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!

 

Travel More Often With These Thrifty Tips

Travel More Often With These Thrifty Tips

Picture by Vincent Ravaud from Pexels – CC0 Licence

Travelling isn’t just a luxury for the rich; anyone can do it. It just takes some careful planning, rejigging your finances, and thrifty choices. For ideas of how you can make your dream of traveling more come true, read this guide for tips and tricks.

Reduce Mortgage Payments

The most substantial payment you make each month is your mortgage. If you can look at options to see if you can reduce it. A lesser mortgage payment means more money you can put towards adventures around the world. If you’re unsure what your options are, search for https://altrua.ca, there’s plenty of guidance on here to give you a better idea of how to reduce your mortgage. Plus, contact details to get in touch with advisers for more information too.

 

Mortgage interest rates are pretty low right now because of the pandemic. Remortgaging to a different, cheaper mortgage product could free up more of your income each month to put towards traveling the world.

Sell Your Things Online

We all have items stashed in cupboards, the attic, and cellar we could sell. The hardest part is finding the motivation to organize and dust off what could be worth a few dollars. Use your motivation to travel more, to add more to your travel pot, and give you the oomph to start selling junk you haven’t used in years.

 

For instance, outdated clothes, to someone else, could be passed off as vintage. Extra furniture in the spare room you no longer need, electricals like old phones, tablets, and laptops, there’s always someone out there that can use it. Here are a few sites worth taking a peek at. Some with fees, some without, it’s really about finding a platform that works for you.

 

  • Nextdoor
  • Decluttr
  • LetGo
  • Offerup
  • Craigslist
  • eBay

 

Travel Slowly

Picture by Alfonso Escalante from Pixabay – CC0 Licence

Airplane rides are usually the quickest way to get you abroad, but they’re also sometimes the most expensive. Choosing to travel slowly can make your money stretch further, and leave money in savings for other adventures.

Take a look at all your travel options to see what’s the cheapest. With everything from trains to coach rides, buses, and boats, one route will be less expensive than the rest. It may just mean it takes longer to get there. When you’re searching for flights, instead of selecting ‘direct flights only’ on your search, uncheck this box because flying could work out cheaper if you have to stop off in another country first.

Always look at how you will get around your destination too. Planning and getting to know the local area with Google maps can give you an idea of how far historical sights, monuments, zoos, shops, and beaches are, and the cheapest way you can get around to these places.

Your first form of transport to think about should be walking, it’s healthy for you, and it’s free. Plus, it ties into the goal of slowing down your travels, soaking in your surroundings, all while saving money for more vacations!

Thrifty Accommodation

It’s tempting when you’re looking at holidays to choose the best looking hotel with five pools, and a sea view. But when you think about it realistically, how much time are you really planning on spending at your accommodation? If you’re active and keen to get out and do things, the main thing your accommodation should be is clean, comfortable, and cheap. Below are a few suggestions for alternative accommodation.

Air B and B

With more thrifty travelers around the world, sites like Air B and B are rated highly. Air B and B is for ordinary people to advertise their spare room, annex, apartment, and so on. Each accommodation is priced differently and is usually cheaper than staying in a conventional hotel.

House Swap

A great option, particularly if you have a family, is to get away by house swapping. It means you get to benefit from a fully equipped home that’s big and comfortable enough for everyone to stay at a fraction of a price at a hotel. Some home swapping sites to look at are Love Home Swap, Knok, and CasaHop.

Family and Friends

If you have friends or family across the country, why not ask if you can join them for a week and make a holiday out of it. If you regularly keep in touch, staying with friends and family guarantees you’ll feel welcome and comfortable in your accommodation, have great company, and advice from real locals about where to go and what there is to do.

To cover your stay, you could repay by cooking meals for everyone, or other helpful household gestures such as running a few errands or helping out in the garden to keep your hosts happy. And in between, you’ll have plenty of free time to explore, without the burden of expensive accommodation weighing you down.

Campervan

Depending on where you want to travel and for how long, investing in a campervan is worth considering. Campervans provide you transport and accommodation rolled into one, and so you’ll only need money for food and activities. To keep it thrifty, take a look at pre-owned camper vans that you can pick up for a few grand that could last for the rest of your life.

 

Save Money On Food

Choosing to self-cater is usually the cheapest option. You can pack your edibles to take with you, mainly food that won’t perish, such as canned food like chopped tomatoes and beans, or packet food like pasta and couscous. And create tasty meals while you’re away, plus at least you know that because you cooked it, your family will eat it! Buy local fresh produce to top up your cupboards but also to get a taste of local food, but set a budget, so you don’t overspend.

If you want to splash out on local cuisine, before booking a restaurant, make sure you check free apps on the internet like Groupon. If you reset the location to where you’ll be staying, local eateries will pop up that you can eat at for a discounted price. However, always read the terms and conditions. Sometimes an offer, for example, for two meals and a bottle of wine at a local Italian restaurant, may only be available Monday to Friday at lunchtime. Reading the conditions before you buy on Groupon will prevent you from wasting money on a voucher you can’t use.

Cut Back On Holiday Spending

Firstly we’ll cover the amount we tend to spend before a trip has even begun. None of us are strangers to purchasing an excessive amount of clothes we’ll think we need, but probably never wear. Or expensive last-minute sun cream at the airport and other novelty items for traveling on holiday aren’t entirely necessary.

To curb your spending before each trip, look at everything you already have that you can take. Sun creams stuffed in the attic from the last vacation can prevent you from needing to buy more. Holiday clothes with tags on could be perfect for your upcoming trip. If you’re tempted to buy something beforehand, set a budget, head for the sales, and even consider thrift stores for second-hand clothing.

Picture by Pixabay from Pexels – CC0 Licence

While you’re away, the same rules apply; you can save money for your next vacation by watching your spending. Some things we tend to overspend on are buying souvenirs and postcards for relatives back home. But in all honesty, unless the token is particularly useful, your friend at work might be okay with not having another thimble with your holiday destination.

A mindset to keep on your travels is to buy only what’s necessary. The central part of your vacation to take back with you is the suntan and memories. But if you’re still optimistic about getting a souvenir or two, why not take lots of pictures to capture several moments you can look back on and cherish. Or pick up a pretty seashell or rock to put in your garden or give to your neighbor.

Find Free Things To Do

Part of going away is exploring, and that takes little to no money to do. All you need is your feet, a bottle of water, and some snacks in a backpack, and you can spend your time strolling city streets, along the promenade or the local woods – walking and observing your surroundings is free.

Search for local free events in the area, too, parks, swimming pools, and excursions. Before going away, researching the place you’ll be visiting and writing out a rough daily guide of what you’ll be doing each day gives kids, in particular, something to look forward to. After all, children care about having fun with you, not how much activity costs. And it means your money will go further, and you’ll have enough for another holiday away soon.

Would you believe that there’s even more that you can do to allow you and your family to get away more? From remote working to selling one of your cars (if they’re not in much use). Plus, checking up on your monthly outgoings to see if there are savings you can make. Every little bit of saving and extra income amounts to more adventures away.

 

 

Virtual Tours of 7 Zoos Around the World

Virtual Tours of 7 Zoos Around the World

I absolutely love zoos.  I know zoos are pretty controversial, one side I guess you could call them the “Free Willy” side demonize zoos as being filthy cages where animals are mistreated and neglected; then there’s the other side who point out that well designed and well run zoos act as shelters for abused animals, saved some animals fro extinction, and have educated the public to respect and admire animals.

I really can’t say for sure which side is absolutely right, that’s a debate I’ll leave for the experts.  But I can say that most of us if we think about it fall somewhere in the middle, I know I do.  Of course I find zoos that are filthy and disgusting, those that neglect or mistreat animals abhorrent.  What to do about them is beyond me other than to redesign them to be more humane and to replace staff with caring professionals and volunteers; but turning those poor animals loose in the wild I doubt is the answer.

But on the other hand I’ve visited quite a few zoos that are beautifully designed, have caring and knowledgeable staff, and have educational programs that help endangered species, and provide safe shelter for abused or displaced animals.  In short these zoos help many animals that would have been destroyed otherwise or may have gone extinct if not for the zoo’s research and breeding programs.  There are many such zoos around the world.

These days due to the pandemic many of us will not be traveling far so visiting a zoo that’s not in driving distance will have to wait.  But with the aid of technology there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy some of the best zoos in the world thru a webcam or a virtual tour.  Here are some of the best zoos you can visit from the comfort and safety of your home!

Singapore Zoo

The Singapore Zoo is located in a rain forest not far from the city.  It’s a wonderful zoo.  We had the pleasure of visiting this zoo and going on the night time safari it was awesome!

Click here for the virtual tour!

 

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is one of the top zoos in the world, it’s one of our favorites!

It’s a huge zoo with many amazing exhibits.  Here’s the website that has a list of all the webcams around the zoo.

 

 

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Located on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs this zoo is built along the side of the mountain.  It’s one of my favorite zoos.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of the top zoos in the US.  The Giraffe enclosure greets visitors to this zoo.  It’s an amazing way to get up close and personal with these tall animals.

The zoo has several webcams, it’s most popular is the Giraffe Webcam.  Click here for the website where you’ll find the Giraffe Webcam as well as other webcams and virtual activities.

 

 

Zoo Atlanta

Accredited by AZA Zoo Atlanta is located in Grant Park in Atlanta, Georgia.

It is home to a couple of delightful Giant Pandas.  There are webcams for virtual visits!

Click here for the website!

 

Welsh Mountain Zoo

Welsh Mountain Zoo is among the 15 Best Zoos in the world according to BestProducts.com.

It certainly looks like it’s filled with happy critters!

Click here for the site!

 

Australia Zoo

This was where you could find the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin.

Today his family is very active at this zoo.  It features many animals from around the world and of course the critters from down under.  Explore the zoo with his son Robert on this virtual tour!

The National Zoo

The National Zoo located in the suburbs of our nation’s capital is another favorite zoo.

They have many webcams around the zoo featuring different critters.  The most popular of course is the Giant Panda!  Click her for webcams!

 

Virtual Tours of the World’s Iconic Sights

Virtual Tours of the World’s Iconic Sights

In the not too distant past, like just 3 or 4 months ago traveling was part of our lives.  That is until the pandemic forced many of us to stay at home, and many of us are still under shelter in place orders.  And even if we’re not how many of us are willing to venture out and take our usual summer vacations?

I know I’m not and neither are most of my friends and family.  But with the aid of technology we can still get together for birthdays, graduations, and visits albeit virtually on our computer, tablet, or phone screens.

Technology allows us to virtually be with friends and family and it also allows us to “explore” the world from the safety and comfort of our homes.  Of course it’s not the same as climbing to the crown of the Statue of Liberty or taking the elevator up the Eiffel Tower, but Youtube, Google, and other platforms can be the next best thing to being there.

Virtual tours provide a great opportunity to see the world during these uncertain times, and they can be a starting point for teaching kids about history, cultures, arts, and sciences. It’s like going on a field trip!

So here’s a list of some of the world’s iconic landmarks and attractions that  you and your kids can “visit”.  Enjoy your tours!

The Statue of Liberty

This virtual tour by the National Park Service takes you around the island and to the crown.  It’s a great tour.

Virtual tour click here!

The Great Wall of China

The wall is a spectacular site!

Virtual tour click here!

The Great Pyramid

Of the 7 Wonder of the Ancient World the Great Pyramid is the only one left standing.  It’s just one of the pyramids of Egypt that offers a virtual tour.  Explore one or all by clicking here!

The Great Sphinx

Another Egyptian icon is the Great Sphinx. Find out more about this mysterious monument on this virtual tour!

 

Pompeii

A must see site around Naples, Italy is the vast ruins of Ancient Pompeii.  This virtual tour takes you thru some of the discoveries archaeologists have made at the excavation.   Click here for the virtual tour!

Delphi

Home to the Temple of Apollo and the legendary  Oracle of Delphi this ancient site on Mt. Parnassus was a very important place in antiquity.  Click here for the virtual tour!

Ephesus

This ancient city located in Turkey’s Ionian coast near the modern day city of Selcuk was the main commercial center in the Mediterranean during the Roman Empire.  Due to flooding the city was moved several times in ancient history thus the excavations wish began in 1895 covers a huge area.  These excavations reflect centuries of history from classical Greece to the Roman Empire and on to the spread of Christianity.  Many of the structures unearthed in the area by Selcuk are in excellent condition.  The structures in the Ephesus  Archaeological Museum including the Terrace Houses have frescoes so vivid it looks like they were painted recently!

Click here for the virtual tour!

The Acropolis

The word Acropolis literally translates to “the edge of the city”.  This “city” which sits atop a low hill dominates the Athenian skyline.  Its most iconic building acts like a sentinel guarding the city sprawled at its feet.  The hill has been a place of residence since 4000 B.C. but became a sacred site in 800 B.C. when it became a place of worship for the goddess Athena who was the protector of the city of Athens.

The Acropolis is actually a complex with several sacred buildings, temples and altars dedicated to the goddess.

Click here for the virtual tour!

Delos

The island of Delos was one of the most important places in Ancient Greece.  It has temples honoring the birth place of the twin god and goddess Apollo and Artemis.  It was a pilgrimage site before the birth of Christ.  It was an import sacred and commercial city during classical Greece and a major trading city during Roman rule.

Click here for the virtual tour!

Hagia Sophia

This vast domed monument’s name means “Holy Wisdom”.  It was built in then Constantinople, modern day Istanbul, in the 6th. Century A.D.   by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.  It was originally built as a cathedral and was an important part of Byzantium religious and political life.  It was later transformed into a Mosque in 1453 during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.  Then in 1935 it was turned into the Museum it is today by the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk who strove to build a secular country on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.

Click here for the virtual tour!

Petra

Recently added to the New Wonders of the World list Petra is an ancient Nabatean City built along the walls of a a desert gorge in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  It is a spectacular site starting from the entrance which passes thru the Siq, a narrow path threading its way thru rock formations, wall carvings, and even water channels that brought water into the city during ancient times.  The Siq ends in front of Petra’s most popular building the Al Khazneh or the Treasury, the building featured in the Indiana Jones movie the Last Crusade.  Nothing beats actually walking thru the Siq and scrambling around this vast ancient city, but this virtual tour is pretty cool!  Click here for the virtual tour!

The Colosseum

Built during the reign of Rome’s Flavian emperors the Colosseum is a huge structure that provided entertainment for the citizens of ancient Rome.  It was the venue for Gladitor games, mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, and dramas.  It is situated in the heart of modern day Rome along side triumphal arches, the Roman Forum, Trajan’s Market, and the Temple of Vesta.  Click here for the virtual tour!

Versailles

The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France for over a hundred years from the reign of Louis XVI until the French Revolution.  It is a luxurious complex with smaller villas, gardens, and fountains built around the main palace.  It’s a wonderful place to visit whether in person or in VR.  Click here for the virtual tour!

The Eiffel Tower

Designed and built in 1887 by Gustav Eiffel for the Paris Exposition of 1889 the tower has become a symbol of Paris.  This iconic tower is situated on the Champ de Mar.  Climbing to one of the observation platforms is an experience and dining at one of the restaurants is amazing.  But you can still explore this beautiful tower from the comfort of home by clicking here for the virtual tour!

If you enjoyed your virtual tours of these iconic sites you might want to check out some museums.  Virtually of course!  Click here for a list of some popular museums you may want to explore.