Although most of us are isolated, this limitation can be a great time to devote the free hours in the day to creative pursuits that we usually never have time for. Some can’t go for a walk around the city, visit a gallery or museum, hang out with people or do any other things outside your house that would inspire you for better work and new ideas. But we have solutions.  

Thanks to Google Arts and Culture and individual galleries this is not an issue anymore. Their online platforms offer dozens of virtual museum tours that you can explore while staying at home and being safe. You can wander the halls of the Vatican, marvel Van Gogh’s paintings in Amsterdam or even explore the many floors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Choose one or a couple of virtual museum tours and get your daily dose of art and design inspiration in a matter of minutes. 


Virtual museum tours while you’re in a lockdown

1. Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Louvre Museum is one of the largest and the most popular museums in the world. It is a must-visit place for everyone but particularly for art lovers. The main treasure of the museum is the Mona Lisa portrait painting by Leonardo da Vinci but the museum also features 35,000 paintings, statues, frescoes, and prints. As for virtual museum tour, on the website you can get access to these four rooms: 

  • Petite Galerie
  • Egyptian Antiquities
  • Remains of the Louvre’s Moat
  • Galerie d’Apollon

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2. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Take a look into the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam with the Google Arts and Culture virtual tour. Explore the world’s largest collection of works by the artist: 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 letters. You can also delve deeper into the post-impressionist movement and get inspired by the paintings that changed the arts. 

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3. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon-si, South Korea

The Korean National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is where you can get extra inspiration. Having taken its virtual museum tour, you’ll get on a journey to the arts and culture of Korea. During the tour, you’ll discover works in diverse genres of visual arts, including architecture and design. 

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4. Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy

The Vatican has an entire complex of museums that are perfect for classic art inspiration. They exhibit collections of sculptures, paintings, manuscripts, household items, and religious art. Among virtual tours available at the moment are these:

  • Pio Clementino Museum
  • Sistine Chapel
  • New Wing
  • Chiaramonti Museum
  • Raphael’s Rooms
  • Niccoline Chapel

Start virtual tour

15 Virtual Museum Tours For Art and Design Inspiration

5. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

If you’re a fan of impressionism, you should definitely take the virtual tour to Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The collection includes paintings and sculptures by European artists of the middle of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. However, art is not the only reason to explore the museum. Its interior is also worth paying attention to as the museum is located in the building of a former railway station.  

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6. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

The Guggenheim Museum in New York features the personal collection of a philanthropist Solomon Guggenheim, as well as of his niece Peggy Guggenheim and other collectors. Today, the museum presents the works in many genres, from abstract art and post-impressionism to minimalism and modernism.

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stock photo of Guggenheim Museum

7. São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo, Brazil

The São Paulo Museum of Art is one of the greatest museums in Latin America. Its collection includes works by great artists such as Rafael, Botticelli, Matisse, Delacroix, Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Picasso, Van Gogh, and many others. In sum, it has around 8,000 art pieces that you can explore for art and design inspiration. 

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8. British Museum, London, UK

Sometimes it’s worth going back to the roots to find inspiration for your future projects. If you have this idea in mind, try taking the virtual tour to the British Museum in London. It is divided into 6 themes that feature archaeological and cultural objects of different countries and periods. Moreover, it has 94 galleries and an extremely beautiful hall the interior of which can inspire you on its own. 

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Interior view of the Great Court at the British Museum

9. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of Australia’s leading art museums. In addition to works of European artists such as Rubens, Canaletto, Picasso, Rodin, Monet, and Cezanne, you can also draw inspiration from paintings of Australian artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. 

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10. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

The State Tretyakov Gallery is a treasure of the Russian arts. It has an amazing collection of classic paintings that consists of around 180,000 pieces. There are works of Mikhail Vrubel, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Karl Bryullov, and many other outstanding artists well-known in Russia and around the world as well. 

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The State Tretyakov Gallery stock photo

11. Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong

Plunging into the Hong Kong history, culture, design, and arts might be a great way to find more inspiration for your designs. The museum also has a large collection of paintings and calligraphy so you can spy on some unconventional elements, fonts, and compositions and give them a contemporary touch. 

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12. State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Although this is not a traditional virtual tour where you can follow signs and explore different rooms, this tour is even more exciting. The tour is shot on iPhone 11 Pro and it takes you on a 5-hour long journey to the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. What’s even more impressive, the video was filmed in one take showcasing the 45 halls and 588 art pieces of the world’s art. Inspiring, isn’t it?

13. National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, United States

National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the creative achievements of women. Its aim is to showcase the artistic talents, as well as to mark the place of women in contemporary art. This virtual tour might be a great decision for those who think about the angle they’d like to take with their personal projects. 

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14. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States

Get lost in the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Google Arts and Culture virtual museum tour. It has 17 thematic sections, divided by continents and periods of history so you might need to spend an entire day exploring its halls and exhibits. 

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interior shot of Metropolitan Museum Of Art

15. National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design, Oslo, Norway

Those who love art and would like to learn more about the Scandinavian culture should definitely take a tour of the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design. The museum has a vast collection of exhibits and four branches:

  • the National Gallery
  • the Museum of Contemporary Art
  • the National Museum of Architecture
  • the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design

To get a full picture of the Scandinavian arts, design, and architecture explore all four museums. 

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Try to make the most of the period when you’re in lockdown as there are many things that you can do even from the comforts of your home. Whether in the morning while you’re enjoying a cup of coffee, or in the evening when you have time for yourself, you can take a virtual museum tour to get some inspiration, distract from the annoying routine or dream of the times when you finally will have an opportunity to travel around the world again. 

While you’re stuck at home, you might also be interested in these articles:

1. Your Ultimate List of Free Online Courses and Events 

2. Your Essential Guide to Different Types Of Design Out There

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