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Virtual tours of museums: Experience art & architecture from your sofa

A visit to the Louvre in Paris, then to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao before heading to the Tate Modern in London: the digital museums of Google Arts & Culture make it all possible with virtual museum tours. Using the culture platform,

you can find hundreds of online exhibitions on a variety of topics. Explore famous buildings at the click of a mouse and stroll through international cultural sites on virtual tours. All free of charge and no need to travel halfway around the world.

Guggenheim Museum in New York

Since its opening in 1959, the Guggenheim Museum in New York has become a constant for design, architecture and art fans. The striking building designed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright collects contemporary works of different styles and epochs. During a

virtual museum visit, you can explore the spiral staircase and several exhibition areas with the Google Street View function. You can also visit five online exhibitions and appreciate 208 individual exhibits with descriptions and high-resolution photos up close.

virtual museum tours guggenheim New York

Virtual tour of the opera house in Sydney

One of the most famous buildings of the 20th century is immediately recognisable by its silhouette: The Sydney Opera House has dominated the skyline of the Australian port city since 1973 and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. Under its sculptural roof

construction, the monumental building offers space for four theatres and a concert hall as well as a cinema, four restaurants and around 100 other rooms. A mouse click will give you an insight into the development and many facets of this iconic building. Google also dedicates a separate online exhibition to the architect and Pritzker Prize winner Jørn Utzon.

The Opera House in Sydney is recognisable from its silhouette. Source: YouTube / Sydney Opera House Archive

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

In Bilbao, northern Spain, another Guggenheim Museum has been supplementing the network of the Guggenheim Foundation since 1997. The Museum of Modern Art is one of the most famous works by the

architect Frank Gehry and is still considered an icon of deconstructivism. A virtual tour offers the opportunity to look into selected areas of the 19 galleries and to let contemporary art as well as fascinating architecture take effect from inside and outside.

Guggenheim Bilbao virtual museum tours

Tate Modern in London

The Tate Gallery of Modern Art (Tate Modern for short) in London is one of the world's largest and most visited museums for contemporary art. It presents works by the most influential artists of classical modern and contemporary art as well as styles from all eras. The building was

designed by the renowned Swiss architectural duo Herzog & de Meuron. The permanent exhibition with a comprehensive collection of British art is open to the public. The former Turbine Hall, on the other hand, which houses temporary special exhibitions with large individual objects, can only be explored virtually free of charge.

Virtual museum tours Tate Modern Gallery London

Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg

Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have designed another architectural and cultural landmark, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg. Located on the River Elbe, the majestic building offers among other things a space for three concert halls, a hotel and a public plaza

that provides a unique panoramic view of the city. With an online exhibition, you can get insights into the cultural building which was opened in 2017. Through a virtual tour, you can stroll from the foyer via the escalator, “The Tube”, to the heart of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall.

Hamburg's landmark: the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall. Source: YouTube / Elbe Philharmonic Hall Hamburg.

The Louvre and the Glass Pyramid in Paris

The Louvre in Paris is the most visited museum in the world. If you’re not a fan of crowds, the museum’s website offers three virtual tours which provide views of its interior. In addition to its section about Egyptian antiquity with collections from the Pharaonic Era, you can take another tour which shows you the former fortifications of the mediaeval Louvre. On the third tour, you can discover the restored Galerie d’Apollon with its elaborate stucco sculptures and ceiling paintings. Using Google Street

View, you can also see the Louvre from outside and discover the glass pyramid designed by the late architectural star Ieoh Ming Pei.

Whether architecture, history or art: virtual museums and cultural buildings on the net are open day and night. It’s up to you to arrange the cultural programme yourself. No admission, no queues and no leaving the sofa.

The Louvre: The most visited museum in the world Source: YouTube / Around the world

Which digital museums and cultural institutions would you feel like exploring from the comfort of your sofa? Let us know in the comments!

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