50 Awesome Phone Booths Around the World

Written by Isabel Clift

Call boxes: they’re there, gathering dust and grafitti on every street corner, but you probably don’t look up from your iPhone to notice them any more.

What was once essential to any public place has become a retro curiosity (in the west, at least). See my favourite 50 awesome phone booths around the world below for a peek at what’s still out there…

1. Ashburn, Ontario, CanadaAshburn, Ontario, Canada

This phone booth graveyard is found in a field in tiny Canadian town of Ashburn, Ontario. They’re the K6 model of red booth introduced to the UK in the 1930s, and have inscriptions inside in English and French. Thanks for the pic Rick Harris.

2. Sri LankaSri Lanka

Payphone attached to a crumbling wall in urban Sri Lanka – no word from the photog on which city this is from, but I love the contrast. Thanks for the pic planetlight.

3. Columbus, Ohio, USA

Uncle Sam needs YOU… to make a call in Columbus, Ohio. Thanks for the pic TheeErin

4. Hoh Rainforest, Washington, USAHoh Rainforest Visitor Center, Olympic National Park, Washington

The payphone is the most-photographed part of the Olympic National Park visitor centre. The moss took up residence all on its own – a sign of how this huge, protected temperate rainforest is flourishing. Thanks for the pic glennwilliamspdx

5. Quebec, CanadaPhonebooth in Quebec, Canada

Snowed-in booths at Quebec’s Place Royal – and this is in April. Thanks for the pic Double Feature

6. Hanoi Airport, VietnamHanoi Airport, Vietnam

Sleek and minimalist at Hanoi’s Noi Ban Airport. Thanks for the pic Binder.donedat

7. Ilha Grande, Rio, BrazilIlha Grande, Rio, Brazil

Phone booths on Ilha Grande (‘Big Island’) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Thanks for the pic germanyengland

8. Mayreau, Grenadines, CaribbeanMayreau, Grenadines, Caribbean

A booth with a view of the Caribbean on Mayreu, the smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines. Thanks for the pic TooFarNorth

9. Prypiat near Chernobyl, UkrainePripyat near Chernobyl, Ukraine

A phone booth in front of a store in the abandoned city of Prypiat, part of the Nuclear Exclusion Zone that surrounds Chernobyl. You can visit the city on a guided tour. Thanks for the pic Timm Seuss

10. Seligman, Arizona, USASeligman, Arizona, USA

This toilet/payphone oddity of Americana is found at the Snow Cap drive-in on the Seligman stretch of Route 66. Thanks for the pic marada

11. Johnson Farm Museum, Washington, USAJohnson Farm Museum, Tacoma, Washington, USA

A wooden payphone booth at the Farm Museum on Anderson Island, Tacoma. Thanks for the pic Tacomamama

12. Seoul, South KoreaSeoul, South Korea

These booths covered in protestors’ banners sit at Seoul’s Deoksugung Palace. The ribbons say ‘Democracy is DEAD!’ Thanks for the pic Visionstyler Press

13. Marina Cay, Virgin IslandsMarina Cay, Virgin Islands

A red phone box with a Caribbean view at Marina Cay on Tortola, the largest and most populous island of the British Virgin Islands. Thanks for the pic anoldent

14. Beijing, ChinaBeijing, China

A number is scribbled down under the phone at a modern booth in Beijing. Thanks for the pic DPerstin

15. Helsinki, FinlandHelsinki, Finland

This traditional Finnish payphone is an exhibit at Helsinki’s Seurasaari Open-Air Museum. Old, mostly wooden buildings have been collected from around the country and placed in Seurasaari Island’s forest landscape. Thanks for the pic islandjoe

16. Greenwich Village, New York, USAGreenwich Village, New York, USA

This payphone on Bleeker Street was “still only 25 cents!” at the time of the shot. Thanks for the pic Phillie Casablanca

17. Moosburg, Bavaria, GermanyMoosburg, Bavaria, Germany

Industrial-looking booths at Moosburg, a Bavarian manufacturing town owning chemical, electrotechnical, food processing and machine-building plants. Thanks for the pic dustpuppy

18. Warsaw, PolandWarsaw, Poland

An example of a traditional Polish payphone – I like the colour match with the autumnal leaves behind. Thanks for the pic urbanlegend

19. Boucan Canot, Reunion IslandBoucan Canot, Reunion Island

A view of the beach and the Indian Ocean beyond from the payphone at Boucan Canot. The resort town is to the north-west of the French-owned Reunion island. Thanks for the pic mwanasimba

20. Jeju, South KoreaJeju, South Korea

Bit of fun in Jeju with cartoon-y blue figures replacing boring, boxy booths. Anyone know who they’re meant to be? Thanks for the pic nicolasnova

21. Wynn Resort, Paradise, USAWynn, Las Vegas, USA

Payphones for calling your bank at Wynn Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. Thanks for the pic iBjorn

22. Paris, FranceParis, France

Graffiti on the glass at a Paris payphone. Thanks for the pic Eric Schmahl

23. Neuchatel, SwitzerlandNeuchatel, Switzerland

Cellar doors and a Tardis-shaped Swisscom booth in medieval city Neuchatel. Thanks for the pic Javier Kohen

24. Amsterdam, NetherlandsAmsterdam, Netherlands

Payphone on the Damrak (between Amsterdam Centraal railway station and Dam Square). Thanks for the pic FaceMePLS

25. Shenzhen, ChinaShenzhen, China

Messages and numbers cover a payphone in industrial Shenzhen in China’s Guangdong Province. Thanks for the pic Hellobo

26. Vancouver, CanadaVancouver, Canada

A retro wooden payphone booth, seemingly begging to be Instagrammed. Thanks for the pic Krystian_o

27. London, UK

Two London icons together: red phone boxes at Smithfield Meat Market. The Victorian covered market is Grade II listed. Thanks for the pic StefdeVries

28. Power Station, Belchatow, PolandPower Station, Belchatow, Poland

Noise in Bełchatów Power Station’s main hall is over 80 decibels – but the phone booth is an “oasis of silence”. Thanks for the pic irgendwo

29. South Island, New ZealandSouth Island, New Zealand

Where there’s a will to make calls, there’s a way: a payphone, phonebook and roof are bolted to a tree on South Island, New Zealand. Thanks for the pic ActiveSteve

30. Cape May, New Jersey, USACape May, New Jersey, USA

A rusty emergency breakdown payphone at the side of the road in Cape May Point, New Jersey’s southernmost end. Thanks for the pic liza31337

31. Zurich, SwitzerlandZurich, Switzerland

Spotless and futuristic in Zurich. Thanks for the pic bigbirdz

32. Rhyolite, NevadaRhyolite, Nevada

Found in abandoned town Rhyolite in Death Valley. Thanks for the pic Flavia_FF

33. Olary, Australia

Solar-powered phone box in Olary, one of the easternmost settlements of Southern Australia. Thanks for the pic mikecogh

34. Chinatown, San Francisco, USAChinatown, San Francisco, USA

Part of the scenery in Chinatown, San Francisco. Thanks for the pic Zyada

35. Selatrað, Faroe Isles

A payphone under the stairs in village Selatrað on Faroese island Eysturoy. The island’s 2010 population was 38. Thanks for the pic Jan Egil Kristiansen

36. Tyneham, Dorset, UKGhost village of Tyneham, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, England

The village phonebox in abandoned town Tynham on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. Tyneham was evacuated for military training in WWII in 1942; wartime notices are still pinned up in the booth. Thanks for the pic fairlybuoyant

37. St Honorat Island Monastery, FranceSt Honorat Island Monastery, Cannes, France

Outside the monastery on St Honorat Island off the coast from Cannes. Thanks for the pic Bex.Walton

38. Portofino, ItalyPortofino, Italy

A new breed of locals use this booth in Portofino. Thanks for the pic Jukk_a

39. Chester, New Hampshire, USAChester, New Hampshire, USA

The box is still there, but the payphone’s been ripped out at the wires in Chester, New Hampshire. Thanks for the pic Helga’s Lobster Stew

40. Cesky Krumlov, Czech RepublicCesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Traditional boxes in Cesky Krumlov’s main square. Thanks for the pic Eurapart

41. Club33, Disneyland, California, USAClub33, Disneyland, California, USA

Payphone at Disney’s secret private members’ club, Club 33. It’s the only place you can buy alcohol in Disneyland. Thanks for the pic pinguino

42. Tbilisi, GeorgiaTbilisi, Georgia

A traditional Georgian payphone. Thanks for the pic shioshvili

43. Plaka, Athens, GreecePlaka, Athens, Greece

Graffitied payphone in historical city centre Plaka, Athens. Thanks for the pic divya_

44. Rome, ItalyRome, Italy

A modern kiosk in Rome. Thanks for the pic 7263255

45. Feock, Cornwall, UKFeock, Cornwall, UK

This traditional red telephone box has been transformed into the Feock Book Swap Box. Thanks for the pic Tim Green

46. Lima, PeruLima, Peru

Fixed to a doorway to save cutting in to a 400-year-old wall in Lima, Peru. Thanks for the pic zieak

47. Niederösterreich, AustriaNiederösterreich, Austria

Matching a bin in Korneuburg. Thanks for the pic captain.orange

48. Co. Mayo, IrelandCo. Mayo, Ireland

Abandoned box on the road between Balina and Castlebar, co. Mayo. Thanks for the pic jaqian

49. Kumla, Orebro, SwedenKumla, Orebro, Sweden

A traditional Scandinavian phone box – the design incorporates stilts so it doesn’t get snowed in. Thanks for the pic Gustav H

50. Sredets, Sofia, BulgariaSredets, Sofia, Bulgaria

Payphone with its mouthpiece ripped off the wire in Sofia, Bulgaria. Thanks for the pic Exile on James Street

Want more top lists? Check out 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts and 30 of the Best Train Stations in the World

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Thanks to rbrwr for the hero shot off Flickr. Please note, all images were suitable for use at the time of publication according to the Creative Commons License.

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