10 of the most hated cities in the world

The word “hate” can be too harsh, but many travellers have completely sworn off the destinations in this list. Do you think these cities deserve the hate they have earned from the travel community? See what you think of our list of the 10 most hated cities in the world and please take a moment to give us your comments at the end of the post.

1. Paris, France

Ah, the City of Lights. Looking at postcards and the hundreds of movies set in this beautiful city, it can be quite baffling why so many people would hate Paris, what with its café-lined streets and the charming Eiffel Tower. However, many travellers find Parisian waiters extremely rude, the extremely long lines to the Louvre Museum a hell, dog poop everywhere, and the hordes of fascinated tourists taking clichéd photographs very, very annoying. Plus, everything is so expensive (as is in most tourist trap cities) that even breakfast feels like a scam. Also, there are plenty of “starving artists” on the streets, ready to take away your valuable holiday money with their portraits, songs, and performances.

Paris

2. Tijuana, Mexico

Drug-screenings in the border can feel like the absolute soul-sucking worst, but there are other things about Tijuana that make the travel community dish out the hate on this Mexican city. There are plenty of crime-related things going on; the drug cartel is not exactly known for leaving a trail of fragrant rose petals in their wake. Plus, the recession has hit Tijuana hard and there are a lot of diseases to be caught (for example, the dreaded swine flu). Sometimes, it is not advisable to follow your travel agent’s advice of going to another country in just a few hours.

Tijuana

3. Belize City, Belize

Many of us dream of a sun-kissed and fun-filled Caribbean cruise, but in order to fulfil this dream, steer clear of Belize City. Infrastructure is dilapidated and sad-looking, and there are plenty of crimes and drugs on the street. Belize City does not really make a good job of making tourists feel safe at night, and that is one thing that can really ruin your romantic Caribbean cruise.

Belize City

4. New Delhi, India

The thought of India inspires the idea of exotic adventures, but as long as you are not planning on going to New Delhi, you can pursue your dreams of adventure. Scams are so commonplace in New Delhi that many travellers feel like they are never safe anywhere. Travel bloggers even went as far as to call New Delhi the “Scam City” of India. Even the most experienced travellers do not feel safe from scams here — everyone can be ripped off right from the moment they arrive in the airport. And then there is the train station, the hotel, the streets…

Wiring in a Delhi street

5. Los Angeles, California, USA

This city is undeniably one of the most popular cities in the United States, with Hollywood being the most recognizable district. However, Los Angeles is also one of the worst places to visit if you hate tourist traps. Be prepared to face seemingly endless traffic jams, smog, noise, earthquakes, violent race riots, and people crowding celebrity landmarks.

Hollywood Los Angeles

6. Timbuktu, Mali

In the old days, going all the way to Timbuktu is a feat reserved only for the most courageous of adventurers. There is something inherently exciting (and sometimes, satisfying) with having traversed the desert to get to this destination. These days, however, many people do not even know where Timbuktu is or if it even exists. Forget the romantic ideas of adventure that archaic publications propagated of Timbuktu—this city is not only extremely hot, but almost everything is very close to being eaten by the sand. Yes, no shopping malls and quaint tourist attractions for travellers in Timbuktu.

Timbuktu

7. Melbourne and Sydney, Australia

It can be quite baffling to hear that the two of the most famous Australian cities are hated by the travel community. But it is not the travel community that deeply hates these cities—it is the residents of Melbourne and Sydney that hate each other’s cities. Ever since the founding of the city of Melbourne more than 150 years ago, Sydney hates their guts. This mutual hate is not reason for you to not visit either city—just make sure that you do not accidentally mistake one for the other (or the residents will hate you).

Melbourne

8. Lima, Peru

This famous Latin American city might be a couple of notches better than Mexico City, La Paz, and Sao Paulo, but it does not mean that everybody loves Lima in Peru. Even the people in Peru do not think that this city is the most exciting in the world—most travellers have called this place a tourist trap, ugly, and downright boring. The seemingly perpetual smog might have something to do with the hate—plus, years and years of news that do not bode well for the safety and welfare of travellers.

Lima

9. Cairo, Egypt

Egypt seems to be the best place for adventurers who spent their childhood neck-deep in historical and archaeological publications, but many modern travellers really dislike Cairo, the capital city. According to research, the air pollution in Cairo is so bad that breathing there is like smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. The appeal of the Egyptian antiquities is seriously overshadowed by really bad traffic, political unrest, and the fact that you might get into a car accident in one of their streets as soon as you step inside a vehicle.

Cairo

10. Jakarta, Indonesia

Plenty of people include Indonesia in their travel list, but only to destinations such as Sumatra, Yogyakarta, and Bali. If travellers visit Jakarta at all, it is only to get to their connecting flights to another destination. Do not expect the exotic in Jakarta—just pollution, poverty, strop malls, and really bad traffic.

Jakarta

Marco Sagese is Director at True Car Hire.

Comments (45)

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  1. Chris says:

    Poor job. This article is a long list of cliché…do you really think that most of these cities would attract so many visitors if they would not be great destinations? Travelling does not mean that you will always have a perfect experience.

  2. I agree with why people may not want to visit New Delhi, India but having just spent some time there i can’t agree anymore. Sure, there are scams everyone (in fact they were just as bad in many places in India) but if you know that in advance you have far more chance of being ok.

    I found New Delhi incredible. I arrive around 10pm and had my taxi take me from the airport into my hotel just as the trucks were allowed back into the city. It was chaotic, frightening, exhilarating and absolutely brilliant.

    I got to spend days in the place and the people are amazing, the sights are incredible and it’s definitely worth it. It wasn’t my favourite place in India, but it’s a place I’m definitely glad to have visited.

    You’re 100% spot on with the Sydney/Melbourne rivalry. There’s nothing quite like that particular city rivalry in Australia. Falling into the Melbourne camp i can say i think it’s the best city I’ve ever been to. Sydney on the other hand… :)

    It’s a love/hate relationship and usually in good taste and i honestly think it makes both places better.

    They’re both amazing!

  3. Tyler says:

    AWFUL article. I’ve LIVED in 2 of these cities and visited several other. Some of these are the BEST cities in the world by any stretch of the imagination. Please visit cities you put on a list before listing them.

  4. Ralph says:

    “Violent Race Riots” in LA? I stopped reading this article at that point… It lost all credibility.

  5. Edward M. Meshuris says:

    So I am from Los Angeles, you cited traffic, earthquakes and race riots as reasons to go to this city. Sensationalist write much?

  6. William Rodriguez says:

    I think that the person who wrote this article is a complete moron, on what basis is he getting his facts? Nothing but cliches, I even wonder if this guy has ever traveled at all? I guess they’ll let any moron publish anything nowadays.

  7. Nicole P says:

    Been to Paris twice and never had an issue with rude waiters, I found the streets fairly clean as they have street cleaners and we used the underground mall entrance to the louvre and had no wait at all..my only issue with Paris is the scammers…the gold ring, the friendship bracelet, the immigrants selling booze and cheap trinkets at the tourist sights.

  8. Lucia says:

    Los Angeles: violent race riots? Back in the 80’s most certainly. Live in LA for 15 years and nothing of this nature has happen. Tourists get what tourist are looking for: tourist spots!! LA is full of amazing spots as calm as a little American village. I have been to all the other cities you mentioned on here…and you clearly didn’t do your home work right.

  9. BeachBum says:

    I have once question for the author: Of the ten cities you named, how many have you visited? Myself, I have only visited 2 – Cairo and LA. But, I have had the opportunity to vist four continents so far. Travel does not mean “perfect” experiences. As a matter of fact, if you are looking for “perfect” experiences, you need to stick to Disney World and Disneyland. Travel is about seeing the world for its best and its worst, and knowing that it all makes this a great existence. Are there scams out there? Absolutely. Should I avoid going to Rome because of the high number of pick pockets? Absolutely not!

    Do yourself a favor and do some real traveling.

  10. Elijahbeth says:

    Loving all these very on point comments about how disillusioned the author of this piece was.
    I have to echo what everyone else is saying – have you ever traveled to any of these cities? If you haven’t then shame on you for taking the most clichéed and negative comments about these cities to heart. If you have traveled to those places then boy am I ever glad I didn’t encounter you while waltzing around the ‘tourist trap’ of Paris while in cultural bliss, drinking wine in a park with some baked delicacy – you would have ruined my day with your negativity.

    I have been to Paris and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Never insulted, occasionally creeped on, always happy. Sure there are clichéed aspects of it – baguettes, museums, stinky Metro stations, sleazy french men, but HELLO. That is called CULTURAL IDENTITY. You should be thankful to experience some cliché in your travels – it means the city is living up to its reputation! And if there are aspects that don’t thrill you as much as you had hoped, that’s the entire POINT of traveling. You put yourself out of your comfort zone, you have a life experience that allows you to grow. You see all shades of society. Live and learn and love and flourish.

    If you want to ‘travel’ but not experience anything other than pampered, perfect bliss, I recommend you stick to all-inclusive resorts. Or even better, a cruise ship.

  11. Mr Race Riot says:

    I just got back from a violent race riot in Los Angeles and escaped with only a few gashes and two missing teeth. Next time I travel there, I will be surely bringing my riot gear for protection–especially if I am brave enough to explore the Beverly Hills section of town.

  12. Michael Blazin says:

    Paris is the City of Light, not Lights. Authors and politicians that do not know better always say Lights and then insert a picture of a brilliant Eiffel Tower. City of Light came from its role in spreading education during the era 1000-1400, the Dark Ages.

  13. John F. says:

    This is one of the dumbest articles I’ve read in a long time, unless it was meant to troll for dissenters… in which case it may be brilliant. Paris, LA, and the two Australian cities? Do you REALLY thing they belong alongside New Delhi, Timbuktu, and Jakarta? C’mon now, come clean… was this written by someone with no passport and only the bizzaro-world version of wikipedia.

  14. Anja says:

    Great post and good to sometimes sum up the negative, next to all the ‘best of’ lists;-).

    Many of these cities were already not on my wish lists and that will remain so! But Paris, LA, Sydney and Melbourne are cities that I enjoyed and would not mind returning to.

  15. RayB says:

    I lived in Paris for 3 years. The waiters are only rude if you’re rude enough to assume that people in their own country must speak YOUR language. My list of most boring / hated cities: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Nairobi, Chicago.

  16. Frank says:

    Oh stop it. How can anyone who travels freqently put Paris in the same lineup with some of those dumps?

  17. Freeda Zakhour says:

    Oh my God!!! To start with hate is a very strong word. I have visited only three of those mentioned cities Paris, LA and Cairo.
    How can any one hate Paris!!! Unbelievable! How can any one hate a city like Paris for those listed reasons which you find in a lot of cities in the world. Or because of an incident with a waiter!! We have been several times to Paris and we enjoyed our trips a lot.
    LA has a lot of attractions. Traffic jams are now common in most cities. By far not to be hated.
    Cairo yes its crowded jam packed and polluted but still has its charm !

  18. Beck says:

    Having been to both Timbuktu and Lima – I’m bound to disagree with those 2 reviews.

    Timbuktu was beautiful, peaceful, quiet and full of history. Aside from the invasion last year I would be happy to go back to Mali any time.

    Lima put Atlanta (where I actually live) THAT is a 24 hour city!!!

  19. Arjan says:

    Hahaha… what a joke this article. I have been in 7 of the 10 cities and yeah, all of them are crowded, have drugs dealers and you can get robbed. But isn’t that what comes with a big city.

    I got lost in New Delhi, walked around for hours and hours. One of the best experiences I have. I love the chaos, the food, the people. I was stuck in a train for 24 hours in India, slept outside at the border to nepal. Such a great adventure.

    Poor job this article!!!

  20. Veronique says:

    Pretty sad article. You were wrong about Belize.

    Btw hard to have a comment when visiting Belize via a cruise….

  21. Sherry Friedman says:

    Didn’t read past your ridiculousness about Paris (by the way, it’s the City of Light, not Lights). For every rude waiter I’ve had in Paris (count on one hand with fingers left over) I’ve had ten who were polite and professional. Sure, Paris is expensive, but what major city isn’t. We were in Copenhagen this past year, and it’s jaw droppingly pricey. When I figure what I pay for food in Paris, then factor in US taxes and tips, many times I’ve had a great meal for less than I could get one here. Have you been to London? New York? Wanna talk expensive? So there’s dog poop…look where you’re walking. Tourists taking pictures? Really? Are you kidding? People take photos when they travel…get over it.Or better yet, don’t go to Paris. This sounds like a revenge blog to me…to lump Paris, the most popular destination for tourists with some of these other cities (Tijuana????) is just incredibly moronic.

  22. n Vivekananda swamy says:

    I had been to Delhi as a student in 1973 (returning from NCC camp ,about 5,6 students from AP, from Yusmarg, J & K), we could go round the places of interest without any inconvenience . again visited Delhi in 1980 and latest 2004. We never faced any problem while visiting any tourist spot. Our tour operator has sent a vehicle to catch us in 2004 (we were dropped by bus at 01 30 midnight, after visiting agra, mathura etc.) And the vehicle left us at our place of stay about 5/6 km away. Any article may give problems , specifically faced to make people careful, branding all people or place is not a wise appraoch

  23. Gantz says:

    Of course I dont expect a mall in timbuktu, thats not what Im looking for, same as when you go to a remote beach heaven like Raja Ampat, Karimun Jawa and Pulau Weh, and Jakarta is not a city of leisure travelling, but a city of business travelling. I agree with mexico and cairo though, they’re not on my list.. for now

  24. L.K. Scott says:

    They may be good cities, but like all cities they aren’t without problems. To the die-hard traveler who has seen the poverty of poorer cities and are accustomed to the “local” experience, these cities may seem pleasant. However, to the travelers who are accustomed to vacationing on private islands and luxury resorts, it’s clearly obvious that the big spenders would be irritated by these locations. Personally, I’m from Los Angeles, California, and I couldn’t agree with the L.A. segment more. I freaking had to get out of there. The people were very rude and it took me an hour and a half to drive only 20 miles to work because the traffic was horrendous. Not to mention the hordes of tourists who think because they are pedestrians, they can just dart in front of 6 lanes of speeding traffic because they have the right away. Once I graduated university, I got the hell out of there.

    I’d go back to visit given an opportunity, but I’m not going out of my way for it.

    Also, why isn’t Rome on this list? Some people say it’s a wonderful city, but many people I speak with say that Rome is annoying and overrated. Is that true?

  25. L.K. Scott says:

    Also, I hated Tijuana too. Tijuana would be on my least favorite cities. But a few miles south, I LOVED Rosarito. I would go out of my way for Rosarito again for sure! <3

  26. David says:

    I lived of and on in Cairo, Egypt for almost 12 years and not once had I been in any transport accident either public or private transport so I was rather bemused how you can justify your statement, I quote” the fact that you might get into a car accident in one of their streets as soon as you step inside a vehicle”. In fact I saw very few accidents in the 12 years I lived there so I wonder how your personal view concludes its an accident prone city, as for air pollution, admittedly, its not always smog free but I have seen worse.

  27. Jerry says:

    Wow a huge list of cliches and stereos types. Very much written for the US market I’m thinking and for people who know very little about the real world. If you’re travelling with any attitudes like this then you’re bound to not enjoy your trip.

  28. Mamta Shah says:

    what a generalised opinion??a place which you find boring or a crime capital might not be the same for me . this article has no substance !!

  29. Lisa says:

    Whoa, really? Did the writer do anything but regurgitate negative news on popular cities? Marco, did you actually visit everyone of these cities or is this just hide behind a computer yammering? There are negatives about any city in the world but this is full of unfair characterizations. I just got back from Paris, our first visit and can not wait to go back. Of course one can partake of the tourist trap elements but if one actually does a bit a research before travel, it is easy to stay out of this and have a wonderful trip. The comment about Paris breakfast is unfairly characterized. First, everything can feel expensive due to taxes we are not used to in our home country. Second, with so many wonderful bakeries & cafes we easily found breakfast without spending a lot. Los Angeles is a fantastic place to visit, we go often – full of interesting history, architecture and culture. This story has no place in something titled “A Luxury Travel Blog.”

  30. Tammy says:

    Ridiculous. I have to admit, I am not a fan of Los Angeles, but that is my mishegoss. I haven’t been to all of the other cities, but want to see most of the. I have been to several, including a dozen separate visits to Paris so I must LOVE it.

    The ONLY people who could hate most of these cities are the “Ugly American” travelers. Those who expect every hotel to be perfect, who expect Western amenities in every location. Those who believe everyone needs to learn to speak English.

    Every city has it’s own charms and as well as nightmares. No place is going to be Shangri La to everyone. There are even things I don’t like about Paris. Hell, I live in Chicago, love it, but have complaints about certain things here. A true traveler embraces each location for the uniqueness it offers and the people who make up the population.

  31. Daniel says:

    I fully agree to find Paris on this list. And the very rude waiters aren’t a rumour at all. However, did you know that there is restaurant in Paris where the price of a coffee is depending on your own kindness? Asking “Can I have a coffee please” or “Coffee ” can make a difference up to 6 Euros

  32. Patrick says:

    Poor job with this article! Made me think theat Marco never even travelled to theses places. Sometimes you should really stick to writing about stuff that you know.
    Poor excuse for an article.

  33. Drea says:

    Although I have not visited all of the cities on this list, I must say I disagree with your comments about LA. I absolutely loved it, even more so than NYC. The city has so much to offer if you know how to plan ahead. I agree there are many tacky tourist traps, especially in Hollywood, but just don’t do them.

  34. Scott says:

    It’s good to see this isn’t another article that blasts Chicago… though the city has its faults, it’s a great place, too…

  35. JB says:

    Ottawa – most hated city in Canada, one of the worst capitals in the world.

    Awful people, over-priced everything, terrible winters rivaling Siberia, nothing to do and closest US city is Detroit.

  36. Joe says:

    Try ottawa Canada. Boring, overpriced, awful people. Dog poo everywhere and a river polluted with feces.

  37. Paul Johnson says:

    Not sure why you would live in a place that you hate, Joe…

  38. Ciudad del Este, the second largest city in Paraguay and right across the border from Iguazu Falls is the ugliest city I’ve seen.

  39. I traveled to Delhi on 2016,I remember that it was so horrible and polluted!MY GOD!How could the people suffer in Delhi in pollution how could they?It is very bad to live in Delhi and who heck said that Sydney is a hated city BLAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

  40. The comments about Sydney and Melbourne are way off base. Having lived in Sydney for 28 years with regular travel to Melbourne, I can assure you that nobody hates the others guts. Race riots in L.A? You are great at getting people to make comments. I’ll give you that.

  41. Christine B. Osborne says:

    Author of this piece gets the award for the most stupid
    blog list ever written. His only success is the number of people who have commented on just how moronic it is. Anyone who just writes BEST/WORST LISTS is clearly incapable of anything better.

  42. Steve says:

    I agree with others – this is a bogus list for any number of reasons. One I don’t believe has been mentioned in defense of Lima: it has some of the best restaurants and most exciting cuisine in the world.

  43. Pshah says:

    as a luxury travel professional for the past 50 years this is one of the stupidest lists and sham reasons i have come across. not worth paying any attention to it – which is what i just did – ugh

  44. Bonnie says:

    What a negative article and so untrue. I felt safe in New Delhi, the people are wonderful. I’ve not had greater hospitality anywhere else in the world. Even strangers on the metro went out of their way to help a lone stranger, me. India is beautiful.

  45. Marla says:

    First off anyone who “hates” Paris France has usually never gone. Truly I can not count the number of times I have been and each time is more beautiful than the last. People are kind.. If you are kind. Tijuana Mexico, well I met some very wonderful, kind, trusting, helpful, caring, people in Tijuana. I was alone however not at night. And lets face reality there are bad sections in every city and if you do not want to see or experience it. stay away. Oh yes, if you decide to go. Go to The Leather Factory. Family owned and they will customize a leather jacket to fit you. AAAhhh Cairo, Egypt.. My Egyptian professor invited me and my husband to stay for a month in his family home. He taught me daily for free and his family and friends where so kind. I would love to go back. There is only one problem why I won’t travel to some places. I have bad asthma. Otherwise I say go! and allow yourself to learn and experience other cultures. Most humans are kind, however I will admit no matter where I am in the world even here at home I have encountered a bad or mean human.

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