The photo-based immersive virtual environment (IVE) has become an increasingly popular method to deliver spatial experiences because it provides users with a high sense of presence and interactivity. However, there is still a lack of empirical evidence on the degree of realism of spatial experiences. Thus, the present study aims to investigate the reality of photo-based IVE spatial experience. We recruited 74 participants and conducted surveys to compare a photo-based IVE, conventional methods, and actual visit in terms of the spatial information and appraisal of the space. The results indicated that the users' impression of the space in the photo-based IVE was similar to that in the real space because of a high sense of presence, but they less accurately recall the specific physical characteristics of the space owing to high cognitive load. The findings of the present study contribute to the understanding of spatial experiences via photo-based IVE.