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10 Of The Ugliest Cities In The World As Voted By Travellers

The perception of ugliness in cities is a fascinating and subjective aspect. When it comes to evaluating the aesthetics of urban environments, diverse opinions come into play, making it a captivating area of exploration. This article aims to delve into the intricate layers of what contributes to a city being labeled as ugly. By conducting a comprehensive survey, we unveil the top 10 Ugliest Cities In The World scale, as voted by travelers.

A city’s aesthetic appeal is a complex interplay of various elements. One significant factor is the presence of unique features that might be deemed unattractive by a majority of observers. These features could range from unconventional architectural designs to urban planning choices that deviate from conventional standards. By identifying and analyzing these distinct characteristics, we gain insights into the subjective nature of urban beauty.

Historical contexts also play a crucial role in shaping a city’s appearance and subsequently influencing perceptions of its attractiveness. Cities often bear the marks of their past, whether through preserved historical architecture or the consequences of urban development decisions made decades or even centuries ago. Understanding these historical layers provides a nuanced understanding of why certain cities may be perceived as less aesthetically pleasing than others.

10 Of The Ugliest Cities In The World As Voted By Travellers

1. Tijuana, Mexico:

Tijuana, situated on the Mexico-U.S. border, has faced criticism for its bustling atmosphere, often associated with heavy traffic, street vendors, and a seemingly chaotic urban environment. The city’s rapid growth and industrial development have resulted in uneven urban planning, contributing to a perception of visual disorder. While Tijuana has a vibrant cultural scene and is a gateway for many travelers, some find its urban landscape less appealing compared to other destinations.

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2. Nairobi, Kenya:

Nairobi is the main city of Kenya. It is a city of many contrasts. While it boasts a rich cultural heritage and a thriving wildlife scene, it has also been criticized for its sprawling slums, traffic congestion, and a lack of effective urban planning. The juxtaposition of modern skyscrapers against impoverished areas has created a visual divide that some travelers find disheartening. Despite these challenges, Nairobi remains a hub of East African culture and commerce, with many visitors appreciating its dynamic energy and the warmth of its people.

3. Chernobyl, Ukraine:

Chernobyl, the site of the infamous nuclear disaster in 1986, is not a conventional tourist destination, but it has attracted visitors curious about its haunting history. The abandoned buildings, decaying infrastructure, and lingering radiation have given the area an eerie aesthetic. While some may appreciate the historical significance, others find the desolation and remnants of tragedy to be visually unappealing, making Chernobyl a unique entry on this list.

4. Luanda, Angola:

Luanda, the capital of Angola, presents a stark contrast between opulence and poverty. The city has experienced rapid economic growth, leading to the construction of modern skyscrapers, but the benefits of this development have not been evenly distributed. Widespread poverty and inadequate infrastructure, especially in the city’s outskirts, contribute to a perception of visual discord. Despite these challenges, Luanda has a rich cultural scene and a resilient population, showcasing the complexities that come with rapid urbanization in developing regions.

5. Karachi, Pakistan:

Karachi, a bustling metropolis and economic hub of Pakistan, faces challenges that impact its visual appeal. High levels of pollution, frequent traffic congestion, and a scarcity of green spaces contribute to a sense of urban chaos. The city’s rapid population growth has strained its infrastructure, leading to a mix of modern development and areas struggling to keep pace. Despite these challenges, Karachi remains a vibrant city with a diverse cultural heritage and a resilient population navigating the complexities of urban life.

6. Detroit, USA:

Once an industrial powerhouse, Detroit has faced economic decline and urban decay, resulting in sections of the city being abandoned and left in ruins. The decline of the automotive industry and other economic factors have contributed to a perception of dilapidation. However, Detroit is also a city with a rich history, known for its contributions to music, art, and culture. Efforts to revitalize certain neighborhoods and repurpose abandoned buildings showcase the resilience and creativity of the community, highlighting the ongoing transformation of this iconic American city.

7. Cairo, Egypt:

Cairo, with its millennia-old history, faces the challenges of modern urbanization. The city’s overcrowded streets, air pollution, and dilapidated infrastructure have led some travelers to find it visually displeasing. The juxtaposition of ancient wonders like the pyramids against a backdrop of urban sprawl creates a unique blend of the old and the new. Despite the challenges, Cairo remains a cultural treasure trove, attracting visitors with its archaeological sites, bustling markets, and a vibrant street life that reflects the city’s dynamic and ever-evolving nature.

8. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea:

Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, grapples with issues that impact its visual appeal. High crime rates, inadequate infrastructure, and challenges in providing basic services to residents contribute to a perception of urban struggle. The city’s coastal location and surrounding natural beauty stand in contrast to the urban challenges it faces. Efforts to address these issues and promote sustainable development are ongoing, reflecting the complexities of balancing urban growth with environmental preservation in a unique and diverse region.

9. Nouakchott, Mauritania:

Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, is a city marked by vast sandy expanses and a unique desert landscape. While some travelers appreciate its distinctiveness, others find the isolation and lack of traditional urban features less appealing. The city’s growth has been influenced by nomadic traditions and challenges associated with desert living. Despite its unique character, Nouakchott faces infrastructural and economic challenges, and ongoing efforts seek to address these issues while preserving the city’s cultural identity.

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10. Dhaka, Bangladesh:

Dhaka, the capital and largest city of Bangladesh, is a rapidly growing metropolis facing the complexities of urbanization. Rapid population growth, traffic congestion, and environmental challenges contribute to mixed reviews about its visual appeal. The city is a melting pot of diverse cultures, and its historical sites showcase the rich heritage of Bangladesh. As Dhaka grapples with the demands of modern urban life, ongoing initiatives aim to balance development with sustainability, providing a glimpse into the evolving nature of this dynamic city.


In summary, the perception of ugliness in cities proves to be a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. This article has undertaken a comprehensive exploration of the top 10 ugliest cities on a global scale, aiming to illuminate the myriad factors that contribute to their respective rankings. By delving into various aspects, ranging from historical contexts to environmental concerns, we’ve unraveled the intricate tapestry that shapes the visual appeal of these cities.

The examination of historical contexts has provided valuable insights into the deep-seated roots of each city’s aesthetic narrative. Cities bear the imprints of their past, and understanding the historical evolution of their architecture and urban planning decisions is pivotal to appreciating the nuanced reasons behind their perceived lack of beauty. It is in these historical layers that we find the origins of both captivating landmarks and, at times, the less attractive features that have led to their categorization as “ugly.”


Q1: How were the cities on the list determined as the “ugliest” by travelers?

A1: The cities on the list were identified based on feedback and opinions from travelers who have visited these destinations. The criteria for labeling a city as “ugliest” are subjective and may include factors such as urban planning, infrastructure, environmental issues, and overall visual appeal as perceived by individual travelers.

Q2: Is the term “ugliest” meant to be taken literally, or does it represent subjective opinions?

A2: The term “ugliest” is subjective and represents the opinions of travelers. Beauty is a highly subjective concept, and what one person finds unattractive, another may see differently. The article aims to capture the varied perceptions of travelers regarding the visual appeal of these cities.

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2 thoughts on “10 Of The Ugliest Cities In The World As Voted By Travellers

  • June 4, 2023 at 8:04 am

    Wow, America has several cities on this list and that is sad to see.

  • June 4, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    The author of this article knows nothing about the worst cities if they have not been to Ugandan cities.


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