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Walk the grand halls examining ancient artefacts, elevate your spirit and enliven your senses, or just gawk at priceless paintings in some of the world’s most famous museums—all without leaving the house. The only thing you need is a cup of tea, a sense of curiosity and an internet connection.

Walk the grand halls examining ancient artefacts, elevate your spirit and enliven your senses, or just gawk at priceless paintings in some of the world’s most famous museums—all without leaving the house. The only thing you need is a cup of tea, a sense of curiosity and an internet connection.

1. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Musée d’Orsay is the first and last word in sophistication. From the striking colours of Van Gogh, to the haunted brilliance of Gustave Courbet, to the vivid pensiveness of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and the calming impressionism of Monet, almost everything on display here will take your breath away. You’ll see worldfamous works of art on guided video tours and be entranced by live concerts and shows performed in the auditorium. There are countless resources online for anyone wishing to enrich their knowledge of modern art. musee-orsay.fr

2. Smithsonian National History Museum, Washington D.C.

A magnet for the curious soul, the Smithsonian offers a fully self-guided tour of the National History Museum in Washington D.C. Experience the museum as if you were standing in its halls yourself, trying to decide what you want to do first: stare up into the eyes of a giant whale or behold in awe the towering fossil skeletons of ancient dinosaurs? Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, it really feels as if you are travelling back into deep geological time. naturalhistory.si.edu

3. Vatican Museums, Rome

Unlock long-held secrets and view long-cherished treasures in the online exhibits hosted by Vatican Museums. On this 360-degree tour of the Raphael Rooms and, of course, the Sistine Chapel, you’ll find yourself walking under Michelangelo’s masterpiece and gazing up at the infamous Creation of Adam. For our money, it beats Netflix any day of the week! m.museivaticani.va

4. British Museum, London

It’s easy to get lost in the British Museum’s vast exhibits, together housing history that stretches back two million years. Their online catalogue allows you to search over four million objects. You can also drop into some of their galleries, like the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery, and take a virtual walking tour. The Museum hosts several podcasts and a thriving YouTube channel. Whether your passion lies with history or art, there is a diverse range of topics to keep your mind active and inspired. britishmuseum.withgoogle.com

5. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Take a virtual trip to Amsterdam and delve into the troves of Dutch history. The Rijksmuseum has a range of online access modes available—from ‘Masterpieces Up Close’, which offers a virtual walking tour of some of the most prized art pieces in the world, including Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, to a collection of ‘Curators from Home’ videos, in which curators share stories about their favourite works of art. They also have an app for your smartphone that grants you access to multimedia tours and talks. rijksmuseum.nl/en

6. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Not only does the Guggenheim house some of the most stunning collections of art on Earth, it is itself an architectural masterpiece. Enjoy a full audio tour detailing architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s extravagant design. You can also virtually walk through all the exhibits in the museum on a full interactive tour, viewing artworks up close through online viewing galleries. The museum even offers art classes—all ages welcome—and interactive videos for kids that will keep the whole family busy! guggenheim.org


Words by Michaela Hook

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