The 10 rudest nations on the planet

The travel search site Skyscanner has run a survey with its users to identify the top 10 rudest nations on the planet as perceived by others travelling to those countries.  If you’re worried that your country might make the top 10, look away now.  Here’s the list:

1. France
2. Russia
3. United Kingdom
4. Germany
5. Others
6. China
7. United States
8. Spain
9. Italy
10. Poland

Bringing up the rear on the list, and thus deemed the most polite, were the following:

25. Japan
26. Denmark
27. Canada
28. New Zealand
29. Indonesia
30. Portugal
31. Thailand
32. The Philippines
33. Caribbean region
34. Brazil

But how accurate is such a survey.  Apparently 65% of those surveyed were from the UK & Ireland.  That maybe doesn’t do France any favours.  And how much is the rudeness just perceived rather than actual, perhaps due to differences in culture.

Click on the comments and tell us who you think are the rudest nations to travellers!

Comments (42)

  1. Dave McMahon says:

    As you say, how accurate is such a survey? Without knowing how it was conducted, and what weightings were made for those who’ve travelled frequently and widely against those who’ve only been abroad once or twice, it’s a bit of fun at most.

    Another thing: where did the respondents visit? Those who stayed on the main tourist track may have had a different experience from those who visited the back of beyond. Perhaps the locals of a country’s tourist destinations are inured to tourists and find them a mild annoyance, whereas there’s a tradition of hospitality in more remote areas. Or perhaps rural areas are suspicious of strangers, whereas the big cities and tourist resorts are more welcoming. Perhaps there are variations within the country visited.

    Funny to see the UK so high up the list, given how much politeness is (or used to be) part of our self-image.

  2. Mila says:

    A very trustworthy list. However, you should add Lithuania. This country is extremely rude and does not welcome foreigners.

  3. Being italian, I’m ashamed of this list.
    But sincerely, our attitude towards foreigners, and also for ourselves, is becoming more and more rude.
    I think due to the economical crisis.
    And believe, it is true.

  4. Elan Durham says:

    Honestly, I’ve traveled to four continents, and many European nations, and I’ve come to think of America (of which I’m a citizen) as one of the rudest nations around. The lack of manners in everyday life is stunning and evident.

    • Ana fields says:

      I think if u have lived in France longe enough and U.K. u would not say such. Americans have nit lost their humanity the way bloody French have. I can pick my hand out to pick up the few nice people I have met. It does not matter if u try and speak pretty good French or not. They are just mentally ill to the point that ridesness runs Thru their blood. They know nothing about Customer service . Lazy people close restaurants for 2.5 hour lunch break and hey are still miserable. Americans don’t even come close to that

  5. […] our 10 rudest nations on the planet post earlier this month proved to be so popular, and since Lonely Planet has just released a list […]

  6. Dom says:

    I could take issue with the results – although I agree that the French can be somewhat acerbic. I can tell you that the people of Denmark and Thailand (OK, maybe not Thailand)shouldn’t be on the list at at all. Denmark is a great place – because of its people – if it was less expensive I’d retire to Denmark. Closer to home though, I’m surprised that the UK are on the podium – it’s rare to ‘win’ anything. I guess we have to thank the massive immigration for that. We in Cumbria are polite, well-mannered (although there are always some that let the side down) and friendly.

  7. Neil says:

    If #5 is ‘Others’, #6 and up are essentially inaccurate.

  8. Alicia says:

    Well, I am really surprised for not finding Morocco on the rudest list. I spent there the most horrible holidays ever!

  9. After being told that Paris was a most unfriendly city my experience was completely the opposite. I found most people were friendly and helpful. So France would not be on the rude list for me.

    A lot does depend on the tourist though. I find that locals are much more friendly if you try to communicate in their language, even if that means reading to them from your phrase book. When they see you are making an effort, in most cases they will respond favourably.

  10. Marina Neves says:

    Maybe because I am Brazilian never had problems anywhere. Traveled around a lot and always found a smile. Maybe in UK or France they are more serious. But Germany is very sweet. Bavaria would be my 2nd home, almost Rio! I believe nice words make a difference: please, sorry, thank you, excuse me, good morning,… It makes comunications better and lighter.
    See you people around.

  11. Jennifer says:

    It seems like all of the countries on the “bad” list seem to embrace the rat race lifestyle more than the ones on the “good” list. Maybe there’s a correlation somewhere in there between manners and that fast lifestyle.


  12. Brad says:

    I think it’s interesting that the people from the U.K. voted themselves toward the top, but those from Ireland did not.

  13. Britta says:

    Israel, by far. On two visits, I found Israelis amazingly brusque, even the shop and restaurant workers. That said, people in the Israeli Arab cities, like Nazareth, were much friendlier. But I bought items from several shops in Tel Aviv/Jerusalem/other cities where I left feeling like the worker there hated me.

  14. geoff says:

    I agree withcomment 11 (very astute). Depends also on definition of “rude” – is the in your face “have a nice day” style regarded as friendly? If so would they be as friendly if this was not a “tipping” culture?

    Eastern bloc countries are renowned for not smiling at customers but nor are they creeping for tips.

  15. Rita says:

    I can’t see why the French are thought to be rude. They may seem slightly aloof if they hear someone speak English but when you point out that you are Irlandais there is generally an instant change. It also helps if one speaks French. Many English speakers expect the rest of the world to speak English automatically while they make no effort at other languages. French children are very polite. I love to see how they greet each other – ’embrasser’. They are very well-mannered in restaurants and less likely to be spoiled (‘French Children don’t Throw Food’ is worth a read). I like it when strangers call me Madame. It is an impertinence on the part of people who are not known to one to call one by one’s first name – Irish banks and call centres please note. Irish people under forty have appalling manners.The expression ‘good manners’ has been largely abolished in our society. I find Americans extremely polite. One feels very welcome as a visitor to the USA.

  16. Michelle Lozneanu says:

    I am French and travelled in many parts of the world working in the hotel industry and tourism. I never had problems, never… everywhere I have been. I do agree with Comment 9 – so many times tourists are the ones who are extremely rude, don’t know how to communicate because don’t speak any language, and always complaining about many things. Be kind with people, and you will find kindness back!

  17. Can’t believe Austria didn’t make the rude list. Starts right at passport control… And if your an Asian female trying to enter, look out!

  18. Guy says:

    Israelis are the rudest pigs on this planet. Whether actually in Israel or travelling abroad, they are the loudest, most intolerant, racist, demanding and down right rude tourists and home nation on this planet. And here I obviously don’t include the Palestinians and Arab folk residing in Israel. I will never travel to Israel out of choice ever again – beautiful country but horrible people.

  19. Martin says:

    Though such lists are ridiculous by definition, as an “Anglo-Saxon” who’s lived in France for ten years, the people are appallingly rude, as are the Russians, the Chinese and the Israelis. What explains the French, is that they’re socialised in such a ‘me first’ type of way–wouldn’t dream of holding a door, helping with a bag, etc.
    Competely disagree, though, about the Spanish and the Americans. I find the Spanish extremely courteous, and most Americans are very friendly and eager to help a stranger, too.

  20. Violet Bassett Mathy says:

    I agree with Dave. Unless the respondents have visited these “rudest” countries more than once or twice, it’s really not very accurate. Also, I find that the rudeness is most often deserved by someone being rude to them first. I have seen first hand how rude Americans are when they are the tourists. Being an American myself, I find this highly disturbing and embarrassing. I also think that cultural differences can be misconstrued as rudeness. As travelers, we should all be on our best behavior when visiting another country – really, goes without saying. By the way, Germany is near the top of my list for most friendly!

  21. Anika Patel says:

    A good point is made at the end that the people surveyed were mostly from the UK and Ireland, that is going to have a huge influence on the results. Outside of Paris I have had only positive experiences with the French. They are proud of their traditions and culture and like nothing more than showing them off to tourists. I’m surprised that the US is even on the list, they are known for being very friendly and offer great service.

  22. dan says:

    Italy should be on the first. if you need some respect, learn and speak their language first or else! Be careful with their sweet smiles… and poetic words…

  23. ashly says:

    well actually the russians and french people aren’t all rude plus you should learn the country’s language first before going there.

  24. Esme says:

    Those surveyed who listed the United States as among the most rude countries to which to travel have likely not visited:

    – Iowa
    – Minnesota
    – Wisconsin
    – New Orleans
    – Portland
    – Parts of Texas

    Where else in the world will you be told to “have a good/nice day” 10 times during the course of a Saturday (and many of well-wishers actually mean it)?

    Americans have plenty of flaws, but after I return from an international trip I am sometimes amused (in a warm-hearted way, not in a snarky way) by just how friendly, outgoing and curious of a bunch we can be (I live in the Midwest).

    That is one of the benefits of travel: returning home with a greater appreciation of what I often take for granted day-to-day.

  25. Karen says:

    The theme of all these posts is if you are nice first to others they will be nice to you. Add Virginia to Esme’s list.

  26. Johanna says:

    I’m mortified that the UK appears so high on this list and mostly voted for by us Brits too – wow, we love to put ourselves down. I run my own straw poll when travelling (before admitting to which nation I am from) and I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far.

  27. Paul Johnson says:

    It’s interesting how the French being top of the list appears to stir up such diverse responses. In addition to the comments above, I’ve just had 4 tweets in quick succession in response to this article and the responses couldn’t have been much more varied!

    Ilanaontheroad 11:15am via Web
    @luxurytravel #France no. 1? Nooo way :)

    RooksanaH 11:16am via Web
    @luxurytravel Not surprised to see the French top! Such rudeness with bar staff! Very moody indeed – sorry Frenchies! :s

    trustingtravel 11:18am via Web
    @luxurytravel No way! I’ve spent seven weeks in France in recent years.The French are some of the most gracious people I have ever met

    UTayyab 11:27am via Web
    @luxurytravel agree with No.1 rude nation. China needs to be in top 3. Spanish are friendly, pleasant and polite.

  28. nadikawaii says:

    i’ve been to western europe..and of all the countries, France was the most unfriendliest..perhaps because i cant speak french and they cant tolerate that. they dont seem to be keen to help u when u speak in english. the friendliest would be australia. australians are really friendly and helpful. it makes me wanna move there. japan are the most polite! they speak really softly and always smile. i just adore them. owh..and they are really honest & trustworthy.

  29. Kerry says:

    I posted earlier that I find the French wonderful. Maybe I AM different than a lot of other tourists who travel in France. I have exchanged my home in the USA with three lovely french families; I got to live in each of their homes for two or three weeks with my family. We live live temporary locals, enjoy a relaxed pace, and therefore are not cranky or ever rude. We look for opportunities to interact with locals, even though we only speak a tiny bit of French, and we so appreciate when they interact with us in return. Maybe that can account for the difference in my view and others. Even if Paris, I have no problem. They are much kinder and gentler than the Italians, I can tell you that. I feel I can say that as I am married to a 100% Italian man and have born two Italian/American children! The Italians are down right nuts! They are fun though.

  30. esme says:

    Day two of my captivity at the Manchester Airport Marriott (UK) and I can report that the staff has been friendly and the service above and beyond. They quickly repaired a fallen curtain rod, located a converter for me and just modified my dinner order to be Atkins friendly.

    So far quite impressed with the English hospitality.

  31. marco says:

    No way the UK is worse than Italy, absolutely rubbish, and I am Italian! In the UK they say please, sorry and thank you, in Italy they say AOOOOOOO’

  32. Carson says:

    Rudest country ever is definitely Australia
    Politest country ever is obviously Canada I have been to Canada and I will not accept otherwise because Canada is the best full stop.

  33. Hannah says:

    I have to agree that France is top of my list and its not because I’m a brit. They have a certain arrogance about them that unfortunately is not justified. I am not shocked the UK is number 3 although I do disagree. Perhaps the stern exterior of people (especially in London) is perceived as rude but I’m afraid to say that I feel Spain is far ruder as a whole than the UK. I can’t speak for other countries in Europe BUT I travelled South America last year and can honestly say that Chileans are the nicest people in the whole world! Absolutely amazing and will do anything they can for you at any time.

  34. Ahmed says:

    Sometime back, I participated a Seminar organised for people from all over the world. The seminar took place in Germany. Over 100 people attended. I found the French guys in that seminar very friendly, polite and easy to hang together. The Brits and Canadians mocked a lot. The Germans Germans generally friendly but difficult to assess. The Americans very friendly but very fast.

    Of course the Africans were the most polite and easy going. with them, there were no awkward moments, no silly comments, no barriers. It was easy to relate.

    My conclusion: After the seminar I found that there was no rude person: The main factors were: everyone was anxious, there were a lot of cultural difference,

  35. Andrew says:

    Re friendly countries I’d like to give a heads up to the Pacific island of Samoa, friendliest place I’ve ever been to. Really easy to get on with people there and once they know you will wave a say hello the next day by your first name.

    Japan is amazingly polite and courteous.

    Re the French and places like Italy you can certainly find some arrogant people in those two countries but the ones who are nice are lovely and worth travelling to and meeting.

  36. Josh says:

    Im from Canada the people are very nice here but to say any of those Americans defending there country they know their rude I’ve been to to the states many times and the people don’t smile at you or say hi or I’m sorry so I just think it’s pathetic that your just trying to defend your country because you live there I’m not trying to defend my country the people here are just really nice and to my opinion I think the nicest province is Nova Scotia so if you live in North America and you don’t know where that is than you need geography lessons .🇺🇸sucks🇨🇦rules. I’m not a hater

  37. jo says:

    Living in the Us I can easily say the rudest people I’ve ever met are Armenians by far followed by Mexicans and Chinese.

  38. john Pierre says:

    What can do?
    This is culture and everything related to climate,enivronmental living and tradions and basics of the countries/nations and republics.

  39. Dhalia says:

    I think the ruddest country and people on earth is PORTUGAL and ITALY. They arw simpply rude, the way they talk and how they treat you.

  40. Olga Boye says:

    Obviously not enough people had a “”pleasure” to live in Sweden.
    Swedes are definitely the most rude
    people you will ever meet. You will never hear “excuse me”, they will ask you very personal questions, they will never offer to help, they will stare at you, they will slam the door in front of your face when you enter behind them to the store. And no, dont believe it is all because they are just “shy”. I had live in 8 countries but this one is the worse.

  41. Pacifica says:

    I’m agree with Japan, they were the nicest and most polite nationalities in the world, and Japanese tourists are very considerate and respectful to the country they visited. As oppose to the Chinese

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