Forget booking a flight, packing suitcases and suffering jet lag to visit sites on the other side of the world. All you need to explore buildings is a phone, laptop or – if you’re feeling especially extravagant – a VR headset.
In its mission to digitalise the whole world, Matterport has created countless virtual tours of places worth a visit. PlaceTech asked the company to pick out some of the highlights along the way.
1. The Mark Twain House
Explore the home that spawned some of the most enduring works in American literature.
Like any good museum, the Mark Twain House is full of facts about the author’s life. Viewers can even submit questions and, of course, donate to support its upkeep in the physical world.
2. The White House
If you missed out on school trips to the heart of US executive power, fear not. The East Wing, the part of the White House open to the public, is also open to virtual tours any time, any day.
3. Handel & Hendrix in London
Two revolutionary musicians, living two centuries apart, made their way to London to change music on the same street. Now, you can explore the space they almost shared and, with a couple of clicks, transport yourself between Handel’s opulent four-poster bed and Hendrix’s guitars (and fan-knitted “dog bear”).
4. Lamborghini Mexico City
Who says virtual tours should be restricted to buildings? On the Lamborghini Mexico City tour you can virtually hop into each of these supercars and learn a thing or two about them – if you speak Spanish.
5. TOP Mountain Motorcycle Museum Crosspoint
And if cars in Mexico City aren’t your thing, what about motorcycles in Austria? Going in virtually, you might miss the fact that the museum is the highest motorcycle museum in Europe (though I can’t say how much competition it has) and the simulator probably works better in real life, but that shouldn’t stop you enjoying a digital meander past motorcycles old and new.
6. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Last Design
The Normal Lykes House was the last legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed before his death in 1959. The tour takes you through every curve of the building, complete with facts about its features and recurring themes in Wright’s work.
7. Allegiant Stadium
This one’s for anyone who has ever wanted to stand right in the middle of the field at the home of the Las Vegas Raiders. But the real gem here is the “behind the scenes” window that takes you everywhere from the press box to the VIP areas.
8. Shackleton Museum
If news of the discovery of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance still sends chills down your spine, dive into the museum named after him in Athy, Ireland. Explore some of the other rooms and you’ll soon find yourself absorbing the ancient history of the area.
9. The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss
For anyone who felt there weren’t enough bold splashes of paint or fantastical cartoon animals in any of the other tours, this one should scratch that itch. As colourful as the books he’s known, the Dr Seuss museum holds nothing back visually from its exploration of the writer’s life.