Miss travelling? Here's how to explore the world’s amazing sights and experiences, without leaving home

It has been nearly two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began. With it, a great many things came to a standstill — including travel. For those itching to act on your wanderlust, the opening of the vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) from Singapore is a godsend.

But if you are still iffy about making the trip and would rather wait for the number of cases to properly subside, virtual experiences are another way to satisfy your inner travelbug — like these “trips” to see the Northern Lights in Lapland, Buckingham Palace in the UK and Germany’s capital Berlin. 

Vatican - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Tour the Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel

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How about a tour of the Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel, but without the crowds and rushed viewing times? Instead, make yourself a cup of tea, get comfortable and soak in the grand sights of this city-state, which is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The tour comes with a guide who will take you along the Raphael Rooms, the main galleries of the Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Visitors will also get to chat with their guides in real time and take part in live polls and quizzes.

To join the tour, check out https://tinyurl.com/dusb83cz

aurora - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

See the northern lights in Finland

While there is nothing quite like seeing the northern lights in person, getting to witness them via virtual tours or aurora webcams will have to do. One such video — which was taken early in the season — captures the magical scene above the Abisko National Park, located in the Swedish province of Lapland near the Norwegian border. To see what we mean, check out https://tinyurl.com/w25jjp3j

buckingham - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Visit Buckingham Palace

The palace may no longer be the residence of Queen Elizabeth II, but it is still worth a visit. Built in 1705 by the Duke of Buckingham and purchased in 1762 by Britain’s George III, the palace has often been at the centre of state occasions and royal events. You probably will not meet any members of the British royal family anytime soon, but this is a peek behind closed doors is still an experience to savour.

For a glimpse into the lives of royalty, head to https://tinyurl.com/w6weaeru

cape town - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

A trip to Cape Town

There is plenty to do, see and learn at Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest and the second-largest city. Formerly named the Cape of Good Hope, it was part of the shipping route from the European coast of the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean in Asia and an important travel line before the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

Today, notable places to visit within the city include the awe-inspiring Table Mountain (a prominent landmark overlooking the city), Robben Island (where former South African President Nelson Mandela served most of his 27-year prison sentence), Kirstenbosch (one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens) and Boulders Beach, where a wild colony of African penguins reside (pictured above).

For more details, visit https://tinyurl.com/2bp3ppa2

eiffel - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Paris from the Eiffel Tower

Thanks to Google Arts and Culture, you will now get to tour the Eiffel Tower (above), even without a ticket to Paris. The platform comprises high-resolution images and videos of artworks and cultural moments that bring such experiences to people from around the world. Here, you will get to explore every inch of the 324m tall tower, including the tower’s observation deck — all from one website.

See what we mean at https://tinyurl.com/htv6bumd

taj - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

A virtual tour at the Taj Mahal

Singapore has extended its VTL scheme to include India from Nov 29. But if you simply cannot wait to admire its sights, book yourself a virtual tour that will take you around the Taj Mahal (above), an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the right bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra. This two-hour trip is led by an expert local guide, giving you an exciting look into what has been described as one of the wonders of the world.

Visit this Indian icon at https://tinyurl.com/7dusw45x

berlin - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Experience the best of Berlin

Still not sure about going to Germany yet? How about checking it out virtually with this private live experience first? Here, you will be taken around the German capital — a world city of culture, politics, media and science — with a professional local tour guide. Conducted via Zoom, your guide will take you around the city, where you can ask as many questions as you like. The tour is also an interactive one and is interspersed with historical photos and videos along the way.

To join the journey, check out https://tinyurl.com/f7byz2rn 

All photos: Shutterstock