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5 Best Free Museum Tours for History

Any seasoned teacher knows that nothing excites a student more than the idea of going on a field trip. And teachers know that such tours, especially to historical sites, can offer great interactive learning experiences for students. 

So, when the time comes to take the class to an interesting historical museum, where will you go? Consider taking your eager kids on a visit to five of the best free virtual museums. After all, it won't cost you a dime!

1. The Louvre Museum

The Louvre is the world's largest, oldest, and most popular museum. And when it comes to pure art matters, the Louvre ranks first in this category. When taking a virtual tour of the Louvre museum, you can enjoy your visit in snippetsmany of these cover the museum's different sections.

The Louvre offers at least five different virtual tours, including the exhibits "Founding Myths: From Hercules to Darth Vader," "Power Plays," and "From Afar. Travelling Materials and Objects." 

If you have virtual reality (VR) glasses or Google Cardboard, you can also download the "Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass" app, which offers a VR version of the Louvre. This way, you can enjoy the exhibits depicting the remarkable career of the legendary Leonardo da Vinci.

2. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History forms a segment of the world's largest museum complex. As its name suggests, the Smithsonian runs this popular, gigantic museum. Those touring the museum in person usually have to pass through a huge complex comprising 19 research centers and museums. It's little wonder many carefully slot this museum in their bucket list of the best places to visit in a lifetime!

The guides in this wonderful museum encourage everyone to take time and visit each of the monument's exhibits. When you do this, you'll discover a massive maze that leaves many dumbfounded!

The Smithsonian has many virtual tours, including exhibits on sea monsters, gems, dinosaurs, insects, and epidemic outbreaks. While you might not feel as if you were standing in front of a gigantic Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, you can enjoy the beautiful virtual exhibitions that the directors carefully optimize for millions of digital audiences.

3. The Vatican Museum

The Vatican Museum has long won an admirable reputation as the art connoisseur's delight. You'll discover this just from the museum's sculptures, gigantic frescoes, and paintings. Starting from the homepage, a visitor to the Vatican museum will soon discover it comprises several collections that they can view onlineso it doesn't matter if you've never visited the Vatican City in your lifetime.

With its efficient 360-degree virtual tour, you can visit the Vatican's Sistine Chapel and discover what you're missing! The website offers 13 other walkthroughs that visitors can explore with the touch of a button. And don't forget to have a virtual trip right through the famous Raphael Room.

4. The British Museum

It's easy to think that the Smithsonian was the hugest structure you've ever visited. A virtual visit to the famous British Museum might make you think againthe British Museum is simply amazing and intriguing!

Current exhibits include "The World of Stonehenge" and "Feminine Power: the Divine to the Demonic." On Google Street view, the museum takes exceptional pride, ranking among the world's largest indoor spaces. This fact alone might inspire you to explore the world-famous galleries.

The website allows you to explore historical artifacts from around the world on five topics: Art and Design, Living and Dying, Power and Identity, Religion and Belief, and Trade and Conflict. You can click on the dots representing artifacts to display pictures, explanations, and audio explaining the history behind the object.

5. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Many recognize the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain as the veritable centerpiece of Dan Brown's novel "Origin." Everything in this citadel represents a work of art. Many respect the building as a remarkable Frank Gehry masterpiecethe designers made it entirely out of titanium and steel.

Guggenheim's virtual tours include eight exhibits, including "From Fauvism to Surrealism," "Women in Abstraction," and "Alice Neel: People Come First." Undoubtedly, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao beautifully features various priceless exhibits visitors would love to see in such a place of historical significance.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a virtual tour for your classroom can take time to find one that fits your students and assignments best. Utilize the various tours to take your students across the world from the safety and comfort of your classroom.

Written by John O. Ndar
Education World Contributor
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