Real Life Fairy Tale Castles To Explore Virtually

Real Life Fairy Tale Castles To Explore Virtually

No fairy tale is complete without a grand palace or castle.  But did you ever wonder if those fairy tale castles really do exist?  The answer is of course they do! And you can visit them from anytime you want without every having to leave home!

These days travel is something many of us are hesitant to undertake.  Not only do we have to worry about social distancing at the airports and on planes, we have to follow new airline rules designed to keep us safe.  Temperature checks and virus testing before being allowed in the boarding area; face masks and gloves for the duration of the flight; no hand luggage; higher ticket prices; and arriving 4 hours before a flight are just some things we can expect when we do decide to travel.  Pretty daunting isn’t it?

We love to travel and explore the world, but right now we’re not quite ready to take that first step and venture out into the new world we’ve come to live in.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t virtually explore new places or revisit some of our favorite destinations.

So here are 6 fairy tale castles you can virtually explore.  Perhaps you’ll find one or two to put on your travel bucket list to explore when you’re ready to brave this new world of ours.

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Neuschwanstein Castle

Arguably the most famous fairy tale castle of all is Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at the center of all Disney Parks.  It was modeled after the real life Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.

Explore the real life Sleeping Beauty Castle on this virtual tour!

Lohr Castle

Complete with a “Talking Mirror” this castle in the German town of Lohr a. Main is said to be the inspiration for the Snow White fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.  Today is houses the Spessart Museum where they actually have the infamous Talking Mirror on display.

The town really plays up to the Snow White tale who in real life was modeled after the daughter of the Bavarian Castle’s owner.

Here’s a short video that takes your thru some of the exhibits.

Here’s a 360 tour of the outside of the castle and the surrounding area.

 

Palace of Versailles

This French Palace is just as famous for its residents as for its history and beauty.  Situated in the outskirts of Paris the Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France for over 100 years; from the reign of Louis XIV in the 17th. Century until the end of the French Monarchy under the reign of Louis XVI in 1789.

Marie Antoinette is arguably it’s most famous resident.  Born an archduchess of Austria, her parents were Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis of Austria, she became the Queen of France when she married Louis XVI.  Tragically she was the last Queen of France when Louis XVI was deposed during the French of Revolution; she was tried by tribunal and executed at the Place de la Concorde in 1793.

Today it’s used for state events and it’s a museum where visitors can visit the complex that houses the main palace, small chateaux, gardens, and fountains.  It was also the setting for 5 recent films including the Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette.

The Palace of Versailles is one of my favorite palaces.  We love to explore the beautiful gardens.  Explore Versailles on these virtual tours.  

Peterhof Palace

Commissioned by the Romanov Czar Peter the Great in the early 18th. Century Peterhof is located in St. Petersburg, Russia.  It was built to rival Louis XIV’s Versailles in France.

This palace complex is composed of several palaces, gardens, and fountains.  It served as the imperial palace for Russian Czars for over 200 years.

It’s most famous residents were probably Nicolas and Alexandria, the Russian Empire’s final Czar and Czarina.  Like their counterparts in Versailles the Russian Revolution brought the demise of the once great House of Romanov with the arrest, imprisonment, and ultimately the executions of Nicolas, Alexandria, and their children in Yekaterinburg in 1918.

Virtually explore the palace complex here!

Catherine’s Palace

Built in the early 18th. Century by Russia’s Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great. Located in a town not far from St. Petersburg, Catherine’s Palace was the summer house of the Romanov Czars and Czarinas.

This Palace is best known for The Amber Room decorated with gold backed amber panels.  The Amber Room was gifted to Peter the Great to celebrate peace between Russia and Prussia 1716.  It adorned the room in Catherine’s Palace for over 200 years until it was dismantled and looted by the Nazis during World War II; it has not been seen since.

Explore the wonders of this palace here!

Buckingham Palace

A list of fairy tale palaces and castles would not be complete with out Buckingham Palace.  It is the official London residence of British monarchs since 1837 when Queen Victoria ascended to the throne.  Today it is the London residence of HRM Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip.

In recent times it was at this Palace’s balcony where the world first “officially” met Princess Diana after her marriage to the Prince Charles, and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, after her marriage to Prince Harry.   Explore this historic palace here!

 

Virtual Tours of 8 Historic Places

The world is a beautiful place filled with historic places.  Exploring our world is what motivates many of us to travel.  Unfortunately for many of us travel may be on hold for the foreseeable future.

With the pandemic sweeping the globe travel has become very complicated and pretty risky.  I know that our family is not ready to venture out into the world again due to travel restrictions and health guidelines.  For now we’ve opted to stay home.

But staying home doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of the beautiful historic places around the world.  These days it’s possible to virtually explore the world from the comfort of your living room on whatever wifi device you own.  It’s a great time to visit new places which may inspire you to actually visit when you feel comfortable to travel again.

At our house we’ve been going on many virtual tours of some of our favorite places and many places we’d like to visit.  We’re also taking this at home time to do research on the places we’ve put on our travel bucket list.  Here are a few of our favorites.  I hope they’ll inspire you to plan a visit real soon!

Tower of London

Located on the banks of London’s Thames River the Tower of London has served as a royal palace, a prison, a place of execution, an arsenal, and a vault where the British Crown Jewels were kept.

It housed many historic figures, many before their execution on the palace ground.  Among them are Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Gray, Princess Elizabeth, Sir Walter Raleigh, and King Edward V and his brother.  During the WWI several spies were executed these as well.  It’s no wonder the Tower of London is said to be one of the most haunted places on earth!

Click here to take the virtual tour!

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya was the capital city of the Kingdom of Siam.  The city existed from 1350 to 1767.  It was a prosperous international trading port until it was razed by the Burmese in 1767.

The city of Ayutthaya is considered to be the precursor of modern day Thailand.  It is filled with temples, palaces, monasteries, and statues.

Click here to take the virtual tour!

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower has become an iconic symbol of Paris.  It can be seen towering above the city’s skyline from many Parisian districts.

Explore the tower from the garden to the top on this virtual reality tour.  Enjoy the views of the City of Lights from the viewing platforms without having to climb the stairs!

 

Click here to take this virtual tour!

 

The Colosseum

Commissioned by Emperor Vespasian in AD 70 this massive stone amphitheater sits in the center of Rome within a stone’s throw from the Roman Forum.

It was opened in AD 80 by Vespasian’s son Titus and could seat over 50,000 spectators.  It was in active use for for 4 centuries as a venue for gladiatoral combats, wild animal fights and hunts, and even a re-enactment of a naval battle when the ground floors of the structure were flooded.   Click here to take this virtual tour!

The Acropolis

The Athens Acropolis is probably the most famous of Greece’s many Acropoleis.  As it’s name suggests it a city that sits atop a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens.

It was built during the 5th. Century BC and houses many building of religious and historic significance including the famous Parthenon, Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike.  The temples are dedicated to the goddess Athena the patron of the city of Athens.

Click here to take this virtual tour!

Ephesus

This ancient city located in Turkey’s Izmir Province was an important city during Greek and Roman times and thru the spread of Christianity.  St. Paul and St. John spent years in Ephesus during their Apostle years.

During the reign of Greece and Rome it was the main Mediterranean commercial center.  The ancient site features temples, colonnaded streets, baths, shops, and homes.  Click here to take this virtual tour!

Ellis Island

Located on Ellis Island not far from Liberty Island where the Statue of Liberty stands is this building complex where immigrants were processed as they entered the United States.  Over 12 million immigrants who arrived at the ports of New York and New Jersey were processed on this island between 1892 to 1954.

Click here to take this virtual tour!

Iolani Palace

Located in Honolulu’s downtown Iolani Palace was the royal residence for the monarchs who ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii starting with King Kamehameha III thru Queen Lili’uokalani.

The existing palace was completed in 1882 under the reign of King Kalaukaua.  It remained a royal residence until Queen Lili’uokalani was deposed in 1893.  Click here to take this virtual tour!

 

 

Virtual Tours of 6 Beautiful Cities

Virtual Tours of 6 Beautiful Cities

Travel may prove difficult this year.  With travel restrictions, quarantines, airline regulations, masks, and social distancing many of us may not feel too comfortable boarding an airplane, staying at hotels, and even exploring major cities using crowded public transportation.

We’ve canceled this year’s family summer vacation and our usual travel and cruise itineraries for the rest of the year.  In fact we’re not sure when we’ll feel comfortable traveling anywhere that entails long haul flights, and since we live in Hawaii this pretty much covers the whole world.  It makes me sad that I will probably not be able to visit my daughter in Italy until hopefully next spring, we usually visit in the summer and fall.  But health and safety come first and with no cure or vaccine in sight for the novel corona virus it means that home is where we’ll be for the foreseeable future.

Staying home doesn’t mean we can’t explore new cities on our bucket list or re-visit some of our favorite ones.  We’ll just have to explore virtually from the comfort and safety of our family room.

Here are some virtual tours of 6 of cities that you may want to re-visit or add to your travel bucket list.  Enjoy!

Paris

The City of Lights brings romance, history, art, fashion, and cuisine to mind.  I love Paris in the Spring!

I love the sights, sounds, and smells of this wonderful city.  From the Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame, to the magnificent artworks in the Louvre and D’Orsay museums, the shops on the Champs Elysee, and the cafes along the Rive Gauche, Paris has something for everyone.

Experience the city on this virtual tour!

London

What’s not to love about London?  I love the palaces, gardens, museums and galleries, theaters, markets, and shops in this great city.

From Buckingham Palace to Hampton Court; the British Museum to the West End shows; Boroughs Market to Harrods; there are many excellent sites to explore in this beautiful city.

Explore Westminster Abbey where you’ll find the tombs of England’s kings and queens as well as poets, scientists, and other notable historic figures.  Get a bird’s eye view of the city on the iconic London Eye.  Walk the fog shrouded streets of Whitechapel where the infamous Jack the Ripper left his gory mark.

Experience the city on this virtual tours!

New York City

The Big Apple!  New York City has so much to offer, it’s one of my favorite city’s.  Having been raised in the City I guess you can say I’m just a little bit biased!

New York City is a bustling place where you’ll find the iconic State of Liberty, green spaces such as Central Park and Battery Park, quirky neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Tribeca, museums like the MOMA and the Guggenheim, and Times Square.

Explore the Big Apple on this virtual tour!

Dubai

Dubai never fails to make me feel like I’ve stepped into a Star Wars movie.

The mish mash of futuristic looking buildings tower over the desert sands.  It’s not at all unusual to find camels sitting on the beach in front of one’s hotel room; nor is it unusual to ski inside the Mall of the Emirates in the morning and have dinner in the desert dunes just outside of the city.

Of course you’ll find every high end designer shop in the Dubai Mall and you can drape yourself in gold from head to foot at the Gold Souk across the creek in the old section of the city.

Dubai is a fascinating city with a foot in it’s past and an eye to the future.

Experience the city on this virtual tour!

Istanbul

East meets west in the city of Istanbul, literally.  Separated by the Bosphorus Strait this city has one foot in Asia and the other in Europe.

It is a delicious mix of ancient historic and religious sites, bustling markets, and secular modern buildings.

I love everything about Istanbul!  The sites, the people, and the food are incredible; they keep me coming every chance I get!

Experience the city on this virtual tour!

Bangkok

On the banks of the Chao Phraya River sits the bustling city of Bangkok.

Here you’ll find Temples that house Buddha statues in a myriad of sizes, positions, and materials.  Along with is huge temple complexes you’ll find a palace complex, green spaces, floating markets, night markets, and more.

Experience the city on this virtual tour!