The world is full of places that people wish to visit so they can experience different cultures, sample local food, see historical landmarks, and much more. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of places that seem worth the trip, but can pose a threat to unsuspecting tourists. Those who choose to visit cities with high crime rates need to take extra precautions before exploring.
No matter where someone travels there are always risks in new territory. The year 2020 has left avid travelers wondering when and where they can go next, but it would be best for people to be aware that visiting these cities comes with a lot of uncertainty.
Tijuana, Mexico Should Be Avoided At All Costs
Tijuana, Mexico is just 15 miles south of downtown San Diego and happens to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Their population is close to two million, with about 100 high-risk crimes per 100,000 residents. Anywhere that’s close to the southern part of the U.S./Mexico border is almost guaranteed to be full of danger.
In 2019 the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice ranked Tijuana as the number one most dangerous city in the world, with five other Mexican cities following close behind. Since it’s a popular spot for spring break, the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico advised people to stop going there.
Karachi, Pakistan Isn’t Safe For Visitors
It shouldn’t be too jarring to know that the largest city in Pakistan, Karachi, is also the most dangerous. Karachi is considered to be the financial and industrial center of this Middle Eastern country, but in recent months they have experienced increased levels of crime and violence.
The Huffington Post and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan are warning foreigners to stay away from the city because they believe the danger is far from over. This isn’t the first time Karachi has experienced high levels of crime because the early 1990s were also full of atrocities.
Be Very Careful In Cape Town, South Africa
Not all of South Africa should be considered a threat to visitors, but there’s one city where people need to take some extra precautions. Cape Town, South Africa has seen a spike in crime rates in recent years. This is mainly because a large percentage of their population lives below the poverty line.
Tourism experts say that if people need to travel through Cape Town it should only be done in big groups and never after dark. Some of the crimes that have been reported include theft, muggings, assaults, carjackings, and gang violence.
Aswan, Egypt Has Crimes During All Hours
Egypt is usually thought of as a country with ancient pyramids, deep-rooted religion, and unique music and dancing. That may be true for some parts of the area, but there are cities that aren’t as friendly to newcomers. The city of Aswan is most likely the most dangerous place in Egypt.
They experience numerous accounts of assault toward both men and women on the streets daily, even in broad daylight. This can be attributed to the tensions with how the country is governed and because the citizens feel a lot of instability in their lives.
There’s A Lot Of Illegal Activity In San Pedro Sula, Honduras
San Pedro Sula is located in the northern part of the Central American country of Honduras. For many years it has landed itself on dangerous city lists because of the amount of violence that surrounds the area. San Pedro Sula began its downward spiral after the increased trafficking of illegal firearms.
Citizens have been using these firearms against law enforcement and members of parliament, which is causing a lot of tension throughout the city. Various sources also mentioned that this region has some of the highest homicide rates in the world.
Kabul, Afghanistan Is Years Away From Peace
Although U.S. troops have slowly been removed from Kabul, Afghanistan, it is still considered to be a war zone. The past 20 or so years have been tremendously dangerous for the city because of attacks, bombings, and more. Business Insider revealed that the country itself is the most dangerous in the world, so there aren’t other areas that are worth visiting.
Conflict experts have no idea when Kabul, or even all of Afghanistan, will heal from the mass violence that’s torn through the area. Unless there’s some sort of peace deal, there won’t be any conflict resolution anytime soon.
No One Feels Protected In Caracas, Venezuela
The whole country of Venezuela was put on the official “Do Not Travel” list by several government travel advisories. This especially applies to the city of Caracas. Foreigners are the biggest target for crimes including kidnappings, carjacking, and muggings. People should also be worried about their safety in Caracas airports, hotels, and popular tourist attractions.
Victims of these crimes have reported very small percentages of trials and convictions, which means criminals are getting away with almost everything. The poor neighborhoods, or barrios (pictured), that cover the hills are also very dangerous because there is very little police activity.
Don’t Go Near Baghdad, Iraq
The Global Peace Index warns anyone traveling to Baghdad, Iraq to consider a different place to visit. They have some of the worst scores in safety, security, and violent crimes out of a total of 144 other countries. Those who are from the area report lots of bombings and illegal firearm use.
Baghdad has been on the “Do Not Travel” list for a couple of decades, especially for Americans. Similar to Afghanistan, U.S. troops are slowly departing from the country, but it remains damaged by war. The violent outbreaks are still unpredictable, so foreigners should stay away for a long time.
Natal, Brazil Isn’t What It Appears To Be
On the outside, Natal, Brazil seems like a charming beachside city, but it’s one of the most dangerous places in the world. One recent Los Angeles Times article on the city was quoted as saying, “The bodies keep piling up…” This is because violence has reached astronomical levels.
The Atlas of Violence found that crimes had increased by 232 percent and in one weekend alone 23 people had their lives cut short. Other surrounding cities in the Rio Grande de Norte area, such as Fortaleza, are experiencing higher crime rates as well.
Juba, South Sudan Is Full Of Conflict
There’s a ton of natural beauty in Juba, South Sudan that many foreigners have to miss out on due to the dangerous circumstances. This is a shame, because it’s an area where many animals such as elephants, zebras, and antelope migrate throughout the year, something that animal lovers would want to see in person.
The official U.S. Department of State and Bureau of Consular Affairs tells everyone not to travel to South Sudan for reasons including kidnapping, carjackings, ambushes, and armed conflict. The area has many opportunities for people to get their hands on weapons, which leads to mass violence.
This Event Led To The Downfall Of Sana’a, Yemen
In 2015 there was a horrific bombing in Sana’a, Yemen, which left other countries, including the United States, suspending their operations and aid throughout the entire area. Similar to other war-torn countries in the Middle East, Yemen is on the Travel Advisory’s “Do Not Travel” list.
Ever since the catastrophic bombing five years ago, the country has faced a lot of economic and social turmoil. Many travel sites urge foreigners, especially from the United States, to avoid Sana’a because visitors could potentially fall prey to an unpredictable attack such as kidnapping or diseases including cholera.
What Not To Do In Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic Of Congo
People used to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo to check out the majestic gorillas in the wild, but it’s simply become an unsafe place for tourists. Crime has become a way of life in the city of Kinshasa and things have gotten way out of hand.
World Nomads stated that crimes, including kidnapping and armed robbery, happen often and can occur at any time day or night. The criminals sometimes pose as police so they can trick unsuspecting victims into trusting them. If someone needs to visit Kinshasa they should never walk alone, display cash or other items of value, or take photos in places of national security.
You Need To Know This About Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala and remains one of the most dangerous places in Central America. The city is far from being a popular tourist town, but those who come to the country have to stop here because it’s where the major airport is located.
It tends to be a bit safer during the day, but at night people can expect to see a lot of robberies, muggings, and even more serious crimes. Smarter Travel revealed that criminals will sometimes pose as fake taxi or bus drivers and take advantage of their riders.
Pyongyang, North Korea Lacks Many Resources
Pyongyang, North Korea is not only one of the most dangerous cities in the world, but it’s also one of the poorest. Its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is estimated to be around $1,000, which is about 1/28th of its neighbor South Korea.
For years North Korea has been quite hostile to other countries, especially the United States. Since the city has a bad image of Americans it’s best that they avoid it all together and instead visit South Korea. The North Korean government is considered to be unstable at the moment as well.
Don’t Turn A Blind Eye To This In Bogotá, Colombia
Visitors can easily find themselves in trouble if they don’t take extra precautions in Bogotá, Colombia. People travel there to experience the beautiful architecture, grand art galleries, and vibrant culture, but there’s a lot of unexpected danger happening on the streets. Also, not many of the surrounding cities are much safer.
Tourists have reported crimes such as street violence, muggings, kidnappings, and witnessing people losing their lives. There have also been numerous attacks in hostels where armed gangs have victimized guests. If you must visit Bogotá, here are the best things to do: maintain a low profile, always look like you know where you’re going, and avoid using ATMs on the street.
What To Expect In Mumbai, India
It’s no surprise that Mumbai, India has a large population (of over 10 million people). The massive number of people also means that crime is prevalent and conditions are not very safe. For example, driving in Mumbai for the first time will be very overwhelming, with buses, motorcycles, cars, mopeds, and more crowding the streets in a disorganized fashion.
They have monsoon season from June to September with lots of rain and flooding, and the summer months are extremely warm and humid. The most common crime is theft and many travel sites mention that women shouldn’t go there alone.
What San Salvador, El Salvador Is Like After Dark
The city of San Salvador in the Central American country of El Salvador is a notorious hub for some of the country’s most violent street gangs. Many of them illegally smuggle firearms and narcotics into the city and in one year alone they took the lives of over 2,000 people.
When using a service such as a taxi or bus, it is imperative to find out if it’s been approved as a legitimate business. When the sun goes down in San Salvador the streets become more dangerous and if you’re driving at night it’s a good idea for you to lock all doors and windows to prevent carjackings.
St. Louis, Missouri Has Crime Rates That Are Through The Roof
Even though America isn’t a third world country it still experiences a surging amount of crime in areas. The FBI recently released a crime report on St. Louis, Missouri that said there were 17.5 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 2,082 per 100,000 people.
As a matter of fact, most of the cities that scored the least in home and community safety, natural disaster risk, and financial safety were located in the South. On the bright side, some of America’s top safest cities included Columbia, Maryland; Yonkers, New York; Plano, Texas; and Gilbert, Arizona.
What Kingston, Jamaica Is Hiding Behind The Beauty
Kingston is the largest and capital city in Jamaica and is broken off into a downtown and an uptown. While some tourists are able to go hiking, bird watching, and beach exploring, this city is still considered to be an overall high-risk area.
Currently, the crime levels are increasing with more gang violence, illegal firearms, and credit card and ATM fraud. Tourists need to be extra vigilant if they choose to visit by not taking rides from strangers with unofficial taxi services. Women should also know there are a lot of reports of assault.
Why People Keep Leaving Baltimore, Maryland
One of the least safe cities in the United States is Baltimore, Maryland. According to Baltimore’s local CBS News station, there are around 1,833.4 violent crimes per 100,000 people, a poverty rate of 22.4 percent, and an unemployment rate of 5.7. Also, the amount of people who had their lives taken from them within the last year is estimated to be about 309.
Luckily, these numbers have started to slowly decrease, but Baltimore is still nowhere near where they need to be. Their population is at its lowest in the last 100 years, which means more families are leaving to feel protected.
How San Juan, Puerto Rico Is Doing After The Hurricane
After the country of Puerto Rico faced a devastating hurricane in 2017 it was difficult for its economy to recover, especially in the city of San Juan. To this day the entire country is far from experiencing complete economic security and this has prompted more danger throughout the area.
There was a huge spike in violence on the island after the storm struck, but that has slowly been declining over the past few years as Puerto Rico recovers. The main problem is petty thefts such as pickpocketing, so it’s advised for tourists to take normal precautions to remain safe.
The Good And Bad Side Of Detroit, Michigan
For several decades Detroit, Michigan has been listed as one of the most dangerous places to visit. It still has its bright spots including being the birthplace of American cars, a vibrant capital for music, and its iconic skyline (pictured).
Smarter Travel stated that people who come to Detroit have the highest chance of becoming a crime victim than almost every other American city. Those who want to visit need to be aware of the different neighborhoods so as to avoid gangs, narcotics dealers, pickpockets, and more.
What You Never Realized About New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana is usually thought of as a major tourist city with people trying their signature food dishes, listening to the popular jazz music, or participating in celebrations such as Mardi Gras. But behind this vibrant facade is one of America’s most dangerous cities.
The violent crime rate is above the national average and the property crime rate is significantly higher than the rest of the country. Other than high levels of crime, the city is prone to natural disasters such as 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. The FBI revealed that New Orleans has recently become a big target for terrorism as well.
Do Not Travel To Bamako, Mali
The United States Department of State and the Bureau of Consular Affairs lists the entire country of Mali under the level four threat that tells outsiders, “Do Not Travel.” The capital city of Bamako fits under this category because of the many crimes the city regularly experiences.
Bamako sees crimes that include kidnapping, armed robbery, and more, especially during local holidays and seasonal events. These crimes can happen with little to no warning and attackers will often target places such as night clubs, hotels, restaurants, and places of worship.
Stay Away From Large Crowds In Kyiv, Ukraine
While there are numerous places that will put people in more danger than Kyiv, Ukraine, it’s still not close to being a safe place to go. Crime targeting foreigners is very common, especially in areas where the government doesn’t have as much control. A lot of crime happens at demonstrations, so people should avoid any place with a large crowd.
Tourists have noticed the increased number of attacks, which has led to a big drop in visitors over the last decade. Medium reported that there are about 15 times fewer travelers than there were in 2013.
Entering Mogadishu, Somalia Is Ill-Advised
The Telegraph reported that there are constant threats of terrorist attacks in Mogadishu, Somalia. They also have a high kidnapping rate and are very hostile toward westerners. Mogadishu experienced one of their worst attacks on October 14, 2017, when a large truck bomb exploded. It ended the lives of over 300 people and injured hundreds more.
A lot of the attacks in Mogadishu occur at their international airport, government and official buildings, hotels, and restaurants. The number and types of crimes are completely unpredictable and the country also has severe weather disruptions such as droughts, heatwaves, floods, and tsunamis.
Make Sure Your Affairs Are In Order Before Visiting Tripoli, Libya
Tripoli, Libya is one of the worst places that Americans can visit. They are often the target of attacks in Libya that include armed conflict, kidnapping, civil unrest, and terrorism. The capital city of Tripoli and other surrounding cities have witnessed numerous reports of fighting among armed groups.
The guidelines for visiting Libya are pretty grim, with advice that includes drafting a will to designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or a power of attorney and discussing a plan with loved ones regarding the care and custody over children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets, funeral wishes, and more.
Acapulco, Mexico Has Really Changed
It wasn’t that long ago that Acapulco, Mexico was one of the hottest vacation destinations in the world. Acapulco used to represent safety and luxury, but in recent years it has undergone some drastic changes. Violence related to narcotics is increasing, which has led to thousands of people losing their lives.
Many of the resorts remain in the city, so those coming to experience a getaway are advised to only stay on resort property and have a licensed and official transportation service take them to and from the airport.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Is Getting A Bit Safer
Even though Rio de Janeiro isn’t necessarily the top most dangerous city in Brazil it should still be considered here because it’s a huge tourist destination. Over the last 10 years the city has gotten safer, but still experiences a lot of street crime. Most of the crimes occur at night, so visitors shouldn’t stay out after the sun goes down.
Travel experts urge tourists to stay out of the favelas (slums), especially in Zona Norte because there aren’t too many police in that area. In order to stay safe in Rio de Janeiro, people should never leave their bags unattended, show cash or wallets, walk alone, or wear jewelry in the street.
Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela May Get Better In The Future
After Caracas, the second most dangerous city in Venezuela is Ciudad Guayana. It’s a port city that borders the Orinoco River and was founded in 1961, even though its history dates back to 1724. Ciudad Guayana is struggling not only with high crime rates, but also a large food scarcity.
The economic safety and general security has worsened over the years and this is causing crime rates to increase. Hopefully, tourists will be able to view the area’s picturesque waterfalls and other local attractions in the future because the city is expected to see a slight decrease in violent crimes.
Located in Syria, Aleppo is the capital of the Aleppo Governorate and is the most populated of the Syrian governate with a population as 4.6 million as of 2010. Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and has been a home to humans since the sixth millennium BC.
However, recently, Aleppo has been turned into a warzone with the Battle of Aleppo taking place between 2012 and 2016 during the Syrian Civil War with an estimated 31,000 people killed in the city during the conflict.
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico Is Caught Up In A Drug War
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, commonly referred to as Juarez, is the most populated city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, with an estimated population of 1.5 million people. Cuidad Juarez is a point of entry and transportation into the United States.
However, this also makes the city dangerous, because the connecting borders result in drug and human trafficking as well as crooked cops. For example in 2009, there was a mass exodus of people that could afford to move out of the city due to the violence from the Mexican Drug War.
Khartoum, Sudan Has A Bloody History
Khartoum is the capital of Sudan and is the largest metropolitan area in Sudan with a population of 5,274,321. The city has a bloody past and has experienced violence since the 1800s, beginning with the Siege of Khartoum in 1884.
However, there has also been modern unrest with three hostages being killed during the attack on the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum, the Justice and Equality Movement conflict, the War in Darfur, and the Khartoum massacre in 2019 during the Sudanese Revolution.
Mexico City, Mexico Has No Shortage Of Crime
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and the most populated city in the country. It is located in the Valley of Mexico and is separated into 16 subdivisions. As of 2009, the city proper had a population of 8.84 million people and is considered to be one of the most productive urban areas in the world.
Although the city is considered to be economically and culturally progressive, it’s not necessarily safe for tourists. With so many citizens, there’s no lack of crime, making it particularly dangerous.
Palmira is a city in southwestern Colombia in the Valle del Cauca Department and is the third-largest city in the area. On top of the dangers of all the motorcyclists that ignore traffic laws, the city is also considered highly dangerous due to its murder rates.
Currently, the city is ranked as the eighth most dangerous city in the world as there was a recorded 70.88 homicides per every 100,000 residents. Might want to skip over this city when on vacation.
Medellin, Colombia Has Been Run By Gangs For Decades
Medellin, Colombia is the second-largest city in Colombia after Bogota and is located in the Aburra Valley, which is a region of the Andes Mountains in South America. According to the 2018 census, the city is home to 2,508,452 citizens. In 2013, the Urban Land Institute named Medellin the most innovative city in the world due to its recent developments.
However, Medellin was once known as the most dangerous city in the world because of the urban war that was driven by the drug cartels at the end of the 1980s. Nevertheless, gangs are still prevalent and violence is the norm.
Chihuahua, Mexico Is Getting Better
Chihuahua is one of the 32 state s that make up the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico located in Northwest Mexico. In 2018, the city made it onto the list of the most dangerous cities, eve though its homicide rate fell from 49.5 per 100,000 residents in 2017 due to gang violence.
The 2018 rate is also significantly lower than it was in 2013, the first year the list was published. That year, the homicide rate was a whopping 50 per 100,000 citizens, making it Mexico’s fourth most dangerous city.
Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa Trades Places With Durban Frequently
Nelson Mandela Bay is makes up the city of Port Elizabeth and the surrounding area . In 2018, the city was named the world’s 46th highest homicide rate, making it South Africa’s second most dangerous city.
Nelson Mandela Bay and the city of Durban, around 570 miles up the coast typically trade position as the country’s second and third most dangerous cities. They have similar murder rates that fluctuate between 32 and 39 per every 100,000 citizens each year.
Reynosa, Mexico Was Ravaged By Drug Cartels
Reynosa is a border city in the north part of the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico. It is located on the southern bank of the Rio Grande and directly across the Mexico-U.S. border from Hidalgo, Texas.
Unfortunately, in 2017, it was considered to be a major hot spot in the Mexican Drug War between the Gulf and Los Zetas drug cartels. However, even though Mexican anti-cartel operations helped to dismantle the cartels, smaller groups emerged not long after.
Uruapan, Mexico is the second-largest city in the Mexican state of Michoacán. Due to its location, since the colonial period has been important economically, and played a vital role in the War of Independence.
However, recently, there has been an uptick in violent crime, and was first named one of the most dangerous cities in the world in 2013. Since then, violent crimes, especially those gun-related have continued to rise with the governor of the Michoacán state promising to increase police presence to help reduce crime.