Last month we discussed the happiest countries in the world; perfect for finding the ideal travel destination where you can be sure of a warm welcome. This month, in order to address the balance a little bit we decided to look at the least friendly cities in the world.
These are the cities where more sensitive visitors may wish to tread carefully – or at least to approach them with the expectation of few smiles and little help. And thanks to the readers of Travel+Leisure website we now have the answers.
The latest survey, which provides the collective knowledge of 199,652 individual travellers, paints a rather sombre picture.
Indeed, just because a city is “unfriendly” doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t visit; as you’ll see, a number of the least friendly cities in the world have many other benefits for tourists, including culture, fine cuisine, amazing views and excellent transport networks. Just don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms and a glowing smile.
Equally, it seems the more hectic the lifestyle of a city, the less friendly its inhabitants become. It’s not necessarily that they don’t care about visitors; it’s more that they don’t have the time to stop and chat with their busy lifestyles.
Here are the five most unfriendly cities as voted for by readers of Travel+Leisure…
Moscow in Russia has been slated as the least friendly city in the world. The population are possibly best described as “aloof”; getting help when exploring the city can be a tall order. It also ranks absolute bottom of all the cities in the survey for the dining experiences on offer.
Atlantic City, USA
According to survey respondents life in Atlantic City is fast-paced, and the locals simply don’t have the time (or the will?) to be friendly. This once-great gambling city is said to be now best avoided unless your primary goal is to visit the many casinos on offer here.
St Petersburg, Russia
Rather sadly, Russia features twice in the top three unfriendliest cities. Beautiful St Petersburg with its illustrious history and stunning buildings is a sad addition. The reality is that St Petersburg has always been a popular tourist draw, but while the architecture may impress, the attitude of locals is likely to do less for the soul.
Apparently it’s not just the people that are unfriendly on Marseille; the whole city feels dirty and grimy if survey respondents are to be believed. That said, the city is currently undergoing a major revamp, and it is hoped that in the near future this seaside idyll will return to its former glory.
Los Angeles, California
While LA may be filled with beautiful people, many visitors to Los Angeles experienced an undertone of “better-than-you” in many of the locals they came across. The friendliness of LA also isn’t helped by what a giant and fast-moving metropolis it is.