You can take virtual tours of some of Europe’s most beautiful palaces while you self-isolate

Fancy a free tour of Buckingham Palace? How about the Palace of Versailles?
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With travel plans out the window for at least the next four weeks as we hunker down at home, you may be pleased to hear there’s another way to see some of the world’s wonders right from your living room and the best part? It’s free.

If you’ve always wanted to walk through the iconic Hall of Mirrors in the opulent Palace of Versailles or see inside the Throne Room in London’s Buckingham Palace, you can, thanks to a number of virtual tours that are right at your finger-tips.

Here are some of our favourites.

Buckingham Palace

Virtual tour: Buckingham Palace, London

It’s Queen Elizabeth’s official residence and one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, and while you may not be able to see inside all of Buckingham Palace’s 775 rooms – 240 bedrooms, 19 staterooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms – you are able to take a tour of three of its most iconic space: the Grand Staircase, the Throne Room and the White and Blue Drawing Rooms.

Once inside the rooms you can discover incredible detail about some of the notable artwork, décor and items in the room by clicking on the information icons. For example, did you know the Dome ceiling which looks down into the Grand Staircase is made from 40 panes of glass and etched with figures of angels?

Palace of Versailles

Virtual reality tour (requires a VR headset): Palace of Versailles, Paris

Virtual tour: Palace of Versailles, Paris

If you thought Buckingham Palace with its 775 rooms was impressive, Paris’ Palace of Versailles makes Buckingham Palace look small in comparison, boasting 2,300 rooms spread over almost five kilometres.

Starting as a hunting lodge built by King Louis XIII in 1623, he later decided to turn it into a chateau, which was expanded on by his son Louis XIV and his predecessors, becoming the principal royal residence of France from 1682 until the French Revolution 100 years later.

If you’re lucky enough to own a virtual reality headset, the Palace, in partnership with Google Arts & Culture has created an immersive experience where you can freely explore everything in impeccable detail from the King and Queen’s State Apartments, the Royal Opera House and of course the Hall of Mirrors, complete with audio commentary.

Don’t have a VR headset? Don’t worry, you’re still able to explore the rooms and the expansive gardens via Google Arts & Culture here.

Windsor Castle

Virtual tour: Windsor Castle, England

A royal home and fortress for more than 900 years, Windsor Castle is the largest occupied castle in the world and is where the Queen and Prince Philip are currently self-isolating.

The castle has also been front and centre over the past couple of years, hosting three royal weddings in just two years – The Duke and Duchess of Sussexes‘ and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank‘s in 2018 and Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding to Thomas Kingston last year.

In the virtual tour, you’re able to see a traditional State Banquet in St George’s Hall – where Harry and Meghan held their wedding reception, as well as explore the Crimson Drawing Room and the Waterloo Chamber.

The Royal Palace

Virtual tour: The Royal Palace, Stockholm

If you’re an art lover, a virtual tour of Stockholm’s Royal Palace’s stone galleries – which house Gustav III’s sculpture collection – might just be up your alley.

Now the official residence of King Carl XVI Gustav, the 18th-century castle is built in the spot where the ancient “Tre Kronor” castle burned down in 1697.

In this special virtual tour, walk through the hallways with its checkerboard floors and learn about the impressive sculptures housed there via plaques and audio guides.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

The royal family’s official residence in Scotland, Holyroodhouse. (Image: Getty)

Virtual tour: The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth’s official residence in Scotland, Holyroodhouse has a long history, originally built as a monastery in 1128.

In 1501 it was modernised by King James VI, which he created a palace for his wife Margaret Tudor, these days the residence plays host to Scottish people from all works of life during Investitures, Garden Parties and other events.

In the virtual tour, you begin at the Great Staircase and can also explore the Morning Drawing Room with its walls draped in tapestries as well as exploring the King’s Bedchamber.

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam

Virtual Tour: Royal Palace of Amsterdam

If you’ve always wanted to explore the capital of The Netherlands why not take a virtual trip to its Royal Palace. The Palace, which was originally built as the city’s Town Hall became the royal palace of Louis Napoleon and later the Dutch Royal House.

The virtual tour begins in the heart of the building in the Citizen’s Hall (Burgerzaal) which includes marble floors inlaid with three circular maps. From there, explore the paintings, sculptures and architectural décor in the adjoining rooms.

Of course, as well as royal palaces, many museums and art galleries also have virtual tours available for you to explore and immerse yourself in such as the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and MoMA in New York City.

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