You Can Still Travel with Some Help from Google Maps
These are strange times and with the current travel ban we are all spending considerably more time in our own homes. You might be wondering how to fill the time and you’re probably starting to fantasise about sea breezes, gelato and sunshine.
So grab yourself a piña colada, put on your favourite holiday playlist and go on holiday to a foreign country with some help from Google Maps.
See the World with the Help of Google Maps
Travel experiences feed the soul. Holidays are the tonic we all crave to escape our daily lives and find relaxation and adventure, and to make new memories. When you can’t have the real deal, virtual travel could be the next best thing. We’ve all used Google Maps during those slow office hours, dreaming of escaping to the whitest sandy beaches, zooming to tropical paradises and using Street View at random to see where you end up. If you haven’t, perhaps now you will! Google Maps is an amazing tool for exploring the globe right from the comfort of your own home.
The Teletext Google Maps Travel Guide
It’s time to open Google Maps, sit back and let the little yellow Street View man do the walking for you with this virtual world travel guide!
THE COLOSSEUM - ROME, ITALY
Italy is a treasure trove of history and Rome is its finest gem. The Colosseum, a Roman amphitheatre once used for gladiatorial tournaments, could seat up to 80,000 spectators. It was built nearly 2,000 years ago and stands three storeys high. It has survived earthquakes, World Wars and stone robbers and, though ruined to an extent, still stands proud as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. Though far from modern, in 2007 it became one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Skip the queues and drop straight in
HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT BUILDING - BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
Budapest has a really interesting history and is a popular holiday destination for those seeking unique party bars, street food galore and incredible architectural tours. The central area of Budapest along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes the Hungarian Parliament Building - one of the largest parliament buildings in the world. You can marvel at it from Street View or drop straight into the building to enjoy its impressive Gothic revival architecture. Don’t forget to look up at the intricately painted ceilings!
THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER, DIAGON ALLEY - ORLANDO, USA
Harry Potter fans will be excited to know that you can virtually immerse yourself in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida - so dust off your cape and grab your wands! Drop into Street View by the Knight Bus and walk through Leicester Square Station to discover Diagon Alley and visit Gringotts Wizarding Bank and Ollivanders Wand Shop. You can also head over to another part of the park where you’ll find Hogwarts Castle and the village of Hogsmede, host to the infamous Three Broomsticks Pub and Honeydukes Sweetshop!
LA SAGRADA FAMILIA - BARCELONA, SPAIN
Barcelona is one of Europe’s most iconic cities and this monumental Roman Catholic cathedral designed by architect Antoni Gaudí should be on your list of places to visit – virtually or not. Construction on the Basilica began in 1882 and is not expected to be completed until 2026 – 100 years after Gaudí’s death. Google Maps lets you drop straight into the heart of the Basilica and look up at its impressive stained-glass windows and towering ceilings.
VALLETTA WATERFRONT - NEAR SILEMA, MALTA
If Mediterranean marinas, waterfront shopping and people-watching are your thing, you’ll love the Valletta Waterfront. Take a virtual trip to the old Baroque warehouses that line the harbour in sunny Malta, now converted into cafes and shops. You can almost feel the heat bouncing off the stone walls and shiny cruise liners from the pictures alone.
SHEIKH ZAYAD MOSQUE - ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the largest mosque in Abu Dhabi and breaks a number of records for its 17,000m2 floral marble mosaic courtyard, its vast woollen handwoven carpet weighing about 35 tonnes and its numerous gold-plated Swarovski crystal chandeliers. With Google Maps you can avoid the soaring temperatures and strict dress code and take in the 82 domes from the courtyard, or drop straight into the mosque and take yourself on a virtual walking tour.
CENTRAL PARK - NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES
Central Park is over 800 acres in size and features in hundreds of films and TV series. Most of the footpaths have been captured on Google Maps, so you can move through the park like you’re Blair from Gossip Girl or Ross from Friends without having to take a step. Features worth virtually visiting include the Bethesda Terrace Arcade, the Conservatory Garden and Belvedere Castle.
PUNTA SUR SCUBA DIVING - COZUMEL, NEAR CANCUN, MEXICO
For something a bit different, you can head to Mexico and go beneath the waves without getting wet! Just off the coast of Punta Sur you can find one of the top dive sites in the world. Swim among striking coral formations, abundant marine life and scuba divers, and discover this underwater world without having to do your PADI scuba diving training. Go diving with the kids and see if you can spot any of the fish from Finding Nemo!
What are You Waiting For?
It’s time to explore! Travel solo or go on a family holiday whilst saving money by doing it all virtually. Why not make things more realistic and delve deeper into your virtual travel by using all your senses? We’ve got the visual covered using Google Maps but to add to the authenticity, you could get your taste buds involved with a scoop of ice cream or a holiday cocktail of your choice. Stick on your holiday playlist or some soothing background seashore sounds and maybe even put some sunscreen on just for the smell of it!
For some more travel inspo and ideas of what to do while we all wait for the travel ban to lift, visit the Teletext Holidays blog.