The 10 friendliest nations on the planet

Since 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 of the 10 friendliest countries in the world, we’d thought we’d also post something a little more positive. You may recall that last month we also highlighted those nations that were at the bottom of the rude list and I suppose you could suggest that ‘least rude’ might also mean ‘friendliest’.  If that were the case, our 10 friendliest nations according to Skyscanner would be as follows: 1. Brazil 2. Caribbean region 3. The Philippines 4. Thailand 5. Portugal 6. Indonesia 7. New Zealand 8. Canada 9. Denmark 10. Japan Lonely Planet sees it somewhat differently, though.  Their list of the 10 friendliest countries is as follows: 1. Ireland 2. USA 3. Malawi 4. Fiji 5. Thailand 6. Samoa 7. Vietnam 8. Indonesia 9. Scotland 10. Turkey Earlier this year, Forbes came up with a ’10 friendliest countries’ list of their own, which is again quite different: 1. New Zealand 2. Australia 3. South Africa 4. Canada 5. USA 6. Turkey 7. UK 8. Philippines 9. Spain 10. Malaysia It’s interesting that not one country is common to all three lists, so it just goes to show there’s little in the way of agreement on the subject.  We have some countries appearing here that are on the earlier rudest nations list. Which countries do you think are the friendliest?

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

Did you enjoy this article?

Receive similar content direct to your inbox.


  1. It has to be Oman a standout in the Middle East –
    friendly people and my home for some 26 years

  2. It’s really interesting to me that Brazil is #1 on this list because I feel like so many people advise against traveling there and claim that it is best to not draw any attention to yourself as a tourist. It’s on my to-go list anyway, but do you know why it is listed as the #1 friendliest place?

  3. The only way to get a realistic portrait of the friendliest countries would be to conduct a survey targeting expats, not tourists. How can Forbes include Malaysia and not Thailand in its list just baffles me.

  4. Some very odd listing there. Brazil, USA and UK are all places where if you step down the wrong road, you won’t be putting it on your top 10 friendliest list.

    I’ve found Thailand the most friendliest overall on my travels. Japan generally is too, but the general shyness of the people there can give the opposite vibe if you’re a talkative type.

    Singapore and Malaysia also are very welcoming. As well as the Australian continent countries.

    I guess it’s very hard to list them in order after all. Cities in particular don’t tend to be friendly places during the day time when people are busy rushing around trying to make a living.

  5. I`m surprised Germany is on none of the lists. Just got back from a vacation the people there were extremely friendly. Most of them even speak English. The one thing though I learned on all my travels, if you are friendly to people, they are usually friendly to you, no matter where you go, after all we`re all the same.

  6. I tend to agree with Brazil not being on that list but in my opinion, Peru, Colombia, and Costa Rica should definitely be represented. I have never met people more out-goingly friendly than in those countries.

  7. Having just come back from the Greek Islands I must say the hospitality top notch! A must-add to the list.

  8. I am very surprised that Greece is not included in any of these lists! Hospitality and “Filotimo” (which does not exist in any other language) as well as friendliness are the main characteristics of Greeks!

  9. Thailand without a doubt deserves this top spot, it is without doubt the friendliest nation in earth shortly followed by some of the other South East nations,,Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos.

  10. From travelling the world over the last 50 years, this is my list. NOTE: politics of the country have (in my opinion) nothing to do with the common people’s friendliness and hospitality)
    In no particular order


  11. I am surprised too… no Germany, no France?
    Franz, I don’t like Switzerland, I have of bad memories, the reception was not very good.

  12. Without offending any particular country, the Lonely Planet list looks way off base. I guess it depends on which part of each country you visit. For example If you go to Indonesia there is a massive difference between Bali and Jakarta.

  13. In my personal experience I DON’T think Malaysia is a friendly country. They seem to care less about tourists, have no tourist information centers. If you go to KL terminal bus there are lots of people (reps of bus services) who are just dis respective towards people. But Thailand is a very friendly. Love it.

  14. The ten friendliest countries are as follows.

    i) Fiji
    ii) Brazil
    iii) Colombia
    iv) South Africa
    v) Ireland
    vi) Nigeria
    vii) New Zealand.
    viii) Malta
    ix) Thailand
    x) Phillipines

    What is one thing they all have in common. You guessed it. They are all Christian countries.

  15. I am surprised India did not feature in the friendliest country list. India is a very friendly country to visit… maybe to manoeuvre in the country it requires assistance overall a fantastic experience!

Comments are closed.