By Camille Meyers, on July 1, 2020

6 Virtual History and Museum Tours

If walking around ancient ruins and perusing historical artifacts are your favorite part of travel, you can still experience this joy through virtual history tours. Journey to Pompeii via Zoom with a live guide. Then, view the online collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. You don’t need a flux capacitor to travel back to the past with a virtual history tour.

1. The Fall of Rome Live Virtual History Tour

Virtual history tour of the Roman Colosseum at ground level

What factors ended the more than 500-year reign of the Roman Empire? Connect with an expert historian in Rome through Zoom and be transported back in time to the fall of the Roman Empire. This live virtual history tour of Rome weaves together research with engaging stories, maps, and pictures to bring history to life. Also, find out why scholars think climate change could have played a role in the decline of the Roman Empire. You’ll even discuss the lasting impact of the Empire’s dramatic demise on society today.

2. National Women’s History Museum

Harriet Tubman statue

From the high-achieving women of NASA to the rough-and-tumble feminism of roller derby, the National Women’s History Museum celebrates the contributions of women to US history. The museum doesn’t yet have a physical location, so you can find all their exhibits online. Photographs, videos, and firsthand accounts bring these extraordinary stories to life. Tune in to the past by listening to oral histories by women who worked in Rosie the Riveter roles during WWII and see photographs of women marching for civil rights.

3. Ancient Troy Self-Guided Virtual Experience

Crumbling amphitheater in ancient Troy

You probably know the story of the Trojan horse—now take a virtual trip to see where it happened. This immersive virtual tour of ancient Troy lets you wander the city at your own pace with the help of satellite and street views. As you explore this ancient metropolis, insightful audio commentary provides historical facts and lesser-known stories. Gain a deeper understanding of the history of Troy and feel like you’re standing in the old stone city without ever having to leave your living room.

4. The Anne Frank House Online

Diary of Anne Frank in Amsterdam

Take a virtual journey to Amsterdam to visit the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family hid from Nazis during the Holocaust. The Anne Frank House online exhibits give you a 360-degree experience of the Secret Annex that you can do with or without a VR headset. You can also visit Anne Frank’s home before she went into hiding and see photographs chronicling her life.

5. National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is dedicated to documenting African American life, history, and culture and making it accessible to the public. In this spirit, the newest Smithsonian museum welcomes you to explore its collection and exhibits—even if you can’t visit in person. Delve into a variety of online exhibits on topics like slavery and freedom, the African American military experience, and the history of blues, jazz, and hip-hop. You can also listen to oral histories, view historical artifacts, and learn about the museum through Curator Chats videos.

6. Live Virtual History Tour of Pompeii

Cast of a Pompeii citizen preserved in ash

Rove around the ruins of one of Italy’s most famous sites from home on a virtual tour of Pompeii. Using video chat, your expert Pompeii tour guide shares their passion for archaeology while showing you all the best parts of the ancient city. See brightly painted frescos, intricate mosaics, and the remains of citizens preserved by the ash from Mount Vesuvius’ eruption.

Find more virtual history tours in some of Canada’s best museums. You can also virtually travel the world through Expedia’s collection of online experiences.