As the world starts to open up, please be responsible and stay safe. And if you are not ready to start exploring yet that is OK too and we've got 17 Ways to 'Travel' from Home, 40 Travel Movies to Fuel Your Wanderlust and the 30 Best Travel Books to help you see the world from your couch!
We live in crazy times. Our big beautiful world is facing challenges the likes of which we have never seen or experienced before. From global warming to global pandemics, fires to floods – and even locusts(!), the extinction of animal species, exponential population growth and diminishing natural resources (just to name a few – and all of which are too big to deal with here!)
And when it comes to exploring this incredible world, mass over-tourism (until the start of 2020) was and is threatening to destroy some of our most loved and cherished sights and cities. As a response to our current situation armchair travel is becoming more and more important – both to our sanity and the tourism industry!
The term armchair travel has been traditionally used to refer to seniors and the elderly, unable to travel and so attempting to see the world from their living room; with virtual travel being used for the younger crowd, and even more so with the improvements in VR (virtual reality). But at times like this, terminology doesn’t matter. What does matter is that while domestic and international travel has been banned by governments around the world, the tourism industry has stepped up to try and offer some virtual relief in the form of live streams, webcams and 360-degree virtual tours. However finding then can be a bit of a hit and miss affair depending on how well they are marketed.
And that’s where we come in. As someone who is currently in lockdown myself, and looking for ways to virtually travel from home, live streams of incredible places in the world have become my daily escape. From ‘diving’ the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to Walking along the Great Wall of China; from going to the Ballet in London or watching Baby Goats in Indiana. I love that I can hop online and see our beautiful world continuing on around us. And I hope that by putting together a directory of armchair travel live streams and virtual tours and travel experiences in major destinations around the world, you will find a little bit of escapism too.
*QUICK TIP* Looking for something specific? Use the table of contents to narrow down by country, state and region or use CTL+F to search by text!
Disclaimer: Almost all posts on this site contain Affiliate links, and this one about armchair travel featuring 75+ live streams and virtual tours to help you travel from home while the world is closed is no different. This means that if you click on any of the links in this post (and make a purchase) I may receive a small commission at absolutely no cost to you. Each post is carefully crafted to (hopefully!) answer all your questions and recommendations are made where we believe they will improve your trip and help with your planning. As such we thank you in advance should you decide to click & buy. Read my full Disclosure here.
Armchair Travel – A Complete Guide to Live Streams & Virtual Travel Around the World
Table of Contents
- 1 Armchair Travel – A Complete Guide to Live Streams & Virtual Travel Around the World
- 1.1 Africa
- 1.2 Australia
- 1.3 Brazil
- 1.4 Cambodia
- 1.5 Canada
- 1.6 China
- 1.7 France
- 1.8 India
- 1.9 Italy
- 1.10 Israel
- 1.11 Japan
- 1.12 Maldives
- 1.13 Nepal
- 1.14 Peru
- 1.15 Russia
- 1.16 UK & Ireland
- 1.17 USA
Ok, so Africa is clearly a continent rather than a country, but if you want to see wild animals in their natural habitats in various National Parks across east and southern Africa – these Safari cams are exactly where you need to be. Whilst the cameras are placed as well as they can be to maximize animal sighting, you may need to be prepared to click through a few different webcams to find the animals – they are wild after all.
And if that’s not enough, you could virtually hike Kenya’s Mount Kilimanjaro!
Melbourne & Victoria
- Take virtual tours at both the Melbourne Museum and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
- Spend an hour at the symphony: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra broadcast live & delayed performances
- Zoos Victoria have a range of live webcams to watch our furry friends, from snow leopard cubs (eep!) to koalas, lions to zebras and quite a few in between.
- Take in an aerial tour of the 12 Apostles and other natural features along Australias favorite coastal drive at The Great Ocean Road
- Take a peek under the coastline with ReefCam at Port Phillip Bay – or the view from above
- Be virtually guided around the indigenous sacred site of Uluru, learning all about the sights and sounds that make it so important.
Sydney & New South Wales
- Take a virtual tour of Sydney itself; or
- See inside an icon with the Sydney Opera House 360-degree Tour
- Rewatch a classic performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
- Zip Line through the trees with Illawarra Fly
- Explore the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough on an interactive journey; or
- Track some of the most incredible sea creatures found on the Reef with ReefTracks by Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef
- Get a dose of cute Aussie wildlife when you check in on the Koalas via Koala-cam at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
- Grab a Caipirinha and transport yourself to Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro in one click.
- The temples of the incredible Angkor Wat complex have never been so accessible. Explore in VR here & here.
- Take a virtual tour of the Louvre’s impressive art collection.
- Wander through history with a virtual tour at the Paris Catacombs
- Enjoy the beautiful Palace of Versailles on a virtual tour
- Get a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower – anytime day or night (we recommend sunset if you can swing it!)
- Virtually Visit the impressive Taj Mahal that typically sees millions of visitors each year.
- Take a cooking class with a real Italian Nonna!
- Tour the archives of the Vatican Museum – including the Sistine Chapel – without having to get dressed.
- Venice has a rolling live stream with cameras around the city showcasing views of the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Square and Grand Canal
- The Inbal is a luxury hotel in Jerusalem, overlooking the old city – and their rotating webcam gives you a birdseye view of the holy city from dawn to dusk.
- The Postcards from Israel YouTube series takes would-be tourists on a virtual tour on this incredible country, with different sites in each video.
- Virtually do something millions never can or will: Explore Everest Base Camp in High Definition!
- Explore Machu Picchu in HD (without the 4-day hike to see one of the worlds most beautiful sights)
- Explore the amazing Catherine Palace in virtual Reality.
UK & Ireland
- Explore London every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with a 20-minute virtual tour with LookUpLondon live on Instagram
- Take a peek inside the Queen’s house with this virtual tour of Buckingham Palace
- Wander where giants once roamed on this virtual tour of the Giants Causeway in Ireland
- Stock up on your Shakespeare at the Globe Theater (performances available for a small fee)
- Explore Historical & Cultural sites: Take a virtual tour of the British Museum or the Tower of London
- Live at London Zoo – head on over to the webcams to check on our animal friends
- Virtually ride the London Eye (for free!)
- Have a night at the ballet with shows recorded and shared on YouTube by the Royal Opera House
- Use Google’s Art&Culture App to virtually explore The Natural History Museum
- Take a wander through the historic Edinburgh Castle (home to the annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo)
- Witness the majesty of the Grand Canyon without leaving your sofa with GoogleEarth!
- See the animals at San Diego Zoo with live streams of polar bears, giraffes and more!
- Watch the Jellyfish (or sharks or penguins!) at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
- See the Bald Eagles at Channel Island National Park
- Take in the natural beauty of Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park
- View the Webcams at Rocky Mountain National Park
- Escape with stunning Drone Footage from the Garden of the Gods
- Immerse yourself in stunning imagery from Colorado National Monument NP (the prettiest National Park you’ve never heard of!)
- Take a Street Art Tour of Colorado
- Head to the Theme Parks and hop on a rollercoaster! YouTube channels such as CoasterForce and iThemePark allow you to tour the parks and virtually ride the coasters without needing to leave your living room (or buy a ticket!)
- Leave the planet entirely with the Housten Space Centre app – offering interactive tours, virtual reality experiences and various app-based exhibits to help you get among the stars.
- Need a little beach time in your virtual life? Check the webcam at Clearwater Beach and enjoy this little slice of paradise from your sofa.
- Watch the underwater world of the Georgia Aquarium, or check-in via webcam on a whole heap of sea creatures.
- Hit the beach with the Waimea Bay Live Webcam. Sand, sunsets, and waves. Apart from actually being there, what more could you want?
- Who knew you needed a live stream of baby goats in your life? It’s cuteness at a click whenever you need a boost!
- Explore the turquoise glacial lakes and rugged mountaintops in Glacier National Park
- Take a virtual tour of Carlsbad Caverns National Park with Google Earth
- Virtually walk through Central Station or Central Park learning about their history and cultural importance to the city
- Take a helicopter ride above New York City and see all the major sights
- Take a virtual tour through MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art thanks to Googles’ art and culture initiative.
- Have a giggle: Standup NY and Magnet Theater are both live streaming comedy performances.
- The ‘Tourist in Your Own Town‘ series of videos takes you through some of New Yorks’ lesser-visited sites and attractions.
- Broadway & Musicals in Your Living Room: Whilst there is a paid service for this (BroadwayHD) – YouTube can be a great resource, and help you save money at the same time. Tune into The Shows Must Go On for free for a new musical each weekend.
- Find yourself smack bang in the middle of New York’s Times Square in just one click.
- Tour the Guggenheim Museum on a virtual tour through its amazing halls.
- Go to the Met! The Metropolitan Opera is hosting nightly encore performances of some of its most iconic shows with free streams available from 7.30 pm each day and available for 20 hours after the performance.
- Walk through Charleston on a virtual Ghost Tour of the city every Friday and Saturday night.
- How cute are Otters?! Watch them frolic on OtterCam at the Tennessee Aquarium.
- Watch as the Cherry Blossoms bloom along the National Mall with BloomCam
- See the Pandas care of The Smithsonian at the National Zoo
- Take a virtual tour the National Portrait Gallery
- Discover DC in 360° – with virtual tours in and around the city.
- Tour the Smithsonian Natural History Museum with a selection of virtual tours.
- Get ready to watch Old Faithful spray in Yellowstone National Park (there’s a handy predictor on there too!)
And that’s a wrap folks – for now at least(!) We hope you have found some exotic place to virtually travel to or just by clicking a few of the live-stream links listed here you are getting the hang on modern-day armchair travels! And if you know of a travel-inspiration worthy virtual travel experience or 360° virtual tour from around the world please let us know, and we will add it to this list. We hope that this will turn into the most complete armchair travel resource on the web – which will be useful even after the global travel ban!
And if you know of anyone going stir crazy at home (who isn’t at the moment?!) or has got a travel itch they just can’t scratch – be sure to share this post with them or on social media. It can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard or, by grabbing the image below, Pinterest. Hopefully they can virtually travel to their dream destination with the help of this list and scratch that daily travel itch!
And if you liked this armchair travel guide to virtual tours and virtual travel experiences throughout the world, take a look at the other recent posts, packing tips, travel accessories, travel resources, travel guides, travel tips, ultimate guides and packing lists in this series:
- The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List – & Road Trip Playlist(!) keeping you and your care happy, entertained & healthy on the road
- The Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List – packed full of ski essentials to help you have the best time on the piste
- The Best Time to Visit Iceland + How to Pack for Iceland (in Summer OR Winter) – Iceland can be cold and unpredictable, but our list will have you covered whatever season you plan to visit.
- Get Eco Friendly on your travels: The Best Solid Toiletries (that you can take in your carry on) and Eco-Friendly Gifts for travel lovers.
- Travel Gear: Travel Backpacks & Carry On Luggage, travel tripods, camera backpacks, passport holders & travel yoga mats!
- Get ready for the World’s favorite shopping holiday: Black Friday Deals for Travel 2020
Hi There! Thanks for reading my guide to Online Travel & Armchair Travel: 75+ live streams, virtual tours & virtual travel experiences to help you travel without leaving home while the world is closed! I just wanted to let you know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking any of the links we may earn – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here.
And thank you for reading the MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld travel blog.
Vicki is the Lawyer turned Content Creator, Editor-in-Chief and all round Boss Lady at MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld.
She has lived and worked in 7 different countries and started the site to show everyone that it is possible to travel whilst holding down a full time job (because not everyone can – or wants to – quit and walk away from it all).
Her style of travel has always been to get the best out of a destination as a time poor traveler making the most of limited vacation days and all without breaking the bank; BUT she does know where to save and where to splurge to have the most incredible travel experiences – such as luxury hotels and over-water bungalows, safaris, spas and more(!) – where the situation calls for it.
If you want to join the work to travel revolution, follow MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram – and if you are a travel brand who would like to find out how to work with Vicki, contact her here.