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Woyzeck Jan 15th, 2005 04:59 AM

World's Friendliest City? World's Rudest City?

Apparently, Charleston, SC is the "most polite" city in America (CNN 1/15/05), with Seattle close behind.

In all of your travels, in what town or city did you find the people to be the friendliest, warmest, and most helpful.

By constrast, could you mention any places where the people were more reserved, cold, or even just plain rude?

tedgale Jan 15th, 2005 06:00 AM

"Most polite" is not necessarily "friendliest". Part of politeness is silence and respect for others' privacy. Plus a deferential style of address. For my money, France (outside Paris, perhaps) is the politest place I know.

Friendliest is Saint John's Newfoundland, whence I returned last evening. It takes some getting used to that hotel staff, especially young women, address me as "my love" or "darlin'".

BTW: an older male (straight) co-worker from NL customarily addresses male colleagues as "m'dear" too.

Agree about Charleston. On a house tour, the guide informed "anyone who had missed the start of the tour" that they could now see the ground floor rooms with the new tour.

A crass couple responded: "Yes, we missed the ground floor -- you made us go straight up."

In honeyed tones but with icy smile, the lady responded: "Ah didn't MAKE anyone DO anything. Ah INVITED you to go upstairs."

AR Jan 15th, 2005 06:07 AM

I found Icelanders extremely friendly. At the time, it wasn't really a tourist destination and the people were genuinely thankful that you wanted to visit their country.
Rudest? I always get embarrased when I return home to the UK and try and use our public services after being away for a week or two.

elle Jan 15th, 2005 06:11 AM

Well, it's all a generalization--you can find friendly people everywhere and rude people everywhere--but I've always been impressed by the warmth and graciousness of people in Canada, especially Montreal.

Patrick Jan 15th, 2005 06:11 AM

Well, the friendliest would have to be any city in Australia. You can't leave a hotel or table without someone wanting to help you plan your evening or next day, and they want to know everything about you and what you think of their country.

The rudest? It depends on where the rudest tourists are on any given day. The rudest tourists always cause the rudest responses.

TheUncleSam Jan 15th, 2005 08:03 AM

Ediburgh Scotland...nicest people in the world!



billy_boy Jan 15th, 2005 08:12 AM

World's Fiendliest City? That"s easy -Everybody knows that it's Cornwall, Ontario (near the Quebec border).

World's Rudest City? Hmmmmm. Baghdad, Iraq?

Scarlett Jan 15th, 2005 08:17 AM

The NICEST people/town in the world ( to this family)
Crossville Tennessee.
My young daughter was in a terrible accident and we were treated so kindly and wonderfully by every person we met. Strangers came to the hospital every day with flowers and cards. People I never met nor will we meet again, were more kind to me than a lot of people I have known for years.

There are unfortunately, Rude people all over the world, but happily, they do not all live in the same town. So while we meet one or two, now and then, they really don't make that much impact on our travels or even our consciousness. I really remember all the Nice ones more :)

Wayne Jan 15th, 2005 08:18 AM

This thread has the potential to be a screamer, but here goes with my picks and reasons (assuming we are restricting these responses to Europe, which should be the case):
-I've received the consistently rudest treatment in northern Germany. They are almost as bad as New Yorkers or Canadians (elle's remarks notwithstanding). Of course, the most I see of New Yorkers and Canadians is when they come to Florida to visit, so maybe I'm a bit biased. They certainly act as if we Floridians are dirt under their feet.
-I've been treated most politely in Europe by the southern Austrians. They remind me of the old south in the U.S.

But as one poster already commented, the treatment received anywhere in Europe could be affected by the tourist's behavior -- yet I am always super polite everywhere I go. So that's why I pick northern Germany as the least friendly -- they don't seem to know the words "please" or "thank you" or use polite titles to address a man or woman. So much for my opinion.

ezlivin Jan 15th, 2005 08:27 AM

"They are almost as bad as New Yorkers or Canadians...".

You sure can hit a Canadian/New Yorker straight up the gut. You're obviously biased since your views are based on those travelling to Florida. If you visit us here, we'll show you our warmest side and not treat you like dirt. Lint would probaly be more like it.

Barbara Jan 15th, 2005 09:15 AM

Woyzeck, a small correction, Charleston is the "most polite", but in second place is San Diego, not Seattle.

jimmyk64 Jan 15th, 2005 09:49 AM

We've been blessed to travel extensively as a family AND as a couple, Woyzeck, and there's no place in our experience I would not return because of rudeness of the locals. That being said, for a family-friendly destination, our experience with the residents of Williams, Arizona was absolutely wonderful. Russhellheim, Germany was other worldly for us as a couple. Children and young adults simply warm and gracious; older adults, stiff, formal, cold and distant. Great beer there, though.

ira Jan 15th, 2005 09:56 AM

For friendly, I pick Copenhagen, DK.

For rude, I pick Cologne, Germany.

Tulips Jan 15th, 2005 10:16 AM

Ira, I always thought that shop assistants in Cologne were very rude and arrogant; the more expensive the shop, the more arrogant the service. A German friend explained to me that this is a tactic; apparently Germans respond to this by showing that they can well afford to shop there. Can't say this attitude worked for me!

cmt Jan 15th, 2005 10:55 AM

"Friendliest"/most helpful/most hospitable, in my particular experience: Greeks, especially 30+ years ago (less so recently but still quite friendly and nice), southern Spain ~32 years ago (haven't been there since then, so don't know whether that has changed), England on two not at all recent visits, and Basilicata and Sicily on recent trips. The most outgoing/friendly were the Greeks I met 30+ years ago on an independent three-week summer trip with a friend. The most hospitable, in a simple, direct, not showy way, were the people in Basilicata, who treat visitors like we are very precious and seem to feel a strong bond and affection for Americans.

Rudest: Rome about 30+ years ago, and I haven't been back more recently, and Stresa a year ago. The rudest tourists I ever meet while traveling usually seem to be the ones from Germany, though two of the nicest fellow tourists I've ever met were a German couple whom I met in the Combarelles cave in France.

All the others I've encountered while visiting their regions--French, Turks, Italians in other parts of Italy--have fallen someplace within these extremes, but I'd definitely categorize them all as generally friendly, hospitable, and nice. I've never been to Scotland, which I've heard may rival Basilicata in the hospitality area.

P.S. I have some suspicion, based on hearing other people's experiences, that people in Greece may be friendlier to people whom they perceive as ethnically similar to them, and possibly less friendly at times to certain groups whom they don't view so favorably. I'm curious whether anyone's experiences may fall into that generalization.

WillTravel Jan 15th, 2005 11:05 AM

I think if I don't encounter people who are downright nasty or who make personal remarks (and I can't think of any such examples in my travels), it doesn't really matter to me much. I don't see someone who doesn't talk much as being unfriendly, but perhaps tired or just introverted or reserved. Some people are more extroverted, which is fine too of course. Being reserved isn't in the same category at all as being rude, IMO.

Robespierre Jan 15th, 2005 11:06 AM

I concur about Copenhagen (and Denmark in general). Everyone we met there was cheerful, cordial, and pleasantly accommodating to our near-total lack of Danish language.

For rudest, I have to nominate Bucharest. My brother, who lived there, said the Romanians are rather dour by temperament, so not to take it personally.

cmt Jan 15th, 2005 11:11 AM

<< Being reserved isn't in the same category at all as being rude, IMO.>>

I definitely agree. (On my visit to Rome long ago, I WISHED some people had been more reserved.)

annesherrod Jan 15th, 2005 11:24 AM

The Friendliest - Scotland, any city there.
Also, I always find the Londoners are very helpful and polite to us.
Rudest- Well, I was in Rome 20 years in College and thought the locals were pushy and rude. I remember being pushed aside roughly a few times when people were walking down the side walk.
I found them to be cold, but again that was years ago and I was a kid.

ira Jan 15th, 2005 11:44 AM

Hi tulips,

>Ira, I always thought that shop assistants in Cologne were very rude and arrogant....<

In addition to that, Cologne is the only city I've been to where people on the street made rude remarks regarding our clothing, behavior and merely being Americans.


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