Take a Virtual tour of the Palaces of Europe

Google Arts & Culture has a huge array of amazing virtual tours

You can search for for a specific castle or Palace.

They also have collections based on Historical Events or Historical Figures.
For example, if you enter 'Marie Antoinette' the result is 57 items.
They are images of paintings, postcards, sculptures etc.
She also features in the story 'How to Power Dress Like History's Greatest Women', which will lead you to other fascinating people and stories.
Beware, before you know it you have spent hours roaming around this website!

You may have wandered around in the streets of famous cities or through magnificent landscapes using Google maps. But did you know that Google also peeked inside some of the most gorgeous palaces and other building? You can walk around without the hassle of millions of other tourists that usually crowd these places.  Many famous palaces offer virtual tours so you can explore them online.

Most Royal Palaces are huge. It would take days to explore all the rooms, gardens, paintings, artwork and expositions that are on display.  Google Maps & Google Earth offers you the solution.  You can use these virtual tours to plan ahead for a visit to one of these palaces. And to check out what you have missed afterwards...

If you are self-quarantine to help contain the coronavirus, have no money to spend or no vacation days left, you can visit the palaces from your couch.  

Here is a selection of the available virtual tours in te most famous palaces of Europe.  

DISCLOSURE: I get commissions for purchases made through some of the links in this article.

1 Palace of Versailles, France

 A virtual tour through the Palaces of Europe saves you a lot of time and annoyances (and money!). You are alone in each room and do not have to worry about selfie sticks pocking you in the eye.  And there are more added benefits. You get to visit rooms that are usually closed to the public. 

On top of that Google provides additional details about the artwork that you see and a link to that work on the Google Arts & Culture page if there is one.

Take a look at this room in the left-wing of the Palace. There are several famous painting starring Napoleon in this room.  Both  "The Coronation of the Emperor and Empress, 2 December 1804" by 

Jacques Louis David and "Battle of Aboukir, 25 July 1799" by Antoine-Jean Gros have a VIEW MORE (GOOGLE ARTS & CULTURE) link.

More Virtual tours of the Palaces of Versailles

  • On this website you can find 3D scale models of the Palace of Versailles through the centuries. Starting in 1624 when the palace was simply a hunting lodge, until the situation as it is today. Lots of insights and information on the history of the largest Palace in Europe.

  • Wander around the gardens of Versailles in 360°. You visit starts at the Cour d'Honneur, via the Cour Royale into the Parterre d’Eau behind the Palace. Grand Trianon and Marie Antoinette's estate are also included.

  • TIP: download the Versailles App.  It offers an interactive map and audio-guide tour of the Palace, the Gardens, the Trianon Estate and the Gallery of Coaches. Gives you a chance to explore the palace on your mobile. I used it to investigate where I definitely wanted to go before I visited the Palace.

2. Royal Palace of Amsterdam (Paleis op de Dam), the Netherlands

Walk around inside the Royal Palace of Amsterdam (Paleis op de Dam) with Google maps. The Palace on Dam Square in Amsterdam is often due to Royal Events. It is still used by the Royal family during state visits,  New Year’s receptions, gala dinners and award ceremonies.  You can take a virtual tour and see this former City Hall, transformed into a royal palace by Louis Bonaparte, the first King of Holland.

Although the exhibition already ended in 2017, the wedding dress of  Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and King Willem-Alexander's wedding suit are still on display on Google maps. 

 You can enter the 'Burgerzaal'  (Citizens' Hall). Have a look at the inlaid marble floor featuring two hemispheric maps showing the extent of Amsterdam's trade routes. The maps show the latest discoveries of Abel Tasman in Australia and Tasmania. These discoveries were published for the first time on this floor. 

3. Schönbrunn Palace and Imperial Carriage Museum Vienna, Austria

This World Heritage Site, located in Hietzing, Vienna, attracts many visitors each year. Schönbrunn was the summer palace for many of the Habsburg rulers. It's most famous inhabitant is without a doubt, Empress Sisi. On Streetview, you can take a walking tour through some of the authentically furnished rooms of the palace. You can also find more information about the famous artwork in the palace. 

On display here is the Train of Sisi's wedding dress. Read more about this on this page.   

When you roam around in the area of the palace you can suddenly find yourself inside the Imperial Carriage Museum. You can see all the carriages from up close and as a special treat, also gorgeous dresses and uniforms worn by Sisi and Franz-Joseph are displayed. 

4. The Louvre Museum, France

On the Louvre's website you can find virtual tours through several exhibitions.

Here you can also have a look inside the Louvre Museum.

Although the Louvre is famous as a Museum, it used to be the home of the kings of France until Louis XIV moved the court to Versailles in 1682. 

On this interactive floorplan  you can see what a majestic building it is. Besides the many works of art that you can see there, some traces of a former occupant can be found. Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I, had some opulent rooms build here. It is unlikely that he actually lived here because the Louvre was already a Museum by then (building of the rooms commenced between 1852 and 1857). 

5. Royal Palace of Caserta, Italy

 Palazzo Primoli

In Rome, you can find the Palazzo Primoli, containing the Napoleonic Museum. This museum was founded by the grandson of Charles Lucien Bonaparte and Zénaïde Bonaparte, both cousins of Napoleon who married each-other. You can find portraits, furniture and artefacts of the members of the Bonaparte family who lived in Rome after Napoleon’s defeat.  You can wander around the 10 rooms in this virtual tour!  

The former home of the King of Naples is one of the largest royal residences in the world. If you click on the image above you step directly inside the palace. Click on the dots in the Street view map to see several tours of the interior and exterior of the palace.

On the Google Arts & Culture website, you can find more information on the palaces' history and artwork, including some historical videos (in Italian).

6. Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom

On this same website, you can find virtual tours of other British Rolay residences. They show only a few rooms, but it is nice to see how Her Majesty The Queen lives.

You can visit:

And here you can look around the Tower of London.

During a reception, held in February 2018 for the London Fashion Week, this virtual tour of Buckingham Palace was made. So not only can you have a look inside the Palace State Rooms, but you can also watch the beautiful dresses from famous designers that are on display. 

You can continue your tour by having a look around in the Grand Staircase, the Throne Room and the the White Drawing Room. 

7. The Catherine Palace, Russia

This summer residence for the Russian Tsars was first built by Peter the Great in 1717. He names the palace after his wife, Catherine I.

Empress Elizabeth had the palace completely torn down and started over. Her predecessor Catherine the Great, in her turn, refurnished the place, as she thought it was very outdated. 

You can walk around the palace on google maps, to admire the beautiful colors of the blue and gold palace. You can also see several rooms inside, including The Great Hall, or Light Gallery, of approximately 1,000 square meters which occupies the entire width of the palace. Click on the image to the right to step inside.

Visit these palaces of Europe with a virtual tour, comfy from your couch!