- London is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
- While physically travelling to London isn’t currently possible, people can still visit virtually.
- So tour the Tower of London, livestream an opera, and forget about the fact that you didn’t even leave your home.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Over 30 million people visit the foggy city of London every year, according to London’s Tourism Industry. Tourists travel thousands of miles to discover royalty and visit places like Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. They come to walk across the glass bottom floor of Tower Bridge. And travellers buy tickets months in advance to watch world-famous ballets at the Royal Opera House.
London attracts travellers interested in everything from history to art to culture and food.
While physically travelling to London is out of the question, given the current state, that doesn’t mean travellers can’t visit virtually. Across the city, tour guides, museum boards, art institutes, and other resources have created virtual guides so you can explore all the city has to offer.
Start off with a walking tour to get the lay of the land.
Visit London offers a virtual map of the entire city. The tour starts at the top of the London Eye. From there, you can drop down into selected landmarks, like Big Ben or Westminster Abbey, and explore the locations from a street view.
Once you’re familiar with London’s cityscape, head to the British Museum.
The museum, which is known for having the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies, is dedicated to human history. In the virtual tour, users will travel through 2 million years and explore how human history and culture developed.
Take a virtual boat ride underneath Tower Bridge.
The bridge, which was originally built to ease road traffic, quickly turned into one of London’s top attractions. The bridge is now equipped with a glass floor, so visitors can look directly down on the pedestrians, red buses, and boats passing by. Through Google Arts and Culture, you’ll have the boat’s perspective as you ride underneath the iconic bridge.
Virtually say hello to animals at the London Zoo.
The Zoological Society of London has a YouTube channel full of videos of animals. Meet Ijuma the giraffe, or watch a baby rhino play with a ball.
Join 82,000 rugby fans for a game.
These 360-degree views of the Twickenham rugby stadium will make you feel like you’re at a game. The stadium, which sits 30 minutes outside of the city, might be hard to fit in a vacation, but it’s easy to visit virtually.
Rugby, which is one of England’s more popular sports, even has its own podcast.
Don’t forget to virtually visit Courtauld Gallery if you’re an art lover.
The institute, which closed for renovations in 2018, is home to some of the world’s most famous paintings, like Vincent van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear” and “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère” by Édouard Manet.
Luckily, you can still learn and explore the 530 paintings through the gallery’s online tour.
A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a tour of Buckingham Palace.
Virtually ride the London Eye without spending a pound.
While some may argue that the London Eye is overrated, you don’t have to worry about spending money on it with this video. There are dedicated YouTube accounts that explore London and other cities’ most famous attractions.
Livestream a ballet or opera from London’s Royal Opera House.
The Royal Opera House is streaming shows through its Facebook and YouTube pages. Ballet performances like “The Metamorphosis” and opera shows like “Acis and Galatea” can be watched live through April.
Discover the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.
Located at the north bank of the River Thames, the Tower of London is known for housing both the Crown Jewels and numerous notorious criminals. You can now visit the tower virtually, where a tour guide will walk you through the site’s history.
Our next stop is a tour of 10 Downing Street.
According to the UK Government, 10 Downing Street has been the home for British prime ministers since 1735. The location serves a similar function as the White House in the US.
Google Arts and Culture has a virtual tour of selected rooms. Throughout the tour, viewers will explore places like the Cabinet Room, where the prime minister holds weekly meetings; the Thatcher Room, which was used as Margaret Thatcher’s main office; and the Grand Staircase, which houses portraits of every prime minister.
Explore the 80 million specimens at the Natural History Museum.
It’s easy to get lost for hours on the museum’s online tour. There, you’ll explore everything from dinosaur fossils to butterflies to remains from ancient Britain.
Finish the trip with a matinee at the Globe Theatre.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre has released its recorded performances for worldwide viewers to watch for free. The service, which usually costs £5.99 ($US6.91) per rental, is now free from April 6 through June.
- Read more:
- 21 castles and royal residences you can explore from your couch, from the Palace of Versailles to Windsor Castle
- 24 ways to see the world without leaving the couch
- The Abbey Road crossing has been repainted now that crowds of people aren’t lining up to re-create the Beatles’ iconic album cover
- I had afternoon tea at London’s iconic Claridge’s, and it was worth every bit of the $US120 I spent
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