Cities With The Most Traffic In The World

Cities With The Most Traffic In The World

If you think your commute is bad, check out the cities with the most traffic in the world! (Unless you live in one of them. In that case, you have our sympathy.)

The folks at TomTom have used their GPS technology to compile stats that help us understand how bad the traffic is in major cities around the world. These are the 40 worst cities to drive in — if you like to get where you’re going, that is.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

40. Vancouver, Canada

Congestion level: 39%

We begin our list of cities with the most traffic in Canada, a country known for wide open spaces. However, Canada’s large cities can be quite congested. In Vancouver, if you drive in rush hour every day, you will spend an extra 6 days and 5 hours in your car.

Better to get out of town and live in the Rocky Mountains!

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Mike Benna on Unsplash
Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada

39. Zhuhai, China

Congestion level: 39%

Zhuhai is a metropolis of about 1.5 million people, located near Macau. Although China’s transit is generally pretty efficient, Zhuhai is an exception. For a 30 minute car ride, traffic will delay you an average of 18 minutes in the morning. At night, it’s even worse, at 26 minutes.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldImage by adrian x from Pixabay
Zhuhai, China

38. Guangzhou, China

Congestion level: 40%

Guangzhou is another Chinese driving nightmare. It’s near Zhuhai, between Macau and Hong Kong. However, it’s much larger, with a population of nearly 15 million. No doubt that contributes to its being one of the cities with the most traffic.

If you commute every day in Guangzhou, you’ll spend a fabulous amount of time in traffic. In fact, enough time to knit 37 hats or 7 sweaters in the course of a year.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by zhou xuan on Unsplash
The roads aren’t usually this clear in Guangzhou

37. Warsaw, Poland

Congestion level: 40%

Warsaw is a lovely, historical city. However, it’s also famously bad for driving. Just avoiding driving at rush hour on Fridays will save you 4 hours a year. Everyday commuters in Warsaw will spend an extra 7 days and 16 hours in their cars due to congestion.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Alexey Topolyanskiy on Unsplash
Downtown Warsaw, capital of Poland

36. Cairo, Egypt

Congestion level: 40%

With a population of 16 million, Cairo is one of the largest cities in Africa and the Middle East. In fact, it’s one of the most densely populated cities in the world. In other words, it can’t really help being one of the world cities with the most traffic.

Over the course of a year, commuters will lose enough time in traffic to read more than 4,000 pages! That’s a lot of romance novels.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Dario Morandotti on Unsplash
The urban agglomeration of Cairo creeping toward the Pyramids of Giza

35. Yekaterinburg, Russia

Congestion level: 41%

Yekaterinburg is the capital of Russia’s Urals region. It’s the 4th biggest city in Russia, with 1.4 million residents. Interestingly, this is where the Romanov royal family was killed by the Bolsheviks way back in 1918.

If you have to drive here, you may come to envy the Romanovs. You’ll have to add an extra 23 minutes to a half-hour drive in the morning. At night, traffic will cost you an extra 26 minutes.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash
Yekaterinburg, Russia

34. Chongqing, China

Congestion level: 41%

With a population of 8.5 million, Chongqing is the largest inland city in China. It’s an economic powerhouse, which means lots of commuters. Which means lots of traffic.

The average every day commuter in Chonqing will lose a lot of time in traffic over the course of a year. For example, enough to knit 37 hats or 9 sweaters.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Ming Chen on Unsplash
Chongqing, China, seen through a film of haze

33. Edinburgh, Scotland

Congestion level: 41%

With just 450,000 inhabitants, Edinburgh is one of the smallest cities on this list. It’s a very old city with plenty of historic sites. However, it bears remembering that old cities were not designed for cars. Perhaps that’s why Edinburgh is one of the cities with the most traffic in the UK.

If you commute at rush hour every day for a year, you’ll lose 7 days and 4 hours of your life to congestion.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Daniil Vnoutchkov on Unsplash
Edinburgh, Scotland

32. Tokyo, Japan

Congestion level: 42%

Tokyo is an extraordinary city. Modern, efficient, teeming with life. However, if you’re driving, it’s somewhat less idyllic. We don’t recommend reading while driving. But if a Tokyo driver brought a book with her, she would have time to read almost 4,500 pages a year while stuck in traffic.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash
Tokyo, Japan

31. Los Angeles

Congestion level: 42%

USA represent! If you’ve ever driven here, this is no surprise. In fact, the surprise is that LA doesn’t rank higher on the list of cities with the most traffic.

Unlike most other cities on this list, the major issue is the highway network. On their own, their congestion level is 46%. Compare that to 40% for city streets. The best way to commute in the city of angels is via helicopter.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Sterling Davis on Unsplash
Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles

30. Athens, Greece

Congestion level: 43%

Athens was mighty indeed at its height. But the Ancient Greeks didn’t have to worry about chariot congestion. Today, the capital of Greece is one of the worst European cities to drive in.

Over the course of a year, an Athenian commuter will waste enough time in traffic to knit 42 hats. Which, if we’re being honest, is far too many hats.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Evan Wise on Unsplash
The city of Athens just before sunset

29. Kharkiv, Ukraine

Congestion level: 43%

Kharkiv is Ukraine’s second city, with 1.5 million people. It contains much history, having been the site of four major battles in WW2.

These days, the real battle here is driving. Strangely, the worst time for commuters is Tuesday morning. Avoiding Tuesday rush hour every day will save you 11 hours a year.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Yaroslav Romanenko on Unsplash
Kharkiv, Ukraine

28. Salvador, Brazil

Congestion level: 44%

Salvador is a cultural Mecca in Brazil. Its old town, one of the cradles of Brazilian culture, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

However, it’s one of the cities with the most traffic in Brazil. Interestingly, you’ll be fine if you stick to the highways. Their congestion level is just 28%. (Comparable to Chicago.) But the city streets are 47% congested. That’s the real reason Salvador makes this list.

Salvador, Brazil

27. Poznan, Poland

Congestion level: 44%

Surprisingly, Poland is home to several of the cities with the most traffic in the world. Poznan was the original capital of the Polish kingdom. It is, therefore, one of the country’s most historic cities.

Alas, if you commute here in rush hour every day, you will lose 7 days and 6 hours a year to traffic. Again, the real problem here is the streets rather than the highways.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash
Święty Marcin, Poznań, Poland

26. Santiago, Chile

Congestion level: 44%

Santiago has a similar problem to Poznan and Salvador. The highways are only 30% congested — not terrible by world standards. However, the city streets are a mess. They are 50% congested — among the worst ratings in the world. So… bike if you can? Or teleport.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash
Santiago, Chile

25. Samara, Russia

Congestion level: 44%

Don’t rent a car if you’re going to visit Samara. The city has an excellent tram system that allows riders to sidestep traffic jams. These, sadly, are extremely common. The average time lost to a commuter in the course of a year is enough to read more than 5,600 pages. That equates to approximately one Russian novel.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldImage by OlegVer from Pixabay
Samara, Russia

24. São Paulo, Brazil

Congestion level: 45%

There are 22 million people living in the São Paulo metro area. That alone is enough guarantee some hairy traffic. It doesn’t much matter whether you take the highways or the surface streets either. The former are 38% congested, while the latter are 48% congested.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldImage by Pexels from Pixabay
The skyline of São Paulo

23. Novosibirsk, Russia

Congestion level: 45%

Novosibirsk is located deep in South Siberia. Nevertheless, it’s the third largest city in Russia, with about 1.6 million residents. If you commute during rush hour here, you will spend 8 days and 3 hours stuck in traffic. Disastrous.

The bridge into Novosibirsk

22. Krakow, Poland

Congestion level: 45%

Resting at the feet of the Carpathian Mountains, straddling the Vistula River, Krakow has a metro population of 1.4 million. Like many historic cities with old town centers, it’s not great for driving. Fortunately for travelers, you can explore the heart of the city fairly easily on foot.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldImage by Dima Lysenko from Pixabay
Krakow, Poland

21. Tel Aviv, Israel

Congestion level: 46%

Tel Aviv is a gem of a city on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. However, there are major issues re: transit infrastructure. It takes an average of 2 minutes and 38 seconds to travel 1 kilometer in the city. A rush hour commuter in Tel Aviv will spend 8 days and 19 hours stuck in traffic over the course of a year.

Tel Aviv, Israel

20. Rio de Janeiro

Congestion level: 46%

With a population of more than 14 million, Rio is bound to play host to some traffic jams. The problem is that there are no real highways through the city. Most of the traffic is shunted onto a small number of major routes. The result is a lot of time spent waiting and honking in vain.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

19. Lodz, Poland

Congestion level: 47%

Lodz is an important industrial center. In fact, it has historically been dubbed “the Manchester of Poland.” Like other industrial centers, it is home to many commuters. The evening commute is the worst. You’ll have to add an extra 27 minutes to a 30 minute drive because of the congestion.

Lodz, Poland

18. Odessa, Ukraine

Congestion level: 47%

Odessa is one of Ukraine’s Black Sea port cities. It is famous for its beaches and its ballet. And its traffic. Taking the highway is hardly a shortcut here: the highways are 49% congested. By comparison, they make the surface streets look free and clear. (But, alas, they aren’t.)

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Geio Tischler on Unsplash
Odessa, Ukraine

17. Dublin, Ireland

Congestion level: 48%

Dublin may seem a surprising addition to the list of cities with the most traffic. But if you’ve ever visited the Irish capital, it will make sense. Many streets are old narrow, and busses go flying through alleyways with a glibness that can be jarring to outsiders.

If you commute here every day for a year, you will lose 8 days and 21 hours to traffic jams. Fortunately, the old parts of town are eminently walkable.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Gregory DALLEAU on Unsplash
Anne Street, Dublin, Ireland

16. Saint Petersburg, Russia

Congestion level: 49%

The old capital of the Russian tsars, Saint Petersburg is one of the most magical cities on earth. Its canals are lined with colorful old palaces and museums. But its roads…

The highways are a breeze — only 19% congested. In other words, among the best in the world. But the city streets are 53% congested. It’s a stark contrast, and the reason St. Pete’s finds itself in the top 20.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Daria Gorbacheva on Unsplash
Saint Petersburg, Russia

15. Recife, Brazil

Congestion level: 50%

Now we’re getting into cities where the roads are literally half congested or worse.

Recife is the capital of Pernambuco on Brazil’s northeastern coast. Its old town is vibrant and fascinating. But trust us –you’ll want to walk.

With the time you’ll waste in a year of rush hour driving here, you could knit 48 hats or 9 sweaters. Not that you’d want to in a climate like this.

Recife, Brazil

14. Bucharest, Romania

Congestion level: 52%

Bucharest is the largest city between Berlin and Istanbul, and it has the traffic stats to prove it. The streets downtown are narrow and crowded, and parking is very hard to come by. Suffice it to say, you don’t want to rent a car here.

Commuting in rush hour every day for a year will cost you an astonishing 9 days and 11 hours in wasted time. Enough to knit 57 hats.

Bucharest, with the Romanian parliament seen at rear

13. Mexico City, Mexico

Congestion level: 52%

Mexico City is a metropolis of many districts — from the Plaza de la Constitución to the urban parks of Chapultepec. However, the city grew without much planning. The result is a city that’s best described as labyrinthine. The city’s avenues are confusing and not always in the best shape, and many drivers are, to put it bluntly, incompetent.

If you visit, you should take the subway.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash
Mexico City

12. Kyiv, Ukraine

Congestion level: 53%

Kyiv is one of the oldest cities in the region. It has existed since at least the 5th century. The city is littered with museums and monasteries, and is justifiably a point of pride for Ukrainians.

However, it’s one of the cities with the most traffic in Europe. The evening commute is particularly frustrating. A drive that should take half an hour in clear conditions will take over an hour.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Denys Rodionenko on Unsplash
Kyiv, capital of Ukraine

11. Bangkok, Thailand

Congestion level: 53%

Bangkok is a city with something for everyone, from temples to canals to nightlife. Unfortunately, it also has abysmal traffic, its avenues clogged with the world-famous tuk-tuk taxis. A daily commuter in Bangkok will waste enough time waiting in traffic to read 6,200 pages.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Florian Wehde on Unsplash
Bangkok: city of bright lights and crazy traffic

10. Jakarta, Indonesia

Congestion level: 53%

Jakarta is the most populated city in Southeast Asia. Its people are famously friendly and welcoming to foreigners. But driving is another matter.

Jakarta is famous for its toll booths and traffic jams. It’s not uncommon to get stuck in your car for hours for no apparent reason. Traffic laws aren’t even treated as suggestions here. Bottom line: don’t even think about driving in Jakarta.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Adrian Pranata on Unsplash
A little taste of Jakarta traffic

9. Istanbul, Turkey

Congestion level: 55%

Istanbul is one of the largest cities in Europe and the Middle East. (It straddles the Bosphorus Strait, which separates the two regions.) The two halves of the city are connected by three bridges and a tunnel. As you can imagine, those crossings can be mighty busy around rush hour. There’s also very little parking. Oh, and to make things better, street signs are pretty rare.

So yeah, one of the cities with the most traffic on two continents.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Anna on Unsplash
Istanbul, Turkey

8. New Delhi, India

Congestion level: 56%

Indian roads are among the most dangerous in the world, and the capital is no exception. Safety isn’t really a thing here, and neither are rules of the road. Honestly, just hire a rickshaw or a taxi. But don’t be gullible; taxi scams are lamentably common in New Delhi.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldImage by confused_me from Pixabay
New Delhi

7. Lima, Peru

Congestion level: 57%

Lima is a fascinating city. It’s locate in a coastal valley, surrounded by desert. The city itself combines colonial architecture with modernity and a heavy smattering of slums. A commuter who drives at rush hour every day in Lima for a year will lose 8 days and 17 hours to traffic.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Aarom Ore on Unsplash
Lima, Peru

6. Greater Moscow, Russia

Congestion level: 59%

When the roads are clear, Moscow is actually great for driving. A lot of money has been invested to improve infrastructure. Unfortunately, rush hour basically lasts all day. On top of that, Russian drivers are more about speed than safety. Or rules. Or manners. Aggressive driving is the norm here, so you better come ready to fight for your lane if you want to rent a car. (Don’t. Don’t rent a car.)

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Astemir Almov on Unsplash
Moscow, capital of Russia

5. Pune, India

Congestion level: 59%

Pune is an ancient city, dating back more than 1,600 years. It’s the cultural heart of the Maharashtra region. The real killer here is the evening commute. After 5, it will take you an hour to complete a drive that should last 30 minutes.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldImage by Anand Dhumal from Pixabay
Pune, India, seen at night

4. Mumbai, India

Congestion level: 65%

India, lighting up the top 10 cities with the most traffic!

Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is one of the biggest cities in the world. It’s home to more than 18 million people. And driving is… difficult. As in other Indian cities, rules of the road are treated with contempt, and road maintenance isn’t always what you’d hope.

If you commute every day for a year in Mumbai, you’ll spend 8 days and 17 hours stuck in traffic.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Raj Rana on Unsplash
The waterways of Mumbai are pretty congested too

3. Bogotá, Colombia

Congestion level: 68%

Bogotá is the capital of Columbia. It’s more than 8,600 feet above sea level. One easy thing about driving here is that the mountains surrounding the city make it fairly easy to find your bearings. But that’s about where the good news ends. It is the largest city in the Americas after New York and Mexico City.

It shows. Daily commuters here will waste 9 days and 14 hours in traffic every year.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Random Institute on Unsplash
City of Bogotá with high rise buildings, Colombia

2. Manila, Philippines

Congestion level: 71%

Most people who visit the Philippines aren’t here to see Manila. It’s known for its pollution and traffic congestion. Sadly, the reputation is deserved.

If you commute every day in Manila for a year, you will spend 10 days and 17 hours stuck in traffic. That’s enough time to knit 64 hats or 12 sweaters. It’s enough time to read 7,728 pages. In other words… good lord!

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Luca Bucken on Unsplash
Manila, capital of the Philippines

1. Bangalore, India

Congestion level: 71%

Bangalore is a city of 8.4 million people. Its major industry is IT, giving it the nickname “the Silicon Valley of India.” Its less flattering nickname is “Worst Traffic in the Galaxy.”

The highways are bad, the city streets are bad. During evening rush hour, it will take you an hour and 5 minutes to get somewhere half an hour away. You’ll literally spend more time sitting still than moving.

Cities With The Most Traffic In The WorldPhoto by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash
Bangalore, Karnataka, India