Croydon seems to have a terrible reputation. Is it as bad as everyone says it is?
It's not the best but has good transport links and a Boxpark. South Croydon is quite nice
Very open question! Can you elaborate what you mean by "bad" please? If you mean is there a risk of getting mugged at 3am on your way home then I'd say yes! Although I've never actually lived there just been on nights out..
There does seem to be a general air of aggression about the place. Walking around central Croydon is a bit of an unpleasant experience at any time of day. The Whitgift shopping centre is downright depressing!
The place is hopefully on the up. There are some major government departments based there (the Home Office, HMRC). Supposedly they were going to pull down the Whitgift and put a Westfields there but they've been saying that for years...
As Toucs notes below, South Croydon is actually quite nice. Lots of good restaurants there. And you worry less about having your teeth knocked out for making eye contact with someone
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