What are the 10 friendliest cities in the world? Find out - ouritalianjourney.com

“Friendliest cities” in the world? Who comes up with these lists? Were you even aware that they existed? I was pretty shocked at how many companies have these lists.

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How does someone gauge what cities make the “friendliest cities in the world” list? Let’s face it… there are many practical considerations when traveling. High and first on the list would be budget. The second and third would have to be the distance and the time you have available.

When planning a vacation, we spend weeks upon weeks planning our trips. Trips that can be as simple as a relaxing weekend getaway to a trip we would all consider “once-in-a-lifetime.”

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Are There Lists of the “Friendliest Cities”?

I was quite surprised when thinking about this post and how many well-known companies have these lists and even do a yearly choice award by having readers vote. Each company, of course, has its criteria for a city to make its friendliest city list. But then it got me thinking… are there any cities that make more than one company list? Are there any cities in Italy that make the list?

Looking at 2023 Destinations

When we think about global travel, we probably have experienced a few extra-ordinary encounters. A few moments when we leave a destination, we say “Wow, that was an incredible city experience.” Usually, the weather has a great deal to do with the success of a trip. But have you had a city speak to you with its kindness – bolstering your vacation to extraordinary heights?

So, the question needs to be asked… where in the world can claim to be the top friendliest cities? I’ve chosen five companies that create these lists and awards each year. Let’s see what they have to report.

Drum roll, please…


This company has more than 232 million verified reviews and one of their criteria is for a city to be selected for consistently providing outstanding hospitality. I was amazed by the winner… the breathtaking Polignano a Mare located in the Puglia region of Italy. It is indeed beautiful – but the friendliest? But according to the votes, it was awarded for its abundance of welcoming establishments. From restaurants to places to stay – this town is said to embody the essence of Italian hospitality. Here is the entire top ten list from this company…

  1. Polignano a Mare, Italy
  2. Hualien City, Taiwan
  3. San Sebastian, Spain
  4. Dresden, Germany
  5. Klaipeda, Lithuania
  6. York, UK
  7. Ushuaia, Argentina
  8. Porto De Galinhas, Brazil
  9. Mexico City, Mexico
  10. Gold Coast, Australia

Friendliest Cities for Travel & Leisure Magazine

Each year, Travel & Leisure put together their “World’s Best Awards” survey asking readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe. They are encouraged to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, etc. According to their website, “When voting on cities, readers considered a variety of specific qualities, including sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, shopping, and, of course, friendliness: that uncanny ability to make a visitor feel comfortable in a foreign place.” Here’s the top ten list from them…

  1. Matera, Italy
  2. Bled, Slovenia
  3. Taitung, Taiwan
  4. Nafplio, Greece
  5. Toledo, Spain
  6. Monte Verde, Brazil
  7. Bruges, Belgium
  8. Nusa Lembongan, Portugal
  9. Ponta Delgada, Portugal
  10. Hoi An, Vietnam
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Conde Nest Traveler

This popular site has for years asked its readers to rate cities for their friendliness for their “Readers’ Choice Awards.” Their questions encompass “focusing on where you felt welcome when you traveled. Did an outgoing local go out of their way to give you directions? Was the city easy to navigate? Did you get good vibes from the people around you?” Here is their list…

  1. Victoria, BC Canada
  2. Dublin, Ireland
  3. Quebec City, Canada
  4. Edinburgh, Scotland
  5. Sydney, Australia
  6. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  7. Porto, Portugal
  8. Cape Town, South Africa
  9. Lisbon, Portugal
  10. Kyoto, Japan
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Last Two “Friendliest Cities” Companies

Business Insider’s criteria are as follows: visitor return rates, safety, friendliness of hospitality staff, LGBTQ+ equality, overall happiness, and English-speaking proficiency. Insider Monkey gathers information from relevant Reddit threads, where users not only share their experiences but also inquire about various locations where tourists feel welcomed.

Business InsiderInsider Monkey
1.Toronto, CanadaCalgary, Canada
2.Sydney, AustraliaMadrid, Spain
3.Edinburgh, ScotlandLisbon, Portugal
4.Manchester, UKMelbourne, Australia
5.New York City, USAToronto, Canada
6.Montreal, CanadaAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
7.Melbourne, AustraliaVenice, Italy
8.San Francisco, USAPorto, Portugal
9.Dublin, IrelandSydney, Australia
10.Copenhagen, DenmarkDublin, Ireland

Did You Happen To Notice?

Several of the friendliest cities were repeated on the lists of the same companies. Just in case you are curious, here they are…

  • Listed 3x: Dublin and Sydney
  • Listed 2x: Liston, Melbourne, Porto, and Toronto

And Then There’s The Opposite…

With all of the smiles, warmth, and friendliness… you know there is another list. And yes… here are the 10 unfriendliest cities according to Insider Monkey:

  1. Marrakech, Morocco
  2. Mumbai, India
  3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  4. Delhi, India
  5. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  6. St Petersburg, Russia
  7. Accra, Ghana
  8. Lyon, France
  9. Frankfurt, Germany
  10. Miami, USA
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Friendliest Cities Closing Thoughts and Conclusions

Each person has a different experience when they travel. Even Gary and I have had different experiences – and we travel together! Let’s face it – we each have an opinion. If you intend to travel for pleasure or are possibly looking to move abroad, there is no doubt that people and cities will create and leave a lasting impression on you.

So there you have it – a grand insight into the friendliest places around the world. Next time you leave a review on one of these sites, remember that it might be used in a survey to select for next year’s “friendliest cities” awards. Perhaps it’s time you packed your passport and made some travel plans.

Do you agree or perhaps disagree with the lists above? Let us know in the comments. Also… what city would you add to the list?

Where are the friendliest cities in the world? Find out now... - ouritalianjourney.com

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