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7 Epic Virtual Travel Experiences You Can Have in Your Living Room

Costanza Pasqua, Staff Writer

World travel as we know it might be on standby, but nothing stops you from hiking Mount Everest, exploring the sand dunes of the Namib Desert or spending a night at the Royal Opera House in London from your very own home. 

From the halls of the Louvre to the kitchen bench of Modena-based, Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura — we’ve put together seven unmissable virtual travel experiences you can embrace right now. From your couch, of course.

1. Discover some of the world’s best museums – sans the crowds

Louvre Museum

Museums and galleries around the world might have temporarily closed their doors, but a growing number of top-tier institutions have helped art continue to blossom, opening their virtual doors to the public. You now have exclusive access to the halls of some of the world’s most celebrated museums, so prepare a glass of vino and get exploring 

The British Museum in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the iconic LouvreMelbourne’s National Gallery of Victoriathe Picasso Museum in Barcelona and the incredible Uffizi Gallery in Florence are all yours to discoverEven the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb has opened its doors to the romanticout there.

2. Master Italian fare with chef Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura

Image Courtesy of K!tchn Magazine by Grundig

One of the best ways to discover local cuisine is to get your hands dirty during a cooking class. With travel off the table right now, let the world’s flavours come to your kitchen – or at least learn how to make the perfect tiramisu. Celebrated Italian chef Massimo Bottura, owner and founder of triple Michelin-starred restaurant Osteria Francescana, has started a new Instagram series called Kitchen Quarantine, where he shares tips and popular Italian recipes with his followers.  

Streamed live from his family’s home kitchen in Modena, in the heart of Emilia Romagna, Chef Bottura’s fun-filled videos will help you prepare the perfect Béchamel sauce, a rich Bolognese made with whatever is left in the fridge, delicious hummushomemade gelato, and master the art of one of Italy’s most loved desserts – tiramisu.

3. Hike to the summit of Mount Everest

Mount Everest

Imagine climbing Mount Everest, without feeling the cold – or the fatigue. With Sólfar Studios Everest VR for PlayStation you can now go on the world’s most incredible hike without having to do any arduous training beforehand. 

Using over 300,000 highresolution images, an advanced game engine and digital cartography to recreate Mount Everest, Sólfar Studios has made it possible to virtually make your way from base camp to the Khumbu Icefall, through Lhotse Face and Hillary Step, and reach the top of the world from the comfort of your living room. If you don’t have a PlayStation, Google has you covered with a 360-degree tour of the South Base Camp in Nepal. 

4. Fly over the Namib Desert, discover Petra and ski in Sochi

Petra

Normally, planning a trip involves selecting one or two destinations – but with Airpano, you can discover the whole world in one day. This incredible website allows you to take virtual tours of most places on Earth. You might want to start by taking a 360-degree tour of the Ancient City of Petra in Jordan, followed by a breathtaking journey over the dunes of the Namib Desert. In the afternoon you could fly over Tokyo as the sun sets on the city’s skyline, then feel the adrenaline as you ski down the Rosa Khutor’s southern slope in Sochi, Russia.  

Want to dive with turtles and stingrays in Cuba? What about seeing the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China? Consider it done. 

5. Watch world-class opera and ballet from the comfort of your bed

Royal Opera House

Performing arts companies, music institutions and venues around the world had to press pause on their seasons and events this year. The close of theatres and studios has seen dancers taking daily classes from their living rooms, and opera singers and musicians performing from their balconies for their lucky neighboursThe silver lining? The release of free digital seasons and curated online content from some of the world’s best ballet companies and theatres, to be enjoyed from the comfort of your home – black tie optional, pyjamas definitely permitted. 

Watch cinema-quality, full-length performances of The Australian Ballet filmed under the spire of the iconic Melbourne Arts Centre or at the Sydney Opera House. Go behind the scenes of London’s incredible Royal Opera House and take the best seat in the houseYou can also donate to the artists to show support and keep the companies alive. 

6. Visit Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

If you are a lover of all things Royal Family, you might recognise Windsor Castle as the background to Harry and Meghan’s dreamy wedding. You can now live your royal dream and tour the opulent rooms and chambers of the castle, admire its chandeliers, gilded ceilings and rich tapestries without having to leave your postcode. 

7. Discover the world’s best national parks

Bryce Canyon

Ready to climb into a fjord in Alaska and hike a volcano in Hawaii in one day? The immersive Hidden Worlds of the National Parks by Google Arts & Culture allows you to take an unforgettable journey through some of the USA’s most incredible national parks. Pop your headphones on, enter fullscreen mode and follow expert rangers on epic adventures from Utah’s Bryce Canyon to the Fjords of Alaska, all the way to Hawaii’s volcanoes and beyond.

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