Why virtual tourism?
We all miss walking down the aisle – the airplane aisle that is. When you have the world’s number 1 passport, travel becomes ingrained in your culture and taking an annual trip just becomes part of something you do.
So with travel being cancelled until vaccine passports become a thing, we’ve put together our top five virtual tours you can take in 2021. We aren’t promising that these can replace the real five-senses experience of travel, but virtual tourism has its merits too.
Apart from the obvious, like being a cheaper alternative and a viable social distancing option, virtual tours also allow for families and friends from all parts of the world to join in at the same time. My favourite part? Such tours are also physical disability friendly. Those in wheelchairs and those who find it difficult to travel long distances can still enjoy virtual tours.
These are our top five tours that will bring you through ancient lands and even allow you to travel through time. Join in the fun, now!
1. Follow a Plague Doctor Through Prague
We don’t mean to be macabre, but we think this is quite a fitting virtual tour to take in the new normal. We don’t want to say that history repeats itself but we’re beside ourselves at this historical tour that brings travellers through 17th and 18th centuries when Prague was hit by Black Death and other plagues.
The tour is led by a Plague Doctor who will bring virtual travellers through famous Prague landmarks, like the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square and Jewish Quarter. Follow along in the footsteps of Dr Alexander Schamsky, who fought the plague in 1713.
From looking at 17th century “personal protective equipment” to tours to old hospitals, this is one tour that has lessons to be learnt in our current pandemic.
Book here on Airbnb Experiences; no mask required.
2. Flower Hunting in Kyoto with Mori the Doggo
Rich Japanese history? Check. Beautiful scenery? Check. Cute dog leading the tour? CHECK. Of all the virtual tours of Japan available, this one from Craft Tabby is the one we’re most thrilled about.
Hosted by Lee Xian Jie, a Singaporean who has been living in Japan for the past nine years, and his rescue dog, Mori, the duo leads a tour around Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital in Spring – April and May. As Mori sniffs out whatever interests her, Lee will point out wildflowers that many would walk right past without much notice.
With extensive knowledge on botanicals, Lee can share about various flower types and their uses, such as their benefits in medicine and more. The tour is oftentimes unpredictable with Mori, but it means no tour is ever the same!
Tour dates for 2021 have not yet been set but check back on Craft Tabby for details.
3. 360˚ View of Machu Picchu
The ancient wonders of Machu Picchu in Peru can now be easily explored from the comforts of home with this tour from YouVisit. The 360˚ experience of the UNESCO World Heritage Site starts with an overlook view, then brings visitors through the Inca citadel, its courtyards and even the wild alpacas that now live there.
The free online tour is accessible any time and comes with an audio guide that divulges secrets of the 15th-century civilisation. Got an Oculus? Or any other virtual reality headset? Strap it on and this tour immediately becomes an immersive experience that you can walk through!
4. Caravaggio Virtual Tour: Art and Death in Baroque Rome
If you can’t tell your renaissance from your baroque art, you must sign up for this tour. Art historian Caterina brings art lovers through Rome to explore Baroque artist Caravaggio. The somewhat manic, violent genius pretty much ushered in the age of the Baroque with his pieces on provocative nudes and saints being led to martyrdom.
It’s a tour full of drama and controversy, as Caterina also shares on Caravaggio’s dark psyche and tumultuous life, with close ups of Caravaggio’s paintings in churches. We recommend opening a bottle of your favourite wine for this one while Caterina spills the tea on one of Rome’s most brilliant artists.
5. Adults Only Risque Rome: Sex, Vices, and Sins in the Ancient Empire
You might want to put the kids to bed early for this one. This virtual tour is only for those 18 years old and above, as it does contain suggestive themes and explicit images.
Buckle up, because it’s going to be a wild ride. As much as we knew the Romans in Pompeii liked to get freaky, this tour showcases the guilty pleasures many indulged in. We couldn’t keep tab of which of the seven deadly sins were committed, but we’re quite sure each one is covered extensively, from the gluttonous feasting at parties, to the gambling and betting on gladiators and races, and brothels and even artwork that really should be called pornography.
Want a virtual tour through our own backyard instead? Check out our guide on Singapore’s top Airbnb experiences.