Travel is about adventure, and sometimes that means being outside your comfort zone. There is so much more to traveling than sitting by the beach or exploring a touristy neighbourhood in a big city (although yes, those things are great too), and much of the magic of travel lies in discovering the undiscovered. However, what about the places that are unexplored by tourists for a reason? These are the 11 areas with the most dangerous streets in the world that you should definitely avoid, no mater how much of a culture seeker you are.
Catia, Caracas, Venezuela
One of many similar barrios in West Caracas, Catia, is among the worst neighbourhoods in the most dangerous city in the world. In 2016, the homicide rate was a terrifying 60 per day. It’s probably best to avoid the entire city due to the current political climate, but the streets, of Catia, including Calle Argentina and Calle el Comercio, are some of the most devastating examples of how much the Venezuelan capital is suffering.
Renacimiento, Acapulco, Mexico
The most violent city in Mexico, Acapulco is no longer the glamorous beach town you may remember from old Hollywood movies. Along such streets as Av. Juan R. Escudero and Ejido las Pozas, murder is rampant, and June 2017 was the deadliest month in the past two decades. Gangs reign supreme here, with everyone having to queue up to pay them a portion of their weekly salary. It is truly a tragic reminder of what has happened to the country due to its infamous drug wars.
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Detroit has a reputation for violent crime and it’s not undeserved. If you live around the area of West Warren Avenue and McKinley Street, the odds of being the victim of such a crime are 1 in 13 for any given year.
Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
Just last month, upwards of 14 people were killed in this north-west Brazilian city in a nightclub shooting thought to be spurred by rival drug gangs. It is these same gangs who it would appear are to blame for the increase in violent crime in this city, where many neighbourhoods are considered to be unsafe, especially after dark. Some streets to avoid are those around the Iracema Beach area such as Av. Beira Mar and Av. Historiador Raimundo Girão.
San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras
Second only to Caracas in terms of worldwide murder rate in 2016, it is quite common to see dead bodies in the street in this terrifying city. With one of South America’s worst economies, the roads here, spanning from 6 Calle S.E. to Calle Principal, are ripe with violence. Known as the Chamelecón area, most incidents here are drug-related. Interestingly, US-funded social programmes are slowly making this city safer, so here’s hoping this place won’t be on the list for much longer.
San Salvador, El Salvador
In 2016, this capital city saw an average of 83.39 homicides for every 100,000 people. Sadly, the dangers of San Salvador are actually rooted in the United States as the infamous and deadly MS-13 gang that plagues the city was actually started in the US by the children of Salvadorean immigrants. Some of the worst streets here are Calle Zacamil and the Calle Principal of Ilopango.
Cape Town, South Africa
Central Cape Town was the most crime-ridden area of South Africa for 2016–2017, according to stats published by the police. Like many of the cities mentioned herein, it is a fantastic place to visit, but one needs to be on alert when doing so, because crime is a reality of the city, no matter how amazing it may be. A particularly bad place to be there, especially at night, is Long Street.
East Saint Louis, St Clair County, Illinois
Considered widely to the be the worst city in America, the streets of East Saint Louis are ripe with crime and poverty. In 2013, the per capita homicide rate was 18% above the national US average. In 2015, with a then population of just 26,616, 19 cases of murder/manslaughter, 42 cases of rape, 146 cases of robbery, 682 cases of aggravated assault and 12 cases of arson were reported . In 2016, the city had the highest murder rate in the nation. Interestingly enough, although East Saint Louis is the more dangerous city, the most dangerous actual street in America is a stretch of National Bridge Avenue in North Saint Louis due to the high rate of fatal gun crime.
Particularly dangerous after dark, the streets of Ulaanbaatar, especially Baga Toiruu, pose a threat mainly to tourists who are walking around late in the evening, with young men reportedly often picking street fights with foreigners. While this may be a different type of danger than named above, it is still definitely one to be avoided.
Another city with some of the most treacherous streets in America is Baltimore. A particularly bad stretch is the intersection of Mcculloh Street and West Preston Street where crime is high, sadly including gun crime, and median income is extremely low. The worst part is that Baltimore is just a 50-minute drive from posh Washington, DC, but as pointed out by The Economist: ‘Black men aged 15 to 29 are as likely to die violently [there] as American soldiers were in Iraq at the height of its Baathist insurgency.’
Scampia, Naples, Italy
Surrounding the largest open-air drug market in Europe, Scampia is unsurprisingly one of the worst neighbourhoods in Naples. If you spend even just a few minutes driving around here, you will quickly find yourself being followed on a motorbike by one of many gang ‘lookouts’, who keep an eye out for police or intruders. Violence is high and drugs rampant. This is not somewhere you want to get caught after dark.