Before-and-after photos show how the coronavirus has left the world's biggest tourist attractions looking like ghost towns

  • In the last few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has quickly spread across the globe.
  • Whether they're under a full lockdown or simply asked to self-isolate, people around the world are staying inside, leaving once-bustling attractions eerily empty.
  • From the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, tourist attractions around the world have closed their doors to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Millions are under lockdown everywhere, borders across the world are closing, nonessential businesses are shuttering, strict controls on public life are being enacted, and flights are being canceled left and right — the world has come to a temporary standstill.

As a result, tourism has been devastated, and once-crowded attractions the world over are left eerily empty.

Keep scrolling to see before-and-after pictures of how some of the most-visited tourist attractions have been left abandoned in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

BEFORE: The Happiest Place on Earth attracted crowds right up until its closure on March 15.

AFTER: March 16 became the first time ever that all six Disney parks across the globe shut down, according to Vox.

Source: Vox

BEFORE: Rain or shine, hordes of tourists congregate to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London, UK.

AFTER: Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a stay-at-home order on March 23. According to CNN, Britain hasn't seen restrictions like this since the end of World War II.

Source: CNN

BEFORE: San Marco square in Venice, Italy, is a tourist hotspot that sees between 26 million and 30 million visitors annually, according to Business Insider.

Source: Business Insider

AFTER: The lockdown has rendered it a ghost town.

BEFORE: The Blue Lagoon is Iceland's number one attraction. The geothermal spa sees around 1.3 million visitors a year, per the BBC, even though Iceland has a population of only about 330,000.

Source: BBC

AFTER: The Blue Lagoon was open up until March 23.

BEFORE: The Eiffel Tower is always bustling with both locals lounging around it and tourists climbing up to its top. According to Tour Eiffel, it sees about 7 million visitors annually.

Source: Tour Eiffel

AFTER: The Eiffel Tower has closed indefinitely.

BEFORE: The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy, attracts throngs of tourists pretending to hold it up.

AFTER: The only people around the Leaning Tower during Italy's lockdown are workers that are spraying disinfectant solutions around public spaces.

BEFORE: The Red Square in Moscow, Russia, attracts tourists and visitors alike with its colorful Saint Basil's Cathedral.

AFTER: According to Reuters, Moscow put special safety measures in place at tourist attractions and hotels as early as January 28.

Source: Reuters

BEFORE: Las Vegas, Nevada, sees around 42 million visitors a year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Source: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

AFTER: On March 17, the governor of Nevada ordered nonessential businesses to close for 30 days, leaving Las Vegas looking like a ghost town.

BEFORE: People love taking photos at the Spanish Steps in Rome.

AFTER: Sixty million Italians are on lockdown in an effort to curb the coronavirus, leaving the UNESCO World Heritage Site unusually desolate.

BEFORE: Locals may avoid it, but New York City's Times Square is one of the world's most-visited tourist attractions. It sees nearly 380,000 pedestrians every day, according to Times Square Monthly Pedestrian Count Reports.

Source: Times Square Monthly Pedestrian Count Reports

AFTER: New York City is on lockdown as of March 22.

BEFORE: The Forbidden City, a palace complex in Beijing, China, is one of the country's most-visited attractions.

AFTER: It, along with many other Chinese attractions, closed to the public on January 25.

BEFORE: With around 750,000 daily visitors, Grand Central Terminal is usually one of the busiest spots in New York City.

Source: Grand Central Terminal

AFTER: As people self-isolate and work from home, few are using public transportation; ridership on commuter railways plummeted nearly 90%, per The New York Times.

Source: The New York Times

BEFORE: The Piazza del Duomo in Milan is one of the city's top attractions.

AFTER: With Italy on lockdown, few venture outside. The Duomo closed its doors to visitors on February 25.

BEFORE: San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf is one of the city's busiest tourist areas.

AFTER: But now few people leave the house after a three-week shelter-in-place order was imposed.

BEFORE: The Colosseum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sees around 7.4 million visitors a year, according to a local magazine.

Source: Italiani

AFTER: Post-lockdown, it's practically barren.

BEFORE: The Louvre Museum in Paris, France, home to the Mona Lisa, is the world's most-visited museum, according to Museums EU.

Source: Museums EU

AFTER: The museum announced that it would not reopen due to the coronavirus on March 1.

BEFORE: When in Los Angeles, California, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a must-visit.

AFTER: Once California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order on March 19, the streets were left deserted.

BEFORE: Vatican City, the world's smallest country, is home to only 1,000 people, but is also the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, according to CNN.

Source: CNN

AFTER: With Italy on lockdown, the Vatican remains empty.

BEFORE: For most visitors (and many locals) no trip to New York is complete without catching a Broadway show.

AFTER: To curb the coronavirus, theaters closed their doors, suspending all plays and musicals, on March 12.


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