“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!”
Dr. Seuss sure knew what he was talking about. This line from his famous children’s poem is perfect for any traveller preparing for an exciting trip.
But if rubbing shoulders with the locals is an important part of your travel experience, you might want to check out the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Survey which includes feedback from backpackers, high rollers and everyone in between on the cities they found the most friendly – and the least friendly.
In third place, Bhutan’s capital city Thimpu scored a 93.7 for its friendly locals and positive atmosphere. In an effort to “promote joy” for its residents and visitors alike, this south Asian country next to China lives by the axiom of improving its ‘gross national happiness’- something that’s apparent to anyone who visits the city.
Aussies won’t be too surprised to hear that one of their fair cities made it into the top three. Although, they might be surprised that Hobart, Tasmania only garnered the second spot, with a rating of 95.4. You just can’t go past those friendly locals, mate.
Here’s an excuse to head to the beautiful metropolis of Florianopolis, Brazil, if you’ve ever needed one: it’s officially the friendliest city in the world. Cross the bridge to the historic Beira-Mar district and just try not to be charmed by the spectacularly friendly locals, cobblestone streets and 42 beaches.
“You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care. About some you will say, ‘I don’t choose to go there.’ With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.”
Spot on again, Dr. Seuss.
One respondent to the Conde Nast survey said that Oakland, California, had “split personality issues”. According to visitors to the city, which scored just 23.1, it’s simply another big, dirty metropolis, landing it in third place and giving the residents something to think about.
In second place, with a lowly 17.9 rating, Pakistan’s Islamabad got brownie points for its beautiful scenery and surrounding mountains, but failed to impress in terms of friendliness and hospitality. A city that’s often in the news for the wrong reasons, Islamabad is also a bit of a nightmare for travel insurance too.
If you do happen to find yourself in Pakistan’s capital, you can at least be thankful that you’re not in Newark, New Jersey. With a measly 13.5, Newark gets the unfriendly crown for 2013. With its masses of “rude people”, most visitors found the only positive of the city to be the airport. Not only does it offer a means of escape, it’s also less busy than the other airports serving New York, apparently.
Do you think the readers of the Conde Nast survey got it right? Or do you think there are friendlier cities in the world – or perhaps even, less friendly?