Staggering photos show what daily life in the most crowded places in the world is really like

  • Living in an overcrowded city is a very different experience than simply visiting one.
  • Business Insider looked at cities around the world crowded with residents and tourists to see what it’s really like to live there on a daily basis.
  • Some cities even have fewer locals than tourists. For example, Paris, France has a total population of 11 million people but hosted 36.5 million tourists in 2016.

Living in an overcrowded city is a very different experience than simply visiting one.

While a tourist passes through for a select amount of time, locals are stuck dealing with large vacation crowds and navigating through other locals on lesser-known streets.

Business Insider looked at cities around the world with high populations and millions of tourists annually to see what it’s really like to live there on a daily basis.

Tokyo is the largest and most populated city in the world with 37.4 million inhabitants and had 20 million visitors in 2017.The city’s shopping hubs are jam-packed.

Some cities on the list have fewer locals than tourists. For example, Paris, France, has a total population of 11 million people had 36.5 million tourists flooding its streets and monuments in 2016.

However, locals in cities like Dhaka, Bangladesh make up the majority of the crowds. With 19.5 million residents in a total area of 300 kilometers, or about 186 miles, the city has a density of about 40,000 people per square kilometer.

Check out what it’s like to live in the most crowded cities around the world.


Tokyo, Japan, is the most populated city in the world with 37.4 million inhabitants.

ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review


The narrow street of Harajuku is a colourful shopping hub known for its locals dressing up as Harajuku girls.

Noob Pixel/Shutterstock

Source: TimeOut


At a single time, up to 1,000 people can be seen crossing the street at Shibuya Station.

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Source: Go Tokyo


Delhi, India, squeezes 28.5 million people in the city spanning 573 square miles.

Source: World City Populations Review


The main street in Old Delhi used to be a promenade for royals dating back to the 17th century. Today it is one of the most crowded marketplaces with wall-to-wall vendors selling everything from spices to wedding attire.

Don Mammoser/Shutterstock

Source: TripSavy


China’s total population is 1.4 billion, and Shanghai is home to 25.5 million.

LMspencer/Shutterstock

Source: World Population Review,

World Population Review


There are 154 skyscrapers — buildings taller than 150 meters, or 492 feet — in Shanghai. In 2017, China completed building 76 skyscrapers.

Sumeth anu/Shutterstock

Source: The Skyscraper Center, Forbes


The second-largest city in China is Beijing with 19.6 million inhabitants.

Sittirak Jadlit/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review


The traffic in Beijing is so congested, the government limits who can drive on certain days and regulates the law with designated licence plates.

ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Source: Trip Savvy,New York Times


The Chinese New Year celebration in Beijing is a spectacle, but the crowds are so large the holiday is also referred to as the world’s “largest human migration.”

China Photos / Stringer / Getty

Source: Trip Savvy, Forbes


The most populated city in Mexico is Mexico City with 21.5 million residents.

Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review


The metro stations in Mexico City are some of the most crowded transportation systems globally, ranking as the eighth busiest metro in the world and the second-largest rapid transit system in North America.

Source: Railway Technology


More than 20 million people call Cairo, Egypt, home. With high tourist rates, the city is teeming with people.

Source: World City Populations Review


With a rich history, the city attracts several million tourists per year. In 2017, Cairo hosted 8.3 million visitors.

Source: Egypt Today


Mumbai is the second largest city in India with just under 20 million people.

sladkozaponi/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review


It is estimated that 7.5 million people use commuter trains daily in Mumbai. The overcrowding on the rail system has caused nearly 38,000 deaths since 2007, CNN reported. That’s an average of nine deaths per day.

Source: CNN


In 2017, a stampede at a Mumbai railway station killed 23 people and injured 39.

Source: CNN


Dhaka is the largest city and most densely populated in Bangladesh. More than 19.5 million people reside in a total area of 300 kilometers — about 186 miles.

Sk Hasan Ali/Shutterstock

Source: World Population Review,World Population Review


That’s 23,234 people per square kilometer, which is just over half a square mile.

Sk Hasan Ali/Shuttertstock

Source: World Population Review


To compare, New York City has more than 8 million residents, about 27,000 per square mile.

Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review, NYC


Buenos Aires, Argentina, is home to nearly 15 million people in just 78 square miles.

Source: World City Populations Review


The Sunday San Telmo market is a major attraction for locals and tourists. Huge crowds are drawn to the 270-stall open air market.

Inspired By Maps/Shutterstock

Source: Welcome Argentina


Istanbul is the most populated city in Turkey with 14.7 million people. In 2017, an estimated 7 million foreign tourists visited Istanbul.

Source: World City Populations Review, Daily Sabah


The Hagia Sophia, a former Greek Orthodox Church turned museum, is the most popular tourist destination in Istanbul attracting nearly 3.5 million people annually.

Mehmet Cetin/Shutterstock

Source: Los Angeles Times


Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa with more than 181 million people. Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria and is home to 13.4 million residents.

Tayvay/Shutterstock

Source: WorldAtlas, World City Populations Review


The oldest part of the city, Lagos Island, is connected by bridges to the mainland and home to the Jankara market and Balogun street market where stalls sell anything from linens to lipstick. In the past two decades, vendors have pushed out international banks, airline companies, and real-estate firms in the area, viewed as a “reverse-gentrification” push.

ariyo olasunkanmi/Shutterstock

Source: NPR,

The Culture Trip


Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, is home to 13.2 million residents. During the 2016 Olympics, more than 490,000 people attended daily games.

Source: World City Populations Review, Olympic


While Brazil prepared for the Rio games, 825 families were forced to relocate to neighbouring cities built by the government. The city saw up to 2,000 families relocate in preparation for the Olympic games since 2009.

Source: Los Angeles Times


Russia is the largest country in the world and its capital, Moscow, is the most populated city with 12.4 million residents.

Savvapanf Photo/Shutterstock

Source: WorldAtlas, World City Populations Review


The 2018 FIFA World Cup drew tremendous crowds to Moscow. An estimated 2.5 million people went to the FIFA Fan Fest.

Source: FIFA


But the crowds made it difficult to enjoy the views in the Red Square and Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

Source: FIFA


Just under 11 million people call Paris, France, home. In 2016, the city saw an estimated 36.5 million visitors.

Source: World City Populations Review, USA Today


The most popular tourist attraction is undoubtedly the Eiffel Tour where visitors wait up to three hours to climb to the top.

Source: Trip Advisor


A day away at the Chateau de Versailles isn’t any less crowded. The famous Hall of Mirrors will mostly reflect cameras.

Source: Trip Advisor


Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta is the largest city in the country with 10.5 million residents.

AsiaTravel/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review


The Old Town square is a popular tourist spot but many travel websites recommend arriving early to avoid the mass crowds.

saiko3p/Shutterstock

Source: Trip Advisor


Bangkok, Thailand, holds more than 10 million residents in 606 square miles. The city is home to 13% of the country’s population.

I viewfinder/Shutterstock

Source: World City PopulationsReview, World City Populations Review


The city has more than 150,000 taxis, any of which can take tourists to and from the Train Night Market.

Source: The Bangkok Shopping Guide


Fans of the “Hangover” movies can even do a tour of every site filmed in the second movie, including the bustling Soi Cowboy street lined with go-go bars.

Pitchaya Pingpithayakul/Shutterstock

Source: Klook


South Korea’s most populated city is Seoul with just under 10 million people calling the capital home.

501room/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review


There are over 124,000 new cars registered in South Korea monthly, according to Trading Economics. The Gangnam district in Seoul is known for having limited parking space due to the amount of cars on the road.

Source: Trading Economics, Business Insider


More than 9 million people live in London, England. In 2017, a record 19 million tourists visited the city.

Kemal ATLI/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review, Evening Standard


With 10 million more visitors than residents, the popular tourist destinations like Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly or Oxford Circus, and Buckingham Palace will have the biggest crowds.

Casa nayafana/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review, Evening Standard


Toronto, Canada, is the fourth-largest city in North America with 6 million inhabitants.

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review


Downtown Toronto is a tourist’s dream. There is the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the CN Tower, Steam Whistle Brewing, and the Rogers Center where the Blue Jays play all on the same block — game day crowds are no joke.

Source: Ontario Travel


The largest and most populated city in Spain is Madrid with 6.4 million people calling it home.

F. J. CARNEROS/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review


Travelling to Madrid during Easter is both remarkable and overly crowded. The Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a weeklong religious observance with parades and prayer.

Podolnaya Elena/Shutterstock

Source: Go Madrid


Bull fights are famous in Madrid, though tourist attendance isn’t as high as local attendance. Today, the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas arena fits 20,000 spectators.

gary718/Shutterstock

Source: Trip Savvy,

Spain


There are also six weeks out of the year where bull fights happen daily during the San Isidro festival where locals take to the streets and dress up in traditional Madrid costumes.

Source: Trip Savvy,

Spain


Johannesburg, South Africa, is home to 5.4 million residents.

Burhan Ay/Shutterstock

Source: World City Populations Review


The FNB soccer stadium is a favourite spot among locals and fits 94,736 spectators. In 2010, the stadium had a record attendance of 94,713.

Luke Schmidt/Shutterstock

Source:

ESPN


Safari experiences are a major tourist attraction in Johannesburg, but several safari vehicles can be over crowded and with limited window seats — some tourists get stuck cruising in the middle.

Pierre-Yves Babelon/Shutterstock

Source: Forbes

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