From New York to New Dehli and from Tokyo to Taipei, here are just some of the world-famous museums that — thanks to the miracles of modern technology — you can freely explore despite being cooped up at home.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York
The biggest art museum in the United States, the Met boasts works ranging from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt all the way up to modern and contemporary masterpieces. Discover thousands of exhibits in its 2 million-strong permanent collection via Google Arts and Culture, which hosts virtual tours of both the Met itself and the Breur Building.
You can also explore the museum's magnificent architecture in a series of award-winning videos. Created using spherical 360° technology, the Met 360° Project lets you admire the Beaux-Arts Great Hall, The Temple of Dendur and views of the Hudson River — as seen from the museum's cloisters — to name but a few.
State Hermitage Museum (St Petersburg)
Russia's State Hermitage Museum dates all the way back to 1764, when Catherine the Great acquired a large collection of Western European paintings. Today, it consists of five buildings and is the second-biggest art museum in the world. Highlights include James Cox's exquisite mechanical Peacock Clock, the Winter Palace's majestic Main Staircase and the neo-Greek Knight's Hall — all of which you admire in incredible detail thanks to this virtual tour.
The Pergamon Museum (Berlin)
If you like ancient monuments, you'll love the Pergamon Museum. Admire the Greek Pergamon Altar, the Roman Market Gate of Miletus, and Processional Way of Babylon from afar with the help of this rather snazzy, 360 virtual tour.
The Louvre (Paris)
The Louvre is the world's largest art museum and holds the title of the most-visited museum in the world — with queues to match. Luckily, you don't have to wait in line to explore it online. The Louvre's virtual tours immediately whisk visitors away to Egyptian Antiquities, the Galerie d'Apollon, and even the remains of the Louvre's moat.
Altes Museum (Berlin)
Entirely dedicated to classical antiquity, Berlin's Altes Museum is home to heroes, gods, and monsters — as immortalised by ancient Romans, Greeks, and Etruscans. Explore some of them here.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York) + Guggenheim Bilbao
Love modern art? Get thee (virtually) to The Guggenheim! See works by artists including Catherine Opie and Paweł Althamer, and explore the building's quirky interior on this virtual tour, and don't forget to check its archive of live-stream interviews with Guggenheim staff members. You can also virtually visit its Spanish sibling, the Guggenheim Bilbao, here.
Frida Kahlo Museum (Mexico City)
Be transported to Frida Kahlo's famous Casa Azul with the help of this digital tour. The legendary Mexican painter was born, lived, worked, and died in this modest cobalt-blue home. After her death, it became a museum of her works, those by her husband Diego Rivera, and the couple's personal artefacts. Have a nose around it here.
Escape to the opulence of what was once Vienna's largest residential palace on a virtual tour of the Albertina, home to 130 years worth of art, ranging from French Impressionism to the present day.
Acropolis Museum (Athens)
Take sanctuary in an ancient city on a digital tour of the Acropolis Museum. This site-specific museum narrates the story of life on the Athenian Acropolis from prehistoric times until the end of antiquity, including the Frieze of the Parthenon, which dates back to the 5th century BCE.
Tokyo National Museum
Japanophiles, this one's for you. Discover art and antiquities from all over Japan, plus a handful of other Asian countries at Tokyo National Museum. Highlights include Hokusai's iconic series of prints, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji and exquisite Edo-era ceramics.
National Museum - New Delhi
Despite the building itself needing a bit of TLC, The National Museum, New Delhi is a treasure trove of artefacts that range from the ancient Harappan Civilisation to modern works of art. Access hundreds of them via this tour.
Anne Frank House (Amsterdam)
Anne Frank and her family spent over two years hiding from Nazi execution in the annex of this 17th century house — which certainly puts our current lockdown into perspective. Learn more about what life was like here on this beautifully-presented and incredibly moving digital tour.
The Frick Collection (New York)
Get a taste of the finer things in life with a virtual visit to The Frick Collection on Manhattan's Upper East Side. This museum houses the art collection of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, which includes an array of Old Masters paintings, superb Italian bronzes, and fine furniture.
Israel Museum (Jerusalem)
Israel's largest cultural institute is one of the world's leading encyclopaedic museums, with works dating from prehistory to the present day — but the jewel in its crown is undoubtedly the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are among the world's oldest biblical manuscripts. Pay them, and hundreds of other exhibits, a virtual visit here.
Australian Museum (Sydney)
Take a trip down under with this virtual tour of the Australian Museum. This is your chance to get closer to the unique flora, fauna and cultures of Australia and the Pacific.
Feast your eyes on some of the Dutch Masters' finest accomplishments on a virtual tour of Amsterdam's famous Rijksmuseum. From Rembrandt's Night Watch to Vermeer's Milkmaid, there are plenty of masterpieces to discover — and it doesn't hurt that the museum is a work of art itself that seamlessly combines old and new architectural styles.
Travel back in time to 18th century Venice with a virtual visit to Ca'Rezzonico. This magnificent palazzo on the Grand Canal is bursting with baroque and rococo treasures, alongside paintings by famous Venetian artists like Francesco Guardi.
J Paul Getty Museum (LA)
See Van Gogh's Irises, Manet's Spring, and loads more artistic treasures on this tour of the Getty in Los Angeles. If you could do with a dose Californian sunshine, you should also check out this Xplorit option, which guides you through the museum's Garden Terrace and Sculpture Plaza.
Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas)
This virtual tour of Dallas's Frontiers of Flight Museum is a lot of fun for aviation buffs of all ages, with over 30 aircraft and space vehicles, plus vintage flight-related memorabilia.
Vatican Museums (Vatican City)
Visit Raphael's Rooms, Pio Clementino Museum, and the Sistine Chapel without leaving your living room thanks to this spectacular series of virtual tours from the Vatican Museums. You can also access archaeological site including the Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis, a Roman-era cemetery discovered buried beneath the Vatican Gardens in 2003.
National Museum of Natural History (Washington DC)
Washington D.C's National Museum of Natural History, which is administered by the Smithsonian Institution, has brought over 145 million plants, animal and mineral specimens to the National Mall, and you can access loads of them on this user-friendly virtual tour. Be sure to visit Lucy — which, aged about 3.2 million years old, is one of the most intact early human skeletons ever found — while you're on it.
National Palace Museum (Taipei)
Discover one of the world's largest collections of ancient Imperial Chinese artefacts on a virtual tour of Taiwan's majestic National Palace Museum. On Google Arts & Culture, you can get up close to many of the museum's treasures, including its famous Jadeite Cabbage.
However, if you want to get a real feel for the museum, head to its website. Here, you can explore areas including The Palace of Health and Longevity, and The Garden of Tranquility and Compassion (all qualities that, in these extraordinary times, we're not taking for granted), both of which come with their own soothing soundtrack.