The Louvre in Paris, France.

Museums are a special and unique place. Depending on the type of museum, you can relive the past, experience artifacts and works of art, learn about different cultures and societies, and so much more. And what better time to visit a museum than on May 18, which is otherwise known as International Museum Day.

Since 1977, museums all around the world have been participating in International Museum Day — which is organized by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The purpose of the day is to highlight the importance of museums and the impact they have on society and on our world as a whole. As ICOM explains, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”

Last year, over 35,000 museums around the world participated in the celebration, and more are expected to participate this year. Each year ICOM designates a special theme for the day, and this year’s theme is “Museums for a Sustainable Society.” Museums around the globe are encouraged to participate in events and hold special activities in honor of the day.

Can’t make it to a museum on May 18? No worries! The wonderful thing about the Internet is that it allows you to travel the world without ever leaving your home. The following are some of the many museums that let you virtually visit and/or view their collections online:

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Out of all the museums on this list, this is by far the most virtual in terms of comprehension. You can explore the entire museum online, and it feels like you are actually in the Smithsonian. Everything looks so real, and you can zoom up close to get a good view of the exhibits. My favorite part of the tour? Getting the chance to look at the Hope Diamond, one of the largest diamonds in the world.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

While you can’t virtually tour the Met, you can look at their collections online. Oh, and did I mention that there are over 408,000 items that you can view? From jewelry to sculptures, paintings, antique clocks, and even architecture, the Met has everything and more. My favorite collection? As someone who loves vintage fashion and gorgeous dresses, viewing the items from the Costume Institute Collection was amazing. And seeing all the couture dresses up close? There are no words.

The Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Amelia Earhart was a wonderful person. Not only was she a master at flying airplanes, but she was also a kind, generous woman who loved to give back to her community. The Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum gives you the chance to see how and where Amelia grew up — an environment that helped shape her personality and identity. While there is no virtual tour, you can see pictures of every room in the house.

The Louvre

The Louvre is known all around the world for its impressive collection of artwork and sculptures. At the Louvre’s website, there are three virtual tours available: a tour of the Egyptian exhibit, which includes artifacts and antiques; a tour of the remains of the Louvre’s moat; and a tour of Galerie d’Apollon, which has a gorgeous painting on its ceiling. You can also search their different collections and look for specific paintings and sculptures among other curated departments. It’s not a comprehensive collection — for example, they only have 215 paintings available to view — but you do get a chance to see some of the more iconic pieces, such as the Mona Lisa.


This list is only a small percentage of what the world has to offer in terms of museums. Whether your passion is art, music, history, science, literature, entertainment, etc., a museum is a perfect way to learn more about a subject and to experience it first-hand. Do you have any favorite museums you like to visit? Let us know!


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