Tourists are typically drawn to destinations that make them feel comfortable and safe, and some of these destinations belong to the friendliest cities in the world. These cities typically are rated by travelers who have explored many cities around the world. A few prominent travel agencies and travel magazine publications conduct annual surveys to find out the friendliest cities according to readers and reviewers.
What makes a city friendly to tourists?
So many things make a city tourist-friendly. Aside from the quality of infrastructure and tourism openness, travelers rate a city's friendliness level by how helpful the locals are. It may include going out of their way to help a tourist who's asking for directions, how easy it is to navigate the city, how hospitable and welcoming the locals are, the availability of signage in multiple languages or ensuring the security of visitors.
Still, being friendly can be subjective, so other courtesies may also be included in the category. If you look at the survey results done by publications as well as travel planners and agencies, you'll be getting different results, as most of the respondents used their experiences in particular cities. In 2018, here are the cities that earned the mark of being the friendliest in the world.
- San Miguel de Allende (Mexico)
The city is located in Guanajuato, Mexico and named after Juan de San Miguel, a 16th century friar and Mexican Independence martyr and Ignacio Allende, a member of the Spanish Army stationed in Mexico who supported the independence movement in Mexico. Part of the old municipality is now a World Heritage Site, which attracts hordes of tourists. Travelers say that the people in the town are very friendly. The shopping is great, the restaurants are fantastic and the town is easy to explore on foot, with plenty of things to see and discover. The architecture style is domestic, which makes the facades of houses more attractive with their colorful paintwork and cascading branches of bougainvilleas. About one thousand restored colonial buildings can be seen at the historic center of town. Included in the attractions is La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, which is the symbol of the town.
- Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic. It's known as the Caribbean's most dynamic and modern city. Locals fondly call it "La Capital." The city is a symbol of the Dominican culture, with the seamless convergence of the old and the new. Visitors are treated to a visual delight with the number of art galleries and huge shopping malls, along with the city's history and architecture. The Colonial City is a World Heritage Site. It's considered as the Americas' first settlement of European settlers. The streets are friendly to pedestrians and along the way, architectural wonders from the 16th to the 20th centuries dot the landscape. Many of the colonial buildings have been turned into sidewalk cafés, restaurants, hotels and museums. Visitors can tour the area for 45 minutes aboard the Chu Colonial train. Tourists can rent a bike or hire a local guide who will also treat them to local tales.
- Cork (Ireland)
Cork is located in Ireland's southwest coast. As expected, there are several beer gardens and cozy pubs in the city. The locals are friendly and the city's English Market and art galleries, such as the Crawford Gallery, are worth visiting. There are plenty of things to see and do in Cork. The Triskel Arts Center is chock-full of surprises. The Butter Museum will take you through the history of the city's iconic industry. You can explore the city by taking an organized kayak tour, visiting the Cork City Gaol or visiting the St. Anne's Church and ringing its bells.
- Queenstown (New Zealand)
Down under, one of the friendliest cities is Queenstown in New Zealand. It is known as the adventure tourism capital of the world. In reality, Queenstown is on the same level of friendliness as Akaroa, Wellington and Auckland. It's a haven for expats from Canada, the United States and Great Britain who chose to live in the city and work together with the locals at bars and adventure companies. The Kiwis are known for being warm and friendly, easy to talk with and are quick to give smiles to visitors. It's a truly wonderful place for people who crave outdoor adventure, pampering or taking it easy. If you're brave enough, you can ride the Skyline Gondola to see the panoramic view of Queenstown. Or go bungy jumping, if you please. You can ride a bike, have a Segway tour or take a boat cruise to see the stunning landscape of the city at a leisurely pace. The city has spas to give you the pampering you need. A tour of the vineyards should be included in your itinerary.
- Galway (Ireland)
On the west coast of Ireland is Galway, which is included in the list of friendliest cities in 2018. Its attraction is its natural charm. The city has ancient architecture and visitors can walk to see the city's attractions along cobblestone streets. The locals are very welcoming and it's not impossible to become friends with people while having a sip of ice-cold Guinness. You'll be treated to the wonderful taste of local cuisine. And, you can savor the creations of artisanal entrepreneurs who are passionate about their own brand of pizzas, beers and chocolates, among others.
- Puebla (Mexico)
Mexico's Puebla is like an artist's palette, with its colorfully painted houses and Baroque chapels with a wonderful golden sheen. Even the row houses are distinct, each row painted in a different color and decorated with intricate ironwork. The city exudes a welcoming warmth, basically from the Poblaños themselves. Sample the quesadillas sold by elderly women along the streets and you'll know that it's not possible to say no to the extra slice that they will offer you. Fruits vendors are very patient, if you want to try speaking in Spanish. If you're lucky, you may find yourself touring the town and a nearby village free of charge, because the Uber driver wants to delight you with the city's history while proudly pointing out more wonderful sights. You should check out restaurants that serve local Mexican cuisine. You should not miss the city's pride, the Talavera pottery that you can only find in the city. Another thing you should not miss is shopping at the flea market and the handicrafts market.
- Adelaide (Australia)
Melbourne and Sydney are destinations in Australia that have always been considered as some of the friendliest in the world. Adelaide is also getting popular. Adelaide's weather is milder, which is ideal for wine culture. It's a city full of entertainment, events, flavors and cultures. Adelaide's wine regions are world famous. Adelaide is a city where you can have leisurely walks. It's a bustling city, but the lifestyle is more laidback. Of course, it is no longer a secret that Australians are very friendly and love to chat with visitors, if they are willing. Adelaide offers plenty of things to do and see, from exploring hills to visiting museums, shopping and dining. You can enjoy fresh local produce from the markets and spend some time on the beach as well.
- Dublin (Ireland)
The brand of friendliness of the Irish continues, with Dublin getting included in the 2018 list of friendliest cities in the world. While it is a capital city and a global city as well, it has an old world charm that is irresistible. Dubliners are known for being witty, garrulous and amiable. They are great hosts who will shower you with their innate charm and age-old social skills. The city is very historic so you can find plenty to see, such as the Dublin Castle. The Book of Kells is housed in Trinity College's Old Library. Take pictures of the Ha'penny Bridge and visit some of the quaint churches such as the St. Patrick's Cathedral. If you fancy some time to rest and relax, the city has several tree-lined parks, some of which are quite close to shopping centers.
- Victoria, B.C. (Canada)
The politeness of the people and the cleanliness of the city are some of the features that attract many visitors to Victoria, British Columbia. It's been cited several times of its quality of life, making it a favorite among retirees and people who want to get away from snowy winters. The city has a temperate climate, which makes it an ideal vacation destination. Like its even-tempered climate, life in Victoria is very relaxed. Arts and culture are very much alive in Victoria, which is also home to several bands and musicians, such as The Moffats, David Foster and Nelly Furtado. The city is also a favorite filming location of Hollywood.
- Chiang Mai (Thailand)
The Thais are known for being very friendly, despite their aura of being shy. They are ready to give you a smile and in Chiang Mai, travelers are amazed at how easily the locals acknowledge their visitors. By day two, you will be exchanging hellos with the people you meet near your hotel. The people in Chiang Mai are very welcoming, which make tourists comfortable as they explore the city. It is easy to find treasures and pleasures here, from antiques to local handicrafts, cooking lessons and Thai massages. You can arrange to have a tour of Chiang Mai's wonderful temples, explore the bazaars, especially the Night Bazaar or feast on local Thai cuisine.
Do understand that this is not an exhaustive list. However, it gives you the idea of the features, attractions and activities that you can expect when you visit another city. While categorizing a destination as a friendly city depends on your own expectations and experience, what is more important is the pleasure you get from the visit, the enjoyment you achieve while you learn local culture, sample local cuisine and seeing all the wonderful things that make each travel destination unique.
Ensure proper communication with travelers
Understanding information about a travel destination prepares travelers for the difference in culture and traditions. While the spirit of adventure and the unknown can be enticing come-ons due to the element of surprise, the traveler will enjoy the adventure in a foreign city better when they know a bit about the city. Travel agencies’ and travelers’ planners should make sure that their websites, brochures and fliers are available in different languages aside from English.
And to ensure that the information is accurate, it is essential to collaborate with a professional translation company. Day Translations, Inc. is a human-powered translation company that works only with native speakers who live in-country. We have subject matter experts who can provide the best travel translations you will ever need. We assure you of the quality and accuracy of our translations, by providing certificates of accuracy. Whenever you need immigration or travel translations, give us a call at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email here: Contact us. You can get in touch with us anytime of the day or night. We are open 24/7, every day of the year, so you do not have to wait for regular business hours.
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