Travel used to be an integral part of our lives before the pandemic. However, for the past three to four months, staying at home has become the new norm due to the outbreak. Even now, many are still under shelter-in-place orders. Even if restrictions ease, the question remains as to how many of us will be comfortable stepping out to take our usual summer vacations.
While acknowledging that neither they nor most of their acquaintances possess the ability to be physically present, the author affirms that technology provides an alternative means of gathering for momentous occasions such as birthdays, graduations, and visits. Whether it’s on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, virtual meetings have made it possible to connect with others regardless of distance.
In our modern era, technology has granted us the ability to keep in touch with loved ones from afar and even experience the wonders of the world without leaving our homes. Though it may not match the thrill of gazing from the crown of the Statue of Liberty or ascending the Eiffel Tower via elevator, platforms like Google and YouTube offer a close second to actually being present.
In these unpredictable times, virtual tours offer a chance to explore the world from the comfort of home. Not only do they provide an exciting field trip experience, but they can also serve as an educational tool, introducing children to a variety of topics such as history, culture, science and art.
Explore these world-renowned sights and attractions with your children, all from the comfort of your own home. Here’s a curated list to get you started on your virtual adventure. Have fun exploring!
Embark on a virtual tour with the National Park Service to explore the Statue of Liberty, including a comprehensive view of the island and a glimpse of the crown.
The Great Wall of China is an awe-inspiring wonder, its sheer grandeur and magnitude leave a lasting impression.
Among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, only the Great Pyramid remains intact today. It is a remarkable feat of ancient engineering, and tourists can explore it virtually as part of their visit to the pyramids of Egypt.
The Great Sphinx, an additional icon of Egypt, stands tall and powerful.
A visit to Naples, Italy would be incomplete without a detour to the ruins of Pompeii. The sweeping site boasts of ancient remnants that offer visitors a breathtaking experience. Here’s a virtual tour that leads you through the excavation and some of the significant discoveries archaeologists have made.
The Temple of Apollo and the fabled Oracle of Delphi, situated on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, make Delphi an esteemed location from ancient times.
Situated on Turkey’s Ionian coastline near the present-day metropolis of Selcuk, Ephesus was once the foremost trading hub in the Mediterranean during the Roman Empire. Over time, the city relocated several times due to flooding, prompting the excavations that began in 1895. The extensive dig site spans centuries of history, from classical Greece to the Roman Empire and beyond into the spread of Christianity. Remarkably, many of the structures uncovered by Selcuk remain beautifully preserved, with vivid frescoes adorning those at the Ephesus Archaeological Museum and Terrace Houses.
The Acropolis, named for its position on the “edge of the city,” looms atop a gentle incline, presiding over Athens. Its most famous edifice stands watch over the city below, as it has for millennia. Originally inhabited around 4000 B.C., it was later christened a holy site by the goddess Athena, Athens’ patron protector, around 800 B.C. The Acropolis comprises multiple sacred buildings, temples, and altars all devoted to the goddess.
In Ancient Greece, Delos was a sacred island of great significance. Its temples were dedicated to the twin gods, Apollo and Artemis, and drew pilgrims from far and wide well before the birth of Christ. During the classical Greek era, Delos enjoyed a pivotal role as both a commercial and holy city, and under Roman rule, it emerged as a bustling trading hub of considerable importance.
Constructed in Constantinople, now known as Istanbul, during the 6th century A.D., Hagia Sophia’s name translates to “Holy Wisdom.” Initially, it served as a cathedral and played a crucial role in the religious and political life of the Byzantine Empire. However, it was repurposed and became a Mosque in 1453 under the Ottoman Empire’s rule. The founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, transformed it into the Museum that stands today in 1935. Ataturk’s vision was to establish a secular nation on the Ottoman Empire’s ashes.
Petra, a revered Nabatean metropolis, recently joined the prestigious New Wonders of the World roster. Nestled within a desert gorge in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the city’s entrance begins with the Siq, a labyrinthine path snaking through rock formations, ancient wall carvings, and water channels. The Siq culminates in the Al Khazneh or the Treasury, Petra’s most renowned edifice, featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Though nothing compares to walking through the Siq and exploring the ancient city up close, this virtual tour is not one to miss.
Rome’s Flavian emperors commissioned the colossal structure of the Colosseum to amuse ancient Roman inhabitants. The venue hosted a variety of events that ranged from mock sea battles and animal hunts, to dramas, executions, and Gladiator games. Located in the heart of modern-day Rome, it stands alongside the Temple of Vesta, triumphal arches, Trajan’s Market, and the Roman Forum.
For over a century, Versailles served as the primary royal domicile in France, from Louis XVI’s reign until the French Revolution. It’s a sprawling, opulent complex, boasting not only a grand palace, but also smaller villas, gardens, and fountains. Whether in person or via virtual reality, a visit to this magnificent destination is a must.
Constructed by Gustav Eiffel in 1887 for the Paris Exposition of 1889, the Eiffel Tower has since become a quintessential symbol of the French capital. Positioned on the Champ de Mar, the stunning tower presents an unforgettable opportunity to ascend its observation platforms and relish the dining experience at one of its restaurants. Nonetheless, with the virtual tour, you can still take in the magnificence of this remarkable structure from the coziness of your home.
If you found pleasure in the virtual tours of these legendary places, you may consider exploring online museums.