Road trips offer much of what the Covid-19 pandemic has stripped from us: adventure, freedom and spontaneity. Ever-changing global travel restrictions continue to impinge on our ability to explore the world freely.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t taste a bit of that road trip freedom while you wait for that next escape. The Drive & Listen web app offers quick getaways without the travel restrictions.
While websites like Virtual Vacation offer similar virtual driving tours, the Drive & Listen app’s unique features deliver the best imitation of the road travel experience.
It may even inspire you to take the drive yourself one day.
Designed in 2020 by Erkam Şeker, a student in Munich, the web app provides the perfect lunch break escape.
It puts you in the driver’s seat, letting you virtually travel through the streets of over 50 cities around the world while listening to local radio stations in real time and hearing street noises, both of which you can turn on and off.
You can change destinations at any time. Be in Tokyo one minute and Dublin the next. New destinations are regularly added – Recife, Brazil being the latest. Each is unique and captivating, offering an impressive array of tourist attractions.
After we took a tour of every city in the library, here are the 10 most enticing ones.
1. Yekaterinburg, Russia
Take a winter drive down the snowy lanes of Yekaterinburg, which lies east of the Ural Mountains in Russia. Temperatures reached an average low of minus 19°C (minus 2.2°F) last year.
Listen to songs by local artists on station Russkoye Radio, while driving past the Church on Blood, which was built on the site where the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, was executed.
2. Los Angeles
From the iconic Hollywood sign to the Venice canals, there are many landmarks to see on your drive through Los Angeles, starting first with Rodeo Drive.
Lined with palm trees, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is known for its luxury goods stores and high-end boutiques. Rodeo Drive’s Walk of Style is decorated with plaques honoring fashion icons and features the unusual “Torso” statue.
Listen to chill, downtempo beats on Groove Salad radio station while watching the sun gleam on the solid aluminum statue, created by world-renowned artist Robert Graham.
In Tokyo, Rodeo Drive comes in the form of Chuo-dori Avenue in Ginza. Beautiful urban streetscapes, with magnificent neon-lit skyscrapers and sleek building facades, decorate the capital city of Japan.
Drive along the city’s highways, across the Rainbow Bridge, and past the Tokyo Tower while listening to local news on FM Fujigoko, or J-Pop on LISTEN.moe.
Drive through Marina Bay in downtown Singapore in the shadow of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel towers, which are roofed by SkyPark.
Listen to Kiss 92 while marveling at the Singapore Flyer, Asia’s largest observation wheel.
Drive through street markets and past modern skyscrapers in the metropolis that is South Korea’s capital, while listening to K-pop on LISTEN.moe.
The hip area of Seongsu-dong, near Seoul Forest, is populated with small shops and craft coffee bars. It is also home to alternative spaces and entertainment companies, such as BTS’ agency, Big Hit Entertainment.
6. Nice, France
Sun and sea make up the scenic drive down the Promenade des Anglais, which runs along the Mediterranean coast of Nice.
Let French news and music on radio stations such as Radio FG and Agora Côte d’Azur (Agora French Riviera) accompany you on your journey down the A8 highway all the way to Boulevard Charles III in Monaco.
7. Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Like the outdoor backdrop of a movie, the village of Lauterbrunnen in the Swiss Alps offers an awe-inspiring view of rocky cliffs and waterfall-draped mountains.
Turn on Radio 24 and peek at the cute cabins and cottages that are dotted around the municipality.
8. Izmir, Turkey
Clear blue skies and waters greet you as you drive through the coastal city of Izmir, Turkey. It is the country’s second largest seaport after Istanbul.
Turn on Süper FM and look above Izmir’s uniquely shaped skyscrapers, like the Folkart Towers and Mistral Office Tower, toward the hills overlooking the city.
The daily traffic-laden commute might no longer be familiar to you. However, for a similar rush without the stress, Beijing is the perfect virtual destination.
Turn on Binchow Music Radio and drive through Beijing’s Central Business District. Its stunning tall buildings with modern architecture will make you reluctant to take your eyes off the road.
The picturesque Netherlands capital has a lot to offer, including beautiful canals, pretty wooden houses and historical artistic landmarks.
Listen to music and talk shows on Radio SALTO while traveling past the Amstel Canal, then to the Magna Plaza shopping center, and on toward the Anne Frank House.
Top image credit: Drive and Listen/Hawaii John