Central Park: the lungs of New York City. TNS
With COVID-19 raging on, regular travel plans have been shelved for the foreseeable future.
However, you can now feast your eyes with visual treats and escape the boredom of spending time indoors with virtual travel.
An internet connection is all you need for this virtual escapism, which is open to everyone.
Some of the world’s leading galleries, museums and landscapes are all just a few clicks away.
Here is a round-up of the best VR travel experiences to keep you from losing your wits during the self-isolation.
Le Musee du Louvre, Paris
The Louvre, the world’s largest art and antiques museum, was forced to close its doors as Paris went into lockdown.
While you can no longer waltz into its famous glass exterior, you can learn something of the phenomenal collection via a number of virtual tours, charting everything from Egyptian antiquities to the Galerie d’Apollon.
Icehotel, Swedish Lapland
Aurora photography company Lights over Lapland has created experiences for those suffering wanderlust to virtually travel to the Icehotel in Swedish Lapland.
The 360-degree videos allow viewers to visit the local Arctic wilderness, meet local huskies and reindeer, go dogsledding and reindeer sledding and even join a Northern Lights hunt.
Stuffed with masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age, the Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions. It's closed until June 1, but has just launched a new interactive experience, Rijksmuseum From Home, that allows you to virtually visit the home of Rembrandt’s The Nightwatch and Vermeer’s The Milkmaid.
In a collaboration with Google, there's also the chance to explore 11 “exhibits,” where you’re able to interact with various works from the museum, read about their history and see close-ups of the pieces.
Guggenheim, New York
New York City’s iconic gallery has a Google Street View tour where you can “amble” along its winding corridor and view works up close, such as Catherine Opie’s daring Self Portrait/Pervert triptych; Ivan Navarro’s installation Homeless Lamp, the Juice Sucker; and Ovitz’s Library by Jonas Wood.
On top of that, you can also simply gaze upon the building’s remarkable architecture.
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Fancy watching the sun set over these picturesque peaks? You can take a virtual tour of the famous Irish geological landmark, which captures 360-degree views and even has virtual reality headset capability for a fully immersive experience.
Central Park, New York
NYC’s green centrepiece is available to tour online.
Not only does it show you the sites, it also comes with a guide who talks you through significant events in Central Park’s history as you “travel” from the West 72nd entrance.
Ushuaïa Ibiza, an open-air club on the hard-partying Balearic Island, has launched #StayAtHomeSessions — a re-stream of some of 2019’s best DJ sets from Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa Ibiza, to bring the party atmosphere to the homes of ravers around the world.
The first session was launched on March 21, featuring Solardo, Davide Squillace, Camelphat, Nic Fanciulli and Andrea Oliva.
The streaming sessions allow users to invite friends to join them online.
More virtual events are also in the works.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
There are plenty of pictures of the famed canyon online, but get a little deeper with a VR archaeological tour.
This allows armchair travellers to explore and learn more about the history behind the canyon’s formation by clicking on different geological features.
Yosemite National Park, California
Experience this natural wonder in real time by clicking through to its webcams.
The views include Yosemite Falls, the view of the Half Dome from the floor of Yosemite Valley, and vistas from the High Sierra captured at 8,000 feet.
The stunning view from the highest observatory at New York's Empire State Building just got even better.
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Tourists are flocking to a flight of stairs in the Bronx area of New York that Joaquin Phoenix dances down in an iconic but controversial scene from hit movie "Joker."
Nina Gomes is an adorable girl who does a job girls much older than her normally do: clear plastic from the beaches of her country, or else ‘fish and turtles die.’
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Italian fashion boss Brunello Cucinelli has taken a major decision for his employees in such trying times amidst the pandemic.