While they might be shrouded in controversy, there is no denying that drones are a technological marvel. One of the most amazing things about these remote-controlled devices is their ability to reach incredible heights and take images of previously unreachable locations. From mind-boggling bird’s-eye views to death-defying heights, here are some of the most impressive drone images that have been taken in recent memory.
Attack of the Giant Bunny
Some drones capture the most bizarre images from above. Take this image, for example. Whoever was operating this drone was bewildered to see a giant pink bunny lying motionless on a mountainside. It was right next to his house.
However, he soon learned that a Viennese art group had created the bunny as part of an art project. While it was designed to shock hikers who were passing through, it was also intended as a spot for them to relax midway through their adventures.
Aquatic Time Machine
Historians are often fascinated by what they can find from shipwrecks. They usually provide plenty of valuable information about the time in which the ship was sunk or abandoned. This shipwreck ended up in the Philippines, specifically in the Palawan province of Coron.
The ship was used during World War II and it seems fitting that it would end up in this place. More shipwrecks can be found in this place that many believe is one of the most visually pleasing locations in the world.
A Unique Cabin in the Woods
This drone image captured a seemingly abandoned Boeing 727 that rests in the woods outside of Portland, Oregon. However, it turns out that a retired engineer bought the plane, placed it in these woods and converted it into a home.
The man in question spent a lot of time and resources making the inside of the plane actually liveable. Upon completing the transformation, he was able to enjoy his huge “garden.” The space in which the plane rests is almost like a heart-shape from above.
The Whampoa From Above
We would forgive you if you actually thought that an abandoned ship had been left in the middle of this busy cityscape. You might be wondering: “How did this ship get there and why was it left there?” It turns out though that it only looks like a ship.
The Whampoa is actually a popular shopping center in the heart of Hong Kong that many people enjoy going to for a number of reasons. There is no denying that drone images from above provide a truly remarkable sight.
The Jam of All Jams
One thing that a drone can perfectly capture is a large traffic jam that must be frustrating thousands of drivers below. This photo was taken over a motorway in China during rush hour.
While all the cars are somehow driving adjacently, there aren’t any real technical lanes seeing that there are no lines separating them. It’s amazing how all these cars manage to drive in such an orderly fashion. People often get out of their cars during these long, packed hours.
What a Place to Propose!
Out of all of the things that have been caught on a drone, this has to be the cutest thing, right? When someone sent their drone over a range of mountains, they discovered that a couple were on the edge of one of the cliffs.
Lo and behold, the drone caught the perfect moment when the guy got down on one knee and asked for his partner’s hand in marriage. We sincerely hope that the person was able to share the footage with these new fiances…
Now You Zee Them…
When this drone image originally surfaced online, people were scratching their heads by what they were seeing. For some, it took a few minutes to realize that the photo was taken from above as the shadows played tricks on people’s eyes.
Obviously, if you focus a bit more on the details, you can see that a drone was hovering over a group of zebras. You could say that this is a perfectly natural optical illusion. But once you do see the zebras, you can’t unsee them.
A Whale of a Time
The world’s oceans are simply full of wonders. With such a diverse range of marine life all around the globe, there is always some majestic creature to encounter. This swimmer got incredibly close to a humpback whale, which can easily grow up to 16 meters long.
Moreover, they can live up to 50 years. This drome image clearly shows how big the whale is in comparison to its human neighbor. While the snorkeler is in absolute awe, he keeps his distance just to stay safe.
The Grand Belvedere Hotel
Believe it or not, but the Belvedere Hotel of the Swiss Alps was once one of the famous locations in a James Bond movie. That’s right, Sean Connery graced this cute hotel for the classic Goldfinger. It appears that the hotel is located in the middle of nowhere.
Specifically, though, it was built on what is known today as the Furka Pass, a windy road with tons of bends. The hotel certainly earned its title “The Jewel in the Mountains” and has been open to guests since 1882.
Too Hot to Handle
If you are a Star Wars fan, this might remind you of the volcanic planet that Anakin and Obi-Wan fought on at the end of Revenge of the Sith. In reality, this volcanic region is located in Iceland and drone technology has now given us the chance to capture images in dangerous locations around the world, like this one.
The lava in the region runs between two mountains. Maybe the best way to describe it is like a river that is on fire.
The Road Less Traveled
It was a great winter day for a drone to be hovering over this part of the Pacific Northwest. The snow had perfectly rested on the surface, while the trees retained their bright red color, creating a beautiful contrast from above.
“The temperature was about -5ºF at sea level, but -20ºF at 14,000 to 15,000 feet. It was also extremely windy,” the photographer said. If there was an opportunity to drive straight through a winter wonderland, then this is it.
Barcelonely at the Top
If there is one place in the world where there are plenty of amazing locations for drones to take stunning photos, then it is Barcelona. Sagrat Cor Church is undoubtedly a beautiful building to visit.
Mount Tibidabo is where this church is located and it is so high up that the statues at the top are often covered in clouds. Spanish architect Enric Sagnier designed this church, which is also known as the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
So Spiritually High
A truly unique natural structure is the Katskhi Pillar, which can be found in the western part of Georgia. Back in the 9th or 10th century, a group of monks built a church at the top of this limestone monolith. It was and always will be a true challenge to get to.
Somehow, someway though, they managed to complete its construction and people have been ascending the pillar ever since to pray. Followers supply Monk Maxime with food and supplies twice a week via its 131ft ladder.
Norway Knows How to do Waterfalls
One of the highest waterfalls in all of Europe has to be Mardalsfossen. Located in Romsdal, Norway, this incredible waterfall has a terrify
ing 1,175 ft drop and the clouds below create an illusion that it meets no end whatsoever. The water comes from a nearby valley and passes along the Mardola river.
Lake Eikesdalsvatnet rests at the bottom of the waterfall and carries the water along. While there are plenty of good locations to take photos of the waterfall, the drone seems to get the best view.
A Record-Breaking Dive
While this might appear to be an incredibly dangerous thing to do, which it is, there are those who are able to do it without causing any damage to themselves. However, it does require skill and meticulous timing.
According to the person who took this photo with a drone, the diver in question is over 60 years of age and “is the world record holder for the Guinness waterfall diving.” This photo was taken at a waterfall in China’s Yellow River in the Heilongjiang province.
This Is a Garden?
It’s amazing to think that this is a photo of a real landscape. The beautiful Dubai Miracle Garden was constructed in 2013 and is full of amazing flower assortments. If you are ever in the United Arab Emirates, make sure to visit this awe-inspiring garden complex in Dubailand.
It should come as no surprise then that at 72,000 square meters, it is the largest garden of its kind on the planet. Bachir Moukarzel captured this image of the Airbus A4280.
A Bird’s Eye View
They don’t call it a bird’s eye view for nothing. Members of the aviary community have such an incredible view of the world, similar to that of a drone. But what happens when a drone is hovering over an eagle in mid-flight? That’s right, you get this kind of amazing view.
However, large birds are known to be aggressive towards the drones that they share the sky with, with a reputation of plucking at their machinery. Dutch police even used eagles to take out some illegal drones.
As Light as a Lily
Even the simpler photos on this list can be just as beautiful as the jaw-dropping, epic vistas. Take this photo, for example, which was taken by a drone in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
Helios1412 took the photo of a woman harvesting water lilies and submitted it for 2017’s International Drone Photography Contest. Amazingly, it ended up winning second prize in the People category. The area’s fertile land means that both animals and plants thrive here. No wonder this pond area is referred to as “Vietnam’s rice bowl.”
It’s Not What it Seems
While it might appear to be a small boat stuck on a cracked desert floor, at first, it is actually something else entirely. Drone photographer Milo Allerton named this photo “Cracked Mud Boating,” and depicts a family enjoying some time on the Burke Lake, located in Virginia.
This lake is situated in Fairfax Station and spans a whopping 218 acres. Owned by the local authority, there are plenty of families and individuals alike who like to travel along this body of freshwater via boat.
One of the most densely populated capital cities in the world, Mexico City is a sight to behold from above. The most populated city in the Western Hemisphere, it has a staggering 21 million people and this photo seems to capture one of the busiest parts of the entire city.
This hilly part of Mexico City is laden with homes and buildings. Of course, Mexico’s capital is home to a number of historically important landmarks such as the 13th-century Aztec temple Templo Mayor, as well as the Cathedral Metropolitana.
One By One
This beautiful area view of the red sand dunes of Saudi Arabia was taken by talented drone photographer Abdullah Al Nassar. The photo gives a fascinating look at white camels moving in a bending line in search of some water. This photo was taken in the desert area of north-east Riyadh.
Seeing that the area is surrounded by towering mountains, the “Hidden Valley,” as it is also known, is a popular place for locals to visit during the weekend.
Was there ever a time that one person was surrounded by more ducks than in this photo? There are plenty of duck farmers in Asian countries such as Vietnam and the man in the middle of this photo is one of them.
Here, ducks are used for both feathers and meat and it’s the farmer’s job to do daily rounds. He makes sure to feed all of the ducks and as he moves through the middle, the duck’s group up and form fascinating shapes along the water’s surface.
Back in 2016, when the International Drone Footage photography awards were first launched, this photo was first prize winner, and it’s not hard to see why. Taken from an angle that is bound to scare a lot of people with a fear of heights, a climber carefully scales down this Moab, Utah mountain face.
“Two years ago I started flying drones, and I quickly realized their potential to capture stunning, never-before-seen views,” photographer Max Seigal said. “I’ve been hooked ever since!”
Stairway to Heaven
If you haven’t been before, make sure to add the Algarve, Portugal to your list of places to visit in your lifetime. It is a truly beautiful part of the world and this is just one example of this southern region of Portugal’s vast array of natural (and man-made) beauty.
This long staircase helps direct beachgoers to one of the most secluded and beautiful beaches in the Faro area. If you are looking from the beach though, the stairs look like they’ll take you to heaven!
Don’t worry, this wasn’t constructed by aliens or simply by chance. American artist Robert Smithson is responsible for this stunning earthwork structure. Spiral Jetty was first put together in April 1970 and this drone image gives a stunning view of the artwork on the beach that it was built on.
The image would be amazing to look at without the spiral, simply due to the texture and the relationship between land, water, and sky. The artwork can only be seen when water levels fall below 4,195 feet.
Field of Dreams
It is unclear where this drone image was taken. However, it is common to see women in this part of the world picking marigolds in a field. While it looks pretty normal on the ground level, there is something extremely aesthetically pleasing about seeing this from above.
It must be something to do with the bright colors and the symmetry that creates some sort of peaceful quality. Many backpackers like to walk through these fields and have their photo taken.
I Can See a Rainbow…
Best known for its turquoises waters at the bottom, Cascade de Tamul is where the Santa Maria River and the Gallinas River meet to form a truly remarkable waterfall. While you can get great views while using a traditional wooden canoe called a panga, this drone certainly got the very best view.
Apparently, there is also a stunning cave around the middle that is worth checking out. “Suddenly you are in a river, bluer than anything you’ve seen,” MSalazar said. “Fresh waters, nice canoes to row and an amazing waterfall.”
Have You Seen Bigfoot? Not Yeti
Different from most of the other drone images on this list, this one was taken by someone who ended up getting pranked by his friend. A drone enthusiast explained to his friend that he loves flying his drone over the countryside.
After finding out where exactly he flew the drone, the friend devised an elaborate plan. The next time he flew his drone over the field, a bigfoot seemed to appear out of nowhere. However, he discovered the next day that it was just his friend dressed up!
A truly stunning image saw photographer Bryan Dumas fly his drone over New York’s iconic Central Park during one of the winter’s coldest mornings. The end result was this incredible photo. While it is surrounded by skyscrapers, the park stands out even more because of its snowy blanket.
People who live in New York City appreciate having Central Park to get away from the busy city life every once in a while. The snow just emphasizes how unique this part of the city really is.
City of Angles
There is no denying that Christ the Redeemer is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the world. This gigantic statue watches over Rio de Janeiro and attracts millions of visitors every year.
Despite images of the statue being readily available online, these drone images capture Christ the Redeemer from some truly unique angles. The shot from above is especially different from what we are used to seeing in travel brochures. It also shows just how big it actually is.
The Ultimate Fortress
While Amsterdam has plenty to offer for tourists, there are many other beautiful parts of the Netherlands worth visiting. Take Fort Bourtange, for example, which is located in the village of the same name in Groningen. This stunning star-shaped fort was constructed about 300 years ago.
These days though, tourists are able to visit it as it reopened as a historical museum. While it is a beautiful place to see from the ground, this drone image truly captures the sheer grandeur of its design.
A Taste of Fall
One part of the world that seems to have plenty of remote, winding highways is Romania. This drone was hovering over one of them and captured this incredible aerial image.
With red, burnt orange, and gold autumn leaved trees coming from every angle, this meandering road still manages to stand out like a sore thumb, in stark contrast to the forestry that surrounds it. This type of drone image perfectly shows how nature and man-made structures can find some sort of balance.
The Road Not Taken
It was a great winter day for a drone to be hovering over this part of the Pacific Northwest. The snow had perfectly rested on the surface, while the trees retained their bright red color, creating a beautiful contrast from above.
“The temperature was about -5ºF at sea level, but -20ºF at 14,000 to 15,000 feet. It was also extremely windy,” the photographer said. If there was an opportunity to drive straight through a winter wonderland, then this is it.
The Universal Language
This drone image was taken in the Norwegian archipelago of Lofoten, which has its very own soccer field for people from the local community to play on. It just goes to show how far the beautiful game has come.
Norway is experiencing something of a renaissance in soccer, with many believing that the current crop of players in the national team is the country’s golden generation. It is remote fields like this one that are bringing more opportunities to young, talented players.
Yin & Yang
Unlike other drone images on this list, this one shows the exact same location with a long, winding road through the middle.
What makes it so unique is that the photographer took the exact same image twice, with one having been taken in the summer and the other being taken in the winter. With a bit of editing magic, the effect was created that different seasons are happening either side of the road. It is almost reminiscent of the yin and the yang.
If you haven’t seen the Landwasserviaduct in a movie or a TV show over the last 50 years, then you simply haven’t watched enough.
This incredible six-arched viaduct is located in Graubunden, Switzerland and was designed over a hundred years ago by the revered Alexander Acatos. Surrounded by snowy mountains and thousands upon thousands of trees, you can consider yourself a true traveler if you ever end up passing through this viaduct on one of the iconic red trains.
Unlike many of the other drone images on this list, this one was given a black and white filter through the power of editing. This photo was taken in Phan Rang, Vietnam, where there is a copious amount of sand dunes.
The figures in the center of the image are a group of kids who are running through the dunes as a form of exercise during the early hours of the morning. The city also has plenty of green areas too.
Photographer Panvelvet captured this incredible image through some neat camera work. It was taken in Hong Kong, a country blessed with numerous, bustling metropolises and an unfathomable number of skyscrapers.
This particular drone image is reminiscent of the scene from the classic Christopher Nolan movie Inception. You know the scene where the characters experience in their dreams that the shapes of city landscapes can be modified. That’s how we feel right now when looking at this stunning photo.
A similar drone image to one that was previously shared on this list, a group of farmers can be seen from above washing each water lily meticulously. This followed by a process in which they group a certain number of lilies into a bundle.
The final step is to take these beautiful bundles to the local markets. During this washing process though, the workers lay out the lilies in a beautiful, circular display. Their clothes also match the flowers.
The Rise & Fall
As each year passes by, Iceland is becoming an even greater tourist location to visit than it already was. One of the attractions that people flock to from around the globe is the Gullfoss, the most famous waterfall in the entire country.
With an impressive double cascade, the “Golden Falls,” as they are known as in English, is even more mesmerizing when observed from tremendous heights, like from this drone image, for example. Make sure to visit the next time you’re in Iceland.
Located in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, the Bac Lieu is a majestic part of the world for a number of reasons. The reason that is evident in this drone image is the fact that it is the salt basket of this region.
Large salt fields can be found here, where workers collect to form large piles of salt that they can even stand on. When the sun is shining on them, they are almost reminiscent of little pyramids.
The largest city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai, boasts some truly stunning locations, especially surrounding its many bodies of water such as the Ping River. This drone image shows two people riding scooters on one of the cities bridges.
However, the most unique thing about this photo is how small the bridge and the scooters look against the crashing waves and patterns created by the waters. It is amazing how such a chaotic scenario can create something such beautiful patterns.
This drone image might not capture the natural beauty of the world the same way that many of these other images do. However, it presents a really cool view of a couple driving along the iconic Will Rogers Highway, better known as Route 66.
They are enjoying themselves in a classic blue Ford Mustang Convertible, as many others have over the years. If you are ever able to drive the entirety of Route 66, then that is one huge thing to tick off your bucket list.
The Bluest Lagoon
This drone image captures the Melissani cave on the Greek island of Kefalonia from the most unique of angles. It is a popular location, attracting many visitors each year.
Due to the extremely clear, blue waters in the cave’s lagoon, many believe that the boats that reach these parts look like they are floating in the air. What’s remarkable about this image is that from above, it hardly looks like a cave, and simply like a lake that is surrounded by trees.
The Tide Is Very High
People often forget how close New York actually is to Canada. This drone image was taken in Alexandria Bay, a village that is home to just 1,078 people. Due to its location, the village is often a victim of high water levels.
This is just one of many remote homes that were built to sustain the rising waters. It is around this time of the year (early fall) that many vacationers and boaters come to enjoy boat tours and other activities.
Peak of its Powers
Without a shadow of a doubt, Mont Blanc is the mountain of the French Alps that most climbers are determined to reach the summit of. Some of the most iconic skiers on the planet can be seen in this drone image on the mountain’s summit.
The Dynastar ski team can be seen walking up to the 4810m peak before they eventually ski the north face of the mountain during sunset. For light purposes, this is certainly one of the most beautiful times of the day to ski.
The Castle in the Clouds
While the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum might be some of the more popular tourist attractions in France, one shouldn’t ignore Mont-Saint Michel.
This beautiful tidal island is surrounded by empty beach space and only has a population of 50 people. It is a commune and has seen plenty of history over the last few hundred years. It is currently on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and attracts more than three million people every year.
The Island Hotel
The following drone image is a truly remarkable sight. It shows the hotel of Aman Sveti Stefan, which virtually encompasses the entirety of this islet on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro.
In total, the resort is believed to have about 50 rooms, suites, and cottages, as well as eight grand suites in Villa Milocer. While it is just as beautiful from the ground, the many orange roofs are an amazing thing to see from a bird’s eye view.
What’s “Mine” Is Yours
The historical significance surrounding Russia’s Mir mine is unquestionable. One of the largest excavated holes on the planet, it has been active as a diamond mine for over half a century, while open-pit mining was discontinued in 2001.
This aerial shot from a drone shows just how big Mir Mine is compared to its neighboring villages. Completely man-made, it also shows the huge impact that humans have had on this landscape over the years.
Too Close for Comfort
One of the more intimate drone images on this list got a closeup image of a lion looking up from the ground. It is believed that the “king of the jungle” in this image was disturbed by the sounds the drone was making and couldn’t keep its eyes off it from that point onward.
All cats have this in common. As soon as they notice something out of the ordinary, they put everything else to one side and give it all of their attention.
While many of these images show the world’s diverse beauty from above, this one simply shows how annoying and invasive drones can be to us humans. This young lady was doing some sunbathing on the roof of her building when, all of a sudden, she noticed a drone hovering above her.
She quickly grabbed her broom and chased the drone, yelling expletives as it flew away. Plenty of people are concerned with how intrusive drones can be in our everyday lives.
Two By Two
What strikes us most about this photo upon first glance is the symmetry between the two people on the beach and the two manta rays in the water. From a visual standpoint, it almost looks as if they are enjoying some sort of interspecies double date.
The photo was taken in Sri Lanka, and in a strange way, evokes the classic tale of Noah’s ark, in which two of each animal species were brought onto the vessel before the flood.
The Truth is Down There
There are plenty of movies and documentaries out there that put a magnifying glass over crop circles and what they could potentially mean. If you’ve ever seen Signs by M. Night Shyamalan, this photo will look extremely familiar.
People have wondered how these remarkable patterns got there in the first place. Did farmers make them themselves, or could it be that extraterrestrials are sending us some sort of signal? While we don’t know for sure yet, there’s no harm in speculating.
The Ginza district in Tokyo is a hugely popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with many internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, and restaurants. It is considered one of the most expensive, elegant, and luxurious streets in the world, and is loved by locals and tourists alike. Ginza is usually full all day, and even at night when visitors like to stroll the street to window shop even after the stores are closed. Now, the street is practically empty, with traffic restricted too.
Costco, New Jersey
Across the world, there have been scenes of panic buying in supermarkets as people start to stock up on supplies. Shelves continue to be filled every morning, but they are soon emptied by keen shoppers. Toilet paper seems to be a popular buy, and many shops find themselves sold out of the stuff almost every afternoon, as shown in this Costco in New Jersey. There is no problem with supply, however, shoppers need not fill up their carts!
The Kaaba, a black cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque of Mecca in Saudia Arabia, is Islam’s most important site. Hundreds of thousands of people visit all year round, and particularly during Hajj, the pilgrimage during the month of Ramadan. Initially, the Saudi Arabian authorities closed the entire site as a coronavirus precaution as shown in the aerial shot above. The Kaaba has now reopened after disinfection and visitors will be allowed to visit in small numbers, although touching the Kaaba is forbidden.
Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, Milan
The Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, commonly known as San Siro, is a soccer stadium in Milan. It is the home of the teams of AC Milan and Milan Internazionale and has a seating capacity of 75,923, making it one of the largest stadiums in Europe, and the largest in Italy. As a precautionary measure, football matches in Italy have been held behind closed doors which means spectators cannot attend. Recent developments have seen the entire league canceled until further notice.
Louvre Museum, Paris
The Louvre Museum in Paris, France, is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument. This central landmark hosts around 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century over an enormous space, and the Louvre received 9.6 million visitors in 2019. On February 1st, 2020, the Louvre closed its doors as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus. This was an important and intelligent decision by the French government due to the sheer numbers of visitors every year.
Whereas in Milan tourists take the tram, the main streets of Venice are actually waterways and canals, so visitors get around on water buses called vaporettos. The grand canals are usually full of larger and smaller boats, with some tourists taking private boats for a romantic sightseeing experience. Now that Venice is very empty, the main canals are eerily quiet, some of them without a boat in sight. Residents of Venice are encouraged to stay at home so the streets are not busy either.
Tram Network, Milan
There are many modes of public transport available to tourists visiting Milan, Italy, and one of the most loved modes of travel is the tram network. Tourists enjoy the old wooden seats and often take part in sight-seeing tours in these historic-looking carriages. Unfortunately, with the big reduction in tourism and visitors to Milan, the tram network is almost completely empty. Most people try to travel in their own cars or on bicycles to avoid contact during this time.
Piazza Del Duomo, Milan
The Duomo di Milano is the cathedral of Milan that sits in a big piazza, or square, in the center of the city. Statistics say that 80% of people who visit Milan go to see the cathedral which holds 3,400 statues and over 150 gargoyles. The economic value of the cathedral to the city is around 82 billion euro, so it is a blow to the local and national economy that fears of the coronavirus have almost completely emptied this central attraction.
Sensoji Temple, Tokyo
Senso-Ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It Tokyo’s oldest and most significant temple and is next to a stunning five-story pagoda, the Asakusa Shinto shrine. The temple itself is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion, and is the most widely visited spiritual site in the world with over 30 million visitors annually. The street up to the temple is usually teeming with visitors to its many gift shops, but now it is considerably emptier.
The Spanish Steps, Rome
The Spanish Steps are usually a top tourist attraction in Italy’s capital city of Rome. The 135 steps that link the two squares, named Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, were built in the years 1723–1725. Many tourists want to visit the steps because they were featured in the movie Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. People are traveling much less due to the coronavirus, and The Spanish Steps appear visibly emptier as an effect of this reduced tourism.
Huangpu River, Shanghai
The Huangpu River is a 70-mile long river that flows through the Chinese city of Shanghai before joining the Yangtze River and flowing into the East China Sea. The long promenades along the riverbanks are a tourist site within Shanghai, with many people visiting the restaurants, museums, and viewpoints along the river. The Huangpu River to Shanghai is like the River Seine is to Paris, but tourists are few and far between these days, with those visiting taking precautions by staying distant from one another.
The Colosseum in Rome is the 39th most visited landmark in the world, with 4 million tourists usually visiting every year. Construction of the Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, began in 72 AD. It was famously used for gladiatorial battles and public spectacles to entertain the crowds of Ancient Rome. Due to the restrictions put in place by the Italian government, the site has been heavily policed. The latest updates have confirmed that it will remain closed until at least April.
Victor Emmanuel II Monument, Rome
The Victor Emmanuel II National Monument is a national monument and popular tourist attraction in Rome, built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II who was the first king of a unified Italy. People from all over the world visit the site, which also houses the body of the unknown soldier, a tomb of a First World War soldier put in place in 1921. The steps to the monument now appear practically empty, as tourists are dissuaded from visiting the city.
Trevi Fountain, Rome
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most iconic architectural elements in Rome, Italy and was designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi in 1762. Tourists flock to this site, often throwing a coin into the fountain which is said to bring good luck. Recent developments in the spread of coronavirus have left this landmark almost completely empty. Usually, the fountain is surrounded by visitors both during the day and at night, so there is a stark difference between these images.
St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican is a Renaissance-style church in the Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome. St. Peter’s is a very popular place of pilgrimage, and for tourists who wish to marvel at its grand architecture and famous frescoes, such as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The liturgies usually held by the pope in the main square, which attract audiences of up to 80,000, have been canceled as a precaution.
St. Mark’s Square, Venice
Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square, is the most famous area of the northern Italy city of Venice. The square features a famous clocktower and church and is usually difficult to walk through because of the number of people and selfie sticks! Venice was one of the first cities to see heavily-reduced tourism as a result of coronavirus precautions, and the local citizens have said that they have never seen the square so empty in their entire lives.
Milano-Bicocca University, Milan
The Milano-Bicocca University in Milan, Italy, is a large public university with over 35,000 students. Its eight faculties are Economics and Statistics, Science of Education, Law, Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences, Medicine, Psychology, and Sociology. Very soon after the outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy, the government closed all schools and universities. Luckily for the students, professors are still able to provide study resources online, with many lecturers visiting the university to record their classes in an empty room to share online.
Piazza Navona, Rome
Restaurant Ai Tre Scalini in Piazza Navona is a popular place for tourists to take a break whilst visiting the public space in Rome, Italy. The Piazza itself is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in the 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The Ancient Romans would go to the Piazza Navona to watch games, and tourists often visit its stunning baroque architecture and cafés. Now, the Piazza is almost completely empty, which is a very strange site due to its key central location.
Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
The Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, was built in 1988 and was soon nicknamed ‘The Big Egg’ due to its unusual shape. It is the first Japanese venue to have a football attendance above 50,000 and is the home field of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team. Lots of American tourists in Japan love to visit to see the Japanese baseball style. Japanese sports matches must take place behind closed doors for now, but the Yomiuri Giants keep playing for those viewing from home.
Smart & Final, California
A woman walks down a completely empty aisle in the discount supermarket of Smart & Final in California. The chain of stores, known for its low price bulk items, has seen consumers stockpiling supplies, particularly those that come in at a lower price point. It bears repeating that the shelves are consistently restocked and there is no need to buy in excess. The best advice is just to buy what you need and leave some stock for your fellow citizens.
The Holmenkollen 50 km is an annual cross-country skiing race held at Holmenkollen National Arena in Oslo, Norway. The event has been going on since 1898, with thousands of people buying tickets every year to see the best international skiers taking to the piste. This year, on the advice of the authorities in Norway, the organizers closed the event for spectators although it has been broadcast on TV. Russian Alexander Aleksandrovich Bolshunov won the race for the second year running.
Singapore’s Chinatown is a vibrant cultural hub with very different architecture to the rest of the city. Visitors enjoy wandering the colorful streets and visiting the restaurants, tea shops, temples, and traditional architecture that can be seen there. The streets of Chinatown are barely recognizable without their visitors, and many restaurants are finding it difficult to stay open because people are put off of the idea of Chinese food, although it is confirmed that it holds no risk.
Sant’Ambrogio Basilica, Milan
The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is one of the most ancient churches in Milan, Italy, and it was built by St. Ambrose in 379–38 AD. Its beautiful interior is inviting to tourists who visit the city, and it still holds many Catholic mass services throughout the year. Following the advice of the Italian government, churches may not stay open to avoid the congregating of too many people in one place. Weddings and funerals may not take place until further notice.
Grand Sumo Tournament, Osaka
The Spring Grand Sumo Tournament takes place every March in Osaka, western Japan, but this year it opened without spectators as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Wrestlers and stable masters arrived at the gymnasium by car or taxi, as they had been advised not to use trains, buses, or public transport. Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hakkaku said in the opening-day speech that all the wrestlers will do their best in the ring, feeling the cheers of fans across the country.
Pattaya Beach, Thailand
Pattaya is a resort city in Thailand. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, and its accompanying Pattaya Beach is a hotspot for locals and tourists alike who visit the sun-kissed regions to bask in the good weather, which is 80°F on average every month of the year. Recent coronavirus precautions have kept even the locals away from the beach, however, and the owners of cabanas and cafés have an abundance of available sun loungers.
Goldfarb Gymnasium, Baltimore
In the first of America’s sports matches to be held behind closed doors, Yeshiva University beat Worcester Polytechnic Institute in a Division III men’s basketball NCAA Tournament game. The venue, the Goldfarb Gymnasium at Johns Hopkins University, was completely void of spectators. This measure is to avoid the congregation of too many people in one place and was strange for the players, who all cheered each other on from the sidelines to make up for the lack of spectators.
Tiananmen Square, Beijing
Tiananmen Square is a city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen, the ‘Gate of Heavenly Peace,’ which is located to the north. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Many Chinese people visit the square to see these great monuments, but the crowds have dwindled considerably since coronavirus precautions have come into place.
Tiananmen Square, Beijing
Tiananmen Square is within the top ten largest city squares in the world at 440,500 meters squared. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history. For non-Chinese visitors, the square is best known for the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. This aerial photo shows the difference that the coronavirus precautions have had on the number of visitors. International travel to Beijing apart from for work is non-existent so tourism is negligible.
Piazza San Marco, Venice
Aurora Caffé is one of the most memorable restaurants in the famous Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square, in Venice, Italy. Thousands of visitors stop here every year to take a break from their sightseeing and enjoy a glass of the world-famous Aperol Spritz, a drink that was invented in Venice itself. As shown in the photo above, Aurora Caffé is completely deserted. Even the locals don’t visit, as they’re advised to stay at home and make their own spritz’ there.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi
The President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a mausoleum which serves as the resting place of Vietnamese Revolutionary leader & President Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, Vietnam. The large concrete building was opened in around 1975 and is dedicated to Ho, the Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Vietnam. This intriguing and impressive building is usually a must-see attraction for tourists visiting Vietnam’s capital city, but the number of visitors has plummeted recently and the difference is quite shocking.
The Red Square, Moscow
The Red Square in Moscow, Russia, is the most iconic landmark in the vast country. All the major routes of the city end at the Red Square, which is home to the Kremlin, Lenin’s mausoleum, and the multi-colored Saint Basil’s Cathedral. The Red Square is filled from day to night with locals as well as tourists who come to marvel at the impressive architecture, which is why it is particularly unnerving to see such a grand space almost completely empty.
Capitoline Hill, Rome
The Capitoline Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome, the capital city of Italy. Visitors come from all over the world to see the palaces and the Campidoglio square, and to take a photo of the famous statue of Marcus Aurelius, an Ancient Roman emperor, on his horse. Now that Rome is almost completely empty, the Capitoline Hill is only really visited by those taking extremes precautions. The local police dissuade people from standing in large groups.
Piazza Del Duomo, Florence
The Piazza del Duomo is located in the heart of the historic center of the city of Florence in Tuscany, Italy. It is one of the most visited places in Europe and the world and contains the recognizable Florence Cathedral with its signature stripes. On a normal day, there is a long queue in this piazza to visit the many attractions nearby, but recent limitations to curb the spread of the coronavirus have left the square practically void of tourists.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
The Dome of the Rock in the Old City of Jerusalem is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount. It is famous for its beautiful golden dome and intricate mosaics that encircle the building. The Dome of the Rock has closed several times over the years for reconstruction, but until recently remained open. Authorities have decided to close the site once more to prevent the congregation of large groups of people, meaning that visitors can now only try to glimpse the Dome from afar.
International Airport, Hong Kong
Hong Kong International Airport has two very large airport terminals and is the 8th busiest airport worldwide for passenger traffic, and the world’s busiest airport for cargo traffic. More than 100 airlines operate flights from the airport to over 180 cities, and it employs are 65,000 people. The difference in passenger footfall is incredible, as seen in the above comparison photos, and the airport now appears to be basically empty, as passengers are dissuaded from non-essential travel in Hong Kong.
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station is a rail terminal for passengers located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The station is the southern terminal of the Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven Lines, serving the more northern parts of the city area. It also includes a connection to the New York City Subway at Grand Central–42nd Street station. It’s the third-busiest train station in North America, after New York Penn Station and Toronto Union Station.
The Great Wall, China
The Great Wall of China has a fascinating history. The entire wall forms the collective name of fortification systems built across the historical northern borders of China to protect and consolidate the territories of Chinese states and empires. The building’s construction was started as early as the 7th century BC by ancient Chinese statesman. Today, the defensive system of the Great Wall is generally recognized as one of the most impressive architectural feats in history. Parts of the Great Wall have been temporarily closed in China to limit the spread of Coronavirus.
Fifth Avenue, New York City
When you think of New York City, out of the many landmarks that pop into your head, there will surely be Fifth Avenue, a major thoroughfare in the borough of Manhattan which divides the island into two parts. It stretches north from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to West 143rd Street in Harlem. It is considered one of the most expensive and elegant streets in the world. Nowadays, Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan is mostly clear of traffic.
Ternsluis Bridge, The Netherlands
This is likely the most famous bridge in Amsterdam, as well as one of the oldest and broadest, known as the Torensluis bridge or Tower Bridge. It is named for the watchtower, which once stood at the center of the bridge. The tower is gone now, but the bridge has remained a popular gathering point. The edges of the tower foundations can still be seen in the bridge’s pavement. The bridge also features a statue of Dutch writer Multatuli.
Times Square, New York City
Times Square is a commercial junction, tourist destination, entertainment center, and neighborhood in midtown Manhattan in New York City, at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Brightly lit by numerous billboards and advertisements, it’s one of the most iconic and photographed locations in the city. Times Square is probably one of the world’s most frequented tourist attractions, drawing in around 50 million visitors every year. Approximately 330,000 people pass through Times Square every day, many of them tourists, while over 460,000 people pass through Times Square on its busiest days.
Brandeburg Gate, Germany
The Brandenburg Gate is a neoclassical monument in Berlin, built on the orders of the Prussian king Frederick William II after the restoration of order during the Batavian Revolution. It’s one of the most well-known and visited landmarks in Germany. It was built on the exact location of a former city gate that marked the beginning of the road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg, which used to be the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg. The Brandenburg Gate is usually filled with tourists, but now it stands almost empty.
Brooklyn Bridge, New York City
The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in the city of New York, and it spans the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. It officially opened on May 24, 1883, but the Brooklyn Bridge was the first fixed crossing across the East River. Nowadays, the Brooklyn Bridge has significantly less traffic due to coronavirus cases and fears, as we can see in the photo a man in a surgical mask as he rides on the Brooklyn bridge.
Eiffel Tower, France
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most-visited paid monument in the world, with 6.91 million people ascending it in 2015. With its wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France, its a sight many are familiar with, even if they haven’t visited there. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. With the Coronavirus outbreak, the Eiffel Tower has been closed to the public for an indefinite period.
Central Park, New York City
The scenic Central park is the fifth-largest park in New York City. By area, it covers 843 acres. Central Park is one of the most visited urban parks in America, with an estimated 37.5–38 million visitors every year, as well as one of the most filmed locations in the world. With many people experiencing fear and anxiety about what’s going on around the world, the park is almost empty, and it seems that the only people passing by are only do so to exercise and not actually to meet and gather.
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal monument is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj Mahal monument attracted more than seven million visitors last year, according to reports. But now, the Indian government decided to close the iconic Taj Mahal over coronavirus fears. Their decision further added, “This instruction is just a temporary measure and shall be enforced until 31st March 2020 and will be reviewed after that.”
Disneyland, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Disneyland is a Disney franchise theme park located on reclaimed land in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island. The amusement park was opened in September 2015 and is loved by Hong Kong families and visitors to the country alike. Although the park closed in January 2020 for some refurbishments it was supposed to reopen this month. The owners have taken the decision to keep the gates close for now and will reopen when tourism picks up again in Hong Kong.
Kinkaku-Ji Temple, Kyoto
Kinkaku-Ji is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. The name translates as ‘Temple of the Golden Pavilion.’ It is one of Japan’s most popular buildings, attracting many visitors annually who come to see its original and classical architectural design. Kinkaku-Ji is also a World Heritage Site which gives it special protection status. Since precautions against the coronavirus are in place, visitors are staying away from crowded sites and Kinkaku-Ji has seen a huge drop in numbers.
ITB Trade Fair, Messe, Berlin
The ITB Trade Fair was due to take place in March at the Messe in Berlin, however, Germany’s Health Ministry and the Ministry of Economy asked the ITB to cancel its event this year, or to at least postpone it until a later date. The Trade Fair usually features over 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries and contributes a sizeable amount of tourism to Germany’s economy, but the government was keen to avoid the congregation of too many people at the same time.
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People’s Republic of China. It is the 9th most populous Chinese city with a population of over 11 million. It is a major transportation hub and is considered to be the political, economic, financial, commercial, cultural and educational center of Central China. Since limitations on travel and frequenting busy places, the center of Wuhan has seen a dramatic drop in the number of people around, as shown in these aerial photos from before and after.
Central Station, Milan
Milano Centrale is the main railway station of the city of Milan, Italy, and is the largest railway station in Europe by volume. The station is a terminus and located at the northern end of central Milan. From here, travelers can take high-speed connections to other Italian cities such as Turin, Venice, Bologna, Rome, Naples, and Salerno. There are also international trains to France, Switzerland, and Austria. For now, no international trains can run and national trains are very limited as the authorities try to limit the spread of coronavirus.