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World's Most Annoying Cities

Insider Guides
by Carlo Alcos Nov 17, 2009
Traveling can be frustrating at times.

When all is going tickety-boo, you don’t have a care in the world and you feel like nothing bad can happen to you. Until it does. There have been some interesting lists published lately covering relatively minor annoyances that can nevertheless turn travel into a frustrating experience.

Top 10 Worst Cities for Pickpockets

I’ve been to nine of these. I’ve never been pickpocketed (knock on wood). Either I’m extremely lucky or I take precautions. Probably both, but probably more of the latter.

1. Barcelona, Spain
2. Rome, Italy
3. Prague, Czech Republic
4. Madrid, Spain
5. Paris, France
6. Florence, Italy
7. Buenos Aires, Argentina
8. Amsterdam, Netherlands
9. Athens, Greece
10. Hanoi, Vietnam

You always hear about scams when you travel. My personal favourite is one where a supposed mother will toss her baby at you.

Of course, by instinct, you’ll try to save baby Air Jordan, and if you do you’ll be minus a wallet.

But is this just an old traveler’s tale? If you’ve ever been baby-tossed, we’d love to hear about it.

Top Cities Where You Get Hassled

Ben Groundwater, travel blogger for The Age newspaper, posted these cities that are the worst for being hassled in.

Siem Riep, Cambodia

…the boat has barely even come to a stop before the huge crowd of yelling touts starts running on board trying to talk you into staying at their hostel. Rest assured, if you’ve already booked one, it will have mysteriously “closed.”

Hoi An, Vietnam

There are just as many touts on patrol [at the beach, compared to the cloth shops], mostly gnarled old women prowling the sand selling, “mango, baaanana, peeeeeanut!”

Cairo, Egypt

…they’re all hanging out at the pyramids, at once a true wonder of the world, and home to the most annoying people in the entire world.

Jaipur, India

Hands down, the grand champion of hassle.

San Francisco, USA

I was young and naive when I went to San Fran (I’m old and naive now), so that could explain it, but [it] just seemed like there were far more beggars and touts there than anywhere else in the States.

Nairobi, Kenya

No one really wants to sell you anything in Nairobi, except maybe the odd trinket – most have more sinister things in mind.

I would like to toss in Las Vegas and Santorini, as in right when you get off the ferry. Matador’s Sarah Menkedick also delves into the topic, posing the question: is getting hassled in the top travel spots preventable or inevitable?

The World’s Worst Taxi Rides

Forbes Traveler first profiled the World’s 10 Best Taxi Rides. Then they wrote about the worst. Here’s who they picked:

Lagos, Nigeria
Naples, Italy
Caracus, Venezuela
Moscow, Russia
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mexico City, Mexico
Baghdad, Iraq
Bangkok, Thailand
Manila, Philippines
New York City, USA

The complaints were frequent roadblocks, aggressive driving, unregulated taxis, super-mad congestion, unfriendliness, and even getting robbed.

In Ulan Bator, Mongolia, everyone is a taxi; just stick out your hand and whoever stops is your cab.

We once hailed one, agreed on a price, got in, then five minutes down the road he realized he had to be somewhere else. He apologized then promptly kicked us out.

At least he gave us our money back. Here are some tips on How Not to Get Ripped Off by a Cabbie.

Have these lists given you a headache? Take two Aspirins and call me in the morning.


What annoys you the most? Where have you most been annoyed?

Surely you have a story (or five) to tell. Feel free to get it off your chest below.

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