As you may already have noticed, 2020 isn’t the best year to be planning your sight seeing tours of pretty much anywhere. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sights and sounds of great destinations such as London. In fact, London can be discovered through a great selection of online virtual tours. So now you can enjoy your culture fix from wherever you are in the world.
Here at Visit London Taxi Tours, we know a thing or two about the best things to see and do in our great city. So, we’ve put together a list of 21 one of the best virtual tours of London that can be found online . And best of all, these virtual tours are free and interactive. And while they are virtual tours do not think you are being short changed. The close up views of the magnificent art covering the domed ceiling of the Painted Hall, for example, the nooks and crannies of the Tower of London, going behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum, they really are all rather special.
We’ve grouped the list into cultural (museums and music), landmarks (palaces, cathedrals and political locations) and general sightseeing. We hope you enjoy!
London is world renowned as an incredible place to check out the arts and music, with some thing for everyone across the many museums in the city. During the Coronavirus shutdown, you can still visit some of these famous locations.
One of the most popular museums in London, you can discover dinosaur fossils and some of the world’s most remarkable creatures. There is a lot to see and do on this virtual tour (just like in the real museum), with live interactive talks twice a week,a tour with Sir Richard Attenborough and the chance to browse the images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
The Natural History Museum Virtual Tour
Home to many treasures of the world, the British Museum is vast and really does reward multiple visits. So even if you’ve been before, you’ll be able to discover evenmore with the British Museum’s virtual tour. Discover ancient civilizations,art and fascinating insights into history.
The British Museum Virtual Tour
London’s history has been moulded by many influences, and in turn, she has influenced so many. The Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands showcase the unique history of the city, from the Romans to Jack the Ripper, to the modern era.
The Museum of London Docklands Virtual Tour
One of the world’s finest collections of classical and contemporary art, the National Gallery is a Mecca for art lovers. Like so many museums on this list, a real life visit can be overwhelming, with so much to see. The virtual tour of the National Gallery is perfect for those who like to enjoy both the master pieces and the building too.
The National Gallery Virtual Tour
With a focus on the history of art, this virtual stroll tour is another must see for fans of classic art. As well as a look at the works on display, there are also live talks and performances and video lectures.
A uniquely London experience, the Brick Lane Music Hall is a traditional venue in East London. Regularly showcasing traditional music and East London (aka Cockney) culture, you can still get a glimpse of all this with their 3D virtual tour.
Brick Lane Music Hall Virtual Tour
Another world class art gallery, the Royal Academy regularly hosts some of the world’s best known works of art. Their current collection (as of May 2020) is Picasso and Paper, featuring sketches and paintings by Picasso. But if you can wait they re-open on May 18th 2021
The Royal Academy Virtual Tour
The reconstructed theatre on the banks of the Thames offers tours and regular theatre performances. The virtual tour currently available includes both a look around the theatre and also archived theatre and musical performances. We wonder what Shakespeare would have thought of a virtual tour of the Globe Theatre? We think he would have approved. If you loved it, you can also donate, helping this wonderful charity recover from a challenging year.
Shakespeare's Globe Virtual Tour
Probably the most prestigious concert venue in London, the Royal Albert Hall has played host to greats from Elton John to the Rolling Stones. The virtual tour allows you to marvel at the grandeur of this iconic venue. There are also concerts streamed by well known bands and musicians to check out on their site.
The Royal Albert Hall Virtual Tour
Any sightseeing tour to London will be a very busy occasion, because there is just so much to see! London is certainly blessed with landmarks, but with a virtual tour you can enjoy them at your leisure (and without needing to travel back and forth across town).
Perhaps the most iconic of London’s landmarks, the Houses of Parliament are most recognisable thanks to Big Ben. This tour doesn’t include Big Ben, but does offer a fascinating walk around the halls of Power in the UK. The artwork that hangs in every room is just a wonder in its own right.
The Houses of Parliament Virtual Tour
Staying in Parliament Square, visitors can explore this incredible building and some of it’s famous features. These include the Coronation Chair, the tomb of St Edward the Confessor and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You’ll also find podcasts featuring religious services on the site too. One of our most favorite virtual tours, it's like popping into a time machine.
Westminster Abbey Virtual Tour
Rich in history and definitely one of the must visit landmarks in this city packed full of unmissable landmarks, the Tower of London is a fascinating place. Home to the crown jewels and with plenty of incredible stories attached to it, the Tower of London’s history is as rich and varied as the city itself.
You’ll find several options for virtual tours including: The Tower of London Grounds Virtual Tour
The nerve centre of the British government during WW2, the Churchill War Rooms looks at the British war effort and the history of Winston Churchill himself.
The Churchill Rooms Virtual Tour
The residence of the UK’s Prime Minister is off limits to visitors, but with this tour you can get a great look inside. Check out the PM’s office, the Cabinet Room and thereception. Unfortunately you don’t get to meet Larry the cat…
10 Downing Street Virtual Tour
A stunningly beautiful building as part of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, the Painted Hall never fails to impress. With the virtual tour, you can appreciate the scale and grandeur of this magnificent building and the close of the art work is breathtaking.
The Painted Hall at the Royal Naval College Virtual Tour
London isn’t short of impressive palaces, and arguably this is the most impressive of them all. Hampton Court is located 12 miles south west from the city of London, andis an excellent example of Tudor architecture. Once the seat of royalty in Britain, today it’s a beautiful place to visit and explore, with their virtual tour offering plenty of insight.
Hampton Court Palace Virtual Tour
The current tour, like Buckingham Palace has been removed while the Royal family mourn the sad loss of the Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip). However, we have left the link up as we feel confident the virtual tour of Windsor Castle will return.
Another impressive Palace, the Queen’s ‘other’ digs are rich in history and full of amazing artworks. The tour features walkthroughs and video guides so you can appreciate the grandeur of this spectacular landmark, including the Crimson Drawing Rooms and the Semi State Room.
This tour allows you to take in all of the landmarks of the London skyline with some panoramic views from across the city. Check out the view from the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and Harrods, among many others.
London’s highlights and Landmarks Virtual Tour
Our London by Night Taxi Tour is one of our most popular tours and a stop on a famous London bridge, with a twinkling view down the River Thames is a wow moment for many of our guests. Well, while that is on hold how about seeing the bright lights of the city on a virtual riverside walk. With 360 degree views, it’s just like actually being there!
London’s Bridges by Night Virtual Tour
With the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel across the world, a visit to London might have to wait for now. But, if you’re wondering how best to do sightseeing and maintain social distancing, our taxi tours could be the answer. In fact we think our private taxi tours will be very popular as people look for options to take them away from crowds. And of course, in this post COVID world our taxis will be fully sanitised after every tour and we will be following all Public Health England advice to keep our guests protected.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to our fantastic city. But in the meantime, we hope these tours give you plenty of reasons to come back when it is safe to do so.
Some photography made available by London Partners.