The 10 Friendliest Cities in the World

Prior to my morning run, I routinely select an episode of one of my favourite podcasts to listen to. This particular morning happened to be one of Conde Nast’s, discussing the top friendliest and unfriendliest cities in the world voted by their readers.

This got me thinking about the places I’ve visited and how I interpret them to be friendlier than others.

From my experience as an outsider going to a new city, I feel most welcome and valued as a tourist when locals go out of their way to engage in conversation, and of course receiving good service is a given whether that be at your hotel check in, a taxi ride or during dinner, it all counts in making a lasting impression.

10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Known for all things debauchery, this city lacks the credit it deserves. From my experience visiting in December, there’s nowhere quite like it when Christmas markets are in full swing and locals come out of hiding when stag and hen parties die out.


9. Sydney, Australia

No other large city made it to my list but Sydney had to. The chilled vibe here creates a relaxing atmosphere which put everyone else at ease. A welcome change from the chaos that is generally experienced in a city.

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8. Antwerp, Belgium

Despite the recent attacks in Belgium, which has most likely damaged the reputation of many areas, I wouldn’t rule this European City out. The Diamond Capital of the world was divine to tour, and those who reside there made it even more pleasurable.


7. Cardiff, Wales

Born and bred in Wales it would be shameful not to include a city from my homeland. The Captial of Wales being the obvious choice as there’s nowhere more heart warming on a match day, this is when you’ll get to witness the very best of the Welsh.


6. Queenstown, New Zealand

Located in the South Island of New Zealand, this quaint village has you sold at first sight. If the scenery wasn’t enough residents are chatty and encourage anyone who’s willing to stay to contribute to the tourist boom that’s been prevalent during the last decade.


5. Belfast, Northern Ireland

Similar to Wales, Ireland has that ‘feels like home’ air that you get everywhere you step foot. If you’re lacking some friendly folk during your trip immerse yourself into the culture by visiting a local pub, order and Guinness and have a good craic.


4. Wellington, New Zealand

The city I currently call home, and there’s a good reason for it. The village-like windy city is a hub for tourists passing through and as a newbie myself over a year ago I was surprised at how quickly I felt like a Wellingtonian as getting to know people is super easy.


3. Bath, England

Home to the Roman Baths and natural hot springs this town is a popular destination for many travellers. The best part are the cultures that have brought their own distinct flavours and characteristics to make it what it is today.


2. Carmel, California

Like stepping into a fairytale this Hansel and Gretel beach city is unlike any other. Not least  because it’s home to former mayor Clint Eastwood but many of the businesses are family owned taking pride in their service and making it one to remember.


1. Napier,  New Zealand

The art deco of the world is like somewhere out of a movie set. The pristine coloured buildings, cleanliness of the streets and consistently high temperature must be the reason why the locals are always smiling.



Attributions: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10,

What cities around the world would you deem as the friendliest? Any listed here…?

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Your article sure makes me want to see these places, either again or for the first time. Tokyo is full of friendly people, though you have to step out of the busy areas. But walk into a shrine, local restaurant, or even pause a moment at a small train station,… Read more »

Why thank you Finnegan, I wish I could revisit them all too 🙂 The problem is there are plenty of other cities I’m yet to see, Tokyo being one of them!