Traveling to a city for the first time can be so exhilarating. The opportunity to explore freely and take in an entirely new culture is one of the main reasons why we take vacations in the first place. Obviously, traveling has now been restricted to a trip to the local grocery store. We may not have the chance to physically walk around a city and explore how we are used to, but we can do the best we can using the internet. Here are some cities you can visit virtually that have plenty of sights to see without leaving your couch.
1. Chicago, IL
There might be some slight bias here, but the city of Chicago achieves a balance between cityscape and landscape and makes it work seamlessly. The Sears Tower (never the Willis Tower) offers the best views of the surrounding buildings and the immense sight of Lake Michigan to the east. Walking on the streets, you may notice that no two buildings are the same but that what makes the city what it is. With plenty of sights to see and neighborhoods to explore, Chicago should definitely be a city to visit virtually through helicopter tours or walkthroughs online.
2. Austin, TX
The phrase “keep Austin weird” tells you all you need to know about the city of Austin, Texas. Located right in the center of the Lone Star state, Austin blends the metropolis of what you would expect of a big city while also having a thriving art scene. It’s rare that you can go past a building without seeing some form of artwork on the streets. With live music being such an integral part of Austin’s culture, you can still livestream local artists to get your fix of seeing musicians perform live. You can explore Austin virtually through their website at austintexas.org.
3. San Francisco, CA
There are many elements of San Francisco that are iconic. The cable cars that travel up and down the hills, the painted ladies which look so beautiful with their pastel-colored houses lined up so cohesively, and of course the Golden Gate bridge that elegantly stretches across the bay. There is something for everyone in San Francisco whether you are a go-getter who wants to see everything there is to see or if you just want to relax and layout in the sun. Even when we are all social distancing, for the time being, there are plenty of activities that can be done virtually including a walk across the bridge and galleries of beautiful photographs of the city.
4. Seattle, WA
Although the gloomy atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest is pretty well-documented, Seattle has plenty to offer in terms of culture and sights. The city still offers plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors without even going out too far. Botanical gardens offer a place of peace while the towering trees of nearby forests let you take in nature on a grander scale. Plus, Starbucks lovers will be sure to appreciate the origins of the coffee chain in Seattle so feel free to brew a cup before exploring.
5. New York City, NY
Certain things have to be experienced in person when in New York City. A ride on the subway, a walk through Central Park, and a bite into an everything bagel. For now, you can still experience the Big Apple from a distance and enjoy an aerial tour of the city which has been the epicenter of culture and tourism. There are plenty of virtual experiences you can have at home such as a walkthrough of the city’s streets and tours of the most iconic sights. Although, nothing will beat seeing everything in person, so consider visiting once it is safe.
6. London, England
Moving on from the United States, London is a must-visit city for so many reasons. Rich in history and tradition, yet always changing with the times, it’s no wonder that London gets as many visitors as it does. When exploring all the sights within London, you can have the chance to see all the nuances between American and British culture. You may be surprised at learning some of the similarities and differences between the two. Nothing beats the first-hand experience, but at least this way you will have the opportunity to do research before visiting for real.
7. Glasgow, Scotland
Moving up north the United Kingdom, Glasgow has a culture that is all it’s own. While some might not consider the city a tourist destination, Glasgow has plenty of hidden gems and places worth visiting or at least exploring virtually. The Necropolis is a sight to behold as the hills give a perfect view of the city while enjoying peace and quiet. There’s also plenty of art galleries that you can explore online while getting up close with each detail including the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Although it’s true that people make Glasgow, you can still get a great taste of the city online for now.
8. Marseille, France
While Paris is a great city to visit in France, there are plenty of options that are worth visiting. One of these is located in the South of France, Marseille. Located right on the coast, beaches are always worth visiting all year long. The clear blue water that goes on for miles is sure to make you want to go swimming. With the city of Marseille being located so close to the ocean, seafood is definitely a specialty. A virtual visit would be perfect while enjoying a dish of your favorite seafood recipe.
9. Busan, South Korea
Moving on to Asia, there are plenty of cities that are worth visiting that each has its own unique culture. One of which is Busan, the second-largest city in South Korea. Another coastal city, visiting Busan requires a trip to Haeundae Beach. With the city in the background, it certainly makes for an interesting landscape. Plus the Gamcheon Culture Village features a refreshing cultural neighborhood of painted houses. There’s also plenty of opportunities to get into nature and see the Korean landscape in all its splendor.
10. Sydney, Australia
Moving down under, Sydney offers the chance to get some sunshine and beach-ready weather which could be a welcome change of pace depending on the weather you are currently experiencing. The emerald color of the water will make you wish you could swim in it, but just looking at it through a screen will have to do. The city of Sydney also offers plenty to do and see and luckily you won’t have to worry about transportation meaning you can see all that there is to see.