Virtual Travel Experiences: Bringing Europe to Your Home

Photo courtesy of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Missing out on your travels as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Travel Agent has rounded up a variety of ways to bring Europe to your living room with these virtual travel experiences.

Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain has debuted the digital initiative #GuggenheimBilbaoLive with “behind-the-scenes” aspects of the museum during its temporary closure. Content will be available on the museum’s website and social media.

Created to accompany, inspire and help make confinement a bit more manageable, the new section of the website will be offering a number of videos created behind closed doors in the past few days by members of the museum staff. The new virtual content will highlight the director general, the curators and other people working in key areas, such as conservation, education and interpretation, exhibition design and installation or facilities, and they will discuss their hands-on experience and views over this closure period.

They will share in a casual, personal way their favorite work of art from the collection, anecdotes and trivia about the current exhibitions, and will answer questions any visitor may pose.

At the launch of the project, videos connected to the exhibition “Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life, sponsored by Iberdrola” have been published. In the next few days, more videos will be uploaded until all sections are complete.

Czech Republic

Tyn Church in the Old Town of Prague, Czech Republic.

Photo by Getty Images / Yasonya    

Looking to virtually "visit" some of the top destinations in the Czech Republic? Czech Tourism has you covered with 360-degree tours of the country.

Options include the bustling city streets of Prague; kayaking and castles in Český Krumlov; taking in the natural beauty of Moravian Karst, Punkva caves or the expansive elegance of the Lednice Chateau and gardens. Guests can also visit the Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary, hike the hills of Hřensko, Bohemian Switzerland and following the Royal Route through Prague.

Ireland

Skellig Michael Ireland

Photo by Cristina Avincola/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images    

St. Patrick’s Day was different this year, that's for sure. But Tourism Ireland offers a bit of optimism, saying, “We are in this together.” It is also offering inspiring stories and captivating images from around the island of Ireland until the time comes to welcome visitors back to the Emerald Isle.

For now, Tourism Ireland has gathered some highlights that can be enjoyed from your own home, which will help armchair travelers wander through the real Seven Kingdoms, visit a Jedi Knight’s island hideaway, follow in the footsteps of Vikings, see why Ireland is a star of the screen, and more.

Lapland

Northern Lights in Lapland

Specialist Aurora photography company Lights over Lapland has brought together some of Europe’s best photographers and virtual reality videographers to create three experiences for those suffering wanderlust to virtually travel to Northern Europe and visit ICEHOTEL; visit the local Arctic wilderness; meet local huskies and reindeer; go dogsledding and reindeer sledding; and even join a Northern Lights hunt.

The virtual adventure starts with a morning at the ICEHOTEL followed by a journey northwest towards the Arctic birch forest. After a stroll through the birch trees, Lights Over Lapland leads you to the shore of Lake Torneträsk where you can take in its scenic views before visiting a reindeer herder and riding in a sleigh behind one of his reindeer. Finally, viewers will visit the Sami hut at the base of Mt. Noulja. After spending a few moments here, you can watch the Aurora overhead.

Malta

Italian Cultural Institute, Valletta, Malta

Photo by efesenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images    

Heritage Malta is Malta’s national agency for museums, conservation practice and cultural heritage. It has collaborated with Google to give people the opportunity to virtually visit several museums and sites through the online platform Google Arts & CultureHeritage Malta currently has 25 sites available to virtually tour, which includes the Grandmaster’s Palace, Fort St Elmo National War Museum, Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum and the Megalithic Temples.

Musicians and singers in Malta are following suit in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and sharing their performances online for all to appreciate. Malta’s tenor, Joseph Calleja asked his fans to request songs and arias they would like to hear him sing on his Facebook page. 

Heritage Malta is also known for organizing yearly events for the public to witness the Spring equinox, and this year it was canceled due to COVID-19. Instead, they live-streamed the event on their Facebook page so no one would miss out.

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