How to explore the culture of Europe from home

As the World Health Organisation on March 11 declared COVID-19 a pandemic and much of Europe is in lockdown, we appeal to you to stay at home and respect the instructions to isolate yourselves as much as possible. Culture lovers, fear not! We have prepared a list of activities and places to visit without leaving the comfort of your home.

In the next few weeks a lot of us are going to spend more time at home than we are used to, and a lot of us are working remotely while trying to keep up with our kids’ schoolwork. Once work and school are finished in the evenings, as usual, we will have free time to fill. And while nothing can replace the experience of a live orchestra or the unique encounter with art in museums and galleries, thanks to the digital platforms we now have, art is just a click away from us.

European Heritage Days ideas during isolation

In 2019 European Heritage Days celebrated the shared theme of Arts and Entertainment in most of the 50 participating countries, and we encourage you to explore the 101 event ideas again, as many of them can be organised indoors or as an online event.

The newest edition of 101 Event Ideas is focused on Heritage and Education, which is this year’s shared theme under the slogan Heritage and Education: Learning for Life! Inside, you will find a variety of activities for all ages, with a special section of activities for children. For help adapting these events to the indoors, make sure you follow us on social media, as we will be providing ideas daily: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And to learn more about the work of the Euroepan Heritage Days coordinators and the shared European heritage watch the Youtube video.

We also invite you to check the recommendations of your national and local EHD organisers, as they are working hard to adapt their programmes to the new situation.

Visit museums, galleries, listen to concerts all around Europe

The Uffizi Gallery hosts works of art by great Italian artists such as Botticelli, Giotto, Cimabue, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello, just to name a few of the most famous.

Trying to help their visitors in this unprecedented situation, museums, galleries, and all kinds of different performers around the world are united in overcoming the challenges presented by isolation. They are offering tours, performances and other kinds of virtual experiences.

Here is a list of museums and galleries in Europe you can visit online:

In Belgium, it’s the year of Van Eyck. Since the museum is closed, the website helps you discover his masterpiece (Lamb of God) and its restoration. 

View, share, download and reuse free more than 30.000 digital images from the rich heritage history of Flanders, Belgium..

Travel through time in the British Museum, London.

Discover the wonders of Florence's famous museum, Uffizi Gallery.

Explore even the smallest Finnish local museums online at emuseo.fi.

Explore 278 pieces of extraordinary art in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

Take the chance to see the The State Hermitage Museum in Sankt-Peterburg, Russia.

Use Google Street Views to find Banksy Murals.

Always wanted to visit Berlin Philharmonic? The Digital Concert Hall is now open to everyone for a limited time!

For opera lovers, the Vienna State Opera is streaming some of its latest performances.

Members of the Rotterdam Philharmonica Orchestra adjusting to a new reality and searching solutions in order to support each other played the Beethoven's Ode to Joy from their living rooms. 

For more events that are happening all over the world, attend the Social Distancing Festival. It is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing.

Get ready for the special occasion

Before you start meandering through the virtual world of cultural heritage, do not forget to prepare the atmosphere!

To make the experience authentic, you could prepare as if you were about to make a real visit. Start by booking an exact date and time, and even pick what to wear for the special occasion. After all, it is part of the preparation ceremony! Do not forget to invite your friends, or if you prefer family time, organise a gathering on the sofa this Saturday. When the time comes, remind everyone to put their phones on silent mode before starting your visit.

Enjoy, stay safe, and let us know about your favorite virtual visit!