7 Striking photos of top tourist cities on lockdown

Siobháin Spear
Mar 31, 2020

Photographs from around the world capture the stillness of the empty streets during COVID-19.

For many seasoned travellers and photographers, the idea of visiting a well-known city and wandering its streets without brushing arms with tourists has always been somewhat of an idealistic dream — unless setting the alarm clock for an unreasonable hour of the morning. However, in recent weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen some of the world’s top tourist cities come to a complete standstill.

With lockdowns and restrictions being put in place to stifle the spread of the novel coronavirus, landmarks have been left deserted and fast-paced city life has slowed to a halt. From a refreshing glance at car-free highways in Dubai to the eerie silence of Italian streets surrounding the Colosseum, here are seven photos that show some of the world’s busiest cities in lockdown:


Arc De Triumphe sits alone with sunrise backdrop during COVID-19 lockdown in Paris

Standing strong at the western end of the Champs-Élysées in Paris, the typically congested roundabout surrounding Arc de Triomphe is left empty. Adrien Danthony captures its stunning stillness as France takes a firm approach to a nationwide lockdown.


An empty street and church in Brussels during lockdown as COVID-19 wreaks global havoc

In an eerie photograph released by Brussels Travel, the city’s neo-gothic church rises from the sleeping streets at sunset.

New York

The empty streets during COVID-19 around Times Square in NYC

ZuRA captures Midtown Manhattan in New York like you have never seen it before as Times Square presses ‘snooze’ on everyday life in the city that never sleeps.


The empty escalators of the London Underground during COVID-19

The London Underground is typically teeming with city commuters as they hustle their way onto trains at peak hours, but city dwellers have now taken heed of the government’s imposed lockdown in this photograph shared on Instagram by @transportforlondon.


The empty square in Frankfurt, with its traditional buildings and cobble-stone roads

In this photograph by Marc Lueke, Frankfurt’s old town looks as though it has taken a step back in time as Germany lockdowns all its states, leaving tourist hotspots empty and local businesses closed.


Empty streets surrounding the Colosseum in Romeg the

The Italian capital, normally thronged with crowds, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic; life has come to a standstill and Rome’s Colosseum takes a backseat to the city’s battle against coronavirus in this Instagram shot shared by @manutoni24.


The empty streets and roads of Dubai during COVID-19 lockdown with Burj Khalifa in the background at night

As captured and shared on Instagram by Dubai resident Naomi D’Souza, the wide and winding highways of Dubai are car-less as restrictions are put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Emirates. Meanwhile, Burj Khalifa stands tall with its #StayHome message projecting to the world.

Have you captured photographs of the empty streets during COVID-19 in your city? Tag #WorldTravellerME on Instagram to be featured. For the latest health updates regarding coronavirus, ensure that the information you are consuming is from an official source. To stay up-to-date with the latest regional travel news, subscribe to World Traveller Middle East.