Explore the Entire World–from the Comfort of Quarantine–with 4K Walking Tours

Many of us right now are shel­ter­ing in place, or in quar­an­tine, dream­ing of that day when we can once again trav­el the world. And that day will come, friends, that day will come.

But until then, there are already sev­er­al YouTube chan­nels set up to pro­vide you with a chance to go on walk­ing tours around the world, with only the sounds of the envi­ron­ment in your head­phones.

I was alert­ed to this by good friend Phil Gyford, who found this via Sarah Pavis (via Fave­Jet), and pro­vid­ed sev­er­al links to this large selec­tion of vir­tu­al trav­el­er. Your mileage my vary, as they say, but here’s some trips I found par­tic­u­lar­ly relax­ing in these anx­ious times.

Above, I start­ed here with this walk through Pim­mit View Park in Falls Church, Vir­ginia. Despite an umbrel­la dip­ping into view, I found this a relax­ing walk­ing in the rain through a ver­dant won­der­land, with occa­sion­al paus­es to admire the flow­ing streams. Love­ly.

From here I was feel­ing a bit peck­ish, so I bopped over to the Pha­tra Mar­ket in Bangkok to have a look at the var­i­ous foods on offer. Lazy­Tourist, the per­son who filmed this, nev­er strays too long at any stall, but knows enough to linger.

A YouTu­ber called 4K Urban Life pro­duces the occa­sion­al walk­ing tour of Euro­pean cities, and here they show us Tus­cany, start­ing in a very non-descript side­street until ven­tur­ing out into the heart of old Italy. This one is near­ly four hours long, so bring a bot­tle of wine but skip the sun­screen. Enjoy the lack of social dis­tanc­ing, and pray for Italy.

Night has fall­en and it’s time to ven­ture out into the West End of Lon­don in this evoca­tive video from Watched Walk­er. It’s rainy and wet, but no mat­ter, the streets of Lon­don look love­ly and this hour-plus takes us through “Covent Gar­den, Leices­ter Square, Pic­cadil­ly Cir­cus, Oxford Cir­cus, Oxford Street, Carn­a­by Street and Soho.”

Now let’s drop in on one of New York City’s most pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tions, Times Square. Wind Walk Trav­el Videos has a lot of these short (30 mins or less) vis­its to Amer­i­can loca­tions, and this is one of their most pop­u­lar. Try not to think about how emp­ty these spaces are now, and enjoy the ambi­ence, sketchy Elmo and all.

Here’s Ram­bal­ac walk­ing Shin­juku at night, check­ing out the side streets and test­ing out his bin­au­r­al mic. This is a treat with head­phones on, so make this full screen and order in some ramen.

A final thought: recent­ly I’ve been focus­ing on 4K “remas­ter­ing” (by way of AI) of turn of the (20th) cen­tu­ry films, a look back to a dif­fer­ent age. In these above videos, we can see the tra­di­tion con­tin­ues, a fas­ci­na­tion in watch­ing life go on as we sit and look into our devices. Think on both those long since deceased folk in the 1900s and a record of our once-nor­mal lives (only a month ago, as of this writ­ing), and keep them both in your hearts.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How Walk­ing Fos­ters Cre­ativ­i­ty: Stan­ford Researchers Con­firm What Philoso­phers and Writ­ers Have Always Known

A 5‑Hour, One-Take Cin­e­mat­ic Tour of Russia’s Her­mitage Muse­um, Shot Entire­ly on an iPhone

Take a Vir­tu­al Tour of Brazil’s Nation­al Muse­um & Its Arti­facts: Google Dig­i­tized the Museum’s Col­lec­tion Before the Fate­ful Fire

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

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Comments (3)
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  • Erika says:

    hey you guys for­got to men­tion Wan­na Walk my favorite walk­ing tour chan­nel these days youtube /wannawalk

  • David Sheely says:

    In this world, every­one wan­na explore this entire world. but due to lock­down, nobody goes any­where because every­one is stuck at home. In this sit­u­a­tion, you are pro­vid­ing the best infor­ma­tion to every indi­vid­ual relat­ed to the tour . we are also pro­vid­ing the tour pack­age in lock­down . we obey all rules . for more infor­ma­tion vis­it us:www.tourorleans.com

  • Frank says:

    Hel­lo David, how are you doing? Cer­tain­ly a very inter­est­ing option to dis­cov­er the world from home as you said. I hon­est­ly pre­fer to trav­el in per­son but right bow still com­pli­cat­ed. I think you should also add my favorite vir­tu­al walk­ing tour video chan­nel: http://www.youtube.com/wannawalk i have been fol­low­ing it since the very first days because he adds maps, nar­ra­tion and a a wider range of coun­tries too. Just my hum­ble opin­ion. I also rec­om­mend walk­ing alice youtube, she shows nyc like no oth­er!! Take care, your friend Frank S.

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