If you’ve had the chance to step downtown at any point over the past few months, no doubt you’ve noticed just how eerily quiet most towns and cities have gotten recently. Once bustling shopping districts, high streets and transport terminals are all but deserted, and this is due in no part to the sudden dip in tourist traffic.
Now that travel is more restricted, city trips are neither practical nor responsible. They after, after all, the highest concentrations of human population in any given area. In the middle of a pandemic, they are going to be the epicentres of any transmissions. As such, for the time being it’s best to give them a wide berth.
But that doesn’t mean you must forget that cities exist entirely. For many cities retain their exciting glamour and may wish to at least create the impression of walking down the famous boulevards of their most famous civic centres.
Many cities have set up their own live broadcasts to show off how remarkably quiet they are nowadays. Treat yourself to the fantasy of your own private tour of such places as New York or Paris with these select live city cams.
First made famous by the Beatles and subsequently parodied in film and television ever since, this otherwise completely innocuous street has become one of the most recognised stretches of tarmac in the United Kingdom. When not being used for the covers of best-selling British pop bands, Abbey Road continues to draw pilgrims to this day seeking to recreate their own takes of this iconic image.
Nowadays the streets are a little quieter, but those seeking to make their own little sightseeing tour of that most famous of zebra crossings are able to do so via a webcam set up by Abbey Road Studios, which offers 24/7 footage.
The spiritual heart of the ancient city of Milan, the Milan Cathedral demonstrates some of the best examples of historical Italian architecture around in true Romance style. Each year it draws millions of tourists who’ve flocked to the city, drawn not just by its rich historical and cultural heritage, but also its highly influential fashion scene.
While the catwalks may no longer be in vogue as of this moment, you can still witness some of the Renaissance beauty of this city through the live web cam set up for it. Looking upon the spires and vaults of the Cathedral, the cam also offers a choice view of the surrounding Galleria, as well as the imposing equestrian statue of King Vittorio Emanuele II.
Ever since it was gifted by the French to the Americans in 1886 to celebrate the centenary of US Independence, the Statue of Liberty has become the most widely recognised symbol of democracy, human rights and personal freedoms in the world, as well as an enduring icon of New York, its ideals and its people. It stood to greet countless immigrants seeking a better way of life in America and stood in silent vigil over the City of New York in the aftermath of 9/11.
This live broadcast not only shows off the distant figure of Miss Liberty, but also a fairly dazzling glimpse of the New York skyline, Verrazano Bridge and Freedom Tower, all arrayed upon the busy waters of the Hudson River.
The site of Apostles, pilgrims, knights and daring sieges, Malta’s significance in history completely defies the otherwise small size of this island state. While visitors in the past may not always have had the most peaceful intentions, today Malta is very much the archetype of tranquillity and its visitors come to share a piece of it. Whether they come for its ancient medieval streets and beautifully preserved buildings or for Malta’s equally beautiful and serene beaches, the island continues to demonstrate that size isn’t everything.
This webcam overlooks Republic Street in the capital city of Valetta, perched on a balcony and looking down toward Fort St. Elmo.
Considered by many to be the birthplace of democracy and Western philosophy, Athens is arguably a global capital and its importance to human history cannot be exaggerated. Now forming the Hellenic capital for the Republic of Greece, Athens continues to be beacon of learning and culture to this day, although in recent decades investment from abroad and the success of the 2000 Summer Olympics has transformed this ancient city into a rapidly growing modern metropolis.
This webcam offers perhaps the most enviable view of Athens imaginable, offering a gorgeous sight of the capital in all its glory. Best of all, the ancient edifice of the Acropolis is also visible above the skyline atop the hill.
No doubt these brief glimpses into some of the most famous and popular cities across the planet have given you an urge to do some much-needed sightseeing once the world opens again. Being major cities with thriving tourist sectors there’s no shortage of hotels in and around them to stay at should you decide to drop by, but here’s some suggestions to help get you started.
Featuring a quirky aesthetic dedicated to the world-renowned British music scene, the Hard Rock Hotel is just a few streets away from Abbey Road, and is perfectly placed for convenient access to all of London’s main sights.
Overlooking the Vittoria Emanuele II Galleria, the Guilia Hotel mixes Milanese elegance with modern glamour. This highly trendy and colourful hotel offers the best of creature comforts, with stylish rooms and excellent catering options.
The Wall Street Inn fully captures the New World elegance of the swinging 1920s in this luxuriously furnished and appointed hotel. Found on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, guests can quickly reach all the best parts of New York City.
Featuring four luxury apartments, the La Valette combines all the best creature comforts of home while still providing one of the best locations in the Maltese capital. The high point (pardon the pun) is most definitely the roof top terrace, offering some dazzling sights over Valetta at all hours of the day.
Nothing can quite top off a trip of Athens like an authentic Greek dinner in full view of a lit-up Parthenon during a balmy Mediterranean evening. If this sounds to your taste, the Athenian Callirohe offers all the best in Greek hospitality and elegance married with modern comfort and style.
We may be in lockdown right now but it won’t last forever – which of the world's beautiful cities will you be hitting the road for on your next holiday?