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

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

Jan 19th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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I have another "rude German tourist" story - which really isn't quite fair because I have always found the Germans in Germany to be quite friendly. My rude German was in line at Notre Dame in Paris on Good Friday to see the holy relics. Hundreds of pilgrims were solemnly waiting their turn to kneel or pray before the relics. The German stepped out of line, walked directly to the front, and did not even bow his head when the priests held the objects in front of him. He almost sneered!
kbrennan is offline  
Jan 20th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Whereas I am glad that some of you posters here find the people in Germany friendly enough, I, being German myself, have to join the posters before me who were embarrassed by German tourists somewhere abroad. In general I try to avoid any German groups I am encountering outside our country. For some reason people tend to leave all manners behind...or I just happen on those who don't have any at home either, but whose ways I am not crossing here - and there (sadly) are quite a few of those...
hsv is offline  
Jan 20th, 2005, 01:45 PM
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I want to mention one city that we found the people we meet very friendly and that is Copenhagen.

Without a doubt, the rudest city and people we have encountered was Montreal. I almost didn't visit Paris after our experiences in Montreal, but when we did visit Paris, we encountered several very friendly and helpful people.
WilDersh is offline  
Jan 20th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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Dear hsv,

Please don't worry, the Germans I have been privileged to meet in Germany (and as a general rule anywhere else in the world) have always been very kind and gracious!!
TexasAggie is offline  
Jan 20th, 2005, 02:11 PM
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The friendliest people I have encountered are in the beautiful country of Spain.
The rudest - (Lisboa) Portugal
pg is offline  
Jan 20th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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"Without a doubt, the rudest city and people we have encountered was Montreal. I almost didn't visit Paris after our experiences in Montreal, but when we did visit Paris, we encountered several very friendly and helpful people."

I'm with you. After the dreadful time we had in Arizona, I nearly cancelled our trip to London. Thank goodness I didn't, as the Brits were fantastic!

tedgale is offline  
Jan 20th, 2005, 08:09 PM
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Overall, I've found the people in Spain to be incredibly friendly--we actually had people walking us to places we were trying to find and one time the police in Malaga had us follow them to the city center when we were lost (about a 10 minute drive). But I always speak in (very limited) Spanish.

But I think there're all kinds of people everywhere and if you are friendly and respectful, you'll usually get that back.

And yes, I live in Seattle, and there is something to be said about generally people being nice, but not necessarily friendly (could it be the rain?)
artlover is offline  
Jan 20th, 2005, 08:25 PM
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Well I think it is obvious that I "love Italy. But to be honest the rudest person I ever met anywhere was a store clerk in Rome. It was unbelievable.

But hopefully we can all remember a person or a bunch of people do not make a town/city or country.

There are always, IMHO , so many more gracious people then rude people.

And perhaps this very interesting thread will help all of us to remember when we encounter a tourist in our own city to be polite and helpful. We may be the ambassador that leaves that tourist with the mental image of how our area is.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 26th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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Friendliest: Amsterdam, Oia (Santorini), Chania (Crete), Egypt as a whole, Florence.

Rudest: close race between Paris and Frankfurt.

While I love Charleston (hometown), I will say that I'm stumped as to how it is the "most polite" city in America. I moved back 2 years ago after having lived all over the US for 18 years and noticed a remarkable difference in the level of customer service and general common courtesy...and not in a good way. It has definitely changed over the years. It is still a great place to visit just noting my observations.
travelgirl_67 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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As I read through this thread, subtle but palpable waves of guilt wash over me – because I, myself, may have been seen as a ‘rude person’ only last week.

I was in downtown Seattle running some errands last week when a younger guy waiting next to me at an intersection for the ‘walk’ signal asked a question about the location of the very famous Pike Place Market. His accent was distinctly Anglo – British, perhaps, or Australian.

Now, I wasn’t terribly rude in my response. I did let him know that we were standing a mere 3 blocks away from the PPM, and gave brief but clear directions as to how to get there. When the ‘walk’ signal finally flashed I crossed the street, with him hanging close by. He kept his side of the conversation going, and from what he said I gathered that it was his first visit to Seattle, that he would be staying only a very short time before catching a flight out, and that he would be interested in knowing what else to visit in during his stay. I headed off in a different direction as soon as I found an excuse to do so.

What I did not do: volunteer any information, unless he asked a specific question. Say, “Welcome to Seattle, and have a good day here.”

What I wish I had done: stopped my errand-running, and given him a quick list of places close by of interest, some pointers on how to navigate, and tips on where to find the best cup of Seattle-style coffee. Heck, maybe even have *bought* him a latte, and chatted with him about where he was from and what brought him to our city.

Why I didn’t do those things: my time was very short to accomplish my errands. Furthermore, I had learned just that day that an old friend was seriously ill, and was quite troubled by the news.

My lesson from the experience: sometimes what we interpret as rudeness is only a result of preoccupation and other priorities close at hand. I hope those of us who have encountered rudeness abroad will be willing to cut the ‘rude people’ a little slack, and realize that they may be simply tangled up in their own lives at the moment we encounter them.
fritzrl is offline  
Jan 27th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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fritzrl, that wasn't rude. It was curt, and might not have gone as far as you described it might, but it wasn't New York rude, which would be something like "do I look like a [adjective, focative case] tour guide?"
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 05:43 AM
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heartwarming to hear that so many people think Scots and in particular people from Edinburgh (where I work) are so friendly!

I would say the Thai people are the friendliest I have encountered so far.

Cant think of any nationality that I would say were rude, think every country has its own quirks and these can just be interpreted differently by all of us travellers!

happy holidays everyone

marie_scotland is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 06:06 AM
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For Europe, Zurich was the rudest,
Paris and Amsterdam were the friendliest
to us.
For the United States, Washington D.C
was the rudest, Memphis TN was the friendliest to us.
jeffwill4you is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 06:18 AM
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Funny thread, but flawed with so many misconceptions:
1) Generalization: how can you draw conclusions after a few encounters?
2) Cultural differences: of course, someone coming from Smalltown, USA (Charleston, for instance), will find anyone in Europe at best cold, at worst rude. Yes, we don't smile just for the sake of it and living in a 10 million people metropolis does take its toll sometimes
3) Language: yeah, Americans are likelier to find people in Scotland "friendlier" than in Germany, just because they can communicate between each other. Conversely, on a French forum, you would only find raves about Montréal, whereas one poster here thought it was the worst city ever.

Thankfully, Fodorites are well travelled enough to escape most of these traps, and on the whole have taken all these caveats into consideration.
Art_Vandelay is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 07:49 AM
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Well up in the early stages of this string of comments, I observed that I had found people from northern Germany to be the most rude I had encountered. I got down to FRITZRL's comments, then those of Art Vandelay, and thought I should rethink my feelings. Yet upon reconsideration, I even enlarged my area of sensitivity to practically the entire northern half of Germany. Notwithstanding the comments by many observers that the conclusions depend on the specific situation, and realizing that in many cases those comments are correct because many observers simply haven't traveled enough to generalize, I still believe that in over 25 years of traveling in Europe I have almost always encountered what could be called rudeness, indifference, or outright hostility by people in northern Germany. To those Germans who feel otherwise, I apologize and simply ask that you look at yourselves as others see you. To the New Yorkers and Canadians who I compared to the Germans, I apologize for having seen only the tourist segment -- but my comments regarding that segment are still valid.
Wayne is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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Art_V, You are a hypocrite.. You violate the premise of 1) by your condescending generalizations in 2).
rockhopper7 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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to Wayne.
I think is a difference of culture between Europe and America. In Europe we say few way good bye and please maybe because we are a lot in a small place.In China too is in the same way.
In Italy we think that American are very rude because they don't offer something when they eat with us. Instead Italians offer something to them. Then we think that Americans are rude and arrogant because they don't try to understand local customs and traditions. They think to understand all but they live in a world full of stereotypes.Then American are few diplomatic to express your opinions.
Sorry for my english.
StefanoItaly is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Friendliest? I would have to say, recently, Paris. Friends and co-workers warned me to be prepared for cold and rude, as well as comments regarding their dislike of the US gov't. Instead, I found the opposite. I remember in one shop a woman asked where we were from, and as I told her was prepared for anything. She responded that she hoped we liked their beautiful city, and were welcome any time.

Unfriendliest? I'd have to say NY, but agree it is probably mostly from being rushed. On a recent business trip, a co-worker and I were walking around, and I seemed to be constantly bumping into people. I remember I always got the weirdest looks, as I would appologize or say excuse me. My co-worker kept laughing, telling me they "don't care" but just want me to get out of their way.
Fly_Widget is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 11:50 PM
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Don't know about the world...But I have no trouble picking one city from the places I have travelled to as the rudest...The vote goes to Vienna!!! I came across more uncalled for rudeness in Vienna than what I have experienced in all my trips. I hope it was just a coincidence.....Saying that I came across some friendly people in Vienna as well.
zbjoon is offline  
Feb 18th, 2005, 02:12 AM
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Friendliest for me - Vancouver. It was almost creepy for a Londoner - it seemed I only had to stop on a street corner for someone to ask if I were lost. If I'd been in a very London frame of mind, I might have perceived it as rude or intrusive in itself. It's a process of two-way perception.

By the same token, I don't seem to notice rudeness as such, just people having a bad day.
PatrickLondon is online now  

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