Top 13 Cities With The Most Traffic Congestion In The World
Top 13 Cities With The Most Traffic Congestion In The World. Photo KnowInsiders

Have you ever seen hundreds of cars and motorbikes pouring to the street every morning, blocking your way to the office. We are sure that’s not a strange scene if you are living in a big city. Traffic congestion has become a nightmare in big cities in the world. We have picked 13 cities with the most traffic jam in the world. And you will find lucky if you are not living in those areas.

What causes traffic congestion?

One of the main reasons why there’s more congestion is due to more cars on the road. The adult population is increasing and therefore more people want their own personal transport to get around with. As the number of cars increase the chance of congestion also increases. It’s why in smaller towns and villages congestion is almost unheard of.

This is coupled with a lack of proper infrastructure. Councils and national governments fail to act on the looming threat of heavy congestion until it happens. The city doesn’t expand along with an increasingly car reliant population. A single street with a lane on each side before might not suffice in ten years after the population has increased. Authorities often fail to convert this into a dual carriageway.

Alternate routes are also a problem. Cities have limited capacity to expand due to poor funding and planning restrictions preventing building on green belt spaces. Cities are forced to work with the routes they already have. If they can’t increase the number of lanes it leads to congestion.

Employers can also play a part in dealing with congestion. Congestion almost always happens when people are travelling to and from work. Traffic congestion has eased in recent years as a result of growing unemployment and the introduction of more flexible work hours.

Top 13 Cities With The Most Traffic Congestion In The World

1. Istanbul, Turkey

If you hate slow traffic, don't drive in Istanbul. That's because according to transport technology company TomTom, the city had the most congested roads in the world in 2021.

The TomTom Traffic Index compared traffic in 404 cities across 58 countries. It found that Istanbul, Turkey, was the most congested city, with residents spending 142 hours per year in traffic.

Istanbul's congestion level in 2021 was 62%, meaning that on average, travel times during the busiest hours of the day — like when people went home from work — were 62% longer than when the roads were quieter. In other words, what should be a 30-minute trip would take about 49 minutes when the roads were busiest.

The Turkish city's congestion level was 11% higher than it was in 2020, with the average travel time increasing by six minutes per day.

2. Moscow, Russia

Top 13 Cities With The Most Traffic Congestion In The World
Photo moscow times

Why Traffic Jams in Moscow Are So Bad?

First of all – the city is huge! Official data says there are 12 million of people, who live in Moscow. But we have to add 2-3 million of visitors and non-registered residents to that number. 4 million cars are registered in the city and an unknown number of cars come from elsewhere – either Moscow region or other regions to Moscow daily. Moscow takes more than 1000 square km of land.

Secondly and most importantly – Moscow was founded in the year 1147 and radial ring planning was the most typical for ancient Russian cities. Now Moscow has 4 rings – Boulevard, Garden, Third and City Limit rings and many radial roads. What worked in ancient times does not work well now – the closer you are to the center, the more dense traffic becomes.

In addition to that, city government only recently has started to manage parking in the city, introducing paid parking in the center. Before you could park wherever you find a spot of land big enough to land your car. People parked cars in several lanes on each side of small roads and even on sidewalks. That is starting to get regulated now with fines and evacuation of cars. Also, large trucks are now banned from entering the city limits during day time. But there is still no fee to enter the central area or other economic regulatory measures.

Finally, Russian drivers do not like to abide rules and that creates many accidents and contributes to traffic jams, especially in winter time. That is why so many drivers have dash cams.

READ MORE: What Is The Capital of Russia: History, Facts, Best Places to See

Why Not Use Public Transport Instead?

Valid question, especially given the all the accolades to the beauty of Moscow metro system! Moscow subway is indeed one of the treasures of the city, which evokes truly patriotic feelings in any Muscovite. Each station is different and most stations in the center are veneered with marble, granite, have murals, sculptures and other amazing decorations.

3. Kiev, Ukraine

Every day the roads of the capital of Ukraine – Kyiv are full of cars and there are traffic jams. The biggest mass of traffic you can meet in such parts of the city, as:

- South Bridge – because of repair works, exactly the change of expansion groove and road constructions the traffic movement to the left bank is paralyzed;

- Highway junction on Moscow square – because of the roads reconstructions these parts of the roads suffer the most

In the direction of the right bank, there are traffic jams on Darnytskyi Bridge, North Bridge – all the bridges without an exception as well as the city center.

Pieces of advice for the “beginners” on Kyiv roads

If you are not an original resident of Kyiv, you came to this city and take a car for a rent in Kyiv, , then follow the next recommendations, how to be mobile, move on the city roads on the rented car and get fast to the destination place:

1. Do you have Internet connection? Then use «Яндекс. Пробки» (Yandex. Traffic jams) and you will be able to escape from the traffic jams and get wherever you want with “minimum losses”,

2. Be on to “problem areas” in Kyiv, get to know which roads and at what exact time it is almost impossible to drive.

3. Buy or rent GPS system – it will be useful in every trip of yours.

If such a thing happened and you could not escape from the traffic jam, do not get distracted from the road. The most part of road traffic accidents happen when the cars are in traffic jams.

4. Bogota, Colombia

Why does Bogota have so much traffic? It certainly does have big traffic congestion problems.

It is the capital and the largest city in Colombia, with a population of over 7.4 million people and the total metro area over 10 million people. And yet It’s area is only 307 square kilometers. That’s a lot of people contained in a compact area. So It’s comparable in population to the largest city in the United States in terms of population, New York City. Yet, New York City is over 780 square kilometers, more than twice as large in area as Bogota!

5. Mumbai, India

During office opening and closing hours, almost all Mumbai faces a huge traffic, but here are some places with major blocks.

D.S.P. Mukherjee chowk (regal)

Kalaghoda (fort)

Johar chowk (Bhindi bazar)

Nana chowk (Peddar road)

Vatsalabai Desai chowk (Haji ali)

A.H. Ansari chowk (Khada Parsi)


Khodadad circle (Dadar TT)

Wadala bridge

Rani Laxmibai chowk (Sion station)

Kherwaadi junction (Kalanagar)

Suman Nagar Junction

Jijamata Bhosale marg Junction

Datta Samant chowk (Saki Naka)

Hiranandani (Powai)

C.D.Barfiwala road (JVPD)

D.N. Nagar (four bunglows)

Bahar Cinema (Chakala highway)

Behram baug (Jogeshwari)

August 21, 2022 was the worst traffic day of the city, where congestion level was 53% last year, when three religious occasions coincided.

6. Jakarta, Indonesia

Top 13 Cities With The Most Traffic Congestion In The World
Photo Pinterest

Jakarta is the top city among places with worst traffic. Thirty million residents are already aching and have suffered enough due to the daily traffic they have to endure in Jakarta, Indonesia. The problem with Jakarta is that the government is still failing in controlling or putting a stop to the massive growth of the city.

With local infrastructures and public utility systems still underdeveloped for the needs of its residents, the continuous growth of the city has brought the worst dilemma to the country – traffic. With 1,000 cars adding up to the congested pile of vehicles traveling in the city’s street daily, a prompt solution to the worst traffic situation on Earth is still far from the country’s reach. Many believe that a huge mass transport system could solve or at least ease the current traffic situation in the city. The mass transportation project is already 5 years delayed making the gridlock a staple in the daily lives of Indonesians.

7. St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg is one of the loveliest cities in Russia, but unfortunately, traffic problems have already scarred its beauty. Snow falls hard in St. Petersburg and has even send people stranded for three days in the streets back in 2012, due to a traffic jam caused by the first biggest snow storm during that year. A 400-mile stretch from between Moscow and St. Petersburg left 100 mile of traffic to 10,000 vehicles trapped in the streets for three days.

Trips and travel time in St. Petersburg takes 44% longer due to the traffic. Rush hours on the other hand makes the trip almost twice longer. In fact, during rush hours, Moscow and St. Petersburg ranks as the second and third most gridlocked cities in the world. Authorities on the other hand are managing to keep the traffic in order by encouraging commuters to use public transportation. They are also installing paid parking lots and towing illegally parked vehicles to reduce the problem.

8. Bucharest, Romania

Top 13 Cities With The Most Traffic Congestion In The World
Photo actmedia

Bucharest continues to be one of the most congested cities in the world, according to the TomTom Traffic Index for 2021. With an average congestion level of 50%, the Romanian capital ranks eighth at the global level and sixth in Europe. It is also the city with the worst car traffic in the European Union.

Bucharest drivers lost an average of 115 hours in traffic jams last year. The level of traffic congestion was estimated at 50%, increasing by 8% compared to 2020, but decreasing by 2% compared to 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, which imposed numerous travel restrictions and made remote work more popular, reported.

9. Novosibirsk, Russia

Novosibirsk is the third most populous city in Russia, the administrative center of the Siberian Federal District and Novosibirsk Oblast. It is the largest business, cultural, transport, educational, and scientific center of Siberia. Novosibirsk is often called the “Capital of Siberia”.

In 2021, an increase in congestion levels was seen in Novosibirsk. The data suggests the average travel time increased by 2 min per day.

10. Bengaluru, India

Bengaluru’s congestion levels came down to 48% in 2021 from 71% in 2019, which means a 32% decrease. The peak traffic congestion also reduced by 44% in 2021. The city saw its worst traffic day on October 9, 2021, when heavy rain caused certain waterlogged pockets resulting in widespread logjams and high congestion. Mumbai, New Delhi, and Pune saw an average decrease in congestion levels by 18%, 14%, and 29%, respectively. India fared better than the global average of 10% drop in congestion

11. New Delhi, India

Top 13 Cities With The Most Traffic Congestion In The World
Photo hindustan times

Says Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment said: “If not addressed immediately, Delhi will merely run to stand still. This is an inevitable consequence of explosive and unrestrained vehicle numbers that have crossed the mark of 10 million in 2017. The numbers are further inflated by daily influx of vehicles from outside Delhi. With a further drop in car prices under GST, car congestion will only grow.” Currently, congestion on Delhi roads is growing at 7 per cent annually. About 537 cars and 1,158 two-wheelers are added every day on these roads.

Roychowdhury points out that even after building so many roads (22 per cent of Delhi’s geographical area), Delhi’s battle against pollution, congestion and energy-guzzling is getting increasingly more difficult. This is undercutting the city’s efforts to control emissions and toxic exposures in all sectors. If strategies are not changed to curb motorisation to reverse this trend, it will become increasingly more difficult to reduce high toxic exposure, crippling congestion and loss of productive time.

Construction of flyovers and underpasses, and widening roads or right of way are not better approaches and solutions to deal with congestion and heavy road traffic, according to a study by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI). The study, called “gradual sustainability approach for urban transport through subtle measures”, also shows that within a few years of construction, such approaches have increased the number of personal vehicles on roads and worsened sustainability without reducing congestion.

12. Manila, Philippines

Top 13 Cities With The Most Traffic Congestion In The World
Photo travel daily news asia

Manila is well-known all over the world for its bustling city life and a plethora of tourist attractions that showcase the rich culture of the Philippines. But aside from the impressive display of hospitality and the wide array of delicious food sold in kiosks and various Filipino restaurants all over the metro, Manila is also infamous for one other thing: traffic congestion. With millions of cars and public utility vehicles traveling to and from the city on a daily basis, motorists and commuters are subjected to Manila traffic daily during the rush hours, with travel time taking up to 2 hours.

Poor Public Transport

One of the reasons why Metro Manila traffic continues to worsen is due to the poor management of public transport, which pushes public utility vehicles and jeepneys to compete for passengers. From jam-packed buses and jeepneys to constant breakdowns of the railway systems, more and more citizens are opting on using alternative transportation services or investing in their own private vehicles for easier and more comfortable daily travel. Because of this problem, one possible solution is for cars to be limited, and public mass transportation be given priority on Metro Manila roads.

13. Lodz, Poland

Top 13 Cities With The Most Traffic Congestion In The World
Photo wbj

Łódź again tops the ranking of the most gridlocked cities in Poland, indicated in the annual TomTom Traffic Index report. The authors of the study indicated that the level of traffic jams in this city increased by 3% during the year, which means that drivers driving in Łódź the streets can expect the extending of travel time by an average of 47 percent, compared to standard road traffic.

In the Polish ranking covering 12 cities, Łódź is followed by Kraków (45 percent), Poznań (44 percent), Warsaw (40 percent), Wrocław (39 percent), Bydgoszcz (34 percent), the Tri-City (33 percent), Szczecin (30 percent), Lublin (27 percent) and Białystok (26 percent).

How To Avoid Traffic Congestion

Although it’s rather different among cities depending on practical situation, there are general tips to avoid traffic jam.

Avoid peak timings

You must have heard this advice from everyone, and yes this is the first and foremost lesson that one must keep in mind. It is the best you can do when you are living in a congested city. With the peak office hours beginning to show face, the traffic starts slowing down gradually. So try getting out a little earlier.

Map out alternate routes

Make sure you have an alternate route to your destination. If you cannot help running late during the peak hours, then the alternate routes are your only hope. Alternate routes tend to be less congested, but there are chances that they may be a little longer. However, that shouldn’t be a concern if we can skip the halted traffic saving time.

Keep up with the traffic

As much as you want to avoid the congestion, it is equally important that you do not add to the congestion. Be alert at lights. It is not the time to miss the change of signal light until someone honks you. Do not talk on the phone and then miss out on the signal. These little things tend to add to your delay and for others as well.

Use a two wheeler

During peak traffic congestion hours, your two-wheeler may be your saving grace. It takes minimal space, can be easily manoeuvred and you can quickly change lanes. It will help you reach faster to your destination. If you do not have a motorbike license you can always use your bicycle (provided you do not stay very far away from your workplace). Regular cycling has its health benefits.


When you are choosing your route to work, do not act on your intuition rather listen to the radio that airs out traffic status and conditions. In this manner, you can avoid any probable gridlock easily.

GPS system with live traffic updates

You can also use your cellphone GPS system to prevent traffic congestion instantly. You can quickly change routes when your GPS alerts you of congestion and thus avoid a delay.

Public transport

Using the subway or the city bus tends to save your time a lot. You may have a luxurious car, but it is better to leave your pride at home and take the tube (Metro) rather than getting late.

How To Check and Pay The Traffic Fine Tickets Online In The UK How To Check and Pay The Traffic Fine Tickets Online In The UK

It is important to understand traffic rules and knowledge about fines and tickets when you decide to live in the United Kingdom.

Full List of Countries That Have Left-Hand Traffic in the World Full List of Countries That Have Left-Hand Traffic in the World

Most of the countries drive on the right side of the road, but some of them still drive on the left side. Which Countries That ...

How To Check and Pay the Traffic Fine Online in India How To Check and Pay the Traffic Fine Online in India

It is important to understand traffic rules and knowledge about traffic fines and tickets when you decide to live in India.