Top 10 friendliest and unfriendliest cities in the world

Southern Brazil’s Florianópolis has made its way to the top of Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Survey as the friendliest city in the world. Praised for its gorgeous views and nice people, it was also commended for its airport, for being “stunningly beautiful”, for its markets, and for the availability of watersports. Newark, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well and made it to the top of the unfriendliest list.


Here are the winners and losers on each list:


1. Florianopolis, Brazil
2. Thimphu, Bhutan
3. Queenstown, New Zealand
4. Charleston, South Carolina
5. Paro, Bhutan
6. Margaret River, Australia
7. Mandalay, Burma
8. Kilkenny, Ireland
9. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
10. Chiang Mai, Thailand


1. Newark, New Jersey
2. Islamabad, Pakistan
3. Oakland, California
4. Luanda, Angola
5. Kuwait City, Kuwait
6. Lome, Togo
7. New Haven, Connecticut
8. Detroit, Michigan
9. Atlantic City, New Jersey
10. Tangier, Morocco

Are there any surprises, would you say?  Some cities that don’t deserve to be in either list, or some that you feel have been omitted?  Let us know in the comments!

Comments (19)

  1. Alysia says:

    Detroit?! Really! As a metro Detroiter, I wonder if these votes were based on real life experiences or expectations resulting from negative media exposure. I would really like to know if that is how visitors think of us! And I think it is so sad that half of the unfriendliest places are in the U.S.

  2. Muhammad Salar Farrukh says:

    wtf? Islamabad unfriendly?
    Clearly people havn’t been to islamabd! Or pakistan for that matter.
    And again from personal experience kuwait is a beautiful city with beautiful people, friendly people!

  3. Akhter Haq says:

    Islamabad is certainly not unfriendly ,it’s a warm,welcoming city..your research is wonky..where is Jeddah on your list?

  4. Paul Johnson says:

    To clarify, this is not our research. It’s a readers’ survey from Condé Nast Traveler.

  5. Betsy says:

    I’m not really surprised from this list. I didn’t think that Brazil would be the friendliest though…I thought maybe somewhere like St. Lucia would top the list.

  6. Alina says:

    Medellin in Colombia is certainly one of the friendliest places I’ve been to – wonderful climate & nature, fascinating architecture, decent, helpful and very warm people.

  7. Rhonda says:

    Where is Chicago? It is one of the most friendly and beautiful cities in the world! The folks are friendly, the restaurants are stellar, the public transportation is easy to use and safe.

  8. Esperanza says:

    To me, Dublin is one of the friendliest cities I have ever been to. People seem always eager to help. The weather might not be your reason to go, but being there among smiling and helpful people, sure makes your stay memorable.

  9. Samuel Diaz says:

    Maybe La Laguna, in Canary Islands, is not the best-known town on earth, but it´s filled with welcoming locals and charming locations. Do not hesitate to give it a shot, it will not let you down.
    Centuries of history and hundreds of stories are there waiting to be unveiled!

  10. Veronica says:

    What about Canada? Friendliest country hands down. Calgary probably the most, Toronto the least. Canada has the nicest people and I’ve been all over the world.

  11. Jason Fritz says:

    I would have to disagree with Detroit. Detroit gets a bad image in the media and while there are areas in Detroit I would avoid the area is growing and people are very friendly.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Based on my travels here are some of the friendliest/unfriendliest places I’ve encountered:

    Bay of Islands, New Zealand
    Outer Banks, North Carolina
    San Juan Islands, Washington
    L’anai Hawaii
    Saint-Remy de Provence, France
    Florence, Italy

    Miami FL
    London, UK
    Rome, Italy
    Los Angeles, CA

  13. Eaper says:

    Islamabad is okay! Have been there many years ago and have followed ever since! Its a nice place and here talks somebody form far away, the Netherlands, Europe . Common guys your lists fail some cities……….

  14. fran says:

    This is the typical absurd survey aimed to fill space in media when they don’t have anything intelligent to publish. There are not friendly or unfriendly cities, just friendiness when tourist behaves in a polite and nice when way.

  15. ade nastiti says:

    Islamabad? Are you kidding man? I wonder how did you conduct survey on this? People who vote Islamabad as one of the unfriendliest, I am sure they never been there. I have visited around 25 countries and Islamabad is one of my favorites. People are friendly, as far as you are not rude to them. Compared to other cities in Pakistan, for example, Islamabad is one of the best: clean, peaceful, and more open to foreigners. If you want to put Pakistan cities in the list, you may vote other but for sure not Islamabad. This is totally nonsense.

  16. Mamerito says:

    Great list! Any body out there who has been to Uganda, (East Africa) will tell you- its even a fact that Expatriates tell you- that should you stay in Uganda for more than 3 weeks- chances are , that you are “hooked” for the rest of your entire days on earth!

  17. John says:

    Baffling that Islamabad is among the unfriendliest cities.
    Compact, well structured, no traffic nuisance, clean, peaceful.
    May be you should visit and ask the foreigners living here

  18. Khalid-AlKhanoni says:

    I was expecting Islamabad on the list of friendliest cities but astonished to find it on #2 of unfriendliest list. I would simply say “injustice’!!

  19. nick ken says:

    I dont agree as i have visited these unfriendliest cities that you have mentioned and they are really not like that.

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