All too often, we travelers find ourselves in places where people just aren’t friendly. Whether it’s being pushed off the sidewalk by a rude businessman, late for a meeting, or finding less-than-stellar service at a gas station, unfriendly people can dampen a vacation. It’s refreshing, however, when we discover a friendly destination city! The world’s friendliest cities are a ray of sunshine, and they beckon us back again and again for a friendly welcome. Here are thirteen of the friendliest cities in the world.
1 Atlanta, Georgia
Southern charm and old-fashioned hospitality characterize the delightful city of Atlanta, Georgia. While Atlanta still has the flavor of the southern coastal region, it also has all the good stuff you can find in most major city centers: art, cultural influence, commerce, and endless diversions for tourists and locals alike.
2 Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is one of the most southernmost cities in the world, but it’s far from being a cold place to visit. We mean, this, of course, both in regards to the weather and to the welcome you’ll receive as a visitor. As one of the most diverse cities in Africa, South Africa is home to people of all backgrounds and hosts thousands of international visitors every year. It’s easy to see why so many people want to visit Cape Town; the stunning natural beauty, the culture, and the interesting city sights make Cape Town an awesome destination.
3 Budapest, Hungary
The kindness and welcome of Budapest’s locals is the icing on the cake for visitors to the city. Budapest is one of the most fascinating metropolitan destinations in Europe! The city’s history goes deep into the past, causing the Budapest of today to be a culturally and historically rich city in every sense. The city was founded in the pre-Roman era by the Celts, and changed hands several times throughout the ages. The remains of the buildings from each era are still visible, from the ruins of the Roman Aqincum to the sprawling Buda Castle.
4 Melbourne, Australia
Visitors to Melbourne are delighted by the friendly greetings they receive from delightfully accented locals. Even the layout of the city seems friendly—beaches, parks, and cultural centers welcome visitors. Its reputation as both a foodie heaven and a sports fan magnet is well deserved. The metropolitan scene of the city is complemented nicely by its natural world, giving you to enjoy the friendliness of Melbourne locals in the city and out in the wilderness areas.
5 Manchester, England
Manchester was the first industrialized city in the world, but its manufacturing makeover didn’t change its reputation as a friendly city. Perhaps this welcoming atmosphere is the reason that Manchester is one of the most visited cities in all of the United Kingdom! The friendliness of the locals, plus the historical, sporting, cultural, and education experiences, makes Manchester an excellent European vacation choice.
6 Dubai, UAE
Dubai may be one of the richest cities in the world, but it’s also one of the most diverse. It’s famous for being a city of expats, and the locals know how to engage people of many different faiths, backgrounds, and cultures. The cultural conglomeration of Dubai makes it an ideal place for pretty much anyone to visit—no matter who you are, you’ll find some people who are like you and many others who like you. If you’re going to drop a small fortune on a vacation, it’s only right to do it in a friendly place!
7 Vancouver, Canada
Let’s be real: Canadians are just friendly people. No matter where you go in Canada, you’re likely to enjoy your interactions with the locals. However, Vancouver stands out, even among Canadian cities. Friendliness is so important to them that Vancouver actually created a task force aimed at making the city even more friendly! If you want to rub shoulders with friendly Canadians, Vancouver offers plenty of opportunities to do so. There are dozens of points of interest all over the city, from science museums to nature walks.
8 Dublin, Ireland
The center of life in Ireland is found in the pubs, where, on any given day, you can expect to have an enjoyable time with the people there. Pubs are a place to meet friends for conversation or find new ones altogether, so if you’re looking to meet Irish locals and learn about Irish culture, then head to a pub in Dublin. Dublin is often said to be the quintessential Irish city, and the locals are generally more than happy to share their culture with visitors.
9 Glasgow, Scotland
Voted the world’s friendliest city, Glasgow is a city for anyone and everyone. With an eclectic mix of attractions and activities, you can be sure to find people who appreciate the same things you do. From sports to art to everything in between, Glasgow offers plenty of opportunities for enthusiasts to enjoy the things they love and adventurers to discover new things.
10 Burlington, Vermont
Vermont’s largest city still isn’t very big according to U.S. standards—it’s population is only about 42,500. Perhaps it is this relative smallness that makes it one of the States’ friendliest cities! Burlington is a college town, and its youthful population lend an element of both fun and hope to the city. The city hosts several festivals in the Church Street Marketplace, giving locals and visitors alike a chance to hang out and have fun together.
11 New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans isn’t really a Southern city; culturally, it’s more of a Caribbean city. The friendly community lifestyle of the Caribbean culture makes New Orleans a wonderful place to live and build friendships. If you’re just visiting, you’ll still find yourself being welcomed. It’s not just the community aspects of Caribbean culture that make New Orleans wonderful—the food, music, historic buildings, and traditions are also a great experience.
12 Jackson, Wyoming
The Jackson Hole area is simply gorgeous in every way. It’s green, it’s wild, and it’s characterized by a friendly community that has grown up deep in the loveliest part of the North American continent. From skiing and snowmobiling in the winter to fishing, hiking, and rafting in the summer, Jackson Hole is a dream for those who love the outdoors. Downtown Jackson is a bustling hub with great shopping and dining. If you’re looking for a forested metro center with plenty of friendly faces, look no further. In Jackson, adventure meets city in the best way possible.
13 Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, and it represents the overall culture of the island nation. There is plenty to do here—surfing, theatre, and fine dining all have their place in the city. Of course, it’s all the more enjoyable since it’s all experienced in a friendly and open community setting.
The greatest thing about traveling is meeting other people and learning about their life and culture. While some destinations can be less than welcoming, these 13 friendliest cities welcome visitors with open arms and make for great holiday destinations.