As countries lock down in an attempt to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic, tourists have canceled their trips and citizens are being told to stay home. The destinations below are usually swarmed with tourists crowding for a good view, trying to get that perfect photo. Today they are largely empty. Streets are deserted, metro stations quiet, shops and cafes closed. These images of empty cities offer a different view that we don’t often, if ever, see—and despite the circumstances, they have a certain melancholy beauty.
A police officer stands in front of the Spanish Steps on March 12, 2020.
New York, New York
Times Square stands mostly empty on March 21, 2020.
Madrid’s Puerta del Sol is deserted on March 15, 2020.
A lone tourist sits in an empty Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2020.
Piazza del Duomo is shuttered in Florence on March 24, 2020.
Few tourists gather around the Eiffel Tower on March 17, 2020.
Old Town Square is empty in Warsaw, Poland.
Berlin’s famous Brandenburg Gate is void of tourists on March 21, 2020.
A railway platform is empty for Janata Curfew in Kolkata on March 22, 2020.
The typically busy streets of Amsterdam are nearly empty on March 7, 2020.