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Trafalgar Square in lockdown
Photograph: Andy Parsons

In pictures: the beauty of empty cities around the world

City streets are falling silent all over the planet. Here are the most eerily beautiful pictures of cities in lockdown

Written by
James Manning
&
Time Out editors
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Right now, more than a billion people around the world are living a very different life to usual. Social distancing and self-isolation measures have transformed our cities. Bars, restaurants and cultural venues have been shuttered. Public transport is suspended or reduced. Many institutions are closed to the public (though you can still tour some major landmarks online). In some countries, even going for a stroll requires official permission.

The result, in dozens of the world’s greatest cities, is a city that looks, sounds and even tastes very different to usual. Check out these striking images of empty streets and other usually busy places around the world, and get a glimpse into what happens when the human world suddenly becomes human-free.

Striking pictures of empty city streets

  • Things to do
  • City Life

More than nine million people live in London, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the UK capital right now: normally crowded places like Piccadilly Circus (pictured) are empty following a compulsory lockdown order.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

The governor of Tokyo urged citizens to refrain from unnecessary outings this past weekend, and the city took her advice – Tokyo became a ghost town, right in the middle of sakura season.

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  • Things to do

Portuguese citizens have entered isolation, and the streets are deserted except for queues outside supermarkets, pharmacies and post offices.

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See more eerily empty places

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