9 Virtual Reality Tours You'll Love

From ancient Sicilian temples to contemporary street art

With a virtual reality viewer like Google Cardboard, you can use the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS and Android to take a virtual tour of the street art scene in Rome; step inside a creation by famous street artist, Insa; or even travel 2,500 years back in time and look around the ancient Greek temple of Zeus.

Make sure you've downloaded the app to experience these 10 breathtaking virtual reality tours in full. When on a museum or institution's page, scroll down to the 'Virtual Tours' section and click on a tour to launch the Cardboard experience...

1. A 3D Stroll Through the History of the Peacock Room

Take this immersive tour and learn about the dynamic history of the Peacock Room, the renowned decorative interior by American artist James McNeill Whistler. Follow the room’s transatlantic journey from England to America and explore its evolution as it moved from private homes in London and Detroit to its ultimate destination at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art on the National Mall.

Using your Google Cardboard? Then click here, scroll down to 'Virtual Tours' - marked with the Google Cardboard icon - and click to launch the experience.

Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room, James McNeill Whistler (Collection: Freer and Sackler Galleries)

2. A Walking Tour of the Blue House

Take an immersive trip through the Blue House, Hong Kong, and explore this living time capsule showing you the grassroots community of the old city.

Click here and scroll down for the virtual tour.

About the Blue House,  (Collection: St. James' Settlement)

3. Highlights of the Dulwich Picture Gallery

With this tour, experience the highlights of England’s first purpose-built public art gallery in virtual reality, wherever you are!

Street Artists in Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2013, photo by Richard Howard Griffin (Collection: Dulwich Outdoor Gallery)

4. The Story of the Inariyama Sword

The Inariyama Sword (known in Japanese as kinsakumei tekken; roughly, "gold-inscription iron-sword") was excavated from the burial chamber of the Inariyama Kofun, the oldest giant burial mound in the Saitama Kofun Cluster. Discover the story of this Japanese national treasure here and immerse yourself in its fascinating history.

Gold-inlaid Iron Sword (Inariyama Iron Sword), 5th Century (Collection: Museum of the Sakitama Ancient Burial Mounds)

5. The Water Tank Project: A Virtual Walking Tour

Art Above NYC. Water Above All. Explore the streets of New York City on this journey through the Water Tank Project, a street art exhibition that is wrapped around water tanks across the city.

Installation of Gush, 2014 - 2015, Marilyn Minter (Collection: The Water Tank Project)

6. Virtual Tour: Temple of Juno, Temple of Zeus and Early Christian Necropolis

Click here to embark on a magical journey through the ancient temples of Sicily's Valle Dei Templi.

Temple of Juno, 400 BC (Collection: Parco Archeologico e Paesaggistico Valle Dei Templi)

7. A Virtual Tour of Robben Island Prison

Robben Island, South Africa is home to the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years, along with over 3,000 political prisoners during their fight to end Apartheid. Walk in the footsteps of this historic figure with this moving tour.

Aerial view of Robben Island, South Africa (Collection: Robben Island Museum)

8. After Utopia

Go on a search for your utopia through the contemporary Asian art of the Singapore Art Museum.

Click here to scroll down and find the immersive experience.

We Have Crossed the Lake, 2009, Ian Woo (Collection: Singapore Art Museum)

9. The construction of the Statue of Liberty

Liberty Enlightening the World, aka the Statue of Liberty, has been enlightening New York Bay for over a century. From Paris to its home in New York, follow this artistic masterpiece and engineering achievement on its journey across the world.

Mold of the Statue of Liberty's head, 1877 - 1878 (Collection: Musée des arts et métiers)
Words by Léonie Shinn-Morris
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