Find Us

Check out how the world's top travel destinations looked decades ago

The Eiffel Tower in 1887. Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower in 1887. Paris, France Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Jill Pole
Published on Updated
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Notre Dame in Paris, The Great China Wall, Acropolis of Athens… Browse through the old photographs to see how the most popular travel destinations looked before you were born.


No budget airlines, no online rental services, no big crowds. How did the most popular European and World tourist destinations look before the rise of tourism?

This selection of photographs offers a unique insight into these modern touristic gems.

Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, Paris

A man paints Notre-Dame Cathedral on the banks of the Seine river, near the Ile de la Cité in Paris. July 1945AFP

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is lit with a thermometer made up of electric lights in Paris, France. March 16, 1934AP

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa in January 1983. Pisa, ItalyAP

Colosseum of Rome

Roman citizens gather to watch a convoy of American troops crossing the square in front of the famous Colosseum in Rome, Italy. June 6, 1944AP

La Sagrada Familia

The church towers of the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, Spain. April 1949AFP

Acropolis of Athens

A general view of the temple of Erechtheum on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, on May 2, 1939AP


Alistair Grant
Comet Hale-Bopp seen above the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge in south west England. March 28, 1997Alistair Grant

Mont Saint-Michel

Picture of the Mont Saint-Michel taken in September 1946AFP

The Blue Mosque

People play in the snow in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. 23 January 2004MUSTAFA OZER/AFP

The Great Wall of China

Picture released in September 1972 by Chinese official news agency showing a section of the Great Wall at Badaling Pass, north of BeijingAFP

The Golden Gate Bridge

Workers complete the catwalks for the Golden Gate Bridge, spanning the Golden Gate Strait, prior to spinning the bridge cables during construction in San Francisco. 1935AP

Mount Fuji

Japan's Shinkansen, high speed train, travels at a speed of 120-miles-per-hour past Mount Fuji in October 1982AP

The Statue of Liberty

The ocean liner Queen Mary passes the Statue of Liberty as she enters New York Harbor after completing her first voyage to the United States. June 1, 1936AP

Lower Manhattan

This aerial view of lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. 1928AP

The Giza Pyramid Complex

U.S. President Jimmy Carter, First Lady Rosalynn with Egyptian President and Mrs. Anwar Sadat visit the Great Pyramid of Giza, outside CairoAP

Niagara Falls

An aerial view of Niagara Falls taken on June 10, 1983 includes a glimpse of the Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat amid churning waterJOE TRAVER/AP

Taj Mahal

Adventure writer and traveler Richard Halliburton and pilot Moye Stephens Jr. fly in their open cockpit Stearman C3B over the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. 1932AP

Christ the Redeemer

Pope John Paul II blesses Rio de Janeiro in front of Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain, Brazil. July 2, 1980AP

Red Square

Dima Korotayev/AFP
A militia officer on horseback passes by St Basil's Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow, Russia. 30 April 1992Dima Korotayev/AFP

The Western Wall

Menahem Kahana/AFP
Israeli soldiers and an ultra-orthodox Jews pray under a snowstorm at the Western wall of Jerusalem's old city 18 March, 1988Menahem Kahana/AFP

The Grand Palace

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP
Two parachutists glide past the gold towers of Bangkok's Grand Palace during a World Record mass freefall jump. December 2, 1999Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

Which era of these famous destinations would you choose to travel to?

Share this articleComments

You might also like