Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

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

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

Jan 15th, 2005, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,994
Ira, just out of curiosity, what year were you in Cologne?
Iregeo is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 11:59 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 249
Have been in about 40 different countries and most of the states in the U.S. Madrid is the only city where I found that rudeness was in the majority.
mileaday is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 62
In europe
London/berlin and paris most polite cities and people
cologne, dusseldorf, prague, gothenburg most friendliest
confidential is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 398
Politest city- Nashville, Tennessee. In the stores there, I noticed that men would open the door for women, say ma'am and make sure the women went first. It definitely reminded me of the "Old South."

Rudest city- maybe New York, although I like New York very much, and maybe the people there were hurried rather than rude.
Sally is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
I have had a lot of tourist in SanFrancisco tell me that they find SF one of the friendliest cities they have ever visited. That is always so nice to hear. BTW, the comments have been offered I have never asked.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 401
This afternoon, in NYC, I went to a pharmacy to have a prescription filled. I have been in bed very sick for most of this week and last. A young man came in while I was standing at the counter and must have noticed I wasn't feeling well. He offered to get the things on my list for me and showed me to a place by the counter with a chair where I could sit down while waiting. He was just another customer. Very polite and kind, and I apprerciated it so much. New York, New York, wonderful town!

I have seen rude behavior all over in my travels, but I usually don't attach it to a city, but it individuals, and i try to forget it so it doesn't cloud my good traveling mood.
bellastar is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,854
I remember hearing folks in Seattle say that residents there were very nice, but not very friendly. When I moved there it didn't take long to see the distinction.

So where is the best combination of friendly AND nice?

(BTW, I think the transition of Seattle from a Boeing/fishing town to a techy/more varied economy that brings in fresh faces has made the observation a bit dated. Still one of my favorite places.)
repete is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,327

I just thought of another place where everyone I met was extraordinarily nice and helpful: the entire state of Vermont.

Maybe it has something to do with those long cold winters. Maybe after you've survived one, you're just so darn happy to see human beings again. . .
elle is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,142
Interesting .... and since New York seems to be part of the topic, that city always seems to come up when rudeness in cities are mentioned. When I visited New York City, I was ready for the rudeness. Except for the hotel clerk at the Grand Hyatt (or is it Sheraton? next to Grand Central Station..I've forgotten) everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. While waiting for a cab right after the theater had just let out, I exchanged a few words with one of the traffic cop, he couldn't have been nicer and friendlier. Honestly, in all my travels, I would say New York was at the top.

And though I LOVED Venice, I would say that they were the least friendly, but in all honesty, the language barrier may be part of the problem.

Over all I think that in general, as others have said, you'll run in rude and nice people in all cities.
lyb is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
It's really hard to generalize about any city. I was just at a local bookstore. A man (customer), probably in his sixties, dropped a few books on my foot from the top of the bookshelf. I screamed softly (mostly shock, although my toes were hurt). He saw me, but didn't say a word to me, of apology or otherwise! I'm sure if this happened to a tourist, they might think the city is pretty rude.

I am curious - would anyone have pointed out to the man that it is polite to acknowledge and apologize for having injured someone? When you have been traveling have you ever called someone on their rudeness?
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,885
London was surprisingly very friendly and some town outside Bilbao, Spain where the police were rude.
cigalechanta is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 703
I must put in a good word for my home town of Perth, Western Australia as the friendliest city on this earth.

Friendliest people in Europe: the Spanish.

Unfriendliest cities: Rome and Naples.

harzer is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,793
<<When you have been traveling have you ever called someone on their rudeness?>>

Yes, once, and it was a nun. It was the summer that I was 25, and I'd been in Italy for 4 or 5 weeks with a friend. We'd had a great trip, but full of transportation problems, mostly caused by the "scioperi bianchi" of the train employees. We were upset, but not surprised, to find more of same at the airport. The check in line got longer and longer, with no movement. The time for our flight came and went, but there were no answers from Alitalia personnel except not to worry. Finally we were told that our entire plane load would be divided in two--half to fly on British airline and half on Swissair (we were to go on Swissair). One married couple was split up and assigned to different flights--he to British, she to Swissair, prompting the husband to pop his cork and start yelling "Cazzo porco dio!" There was total chaos, until eventually Swissair employees came to the rescue, coldly but incredibly efficiently processing half of us, including giving us all a torough betrween the legs rub-down search in a manner so impersonal (thankfully) that it was as if they were machines handling merchandise. But before our rescue by the Swissair robots, a few fellow passengers had become a bit rough. At one point I was jabbed in the ribs by the elbow of someone who then pushed me roughly aside and squeezed in ahead of me. When I looked to see who the ruffian was who'd done that, it was a nun, in full habit, one of a group of middle aged and elderly Italian nuns. I yelled at her in Italian and told her she should be ashamed of herself acting like that at her age.

cmt is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 247
Most Friendly: Savannah, GA.

Least Friendly (downright scary at times): Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
hightide is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 09:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 5,086
New York, New York

(That was two answers)
AJPeabody is offline  
Jan 16th, 2005, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
harzer, hurrah for Perth, I'm with you. I mentioned Australia above for its friendliness but Perth took the cake. I must mention that the morning we were about to leave from there -- driving south, we both decided after breakfast to first get haircuts. We went to a barber in an arcade, and with one of us in each chair, the barbers started chatting about everything. Before we left they had convinced us to immediatly go back to our hotel and change our reservations from one hotel to another in Freemantle, putting us straight on where the one was that we had booked. They even gave us the name of the person to call at The Colonnade. They wrote down the address and the name of the place we should rent our bikes from when we went to Rotnest Island. They provided us with lists of restaurants to eat at all along the coast, and even gave us name and phone numbers of people to contact in Albany and Margaret River (we never did), who would be happy to show us around.
Why didn't we call their friends? Because anybody we met would be happy to show us around. My, were they friendly, and genuinely so at that!
Patrick is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 03:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 518

Barbara "...in second place is San Diego, not Seattle."

Sorry Barbara - didn't want to leave San Diego out. I believe Seattle was third (or at least in the top 5) for "most polite". I stand corrected.

Incidentally, the comment by another poster about Seattle-ites being nice but not friendly is fascinating. I find it quite fitting.
Woyzeck is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 03:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,118
Sri Lankans are definitely the friendliest people I've met...closely followed by the Thais.

I wouldn't like to generalise about the rudest place - I think it all depends on the people you meet. I've met rude people and extremely polite people almost everywhere I've been!
cailin is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 04:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 801
Friendliest: Dublin; St. Remy de Provence; Paris; New York City

Rudest: Frankfort, Germany, and Germany in general; Switzerland in general.
Powell is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 21
In the late 1960s, our car/trailer broke down on a stretch of Wyoming highway where there were no services for 55 miles. Naturally, the breakdown occured about the midway point. My dad hitchhiked into the next town, where a mechanic gave him the water hose we needed and said "hop into my wrecker, I'll take you to the entrance ramp so you can hitchhike back." But he kept driving, explaining that no one would probably pick up my father without the look of disabled car/distressed family to help. He repaired the car, then let us park on his property overnight. In the morning, he would only take payment for the replaced part, despite my father's insistence on paying for the other services. The man said something like "just tell people how friendly we are here in Wyoming." So I am.

As far as Europe, I find people are much more pleasant when you make an attempt (however weak) to speak their language. Sprechen Sie Englisch? goes a long way in warming up those so-called cold Germans.
mdk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:00 AM.