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Popular Tourist Destinations and Their Ugly Past

The imagery of travel destinations is shaped in our minds by popular perceptions. The only way to discover the real place is to see for oneself. Some places have been infamous in the past for murders, corrupt cops, drug lords and other crimes. But they have changed over a period of time; their increasing popularity among tourists has also transformed their reputation.

We bring you a list of some of the cities that have had a bad reputation in the past but nonetheless they are beautiful travel destinations of the modern world today:

1. Mexico city, Mexico

Mexico City,

Mexico was once infamous for being a messy, populated city with corrupt cops, poverty and streets filled with petty criminals. The city was presumed to be under the control of drug mafia, which had scared away travellers in the past. But contrary to the popular perception, the people here are very friendly and hospitable. There are beautiful hotspots, where you can see no signs of drug mafia. In fact, the city has increased highest police ratio in many areas to make it a safe place for tourists.

2. Marseille, France


Marseille city in France had an ill-reputation for its crime rates and drug trafficking for a long time. The city was once a popular destination for people looking for drugs and casual sex. It’s all changed now. The city has lovely weather, incredible museums and lot of other avenues to have healthy enjoyment.

3. Colombo,Sri Lanka


Think of Colombo and what comes to your mind is perhaps a city ruled by drug lords and kidnappers and tensed political environment. You will in fact get a pleasant surprise to find people playing music and having cosy conversations in bars and cafes. The local residents will tell you that those dark days are over and that you needn’t worry anymore.

4. Queens, N.Y.C


Tourists who decide to visit NYC prefer not to venture beyond Manhattan. These neighbourhoods were once infamous for filthy streets and high crime rates. Queens used to be part of self-governing town under Jamaica before getting incorporated into NYC. But it’s sad that improvement in hygiene and falling crimes rates never make to the headlines. See it to believe it!

 5. Tehran, Iran


This city has been frequently tagged as the most unlivable city. Cramped and polluted, the city has witnessed terror strikes in the past. But never let the media propaganda mislead you. On the contrary to what’s portrayed in the media, Tehran is a tourist-friendly place with hospitable inhabitants.

6. Naples, Italy


The city once had a reputation of being filthy, predominated by mafia rule and petty crimes such as pickpocketing. Today, Naples is a city of joy. People here are friendly and unpretentious. By the way, did you know that it is the birthplace of pizza!

7. Nairobi, Kenya


Nairobi has a troubled reputation that is hard to shake. Once rife with crime and unsafe for travellers, things have changed today. And just to put your worries at bay, Kenyans are warm, friendly, charming and tolerant people.

8. Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern

As the city hosts the site of the “Bloody Sunday” massacre, people tend to associate the place with the incident forever. But the city has come a long way and is one of the peace-loving places in the world. Derry is one of the safest cities in the world to visit.



Japan was shaken by earthquake of 9-magnitude in 2011, which caused massive destruction. Many people cancelled their trips after this havoc. Besides being susceptible to earthquakes, there is a strong economic reason for tourists to reconsider visiting Tokyo. The city is thought to be very expensive. But don’t you worry, Tokyo can be quite affordable as it is easy to travel using public transport and stay in economical accommodations without burning a hole in your pocket.

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