VR Voyaging is all about finding the best virtual reality apps to explore the world and travel through history. For this list, we’ll be talking about experiential (non-gaming) titles available as of 2022, regardless of when they may have been released. Even with the number of VR titles increasing drastically in the past few years, high-quality cultural, travel, and art experiences are still a relatively small number, at least compared to gaming and other software. Some of these are actually a few years old but are so solid that we continue to recommend them wholeheartedly.
Blueplanet (2020, review)
It’s one thing to explore the globe using spherical photos. It’s another thing entirely to walk around a scene completely immersively. Blueplanet offers over 40 fully volumetric scenic and cultural heritage experiences worldwide. It also goes on sale fairly often (including right now until Jan 5).
BRINK Traveler (2021, review)
Similar to Blueplanet, BRINK Traveler lets you travel around the world and see different sites up close and personal. BRINK is still catching up and has fewer choices (20 spots at 13 locations), but the price reflects that. Their specialty is more around natural locations, and the quality is excellent.
Nefertari Journey to Eternity (2018, review)
If you love the idea of exploring ancient Egyptian tombs, this is the experience for you! There are only a few like it, but this is the best one I’ve seen. To make it even better, it’s completely free! Do yourself a favor and get it today!
Pompeii (2019, review)
Another entry in the theme of visiting ancient places, this experience lets you walk around the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii. No crowds or noise, just you and history. There’s narration if you are interested, but you can choose not to activate it if you prefer.
- Compatibility: Rift
- Price: $3.99
The Dawn of Art (2020, review)
Ancient humans have been creating cave art since at least 36,000 years ago. The Chauvet Cave in France contains thousands of such drawings that are inaccessible to most people. Explore this cave and see a VR documentary narrated by Daisy Ridley. Definitely get the Steam version though, which runs on all the headsets and is free!
Guildford Castle (2022, review)
I had never heard of Guildford Castle before, but I’ve always been keen to explore any castle that I could find! This is a great experience where you can walk the grounds, go into the ruins, and even enter a reimagining of the surrounding town and countryside. It’s free, so just get it already!
- Compatibility: SteamVR (FREE)
- Price: FREE
Smithsonian American Art Museum: Beyond the Walls (2019, review)
The Smithsonian isn’t the first museum in VR, but it’s definitely an excellent example of how to do it right. In addition to about a dozen paintings and four sculptures, there is a 360° video of the aurora borealis, plus the museum interior itself has been scanned from real-life.
- Compatibility: SteamVR
- Price: FREE
TheBlu (2016, review)
TheBlu is a great experience letting you go deep into the ocean. There are four different settings you can choose from, and they are all very well done. You can reach out for fish as they swim by and “touch” the sea anemones to watch them react. It’s a little older, but it continues to hold up very well.
- The Holy City – See the holy sites around Jerusalem up-close
- Anne Frank House – Visit the historic building where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis
- Perspectives: Paradise – Learn about US nuclear testing in the Enewetak Atoll