science Center. With the virtual field trip to the San Jose Tech Interactive, a family-friendly science and technology center, kids can get a peek into the cutting-edge technology of Silicon Valley. For little aviation buffs, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum offers 3D virtual tours of Reagan’s Air Force One. Channel Islands National Park is offering ranger-led videos that showcase the remarkable natural resources of the islands and includes curriculum for fourth to sixth graders as well as live hikes and dives. A few other highlights throughout the state include a limited-time, 40-minute virtual tour of the Winchester Mystery House (which has reported paranormal activity); Zoo School at The Living Desert in Palm Springs; and online private music lesson at Palm Springs’s Music School.

virtual travel destinations

Cute koala at the Australian Reptile Park. (Photo courtesy of the Australian Reptile Park/Facebook

9/20 Virtual Travel: Dream About Down Under

Destination New South Wales — home to Sydney, Australia — offers up virtual travel experiences for those at home and dreaming of travel. In addition to the stunning livestream of Sydney Harbour taking place daily, the Australian Reptile Park has started showing talks, educational videos and livestreams with its animals. Videos range from feeding time with koalas and Hugo, the giant tortoise, to lessons on Tasmanian devils and conservation and the lifestyle of a frog. For those in different time zones, the livestreams live on Australian Reptile Park’s Facebook , Instagram and TikTok pages.

virtual travel destinations

South Dakota’s Wind Cave National Park. (Photo courtesy of South Dakota Tourism/Facebook

10/20 Virtual Travel: Experience Hikes and History

South Dakota is loaded with history and adventure that your kids will love. Can’t make it to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in person? Tour this massive sculpture carved into the Black Hills with free virtual travel tours . Or check a more humorous side of Rushmore’s presidential mascots and see how they’re practicing social distancing in a series of funny, family-friendly videos , from Thomas Jefferson biking to A be Lincoln hiking in Rapid City. Badlands National Park , located in the Black Hills region of western South Dakota, offers a live webcam and virtual tours of the otherworldly landscape and fossil trails, while Wind Cave National Park offers live virtual hikes and more. Finally, children can embark on a Custer State Park Virtual Field Trip on Facebook Live with the park’s interpretive program manager to learn about prairie dogs in the great plains. Visit South Dakota’s Kid Activity Pages to engage in coloring books for the whole family, and listen to storytime videos with park ranger Jim Ganser.

virtual travel destinations

Working on STEM skills courtesy of Legoland. (Photo courtesy of Legoland/Facebook

11/20 Virtual Travel: Work on Your STEM Skills

LEGOLAND California Resort is working to inspire STEM learning. Check out the online site, LEGOLAND Building Challenge, which is filled with instructional videos and activities that promote learning, creating and play. Every Wednesday, master model builder PJ Catalano announces a new theme and instructional “how to build” video to teach viewers how to build a variety of creations. There’s also have a section with coloring pages, drawing mazes, ad-libs, word searches, trivia and “brick-tac-toe” that families can download — all of which is updated weekly. And now, just in time for Mother’s Day, Catalano is showing viewers how to create builds that kids can “gift” moms, such as cupcakes and stars, to make her feel special.

virtual travel destinations

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

12/20 Virtual Travel: Take a History Lesson

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans features immersive virtual travel exhibits, multimedia experiences and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, taking visitors inside the story of the war that changed the world. While the museum has temporarily closed, the institution makes at-home history lessons possible with free online resources including lesson plans , webinars and electronic field trips that transport students in grades 6 to 12 to historic sites around the world to experience WWII history virtually. One fun activity even instructs kids on how to make bird feeders and hand sanitizers.

virtual travel destinations

Helping baby animals at Sanibel Island’s CROW Clinic. (Photo courtesy of CROW Clinic/Facebook)

13/20 Virtual Travel: Learn About Animal Rehabilitation

Watch live footage of Florida wildlife being rehabilitated at Sanibel Island’s CROW Clinic , one of the nation’s top facilities for native wildlife rehabilitation. Live virtual travel webcams look into their state-of-the-art animal hospital and the animal ambassador enclosure, home to Billy the Armadillo, Talon the Red-Tailed Hawk and more.

virtual travel destinations

Learning about Hawaiian culture with chef Lee Anne Wong and Hawaiian Airlines.

14/20 Virtual Travel: Learn About Hawaiian Culture

From native Hawaiian language classes to hula dance lessons and lei making, Hawaiian Airlines’ newly launched virtual learning series shares cultural activities with keiki (kids) led by employees, recipes prepared by local chefs, and local music and entertainment. Showcasing the culture of the Hawaiian islands with those at home, the “Sharing Aloha Series” started off making Banana Cereal Pancakes with current Top Chef contestant Lee Anne Wong, Hawaiian Airlines’ executive chef, and the month of May will focus on cultural content fully led by Hawaiian employees. Hawaiian will be posting on Facebook, Instagram and the Sharing Aloha Series website.

virtual travel destinations

Learning about pollinating at Billings Farm & Museum.

15/20 Virtual Travel: Learn About Pollinating

While the Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont is currently closed to guests, life on a dairy farm can be experienced through the Billings Farm At Home landing page . For the museum’s Pollinator Week taking place from May 4 through May 8, the Billings Farm & Museum educators have crafted kid-friendly mocktail recipes for children to learn about the importance of pollinators. Each day during “Pollinator Week,” one mocktail recipe (and a cocktail recipe for adults) will be shared on the Billings Farm social channels. On its YouTube , Facebook and Instagram channels, Billings will also be doing virtual farmhouse tours, storytime book readings, cooking demonstrations and interactive art projects.

virtual travel destinations

On the panda cam at the Edinburgh Zoo. (Photo courtesy of the Edinburgh Zoo/Facebook)

16/20 Virtual Travel: Take a Virtual Vacation in Scotland

There’s so much for kids to do in Scotland, and now they can experience it all virtually. From viewing a panda cam at the Edinburgh Zoo to checking out puffins  in the Shetland islands to the daily #WildlifeMoment courtesy of Scottish Natural Heritage, it’s easy to experience Scotland’s abundant nature. Glasgow Science Centre is bringing a bit of science into your home every day with #GCSAtHome on its Facebook , Instagram and Twitter pages. Want to share some culture with your kids? The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh was the first museum in the country available for exploration online via Google Arts & Culture’s Museum View experience, and there’s also a great section of the website filled with stories, games, films and other educational opportunities.

virtual travel destinations

Florida’s Clearwater Marine Aquarium. (Photo courtesy of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium/Facebook)

17/20 Virtual Travel: Learn About Sealife

Follow Florida’s Clearwater Marine Aquarium team as they go live on their Facebook page every day at 11:30 a.m. EST. The aquarium is home to Winter and Hope, the stars of the 3D major motion pictures Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2. For grades 1-5, lesson plans are available, created in accordance with Next Generation Science. Free curriculums can be found here .

virtual travel destinations

Exclusive Resorts coloring book.

18/20 Virtual Travel: Color and Cook

Elite luxury vacation club Exclusive Resorts is helping keep the travel dream alive for children through virtual family trips to cafes in Paris, France; the beaches of Los Cabos, Mexico; the ski slopes in Vail, Colorado and more with these downloadable Zoom backgrounds . The Club is also helping comfort children during these uncertain times by encouraging them to daydream about future travel by providing coloring book pages depicting a few of its 70+ destinations around the world. Exclusive Resorts also has family Taco Tuesday covered with this downloadable recipe booklet and virtual cooking tutorials like this one where private chef Sophie Chamberlain in Tuscany teaches viewers to prepare authentic cavatelli with wild garlic pesto.

virtual travel destinations

A digital safari at the Phoenix Zoo. (Photo courtesy of the Phoenix Zoo/Facebook)

19/20 Virtual Travel: Keep Your Kids Entertained (and Well-Rested)

Explore Scottsdale is offering virtual travel and tours that will appeal to everyone in the family, from a digital safari at the Phoenix Zoo to a dive into uncharted waters with OdySea Aquarium ’s virtual classroom – all from the comfort and safety of your home. Architecture buffs will love taking a walk-through of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West (a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Want to make sure the kids sleep better right now? Check out CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa ’s blog with tips for better sleep, mindful eating and a livestream of the breathtaking Scottsdale sunsets.

virtual travel destinations

Learning about horses with Keeneland Racecourse.

20/20 Virtual Travel: Become an Equine Expert

Keeneland Racecourse , an internationally renowned racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky, is offering a series of virtual travel programs from the Keeneland Kids Club, including “horse schooling,” a fun and educational course in all things horse. Families can download their own horse schooling booklet to discover the history of the Thoroughbred (and how they’re different from ponies), how racehorses are trained, what a racehorse eats in a day, and more.

By Laura Begley Bloom

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The 12 Best Free Virtual Travel Experiences Worth Checking Out

Don't have the means to travel the world? You can still visit stunning locations via virtual travel. Here are some of our favorites!

Do you want to travel, but circumstances are preventing you from doing so? Thankfully, the internet enables you to visit multiple destinations around the world in real time. No plane tickets, visas, or long flights necessary!

If you have a laptop, a smartphone, or a VR device and a reliable Wi-Fi connection, you are all set to take these virtual tours for free.

1. African Safari

WildEarth relies on safari vehicles, guides on foot, drones, balloons, rovers and remote cams to capture some of Africa's most iconic animals in their own habitats. You can interact with an expert game ranger hosting the safari while you watch.

Related: Outdoor Virtual Tours to Get Back to Nature With Hikes, Dives, and Spelunking

2. The White House

At 55,000 square feet, the White House has 6 floors, 132 rooms (16 are family guest rooms), 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, three elevators, 412 doors and 147 windows.

Thanks to Google Arts and Culture, you can enjoy a walk through the most famous residence in the US without having to worry about the Secret Service.

Related: Virtual Field Trips That Make History Come Alive

3. Discover India

You can visit the Taj Mahal and other iconic Indian sites via the official Indian government's immersive Audio Odigos app.

Once the app is downloaded Audio Odigos does not require Wi-Fi or an Internet connection. You can choose a destination and download all the chapters of the destination you are visiting in one go and enjoy your tour offline.

Download: Audio Odigos for Android | iOS (Free)

4. Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House offers exclusive live streams of their performances, inclusive of original new digital programming direct from Sydney Opera House. It's free when you sign up.

5. Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

The Northern Lights most commonly appear between 5:00 pm and 2:00 am.

A good display may last for no longer than 15-30 minutes at a time, although if you're really lucky, they could last for a few hours. Norway's lights over Lapland project enables you to experience the Northern Lights via VR.

6. The Grand Canyon

The most popular hiking trail into the Grand Canyon is the Bright Angel Trail. Google's Street View Trek enables you to virtually hike it.

7. Paris Catacombs

Beneath the City of Paris is a 200 mile series of macabre tunnels containing the bones of 6 million people. As photographer Felix Nadar put it, the catacombs are one of those places "everyone wants to see and no one wants to see again". You can see the catacombs for yourself with this virtual tour.

Related: The Best Virtual Tours of the Human Body for Interactive Anatomy

8. Christ the Redeemer Statue

Located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park, overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro, the Christ the Redeemer statue is the largest art deco statue in the world. You can skip the 200-step climb to the top via this stunning virtual tour set to soothing jazz by Kenny G.

9. Roman Colosseum

Fans of the Gladiator movie will no doubt recall the legendary fight scenes in the colosseum.

In real life, the colosseum was used as an entertainment venue for 390 years. During that time more than 400,000 people and 1 million animals died inside the Colosseum. You can virtually visit the real colosseum on AirPano.

10. Brooks Falls, Alaska

EXPLORE is the largest live nature cam network on the planet.

If you are a fan of bears, the livestream of Brooks Falls in Alaska's Katmai National Park is the best place in the world to watch brown bears feasting on salmon as they swim upstream to spawn. EXPLORE offers a multicam experience of various virtual tours both on land and under the sea.

11. New York Times Square

Would you like to visit Times Square in New York right this very moment? EarthCam takes you on an aerial and street-level tour of the square, complete with audio.

12. Marine Life Virtual Dive

America's National Marine Sanctuary System is a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 600,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters, and now you can visit these amazing places in the blink of an eye through virtual reality.

If you're on a desktop, click and drag to experience in 360 degrees, or pair your phone with your virtual reality headset. For the best viewing experience, watch the video in high-definition: click the gear symbol in the lower right corner, then select any of the HD options that pop up when you click "Quality."

Related: Google Earth Tour Guide: Virtual Tours You'll Want to Check Out

Hot Tip: Amazon Explore

Amazon Explore enables you to virtually tour the world's cities and experience local culture with the help, or rather the company, of local guides or hosts.

Amazon Explore experiences are not free. However, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, your first experience of up to $50 is free with the promo code FREEFUN for a limited time.

How to get a free Amazon Explore experience:

  • Visit Amazon Explore .
  • Select and schedule an experience that is $50 or less. Use the code FREEFUN at checkout. This will reduce your cost to zero.
  • Meet Your Host: When it’s time for your livestreamed session, show up at your computer and meet up with your host.
  • Explore: The session is private and just for you, so ask questions, take pictures, and focus on what interests you the most.

Virtual Travel Is Here to Stay

For travelers who have various physical impairments—mobile, visual, auditory—virtual tours are a great way to visit destinations that were once off limits. Needless to say, those with financial limitations are equally empowered to visit places they otherwise could not afford.

If you are worried about global warming, traveling via internet is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and avoid flight shaming while seeing the world.

And of course there are the time savings. You may not have the time to see the world in your lifetime. With virtual travel, you can visit a new continent every day.

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At Discover Live , we understand the unique challenges and aspirations of today's explorers. Travelling is a passion, a dream, and sometimes a necessity.

Remove traditional travel barriers with our accessible platform, affordable subscriptions, and safe virtual experiences. Dive into diverse destinations guided by experts for an enriching journey, connect with a vibrant community of fellow travellers, and enjoy a user-friendly platform designed for seamless virtual exploration.

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DISCOVER LIVE whisks you away on premier virtual tours to incredible locales across the globe. Since 2017, we've transported tens of thousands to over 200 destinations spanning six continents - all through LIVE HD video (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Teams, etc.). Our experts guide you through lush rainforests, down bustling city streets, and into vibrant cultural celebrations. DISCOVER LIVE partners with top organizations to create unforgettable team building , DEI cultural training , education, and older adults social enrichment experiences. Treat yourself, your team, or loved ones to a private adventure or join a shared tour . With DISCOVER LIVE's immersive experiences, you don't just watch - you dive into the sights, sounds, flavors, and spirit of a place. Ditch the airport hassle, skip the jet lag, and LET US BRING THE WORLD TO YOU!

Discover Live is an Affiliate Member of the prestigious World Federation of Tourist Guide Association (WFTGA). We are also a proud Enterprise Partner of AgeTech Collaborative™ from AARP.

View some tour examples , and read a customer story here . ​

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"We have been looking for new ways to host our clients with a great experience. Discover Live came highly recommended for not only their fantastic travel tours from around the world, but also for their professionalism and the quality of the entire experience – from planning to execution.  Then there’s the feedback we received, with clients enjoying the experience so much, they are now using Discover Live for their own personal needs!  Now that's a strong testimonial! What I thought might be a short-term gap filler during COVID, Discover Live is now part of my long-term plans."

 Emily S.

Fortune 500 Corporate Client

+1 (646) 694-8178

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7 Skyline Drive, Suite 350

Hawthorne, NY 10532

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7 Great Virtual Reality Travel Experiences

Try VR travel to fulfill your bucket list without leaving the couch

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Who says you can't see the world if you stay home? Virtual reality (VR) tourism experiences let you see places all over the world without ever leaving your couch. These aren't games; they're experiences, so the pace may be slower than you expect, but they are worth your patience. Here are some of the best VR tourist destinations to help you decide on your next virtual adventure.

Make sure your computer is beefy enough to handle the demands of virtual reality technology.

The Grand Canyon VR Experience

Very relaxing experience.

Excellent visual and sound quality.

Impressive attention to detail.

Predefined with little control.

Requires powerful hardware.

Short experience.

In The Grand Canyon VR Experience ($2.99 by Immersive Entertainment), you sit in a virtual motorized kayak ride through the Grand Canyon. Tailor the tour to your preferences by selecting either a sunlit or moonlit experience and controlling the ride's speed.

While you cruise along, you'll enjoy the sights and sounds of procedurally generated, artificially intelligent wildlife. Attract and feed the virtual fish as you navigate the waterways.

The ride is on rails, so you can't steer the kayak. However, you can stop at various points and enjoy the scenery by using the throttle speed controls of your motorized kayak or by exiting at scenic rest stops.

The tour is short, and there's no historical background information for history buffs. Still, it is a fun ride perfect for someone new to VR.

This tour requires one of the following virtual reality headsets: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift , or Valve Index .

Explore amazing places.

Impressively detailed.

More locations are added to the library regularly.

Not updated recently.

Realities (free from ) is a VR travel app that allows you to explore scanned and modeled real-world environments. The environments aren't just 360-degree photos; these locations were captured with specialized scanning equipment, allowing for immersive rendering in virtual reality.

The user interface is a giant globe you rotate with your VR controllers. Once you decide on the place you want to visit, tap the area on the virtual globe, and you are instantly whisked away to the exotic locale.

One interesting destination is a cell in the infamous Alcatraz prison. When you arrive, you're greeted by an unseen narrator, presumably a former prisoner in the cell next to you, who recalls their experiences. It's museum-like and an educational adventure worth having.

There are other destinations of varying size and complexity, and the experience is updated with new realities regularly.

This experience is compatible with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality .

Titans of Space PLUS

Great soundtrack.

Detailed 3D visuals.

Impressive sense of scale.

Flying through space makes some users feel nauseated.

No improvements since late 2019.

Do you like planetariums? Have you always wished they were more realistic? If you've ever dreamed of riding in a spaceship and exploring the solar system and beyond, Titans of Space PLUS ($9.99 by DrashVR LLC) helps make this a reality—at least a virtual one).

The original Titans of Space was one of the first polished virtual reality experiences available; it created a lot of buzz about all the potential VR had to offer.

This app provides a theme park-style ride through the solar system and beyond, allowing you to control the pace of the experience. Factoids about the planets and moons are provided throughout your journey, as are distances and other measurements of interest.

The sense of scale of the planets and moons is truly awe-inspiring and gives a unique perspective only astronauts usually get to have.

This title runs in both standard and VR modes. It does not require a VR headset. It is compatible with HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality.

Impressive rendering technology.

Auto-tunes for your GPU.

Stunning visuals.

Can feel slow.

Mostly narration with little hands-on time.

Everest VR ($9.99 from Sólfar Studios ) is an interactive Mount Everest VR tourism experience.

You'll experience Mount Everest in five iconic scenes. Prepare for your expedition at Basecamp, traverse the terrifying Khumbu Icefalls, spend the night at Camp 4, ascend the perilous Hillary Step, and finally conquer the summit of Everest.

After completing your first summit attempt, unlock God Mode to reach a unique vantage point of the Himalayas that's only possible in VR. Towering over the mountain range, this is a stunning VR diorama.

EVEREST VR is a must if you're into mountain climbing but don't like its possible death and frostbite aspects.

Requires one of the following virtual reality headsets: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Valve Index.

The VR Museum of Fine Art

Lots of content.

Educational experience.

Hasn't been updated since its initial release.

No voice narration.

Only takes about 20 minutes to experience.

If you've ever wanted to peruse a museum at your own pace with no limits on how close you can get to the artwork, then The VR Museum of Fine Art (free from Finn Sinclair) is for you.

This free app holds amazing educational value with incredibly detailed scans of some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. Look at the brushstrokes of Monet's Water Lilies or take a 360-degree tour of Michelangelo's David. This is an art lover's delight.  

The experience makes you feel as if you're visiting a museum, complete with a pamphlet map to help you navigate your way around the exhibits.

Great VR experience.

Incredibly realistic.

Contains three episodes.

theBlu ($9.99 from Wevr INC .) is a collection of virtual reality-based underwater experiences that make you feel as if you're literally in the tank of a huge aquarium exhibit.

Stand on the deck of a sunken ship while a gargantuan whale swims by and looks you straight in the eye or swim in a sea of bioluminescent jellyfish. There's no need for expensive scuba equipment or diving classes, or even to leave your living room, for that matter.

The level of detail in this app is amazing, and the sense of scale (especially during the whale encounter in the first episode) is jaw-dropping.

Compatible with HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality.

Google Earth VR

Amazing street view VR.

Travel the world virtually.

Impressive, vast experience.

Can be slow to load.

Lacks a search feature.

May cause motion sickness.

When Google Earth was released many years ago, everyone marveled at the novelty of finding and viewing their house from satellite imagery. Now, Google Earth VR (free from Google) lets you see your house from space and virtually fly to it and stand in your front yard or on your rooftop.

Change the sun's position, scale objects to any size you like, and fly around the world. The detail levels depend on what you're trying to view. For example, tourist destinations are likely to have more detailed geospatial imagery than rural areas. There is so much to see, and Google offers virtual tours to help you get started.

Google has even added several comfort features to prevent virtual travel sickness in this must-see virtual reality app.

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Travel the world from your living room.

The world is filled with amazing places to see and experience, but travel is becoming increasingly expensive, difficult, and inaccessible. But what if you could bring the experience of traveling the world into your home today?

BRINK Traveler is a virtual travel experience that takes you to amazing locations in full 3D to feel like you're really there. Step into a postcard and visit some of the most breathtaking places on Earth today!

The Wave

Arizona, United States

Mount Whitney

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California, United States

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend

Lone Pine Peak

Lone Pine Peak


South Korea

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Utah, United States

Cirque de Gavarnie

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White Pocket

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Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock

Death Valley

Death Valley

Crystal Crag

Crystal Crag

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon

Háifoss, Iceland

Mobius Arch

Navagio Beach

Navagio Beach

Zakythos, Greece

Aoraki / Mount Cook

Aoraki / Mount Cook

New Zealand



Pena Ezkaurre

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Mount Sunday

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Virtual Travel Experiences

A new way to see the world.

We capture amazing places in volumetric 3D to create incredible immersive experiences that bring you as close as you can get to really being there.

BRINK Traveler for AR turns your phone or tablet into a window to the world, walk around and explore a location as if you were there in person!

BRINK Traveler for VR is the closest thing you'll have to a teleport button anytime soon. Put on a headset and feel like you’re really there!

BRINK Traveler for Phones & Tablets (AR)

Brink traveler for virtual reality (vr).

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Volumetric capture of real locations all the way to the horizon. Move through a place as you would in person.

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BRINK Traveler gives you a feeling of presence, scale, and immersion not possible from any other medium.

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Shared experiences with friends and family to travel together from anywhere in the world.

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More than just seeing! Each location offers a unique experience to interact with a living environment.

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Our experiences work on all phones, tablets, and VR headsets, from the comfort of your own home.

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We capture the most incredible locations of the world. Places that inspire and stir emotions!

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Making the world more accessible.

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Our Mission

BRINK XR is dedicated to making the wonders of the world personally accessible to all through Virtual Travel Experiences. We aim to give people who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to visit the amazing places of the world a chance to feel like they’ve experienced it in person.

We see virtual travel as a tool to help lower the barrier of entry for those who don’t have the time, money, or health to travel freely. We believe virtual travel experiences can be a tool to build connection and empathy for these amazing places - to protect and ensure them for future generations. Beyond entertainment, we see profound uses for virtual travel - including education, healthcare, and historic documentation.

Our world is filled with amazing places to see and explore. Our passion for travel and the great outdoors is the guiding light of our work on BRINK Traveler . We strive to recreate the connection we have to the incredible natural places we love being in, and enable anyone to have their own connection to these wonderful locations.

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We're an award winning team of VFX artists, VR creators, mountain climbers, and world travelers.

BRINK XR was formed because we recognized an opportunity to use our skills in a new and exciting way to create meaningful content that provides entertainment, education, awareness, and scientific / historic relevance to the world.

We've always been trying to capture and present the world as we experience it with 360 photos, timelapses, photography - but with BRINK Traveler , it finally feels like we've found something that does justice to the scale and feeling of being in these amazing places—something no other medium has been able to really capture before now.

Interested in joining our team? Get in touch with us

You don’t have to pack a bag or bring a passport to be instantly transported around the planet. BRINK Traveler gives you your own personal guide to each meticulously captured location.

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BRINK Traveler is a stunning app to have loaded onto your Quest. It falls into the category of essential apps to keep installed for when you’re introducing someone to VR.

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Travel to some of the world’s most amazing natural wonders in fully immersive 3D and feel like you’re really there in this awe-inspiring experience.

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This VR Travel App makes me long for the real thing. Brink Traveler might be a suitable replacement and a lot cheaper than a plane ticket.

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Latest Press and Updates

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BRINK Traveler's fall update now out on Meta Quest! (and coming soon to PCVR)

October 26 2023 BRINK XR

We're back with another great big content update - this time we've added twelve new spots to visit across eight spectacular locations. We're also releasing the beta of our brand new AI Travel Assistant, along with many other great improvements and fixes!

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BRINK Traveler & Puzzling Places present "The Wave" as an immersive puzzle!

August 18 2023 BRINK XR

Puzzling Places is thrilled to announce its latest premium puzzle, "The Wave," in partnership BRINK Traveler. The collaboration is an exciting adventure in itself, bringing together two innovative worlds to create a meditative experience for users...

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BRINK XR for the Environment & Earth Day 2023 fundraiser!

April 20 2023 BRINK XR

Our passion for the amazing natural places of Earth is the guiding light behind our work on BRINK Traveler. We believe that everyone should be able to experience the great outdoors — both in our apps and in the real world. Our mission relies on ensuring these wonderful places...

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BRINK Traveler's winter locations update now out on Quest, Rift, and SteamVR!

December 24 2022 BRINK XR

Happy Holidays and New Year from BRINK XR - our gift to you is our latest Winter Update for BRINK Traveler! This update focused on bringing in eight new highly diverse and international locations into the experience - places like Norway, South Korea, New Zealand, France...

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BRINK Traveler's summer multiplayer update now out on Meta Quest!

August 01 2022 BRINK XR

Summer is finally here and we’re excited to announce the Summer Multiplayer Update for BRINK Traveler! This update focused on the much-requested Social Multiplayer experience so you can travel with friends, family, and other explorers from across the world...

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BRINK for the Environment and joining 1% for the Planet

April 20 2022 BRINK XR

BRINK Traveler's winter update now available on Oculus & Steam!

February 01 2022 | BRINK XR

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Today we're excited to release our Winter Update as a FREE UPDATE for all existing users. Our main focus for this update is to begin growing the experience with more spots to visit, adding language localization, allowing for greater settings customization based on user feedback, and readying the framework for more updates we have planned in 2022.

Here's a quick rundown of all the new things in the BRINK Traveler Winter Update (v1.1.0)...

BRINK Traveler named one of Oculus' Best Exploration Apps of 2021

December 14 2021 | Oculus

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It's been an exciting launch for us, and we're very proud to announce BRINK Traveler has been selected as one of Oculus' best apps of 2021 in the Exploration category!

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support, positive ratings, and touching emails we've received. We're looking forward to the coming year as we release seasonal updates to the app - including many more amazing places to visit and features like multiplayer and guided experiences.

BRINK Traveler Offers Some Of VR’s Best Travel Content Yet...

September 12 2021 | Upload VR

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BRINK Traveler is available now for Oculus Quest and PC VR, allowing you to travel to a selection of stunning locations that are displayed in full volumetric 3D by way of photogrammetry-based capture technology.

The app was announced a few weeks ago and launched more recently for Oculus Quest and PC VR via the Oculus Store and Steam. After jumping into the app on Quest and trying out a few of the locations yesterday, it’s clear that Brink is one of the best travel apps available on the Quest...

See the world From the Comfort of Home with BRINK Traveler on Oculus Quest

September 09 2021 | Oculus Blog

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Teleport yourself across the planet with BRINK Traveler from Brink XR, a first-of-its-kind virtual travel experience app that lets you explore breathtaking real-world locations in fully volumetric 3D environments created from meticulously scanned photogrammetry and LiDAR.

Visit over a dozen gorgeous locations around the world with BRINK Traveler, out now on the Oculus Quest and Rift Platforms, as well as Steam for $9.99 USD...

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Virtual Walking Tour

Select a city to walk in:.

Don't want to walk? Click here to drive, fly or view live cams!

Berlin, Germany is the central technolgical, cultural and tourist center within the nation of Germany.

Milan resides in the Lombardy region of Italy. Enjoy it's nature, fashion, views, parks and much more.

San Francisco is the tech hub of California and currently has amassed a population of 800,000 people.

Moscow is the capital of Russia, as well as the most densely populated region within Russia's border.

Barcelona is one of the most densely populated regions within Spain, it sits just behind Madrid.

Beijing is the most populated region within China. In 1949, the name was reverted to "Peking".

Damscus, Syria has a population of 1.7M+ and is the most dense location within Syria.

New York is the most populous city within the United States, with a 8.3M population.

Filled with interesting monuments, Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia region.

As the most populated in Illinois, it is situated by Lake Michigan, one of the great lakes.

Seoul is the capital of South Korea and is the most populous, ahead of Busan. Busan tour coming soon.

Helsinki is the capital of Finland. It sits on a penninsula and is the most populous and dense city within Finland.

As the State Capital of Hawaii, it is situated on one of the five islands. The island it is on is named Oahu. (2nd Largest)

Paris is the most populated city in France, and is famed for its Seinne River, coffeeshops, and architecture.

The Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco County and Marin County. It was completed on April 19th, 1937.

Venice is famed for it's canals and powerful Italian Culture & Cuisine. Is Rome or Venice better?

Tokyo Japan is famous for it's neon advertisements, capsul hotels, and fast bullet trains. (300MPH+)

Tehran is the capital of Iran. Previously, it was the center of power for the famed Qajar Dynasty.

Right over Tokyo, Osaka is the second most known city. It is also known for it's bright billboards!

Montreal Canada is famed for it's cold weather and green roofs that once previously used to be golden!

Toronto, home of the NBA's Toronto Raptors is one of the largest cities within the nation of Canada!

Reykjavik is famous for it's hard to spell name and cold weather. Did we mention it's Icelands's Capital?

Some say that Naples is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy? Start walking and see if you agree with them!

The Louvre in Paris is basically a glass pyramid. Also, a famous painting is stored within it! Come check it out!

New Delhi is the capital of India. It remains as a center for international trade, commerce, and business in India.

Mumbai is one of the coolest cities in India! It's famed for it's street life, motor bikes and fast moving scooters!

The Republic of Singapore is a city-state located just under Malaysia. It boasts a population of nearly 6 millon.

London is the capital of the United Kindgom! If you every stop by, ask a local for some tea. Hopefully no tax!

The city of angels they call it! Take a walk through and you'll know why they call it the "city of angels!"

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. You'll enjoy viewing some Bangkok Streetlife and Night Life!

Click the button below to head to the homepage. After that, you'll be prompted to view more modes of travelling. We currently support, walking, driving, flying and live video. Choose wisely! The choice is yours!

Take a Sunday Drive in the city of your choice! As you take in the scenery, try to think admire the cultures of each location. See how the leadership and culture directly corelate into the prosperity of their people and lands.

Monument Explorer lets you experience the wonders of monuments around the world. For example, take a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Or even experience a 1,070 foot skyscraper building!

View the city of your choice from above and enjoy a magnificent sightseeing adventure. As you watch, think of the differences in culture, wealth, and prosperity in each country you view from above. Each skyline tells it's own story.

Click the box to view live footage from around the world. While viewing, you'll be able to see the true face and culture of people around the world. Have fun and admire the scenery!

Google will now let you use AI to build travel itineraries for your vacations

virtual travel destinations

As we inch toward the summer holidays, Google is announcing a slate of travel updates that place it squarely in the travel planning process and give it a lot more insight into purchasing intent in the travel sector.

First up, Google is rolling out an update to its  Search Generative Experience (SGE) that will allow users to build travel itineraries and trip ideas using AI, the company announced on Wednesday.

The new capability — currently only available in English in the U.S. to users enrolled in Search Labs , its program that lets users experiment with early-stage Google Search experiences and share feedback — draws on ideas from sites across the web, along with reviews, photos and other details that people have submitted to Google for places around the world.

When users ask for something like “plan me a three day trip to Philadelphia that’s all about history,” they will get a sample itinerary that includes attractions and restaurants, as well as an overview of options for flights and hotels, divided up by times of day.

For now, the itineraries are just that: There are no options to buy services or experiences on the spot. When you’re happy with your itinerary, you can export it to Gmail, Docs or Maps.

Google has not commented on when or if it might roll this out more widely. But it points to how the company is experimenting with how and where it can apply its AI engine. A lot of players in the travel industry may be eyeing up the role that generative AI will play in travel services in the coming years — some excitedly, some warily. But even now, startups like Mindtrip and Layla , which provide users with access to AI assistants that are designed to help you plan your trips, are already actively pursuing this.

But with this new update, Google is taking on startups like these while also gathering data about travel purchasing intent (useful for its wider ad business) and learning what kind of appetite its users might have for such services.

Image Credits: Google

Google also announced that it’s making it easier to discover lists of recommendations in Google Maps in select cities in the U.S. and Canada. If you search for a city in Maps, you will now see lists of recommendations for places to go from publishers like The Infatuation, as well as from other users. You will also see curated lists of top, trending, and hidden gem restaurants in 40+ U.S. cities.

Finally, the company is adding new tools to help you customize lists you create, so you can better organize your travel plans or share your favorite spots with your friends and family. You can choose the order the places appear in a list so you can organize them by top favorites or chronologically like an itinerary. Plus, you can link to content from your social channels.

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  • >", "name": "top-nav-learn", "type": "link"}}' href="">Learn
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Don’t miss Thundercat, Fleet Foxes, and more at the Outside Festival.



Don't miss Thundercat + Fleet Foxes, adventure films, experiences, and more!

A glowing canvas glamping tent set amid a southwestern landscape near Kanab, Utah.

5 Fun, Affordable Alternatives to Pricey Bucket-List Destinations

These Alpine, Caribbean, and glamping getaways have all the amazing scenery and none of the over-the-top prices

A glowing tent with two camp chairs out front sets a cozy scene amid southwestern Utah's desert.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! >","name":"in-content-cta","type":"link"}}'>Download the app .

We all dream of visiting the world’s best places. But in what’s shaping up to be the most expensive year to travel since before the pandemic, it’s also good to branch out. One of the biggest travel trends of 2024 is destination “dupes”—affordable alternatives that are just as dreamy and beautiful as the most popular places but aren’t as expensive or crowded.

Europe in particular is filled with historical, lively cities that can serve as stand-ins to their well-known counterparts. For example, if you long to visit Amsterdam for its river scene and cafés, you might try Rotterdam, just 50 miles to the southwest. If you like Munich for its beer culture and jaw-dropping Baroque buildings, check out the German cities of Nuremberg or Stuttgart. If you’re drawn to Vienna for its music and art scene, try Graz, in Austria’s eastern Alps. In the U.S., music lovers might check out Memphis, Tennessee, rather than Nashville.

Which destinations will offer the most bang for your buck this year? I looked at some popular bucket-list trips and have come up with alternative destinations and itineraries that will be just as much fun and cost you less.

Summer Hiking in Europe

Dreaming of: The Italian Dolomites Try This Affordable Alternative:  The Slovenian Alps

A view of Slovenia’s Bled Island and the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary

The limestone peaks of the Slovenian Alps are similar to those found in northern Italy. Slovenia is half the size of Switzerland (and half the cost), and it’s incredibly easy to get around its hills, thanks to more than 6,200 marked trails. Members of Slovenia’s Alpine Association help manage a network of nearly 180 mountain huts , such as Triglav Lodge at Kredarica, located near the nation’s highest peak, 9,400-foot Triglav.

This country also has some of the nicest glamping accommodations I’ve ever seen. Garden Village Bled, a short walk from Lake Bled, feels straight out of a Grimm’s fairy tale, with riverfront tents starting at $120 and family-friendly treehouses starting at $260. And with nearly 60 Michelin-starred restaurants in the immediate surrounds, you can have insanely good food for a serious bargain. The nine-course tasting menu at Hisa Linhart, for example, costs $140.

Adventure Intel: The 167-mile Juliana Trail made its debut four years ago and wends through both quaint towns and Triglav National Park. One Outside writer spent nearly three weeks trekking it and enjoying the sites and local hospitality. If cycling is your thing, now’s the time to get wheeling on the Trans Dinarica Route through the Balkans; the northern terminus is Slovenia’s Soca Valley. We mention details and outfitters on the entire 1,250 miles in this year’s travel awards .

Glamping in the Southwest

Dreaming of: Camp Sakira, Utah Try This Affordable Alternative:  BaseCamp 37, Utah

A BaseCamp 37 glamping tent with two chairs and a grill fire out front sets a cozy scene amid the southwestern desert landscape near Kanab, Utah.

Five nights in one of the five nice safari tents at BaseCamp 37 , a remote glampground 15 minutes from Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument will cost you about $1,000. That’s dramatically less than one night at Camp Sakira, where tents start at $7,547 per night for double occupancy (and includes amenities like airport transfers, all meals, and adventures like a full-day national-park tour). You won’t have a private plunge pool, but BaseCamp 37 does have a mini pool where you can cool off, plus Wi-Fi, grills, and two indoor kitchens. Another economical option is Zion Wildflower Resort , located 15 minutes from the south entrance of Zion National Park. It has a pool and a hot tub and hosts live music and movie nights. Its covered wagons (with A/C) and canvas tents start at around $200.

Adventure Intel:  Our Ultimate Guide to Zion National Park will set you up with must-have intel on everything from iconic spots like the Narrows and Subway to slickrock side options that leave the crowds behind. And if you haven’t yet read about the Aquarius Trail , it’s time you did. This nearby bike-packing hut system is open from early July to late September and is just the place to take your hardtail for the adventure of its life.

A Family Road Trip

Dreaming of: The California Coast Try This Affordable Alternative:  British Columbia’s Vancouver Island

A woman walks up a set of wooden stairs while gazing up at the surrounding rainforest near Ucluelet, British Columbia.

Given the strength of the dollar, a road trip along the western coast of Vancouver Island provides more bang for your buck, and with its old-growth forests and wild beaches, it rivals the Cali coast in terms of scenic beauty. I suggest the two-hour drive from Victoria to Port Renfrew, stopping en route to explore the hiking trails and beaches of Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and camping at China Beach ($20 per group). Wild Renfrew lodging is conveniently positioned between two coastal trailheads: the challenging West Coast Trail and the more mellow Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, and its cozy wharfside cabins feature kitchenettes and start at $190. Continue another 210 miles north to the surf town of Tofino, and consider tacking on a stay in the neighboring town of Ucluelet, at the Nami Project , a collection of oceanfront, self-catering suites and cabins right next to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Rates start at $343.

Adventure Intel: Those old-growth trees have their own support system—activists blocking clearcutting and provoking 2021’s War in the Woods —the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history. Our reporter embedded with them to get some perspective on that island movement. And if your B.C. vacation takes you into the interior, we’ve got nine choice suggestions on how to maximize your options. Bear-watching is one of them. Try not to think about the mountain biker in coastal B.C. who survived an attack by a grizzly by using his pocketknife. (That tale’s a good one for the campfire.)

A Caribbean Beach Getaway

Dreaming of: The Bahamas Try This Affordable Alternative: Colombia

A boat waving the Colombian flag prepares to pull up to the sandy shore of the Rosario Islands.

This South American nation may not be the first place that comes to mind when you hear the words “Caribbean vacation.” But the country’s turquoise waters and white-sand beaches could easily be mistaken for any stretch of gorgeous shoreline in the Bahamas. Deborah Gellis, a travel agent with Embark Beyond, says that its activities, dining, and hotels offer prices unseen in Mexico and the Caribbean in more than ten years. Many people day-trip to the Rosario Islands from Cartagena via a 45-minute boat ride. This archipelago of 27 powdery-sand islands is surrounded by incredibly clear waters and boasts pristine coral reefs. Stay at Fragata Island House , where a sea-view room will cost less than $200. You can walk out the hotel door and be  snorkeling and paddleboarding in minutes. Or stay closer to Cartagena on Tierra Bomba, reached via a 25-minute boat shuttle from the city’s port; on the island’s western shore lies Blue Apple Beach House , where a beach-club day pass costs $25 (and includes transfers) and rooms start at $159. A residency program allows musicians and artists to share their talents in exchange for free stays.

Adventure Intel: A few Caribbean destinations have been grappling with crime in recent years, including the Bahamas. This spring we reported on its level 2 advisory (reconsider travel)  and exactly where the trouble there has been occurring. If you’re still set on a dream trip there, read this first . We also like Todos Santos, Mexico, for affordable beach getaways. Check out our guide to a good time there from a writer who chose to work remotely from the Baja town for a few months. It’s true, that water isn’t Caribbean blue. So maybe you head to Puerto Rico , where the water hue is one you dream of, you don’t need a passport, and lodging and food won’t set you back an arm and a leg. We like that idea, too—Puerto Rico is another one of our choices for travel in 2024 .

A Ski Weekend

Dreaming of: Big Sky, Montana Try This Affordable Alternative:  Morzine, France

A couple in ski wear pause on snowy slopes overlooking the resort village of Morzine, France.

Lift ticket prices at almost any European ski resort are cheaper than in the U.S., especially if you skip big-name spots like Chamonix, France, for lesser known destinations like Morzine , just an hour north. Part of the huge Portes du Soleil ski area that straddles the Swiss border, Morzine offers everything from gentle groomers to serious off-piste action. Compared to a three-day lift ticket at Big Sky ($644 in March, not including an extra ticket to access terrain off the tram), which has 5,800 skiable acres, a three-day pass at Morzine costs less than $200 and includes access to all 12 resorts that comprise Portes du Soleil—in total, nearly 100,000 skiable acres. Because this is France, meals are a highlight, but instead of paying $20 for mediocre food-hall tacos, you might opt to spend $35 on wood-fired beef rib for two at the cozy mountain hut Chez Nannon.

Adventure Intel: You’re not far from Switzerland in Morzine, and we wouldn’t blame you for crossing the border just to eat  älplermagronen, or herdsman macaroni. You can read about that gooey goodness here . Want to look like a local while you’re swooshing the slopes? The key piece of gear might be these glacier glasses from Julbo; the Chamonix company invented that particular kind of eyewear protection. Warning: unlike the places we’re pitching in this article, they’re not cheap. But they are cool.

The author poses at a sign that says "Grand Tour of Switzerland," with a view of the Matterhorn behind her.

Jen Murphy is Outside’ s travel-advice columnist. She’s explored the famous mountains of France, Switzerland, and Italy, but believes the lesser known Julian Alps in Slovenia are equally awesome and the country’s food and wine just as delicious.

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