6 Best VR Travel Apps to Explore the World With Your Smartphone

You can enjoy a virtual trip to a dreamy beach or mountain without even needing…

You can enjoy a virtual trip to a dreamy beach or mountain without even needing to leave home. One of the wonders of VR technology is its power to transport you to many destinations around the world through your smartphone.

You do need a few components to make it work, but once you get the hang of it, you could spend a whole day exploring Earth’s most stunning locations. Below are six top VR travel apps for Android and iPhone, and a few tips to get you started.

Before you even try to embark on a virtual trip around the world, make sure you have all the tools you need. It’s also a good idea to read up on how VR technology works. Our review of the Oculus Quest, for example, details a different kind of mobile headset.

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Even within the category of phone-based headsets, devices differ from each other, both in terms of the VR device and your smartphone’s capabilities. This means that your experiences might not be the same as someone else’s.

Whatever the case, here are the basic boxes you need to tick if you want to enjoy phone-based VR to its fullest:

  • A smartphone that supports VR experiences, specifically with a Gyroscope sensor
  • A headset compatible with your phone and its size
  • Sometimes you need software like Google’s Cardboard, available in the Android and iOS app stores
  • VR travel apps or media, like 360 degree images and videos from YouTube or other providers

1. Within VR

One of the best apps for experiencing virtual reality on mobile devices, Within VR has several videos on offer. You can travel to real and animated worlds, all vivid and complete with audio. Among real-life options, you have North Korea, Hong Kong, Rwanda, and the Olympic National Park on offer.

Just tap a video that appeals to you and a profile will appear, containing a description and buttons to share, download, and stream the production. If you select the last option, you can then choose to view it in VR or normal mode.

Whatever interests you, from documentaries to spacewalks or horror stories, you’ll find something to entertain you for four minutes or even two hours. More productions are added over time, so it’s a good VR app to hold onto.

Download: Within VR for Android | iOS (Free)

2. Sites in VR

You’ll find a wide range of destinations on this handy app, from waterfalls to ancient tombs. To begin with, Sites in VR offers fascinating and high-quality images in 3D and 360 degrees too.

However, if your interest is specifically virtual reality, just go onto the image you want and tap the VR icon. When you put on the headset with your phone mounted, you’ll get to feel like you’re there in person.

The app’s settings are fully adjustable too. Tailor your experience by changing the VR brightness, screen rotation, tool visibility, and more. Pairing it with extra handy travel planning apps can help you prepare for the perfect trip.

Download: Sites in VR for Android | iOS (Free)

3. Egypt VR 360

Some travel apps focus on specific famous locations. Since Egypt is a favorite, the existence of a dedicated virtual tour is hardly a surprise.

Egypt VR 360 is simple but well-designed, collecting footage of the country’s most impressive landmarks. As soon as you open the software, you’ll get a row of locations and a brief description of each one. For a closer look, you just tap on a destination and then the VR icon.

With over a hundred options, you can visit the Sphinx, Philae Temple, and Sultan Hassan Mosque in one sitting. The app even features modern luxury hotels to explore. It’s not a bad way to pinpoint exactly where you want to go next time you visit Egypt in person.

Download: Egypt VR 360 for Android (Free)

4. Nepal VR

Here’s another travel app focused on a place people love to visit for their vacation. Nepal VR contains a collection of images, which you can look at in normal mode or virtual reality.

For the latter, just tap the familiar VR icon at the bottom of the app’s display. Navigation is a bit awkward, but the scenes are worthwhile.

As well as finding yourself in the middle of temples, museums, and festivals, you can bring up info bubbles offering handy descriptions and facts, whether historical or cultural.

While the app does have room for improvement, it’s an easy way to get to know Nepal. Sit back and explore important locations, while learning about its society. Even as a virtual traveler, you can expand your knowledge of the world.

Download: Nepal VR for Android (Free)

5. Tour It Virtually App

If you want to learn about India and see its winning locations up close, Tour It Virtually offer a mobile app alongside their website. Both platforms contain helpful details on the history, layout, and tourism advice of each location.

In terms of the VR feature, once again, you just need to navigate through the application to a destination you want to see. Once you reach its very informative profile, tap the image at the top and your smartphone will quickly switch to VR mode.

Despite some minor glitches, looking around is smooth and immersive enough to make the app a worthwhile investment.

Download: Tour It Virtually for Android (Free)

6. Relax River VR

Apart from real-life destinations, virtual reality can also take you to worlds that programmers make up from scratch. Relax River VR is a great example, where you can jump into a boat and float through super detailed environments.

This app only features VR technology, so you definitely need a headset and related software to use it. Also, keep in mind that, now and then, ads will interrupt your journey.

On the plus side, it’s the simplest experience to get into. Just launch the app, set up your gear, and the virtual river tour begins.

You’ll pass waterfalls, ruins, and beautiful landscapes, rich in color and realistic lighting. There are clear influences from real destinations, so the experience is just as immersive and relaxing as visiting a digital Cairo or Honolulu.

Download: Relax River VR for Android | iOS (Free)

Enjoy Virtual Reality Travel

Even though all these apps rank highly, some are better or less demanding than others. Some even offer fictional landscapes to dive into, which could appeal to gamers more. Whatever your interests, explore these options carefully to make the most of what your mobile and VR devices can provide.

Considering the apps are free, your main investment besides VR equipment will be your time and attention as you get to know more about the world’s wonders. Just how much you learn is entirely up to you.

And remember, virtual reality isn’t just about travel. Once you’ve got the gear, you can enjoy loads of great VR games on your phone, too.

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