Most people would never imagine that a big city with hundreds of thousands of residents can be seen as “friendly.” After all, the traffic, large crowds, hustle and bustle give these places a bad rap…most of the time.
But every rule has an exception, and when it comes to the world’s friendliest cities, there are at least a couple of dozen unusual metropolises known for their hospitality and warmth. (And, surprisingly enough, not a single city in the American South made the Top 20.)
The following list is based on a ranking by TravelBird, a trading company based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They first analyzed the global top 500 tourist destinations based on factors that can make a visitor feel welcome. How welcoming port of entry such as an airport or a train station is, a citizen’s happiness and openness to host tourists were taken into consideration.
Then, an expert poll asking over 15,000 travel journalists how welcoming they found each city based on their personal experiences was conducted.
A second poll asking local residents how tourism has positively or negatively impacted their daily lives was conducted as well. Both sets of data contribute to the total over-tourism score.
The research highlights a precise selection of popular cities around the world in order to give an international overview.