Before-and-after photos show 8 of San Francisco's most famous tourist attractions nearly deserted since the city was shut down to contain the coronavirus

shelter in place san francisco golden gate bridge

Katie Canales/Business Insider/David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and Fisherman's Wharf are empty of visitors as the coronavirus outbreak keeps people indoors.

  • San Francisco is in the middle of a three-week order directing residents to remain indoors to contain the coronavirus disease.
  • Many of the city's restaurants, bars, and other businesses have shuttered, and the streets are subsequently empty.
  • San Francisco's most beloved tourist attractions are also all but deserted as people heed the shelter-in-place order.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

San Francisco is currently under a three-week order directing people to stay home to contain the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19.

Locals are remaining indoors as much as possible until April 7, though that deadline could be extended, and many restaurants, bars, retail shops, and other businesses are closed.
Advertisement
As a result, foot traffic is minimal, leaving the city's most beloved tourist attractions fairly desolate for the time being.

From the Golden Gate Bridge to the city's iconic cable car lines, here's what San Francisco's top tourist sites usually look like - and how the usual crowds have emptied out amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Get the latest coronavirus news and updates on how COVID-19 impacts our daily lives and businesses.

Advertisement

{{}}

San Francisco saw 26.2 million tourists in 2019, according to the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco saw 26.2 million tourists in 2019, according to the San Francisco Travel Association.

Tourism is San Francisco's largest private industry, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports — tourists spent $10 billion in the city in 2019.

As the streets of San Francisco thin out over coronavirus concerns, its biggest tourist attractions, like City Lights Bookstore, are currently much lonelier than usual.

As the streets of San Francisco thin out over coronavirus concerns, its biggest tourist attractions, like City Lights Bookstore, are currently much lonelier than usual.
Advertisement

Pier 39 is a shopping mall and tourist attraction just north of North Beach. Throngs of visitors usually clamor for a bowl of chowder or come to spot the sea lions lounging. nearby.

Pier 39 is a shopping mall and tourist attraction just north of North Beach. Throngs of visitors usually clamor for a bowl of chowder or come to spot the sea lions lounging. nearby.

It's now fenced off amid the regionwide shelter-in-place order.

It's now fenced off amid the regionwide shelter-in-place order.
Advertisement

Pier 39 is a part of Fisherman's Wharf, where visitors dine on seafood and stroll along the waterfront.

Pier 39 is a part of Fisherman's Wharf, where visitors dine on seafood and stroll along the waterfront.

It's all but a ghost town now.

It's all but a ghost town now.
Advertisement

Lombard Street is known as one of the world's "crookedest" streets. Visitors regularly flock to either walk or drive down the iconic stretch.

Lombard Street is known as one of the world's "crookedest" streets. Visitors regularly flock to either walk or drive down the iconic stretch.

But on the first day of the shelter-in-place order, no one was walking or driving on Lombard as thousands hunkered down in their homes.

But on the first day of the shelter-in-place order, no one was walking or driving on Lombard as thousands hunkered down in their homes.
Advertisement

Similarly, a jaunt through San Francisco's Chinatown District is a must if you're visiting the city — or if you live here.

Similarly, a jaunt through San Francisco's Chinatown District is a must if you're visiting the city — or if you live here.

But the neighborhood is also empty amid the order.

But the neighborhood is also empty amid the order.

Chinatown businesses have been seeing sales drop long before the order went into effect. The district, as well as many in the Asian-American community, have experienced xenophobia and racism in the face of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China.

Advertisement

To the north of the city is its signature Golden Gate Bridge — 112,000 vehicles usually cross the span each day.

To the north of the city is its signature Golden Gate Bridge — 112,000 vehicles usually cross the span each day.

Source: The Mercury News

That number has slowed to a crawl since the order went into effect, costing the bridge and its governing body $300,000 in toll revenue a day.

That number has slowed to a crawl since the order went into effect, costing the bridge and its governing body $300,000 in toll revenue a day.

Source: Business Insider

Advertisement

The city's premiere shopping destination, Union Square, is also a common spot to visit. It's located near the bustling Financial District.

The city's premiere shopping destination, Union Square, is also a common spot to visit. It's located near the bustling Financial District.

It was cleared out on the first day of the shelter-in-place order, save for a few people.

It was cleared out on the first day of the shelter-in-place order, save for a few people.
Advertisement

Locals and tourists alike typically frequent the many shops near the square, like Uniqlo, H&M, and Macy's.

Locals and tourists alike typically frequent the many shops near the square, like Uniqlo, H&M, and Macy's.

But now, windows are boarded up in some shopfronts and the streets are devoid of cars.

But now, windows are boarded up in some shopfronts and the streets are devoid of cars.
Advertisement

Cable car rides are also at the top of the list for many visitors.

Cable car rides are also at the top of the list for many visitors.

But the city shut the iconic cars down to protect operators from contracting the coronavirus.

But the city shut the iconic cars down to protect operators from contracting the coronavirus.

The cable cars didn't have closed cabs that separated operators from riders.

Advertisement