You can go on virtual tours of Europe’s palaces—including where Meghan and Harry had their wedding reception
With most of us canceling travel plans for the foreseeable future to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s understandable if you’re feeling a bit of cabin fever. But fear not: You can travel the world without even leaving your couch, and it’s all thanks to these virtual tours of Europe’s most stunning palaces.
We’re all looking for ways to get creative during our at-home quarantine time, so virtual tours of museums, national parks, and even your favorite Disney rides are a great way to break up the boredom and see the world—no passport needed. If you ever wanted to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into where Meghan and Harry had their royal wedding reception, now’s your chance. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Check out some of the palaces we’re virtually visiting (and, okay, pretending that we live in).
Palace of Versailles
Virtual tour: Palace of Versailles
If your heart is set on Paris, you will definitely want to “stop by” the Palace of Versailles. (Please forgive our bad rhyming—we’ve been in the house for too long.) Built by King Louis XIV in 1631, this former residence of French monarchs features a whopping 2,300 rooms to explore, making it an all-day visit if you’re actually, physically in France.
The virtual reality tour is almost as good as the real thing. You can explore the king’s and queen’s State Apartments, the Royal Chapel, the Royal Opera House, and the breathtakingly beautiful Hall of Mirrors, all with commentary to help provide context to the historical works of art you’ll get to witness.
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam
Virtual tour: Royal Palace of Amsterdam
Head on over to the capital of the Netherlands, where you can visit the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. The Google Maps guided virtual tour lets you see inside the stunning reception palace where King Willem-Alexander holds his official state gatherings. It was built way back in the 17th century, making it rich with the history of Amsterdam’s Golden Age. Today, it still serves as the site for royal weddings, galas, and other official events.
The Royal Palace in Stockholm
Virtual tour: Royal Palace in Stockholm
You can also visit the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden—the 600-room palace where King Carl XVI Gustav resides. Aside from official banquets and receptions, the palace features three museums, the Royal Apartments (the state rooms where the king and queen hold their receptions), and the Royal Chapel. While these areas are currently closed to the public due to coronavirus, visiting online is a great way to get your fix of something regal while you’re practicing social distancing from the actual world.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse
Virtual tour: The Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Queen’s official residence in Scotland, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, makes a perfectly lovely “day trip,” starting with the jaw-dropping views of the Grand Stair as you enter. First built as a monastery in 1128, it was given a modern revamp back in 1501 by James IV as a palace for his new wife, Margaret Tudor (aka Henry VIII’s sister).
Royal fans can visit the Morning Drawing Room and the Royal Dining Room for a little glimpse into Scotland’s rich history.
Virtual tour: Buckingham Palace
And while we’re still in the UK, you’re obviously going to want to visit London’s Buckingham Palace, the site of so many of our favorite royal moments featuring Kate Middleton, Prince William, and their brood. It’s one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
The virtual tour takes you into three spots: the Throne Room, the Grand Staircase, and White Drawing Room, so you can only catch a glimpse of the grandeur. But with 775 rooms in Buckingham Palace—including 19 staterooms, 240 bedrooms, and 78 bathrooms—there’s plenty to put on your travel bucket list for the future.
Virtual tour: Windsor Castle
No royal tour would be complete without a trip to Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are currently self-isolating.
Windsor Castle is perhaps most recently known as the spot where Meghan Markle and Harry had their royal wedding reception. You can peek inside St. George’s Hall and pretend like you’re chatting with guests at the 2018 celebration—no formal wear or advance RSVP needed. You can live like a royal for just a few minutes, because we all need a bit of magic right now, right?
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, HelloGiggles is committed to providing accurate and helpful coverage to our readers. As such, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.