Virtual travel and 3D tours - best sites and apps to explore the world

byVerónica Crocitti

From virtual tours to interactive journeys, up to 3D experiences between stars and planets: the best sites and apps for traveling from home.

In 2020 the world of travel, with some very brief exceptions in the summer period, suffered a global stop. The advent of the Coronavirus, together with the simultaneous spread of the pandemic from state to state, has limited any type of movement, especially those "for pleasure". The suitcases have remained in the attic, the passports have started to gather dust and the longed-for holidays have turned into a sweet stay at home, in safety.

Traveling, as it was understood before the arrival of Covid-19, is no longer possible, at least until today. No one is able to predict what will happen in a few months, or if it will really be possible to save Christmas, or the Befana or the Carnival. The only certainty is that we have to resist and find other tricks to explore the world, being comfortable on the sofa at home. How to do then?

Virtual and interactive journeys: explore the world from home

A famous saying recalls that if Mohammed does not go to the mountain, then the mountain goes to Mohammed. So why not use this maxim to apply it to the world of travel and travellers? Thanks to technology, there are so many ways to be able to explore the world while staying at home. Don't believe it? Read on because in this post I will tell you about the top 10 sites that offer virtual travel, interactive tours and 3D or augmented reality experiences.

Virtual travel and 3D tours - best sites and apps

Google Earth

The “incredibly detailed globe” byGoogle Earthit is an excellent trick to literally travel the world with a few simple clicks. The details of the places are extremely accurate and there is a special section called "Excursions around the world" which allows you to take real virtual tours through the most beautiful attractions of the globe, such as the Machu Picchu of thePeru(which you see in the photo).

Virtual travel and 3D tours - best sites and apps

Google Arts and Culture

For art and museum lovers, there is nothing better than virtual visitsGoogle Arts and Culture, the new section of Google that allows you to make complete tours in 3D (via Street View technology) in the main world museums. Currently, among others, you can find the Berlin Museums, the Reina Sofia and the Tyssen'sMadrid, the Metropolitan ofNew York, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Van Gogh byAmsterdam, the Versailles ofParis, The Lookout ofViennaand the National Gallery ofLondon.

Within Google Arts and Culture there are other sections such as Places (famous places and monuments), Artworks (works of art) and Games (interactive game mode).

Street View

With the application ofStreet Viewyou can access millions of panoramic images uploaded by Google and its contributors. It is a very easy way to get carried away by the virtual representations of the globe and have the feeling of being catapulted into another state.

360 Cities

360Citiesit is a very interesting site for those who want to immerse themselves in small virtual journeys and view 360-degree videos/images from all over the world. It is a huge network created by thousands of professional photographers and video makers who have decided to use their work to create experiences that can be enjoyed by all users. All you need is a simple internet connection and you're done.

Virtual travel and 3D tours - best sites and apps


Developed in 2006, the AirPano project collects more than 4,200 panoramas of about 400 places on earth, including Antarctica, theNorth Pole, volcanic eruptions and also images of the stratosphere. It is a very intuitive site in which, every week, a different report is inserted… to always keep an eye on!


The Gala360 website offers many free virtual tours that can be viewed both on PCs and smartphones/tablets (with the appropriate application). The virtual tours and trips also feature theVR format(augmented reality) and, to view them, they need VR viewers.

Virtual travel and 3D tours - best sites and apps

Italy VR – Virtual Reality

Always remaining in the field of apps that use augmented virtual reality, I point out "Italia VR - Virtual Reality", the first application ofEnit – National Tourism Agency. As specified, to date the app offers three immersive experiences but "it will be continuously updated with new content".

READ ALSO:Traveling in Italy: proximity tourism

Note Well! In order to access VR content, you need to have a 3D viewer.

National Geographic VR

Even the famous "National Geographic" has fielded an app for interactive adventures and virtual journeys in VR that can be viewed through special viewers. The experiences mainly concern theworld of nature and animals.

Spacecraft AR

Do you want to go on a virtual journey around the earth to discover stars and planets? The Spacecraft AR application is right for you. Made byNASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, this app uses augmented reality to take anyone into space with just a phone! In fact, for its use it is not necessary to have any VR viewer.

You Visit

The You Visit application (also available on PC) is a 360-degree virtual video collector that can be viewed both with and without special VR viewers. The videos are sorted by categories and, among them, colleges, restaurants, hotels and events also stand out.

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1 comment

Traveling with paintings: ideas for decorating your home with prints from around the world 3 July 2021 - 7:18

[…] esplorare il mondo, molti dei quali fattibili anche stando a casa, comodamente seduti sul divano. I viaggi virtuali e i tour in 3D sono riusciti a farci compagnia quando tutto era chiuso e la possibilità di partire era […]


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