When you’re stuck in the middle of it, stop-and-go traffic can fill you with rage (though we’ve got coping mechanisms on how to curb anger while behind the wheel, if that’s you). When you’re looking at traffic as an outsider, however, a sea of never ending red tail lights can actually look like a beautiful work of art.
Scroll on to see some of the coolest photos of gridlock in hotspots around the globe.
Cross Cut Road in Coimbatore, India has a nickname: the street that never sleeps. It’s a shopping mecca where visitors and locals alike scour storefronts and bazaars for luxe textiles like handwoven silk and cotton, jewellery and more. There are deals to be had for sure, if you can handle the congestion to get there.
Thailand’s capital city is constantly pulsing like a steady heartbeat. The roadways are jam packed with cars, motorbikes and tuk-tuks moving every which way at every hour of the day.
New York, New York
The traffic in Manhattan is as iconic as the Empire State Building or Time Square. Over eight million people live in New York and they’ve got to get from point A to point B somehow.
Madrid’s old world charm and winding roads make gridlock look a whole lot more attractive than say sitting on the 401 going from Toronto to Oshawa during rush hour.
New Delhi, India
Congestion in New Delhi has become such an issue that the city has plans to end traffic by 2020. A proposed plan by the Delhi Police says it will create new pedestrians bridges and underpasses and address “road geometrics, both of which put a strain on the flow of traffic.
Will Smith loved to party in the city where the heat was on, but he always glossed over Miami’s atrocious traffic. Probably because singing about bumper-to-bumper congestion is a lot less sexy than sweaty night clubs and the beautiful people in them.
Los Angeles, California
LA has the world’s worst gridlock, according to an annual study by INRIX, and the City of Angels has held the number one spot for six straight years. It’s not just entitled celebs complaining about traffic, science says it really does suck.
Jakarta is on track to hit the 10 million mark in terms of population, which helps explain its hectic roadways. A spike in motorbike sales (inexpensive, easier to maneuver through traffic) is also adding to traffic woes–by 2020 the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) estimates a staggering 66 million bikes will use city roads compared to just 14 million in 2018.
Streets in the Vietnamese capital are chaotic and intense. Cars will crawl along while endless motorbikes weave in and out of traffic.
San Francisco, California
Major cities that use bridges as arteries in and out of the core can create endless disruptions. If you need to cross a waterway, like in San Francisco, prepare to wait.
Ask any German native and they’ll tell you that using the country’s intricate train system is far more efficient than getting behind the wheel of a car. Still, millions do it, which creates scenes like this in Berlin and beyond.
There’s a short-lived window on the weekends and in the middle of the night during weekdays when the Gardiner in Toronto isn’t bumper to bumper, but much of the time it looks something like this.
Add Malaysia’s Ampera Bridge to the list of bridges you’ll likely wind up stuck on. Traffic is bad, always, but views from above the madness are hard to beat.
Visiting Manila? It’s probably best to walk or your day will look like this.
Jounieh, Lebanon certainly doesn’t have the worst traffic in the world, but the city’s Highway 51 experiences congestion at peak hours like most major cities with commuters heading in and out of Beirut.