Joy of Museums Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites – Virtual Tours


Take a Virtual Tour from Your Home

We explore the world’s best Museums,  Art Galleries, and Historic Sites across the world. There are over 60,000 museums and historic sites around the world, and we aim to share Virtual Tours of the very best of these.

Interest in museums, art galleries, and historical sites reflect the economic, intellectual, and social health of a city and a community.

Take a Virtual Tour with us of the very best of the world’s Museums, Art, Artifacts, and History.

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites - Virtual Tours

Museums & Historical Sites – Virtual Tours

Specific Museums, Artworks, Artifacts, and Historical Sites can be found by searching for museums by region and country in the top menu, or by exploring the categories above or by using the search function on the sidebar.

Visiting a museum is an enjoyable and enlightening way to invest your precious time. However, many of us rush through Museums, Art Galleries, or Historical Sites, as we rush through life, without appreciating the full significance of the experience. 

“Joy of Museums” (JOM) offers you an opportunity to take a Virtual Tour to find understanding and meaning in the history, beauty, and the wonder to be found in Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites.

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New insights and content are added every day. Follow us via Twitter and Facebook for regular updates, and please share to help us grow our community of interest.

This website is dedicated to sharing and exploring with Virtual Tours the beauty, understanding, and meaning in all types of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites across the world.

Museum Facts (prior to recent restrictions)

  • In developed economies, about 25% of the population would visit a museum or historical site in 12 months.
  • More Women than Men visit museums.
  • Some of the most visited encyclopedic museums worldwide are:
  • Museums contributed $50 billion to the U.S. economy each year.
  • There are about 850 million visits each year to American museums.
  • Museums are considered the most trustworthy source of information in America. They are rated higher than news media, researchers, the U.S. government, or academics.
  • The UK has one of the most significant creative and cultural economies in the world, relative to Economic Size.
  • International Museum Day (IMD) is celebrated every year on or around 18 May

Virtual Tour on the Art of Everything

How to avoid Museum Fatigue

  • Start with a Virtual Tour on “Joy of Museums” (JOM).
  • Purchase tickets in advance of your visit and skip the long lines when possible.
  • Do your research and visit during non-peak hours or seasons, so that you can get close and personal with a masterpiece.
  • In the large encyclopedic museums, accept the fact that you’re not going to be able to see everything in one day — plan to re-visit.
  • Guided tours of the museum’s highlights are generally a good option for a museum that is new for you.
  • Bring comfortable shoes and leave the extra clothing and bags in the locker — travel light within the museum walls.
  • Take advantage of a courtyard and museum café or restaurant, for hydration and nourishment.
  • Ask the staff for directions and advice.
  • Collect a Museum Map and Highlights Guide at the front desk.
  • Use the Museum’s WiFi to connect to “Joy of Museums” (JOM).

The History of Museums

The word “museum” has classical Greek origins. It meant “seat of the Muses” and was used to identify a philosophical institution or a place of contemplation.

The Greek form was “mouseion,” and it was translated into the Latin form, “museum.” “Museum” was used in Roman times to nominate places of philosophical discussion or a building devoted to learning or the arts.

By the 1600s, the term “museum” was being used in Europe to describe “collections of curiosities.”

The earliest use of the word “Museum” in English was in reference to institutions such as libraries where objects were displayed, and the term started being recorded in writing during the 1680s. 

Today, a museum is a place where objects of historical, artistic, or scientific interest are exhibited, preserved, and studied.

The modern museum can trace its origins to private collections established by wealthy individuals during the Renaissance.

Prominent figures such as the Catholic Popes in the Vatican accelerated the interest in antiquities and art masterpieces, and National leaders such as Kings followed the practice.

These collections were symbols of power and prestige. However, in time, a spirit of inquiry led to a different purpose and broader participation, not necessarily limited to religious or national rulers and leaders.

These new collectors were mainly focused on the study and advancement of knowledge. Essential to that focus was the education of the public. Institutes were established with this aim, as their public mission.

As the prestige of these institutions increased, private collections found their way into public or corporate institutions, which provided greater security and accessibility.

The first institution to be granted a significant private collection was the University of Oxford. The conditions of the gift included that a suitable place is built to receive it.

The Ashmolean Museum opened in 1683, based on Elias Ashmole’s private collection. The Ashmolean Museum later relocated to another building near the University of Oxford.

The original 1683 building is now occupied by the Museum of the History of Science at the University of Oxford.

Soon after, the British Museum was established in 1759 as a public institution. Followed by the Louvre in 1793. 

Today, the purpose of Museums vary from institution to institution.

Some focus on education and academic study others on conservation and others on commercial endeavors.

There are many different types of museums. Some of the categories of Museums include:

  • History museums
  • Art museum (or art gallery)
  • General museums or multidisciplinary museums
  • Natural history and natural science museums
  • Museums of science and technology

Museums are dedicated to preserving and interpreting objects created by humans or the environment. 

With the increasing interest in museums, we see an explosion of niche museums. Below is a list of just some of the many different specialist museums.

Over 1 million Virtual Tours

“Joy of Museums” (JOM) started in 2017 and we have had over one million visits from people who have taken a VIRTUAL TOUR.

Please support us by becoming a JOM Member at
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THANK YOU for your support.


A country that has few museums is both materially poor and spiritually poor …
museums, like 
theatres and libraries, are a means to freedom.”

– Wendy Beckett


Photo Credit: JOM; Attribution: Wikipedia Content under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License 1)  Oxyman [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 2) By Sarah Casey (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons 3) By Sam from Canberra, Au

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