6 Places to Virtually Travel with Google Maps

Why lose time and energy on travel, when you can visit the warmest, coldest and most exclusive places around the world in minutes. What’s more, it’s free!

OK. It’s not quite the same as real life, but if you can’t see them in reality, virtual travel is a close second.

Google Maps and virtual tours are entertaining during lockdown, but allows you to travel anywhere, anytime. Most travellers, even the most adventurous explorers, don’t get the chance to visit the  most desirable landmarks in reality.

Plus, if you love travelling, but not hiking up mountains for hours on end, with virtual travel you will burn zero energy yet can visit the furthest and highest corners of the world.

Navigating Google Maps

The resolution and technology of Google Maps has evolved massively from its initial release. Virtual travel might become more common due to travel restrictions. So, the technology will continue to progress as we move into 2021. The pace of change with Google is fast generally, but it utilises user content to expand its own.

It is best to take a virtual tour on Google Maps in satellite view. This shows views and photos captured by travellers in reality, with a full 360 degree view in most cases.

The second window at the bottom has main spots to view the site, marked with a dot or small circle. These spots are great guides if you want to quickly see the best views or travel around the place faster. You can drag your cursor to rotate the yellow figure that represents where you are.

Click to move the figure to anywhere on the virtual map – forwards, backwards, sideways – in just a few seconds.

We think getting lost with virtual travel is a great use of your afternoon stuck indoors. Here are our picks of the best places to virtually travel to on Google Maps.


This virtual tour is one for lovers of history and imagination. The population of Pripyat, Ukraine – around 116,000 people – fled from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Pripyat was left devastated in just three hours.

Today, the town remains a capture in time. The disaster took lives almost immediately and because of harmful radiation afterwards. You could risk a visit in person, or you could see more detail of the historic sites and buildings on Google Maps. From the safety of your screen, there are endless images to picture what was once there, including inside this nursery.

The White House

On the other hand, why not prove that you can be a better president and spend the day in The White House? There are portraits and paintings of successors and predecessors to analyse, beautiful chandeliers to gaze at and rooms to inspire your design skills.

The art and frames placed around have more information about the contents when you click on them, so you can scrub up on your art and history knowledge too. Some have interpretations, so you don’t get stuck wondering what the meaning of art is. Did you know black can signify a recession?

You can’t enter some mysterious doors, which can be somewhat disappointing, but you still see satisfying detail. View George Washington and other presidents in HD, augmented reality, or quickly scan the building for its architecture in street view.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is an iconic landmark, roughly 3,500 feet above the Colorado River at the tip of the Great Thumb Mesa. With Google Maps, you can follow a dusty path and see the unique and worldly cliff views. This virtual tour is perfect for reflection and seeing the edge of the Earth and its peaks. The beautiful mountains are coupled with glistening streams that reflect light for remarkable photos. You can view it from other travellers experience on Google Maps.

Great Barrier Reef and Heron Island Resort

If you are looking for somewhere more relaxing and far away from home, visit the Great Barrier Reef. This Google Maps tour has stunning views of turtles, tropical fish, white sandy beaches and clear blue waters. You could use it as a picturesque backdrop for your lunch break, pretend you’re sat on the loungers, or stand on the boardwalk edge and look out to sea.

Scott’s Hut in the Antarctic

Or maybe you fancy something cooler? You couldn’t travel this far by foot without many layers on and days to spare. Scott’s Hut at Cape Evans symbolises a historic hunt for the South Pole in the 20th Century, by Captain Scott for the British Empire.

The Hut contains preserved artefacts to this day, exactly where they left it, that tell the story before Scott’s crew of biologists, geologists, and other scientists, unfortunately, froze to death on their journey of discovery. Explore it in detail through satellite view.

Inside the Palace of Versailles

A succession of kings have resided at the Palace of Versailles, right until the French Revolution when it became a museum. It is clearly a place fit for kings and queens. You can take a quick virtual walk around the corridors to view the architecture on Google Maps.

The Palace also displays an array of paintings and elegant sculptures. They tell the story of key figures and important events in French history. View it on Google Maps for a taste of luxury.

Read more about travelling to Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney and more.

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