To help you get a taste of travel from home, or even find inspiration for your next trip, you can enjoy a teaser tour on Lonely Planet’s Guides app. Using immersive 360º video and images to transport you to your favourite destination, you can learn more about top attractions like La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, take in the views from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge in New York City and even get a sense of what it's like to bike in Amsterdam. No passport required.
To get started, find your destination of interest on the Guides app (iOS and android). Once you're there, search for a 'must see' attraction or landmark (swipe left to see the full list) and select the one you want. Click the box and arrow icon to begin the tour and then continue to press the arrow icon to go deeper inside the attraction. Using your smartphone touchscreen, you can rotate the images to enjoy 360º views and even videos of some of the world's most impressive sights. All set to go? Here are 10 of the best:
Barcelona: La Sagrada Família
In real life (and in a parallel universe where travel restrictions don't apply) you'd have to get up at the crack of dawn to brave the queues to get inside Basílica de la Sagrada Família. But with 360º tours you can see the sun stream rainbows of light through the stained-glass windows of Antoni Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece and enjoy kaleidoscope views of the ceiling through a multitude of perspectives from your phone.
Miami: Wynwood Walls
Stroll through Miami's most popular outdoor public art attraction where you'll find street art emblazoned on nearly every wall and building.
Thailand: Wat Pho
Follow the arrows until you find the main attraction in one of Thailand's oldest temples: the statue of the reclining Buddha and his huge feet decorated with mother-of-pearl.
A visit to Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris has been off the cards ever since the devastating fire of April 2019 closed it to the public. So this is your best chance to explore the medieval cathedral in all its glory while waiting for the grand reopening in 2024.
Tokyo: Tsukji Market
One of the most engaging sights in Japan's bustling capital, Tsukji Market is home to vendors selling everything from seafood to kitchen tools and fresh fruit. Sure you won't get to taste the food, or even smell it (technology hasn't advanced that far yet) but you will get a sense of the market's famous frenetic energy.
Rio de Janeiro: Ipanema Beach
For those of us without easy access to a beach, taking a stroll along one of the world's most famous shorelines is the next best thing. We can almost smell the coconut-scented sun cream.
Singapore: Gardens by the Bay
See Singapore's famous 'Supertrees' (giant artificial treelike structures) and their silver-pink branches with a virtual visit to Gardens by the Bay.
Follow the arrows across Museum Square and into one of the greatest museums in the world, where you'll get to explore a vast collection of 17th century masterpieces with a few taps of your phone.
New York: Brooklyn Bridge
Ambling along one of North America's most bridges is a must for any visitor to New York. Using the app you can (sort of) do just that, while rotating the images to take in 360º views of the city and the bridge's iconic neo-gothic arches.
Rome: Roman Forum
Virtually tour the ancient sites of the Roman Forum and use the arrows to bring you closer to some of its crumbling structures. You'll see the Forum thronged with tourists as you tour its crumbling structures with your phone but you won't need to jostle elbows with them for views.