The list that Triphobo presents here covers juxtaposition. These are some of the best cities with worst reputation around the world whose ill fame has travelled so fast that people think twice before visiting them. The alleys, the streets and the corners of these cities harbor scandal and crime. However, the truth might not be always as it is represented.
Putting reality vs perception, however, does not mean that these cities are not exactly what they are infamous for. But as every city has its own share of beauty, let us explore at least ten of these cities whose qualities have somehow been overshadowed by the notoriety that they entail.
1. Mexico City, Mexico
Perception: A bustling megapolis rampant with drug runners and cartels
Truth: Mexico glistens with artistic brilliance. While walking down the streets of Mexico, you shall find the emblems of art strewn around the city such as Diego Rivera's murals at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, or Frida Kahlo's works at her former home. The city also dazzles with a thriving culinary scene that should not be missed in the perceptions about the city that colour our eyes. However, you should avoid walking in the night in this city.
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2. Medellin, Columbia
Perception: The city is the former hometown of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar
Truth: Whatever may be the past of this city, today Medellin has thoroughly undergone a makeover. It has become a vibrant and hospitable place for travellers. It has evolved with Medellin's Metrocable a gondola system that above the suburbs and offers a great way to see the city. The emblems of art are also present here such as The Fernando Botero sculptures at the Museo de Antioquia. However, try to avoid Some of the poorer neighbourhoods of Medellin that are still unsafe for visitors.
3. Nairobi, Kenya
Perception: Considered to be one of the cities with highest crime rates
Truth: Despite of all the dangers that ruin the reputation of this city, Nairobi is a nice place to visit owing to its varied restaurants, world-class museums, and Nairobi National Park. However, not to forget that the city is not safe to walk around alone, particularly at night.
4. Delhi, India
Perception: City-Unsafe for women and nightmarish traffic
Truth: The city has a magical landscape, something which William Darlymple thought worthy enough to be penned down. Today, the city has evolved itself with its metro system that can put many European countries to shame. The modernity here co-exists with the towering minarets of Mughal architecture. However, this city is not considered safe for women and the traffic is really a nuisance. Thus, Delhi has come under the list of cities with worst reputation.
5. Palermo, Italy
Perception: Worst traffic that chokes and Mafia stronghold that strangles
Truth: The level of Mafia crime has gone down today. The city can presently claim of grand baroque palazzi, gorgeous churches and fine street markets. Not to forget the sumptuous gelato here. However, just try to avoid the Kalsa and Cassaro districts at night.
6. Kolkata, India
Perception: Chaotic, poverty-ridden city
Truth: The city might be marred with poverty but how can one forget that it has the best reminiscences of British past. The citys landscape has magnificent public buildings and elegant squares that are dotted with vice-regal statues. In the past two decades, things have been steadily improving, with a program of public works and the renovation of its flamboyant historic buildings. Just try to move away from the red light districts that are the centers of crime here.
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7. Colombo, Sri Lanka
Perception: An Insignificant city
Truth: The city is undergoing an urban revitalisation project that aims to transform Colombo into a major south Asia destination embellished with a new state-of-the-art port area.The city had several major colonial buildings that have been today restored including the 17th-century Dutch Hospital which has been turned into a restaurant and retail complex in the lively Fort area. Although the city is relatively safe for the visitors, it's advisable to keep valuables out of sight here.
8. Bucharest, Romania
Perception: The city houses grim orphanages, hoards of pickpockets and scammers
Truth: The city thrives with youthful energy and houses wide boulevards that were inspired by Paris. The city also has lovely churches and monasteries, and 18th- and 19th-century civic buildings that add history and elegance. However, beware of petty thievery here.
9. Johannesburg, South Africa
Perception: Murder capital of the world
Truth: This is one city that has evolved itself after the Apartheid. Johannesburg today houses posh colonies such as Newtown which is also the city's emerging creative and culture hub. But don't forget that this city is still not safe for flashing your jewellery.
10. Marseille, France
Perception: Drug capital of Europe
Truth: The city is revamping itself with beautiful waterfront archades and arts centres, apartment blocks, offices and shopping centers. The old structures such as the17th-century Fort Saint Jean are now remodeled to become part of the city's Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations. However, it is sometimes considered as a dangerous city for solo women travelers.
As they say, ill fame travels faster than the truth, let us move beyond perceptions and see these cities in a new light. What do you think?