Cities Journal

Top 21 Absolutely Ugliest Cities In The World


3. Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is really more boring than ugly. Still there’s an ugly side to the city: it has easily the worst traffic congestion in Europe, if not the world. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that drivers in the Belgian city spend more time honking, braking and waiting on the road than drivers in any other European city. Seven of Europe’s worst ten commutes occur in Brussels. Over the course of the year, the average driver spends 80+ hours stuck in a traffic jam.

Brussels is admirable in that it’s a working city, home to the European Union, NATO, and the World Customs Organization. But all these busy people head to Amsterdam or fly to Paris to see the sights, partake in culture or just have fun.

Brussels offers a double-whammy: workers face horrendous commutes, and visitors find they’re literally watching the traffic for entertainment. The congestion does take its toll on the economy, however. Some estimates are that Belgium wastes 2 percent of its GDP due to traffic delays.

On the plus side, if you’re traveling in Brussels, it’s probably to someplace boring. Drive, and you may never get there.

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