The Rudest And Friendliest Countries In The World According to Internet Users
Traveling anywhere foreign typically means relying on the help of locals for directions and recommendations because, as English speakers will no doubt admit, being a polyglot isn't something that comes naturally when the world's business language happens to be their mother tongue's.
Perhaps with this in mind, the internet has been awash with travel forums debating the friendliest and rudest countries, so we've compiled a list of both according to the experiences of many travelers.
One user on the popular question-and-answer site Quora was perplexed that his smiles directed towards local Russians weren't met with the same warmth.
Explaining the experience, user Kris Caluwaerts wrote, "'When I tried to make contact nobody smiled and looked really helpful or approachable. Only later I learned that in Russia smiling at strangers can be interpreted as making fun of them."
Cottoning onto this, Culuwaerts adopted a more straight talking approach when approaching locals and soon found this helped more with Russians favoring honesty as opposed to being polite out of courtesy because social conventions dictate that be the case.
The concept of queueing appears lost on the Chinese if travel forums are anything to go by, with Culwaerts citing his experiences dealing with Chinese queue jumpers as rather troublesome.
'At first, we left some space in between the person in front of us and ourselves only to have people jump the queue and get in line in front of us,' he said, before then realizing that many locals were seemingly unaware of their opportunistic practices. "When we made them aware of the fact we were in line they apologized and moved to the back of the line. It appeared as rude, however, the first few days this happened to us."
The French capital may be the known as the City of Love, but it appears the feeling isn't always reciprocated to tourists. In fact, one user called Holly Ann Bluett went as far as writing, ‘The worst place I’ve been, in terms of hospitality and tolerance towards tourists would be France. Hands down, Paris was the worst'.
Others also played on the preconceived opinions many already have of French people, namely being that they are snotty and impatient. Curt Thurston even found himself in trouble with the police because he had... an inhaler. ‘I asked for directions in the Metro while visiting there with my wife. I asked in my best French which direction a certain exit was and ended up being searched and patted down."
Concluding why Paris, in the opinion of Holly Ann Bluett, was one of her worst experiences as a tourist, she fumed at what one person had said to her mother. 'Everyone was super rude, and one man, when I asked for directions, said something rather unpleasant about my mother.’
While people's experiences of Latin American communities tend to be met with brazen and gregarious displays of affection -or at the very least, general politeness- some users haven't had that experience- not in Argentina, anyway.
The second biggest country in South America and an aforementioned rival of the biggest, Brazil- a country which often tops various nicest countries lists- Akshat Vaidya appeared less than enamored with the people. 'People were rude everywhere I went,' she said, '- north, south, rural, urban, even national parks and remote areas like Torres Del Paine or Patagonia. It was kind of absurd.’
Latvia may not be as popular as the previously listed destinations but it no doubt has its fair share of tourists, with many many Europeans, mainly Brits, choosing Latvia's capital, Riga, as a prime destination for a debaucherous weekend.
There are, however, those who prefer to take in the more regal sights of the beautiful capital in what was formerly part of the USSR, but that hasn't stopped locals attempting to cash in on their night time economy at any time of day according to Torstein Utne who bluntly said: ‘It seemed to me that anywhere I went there were some people trying to scam me, or offer sexual services.’
For a small sequestered island that sits almost halfway between New York and London, you'd forgive locals for feeling skeptical of tourists flooding their idyllic and often rural communities, but that hasn't been the case- far from it. In fact, following a surge in tourism to accommodate for lost revenue streams after the country's financial crisis in 2009, Iceland has welcomed foreigners with open arms.
Admittedly, the locals can be quite quiet and reserved at times but they will always be on hand to help in a country often voted one of the safest in the world, a viewpoint echoed by Jake Williams whose experience with the locals seemed nothing but positive. ‘But by far the friendliest place I've ever been is Iceland. Everyone seemed really happy to have us there. People were excited to tell us about the country and the history.’
Long synonymous with friendly people and angry citizens annoyed at being confused with Americans, Canadians are nonetheless fun-loving people and highly welcoming according to travelers. Naomi Baker, perhaps more in love with the country than herself, said, 'The friendliest people are in Canada. They are, with rare exception, friendly and warm.’
Another, Stephen Taylor, appeared to share Baker's belief and said Toronto was the most welcoming city he had visited: 'Toronto, Ontario, is by far the happiest and friendliest large city I think I’ve ever visited. Even folks working in what I would call pretty abysmal jobs, like at the Tim Horton's at Toronto airport, seemed to be pretty even-tempered and happy.’
Italians have a reputation for their visceral reactions and love of all things family, and it appears that stereotype hasn't been dispelled by the internet, with the majority of users having nothing but positive things to say about the seemingly personable and good-natured locals.
Gina Hiatt, a seasoned traveler to many parts of the country, exclaimed: ‘Without a doubt, the Italians are the friendliest. I’ve been there both before and after I learned Italian, and it’s almost unreal."
Like Italy, Mexico is synonymous with family values, and while crime has riddled parts of the country due to the ever-worrying drug trade, the people often display nothing but affection for tourists, many of whom happen to come from neighboring America.
This commonly held assumption was backed up by American traveler Taylor, who interestingly said, 'I don’t think I’ve ever met a “rude” or inconsiderate Mexican in my life. And if any country has a reason to be hostile toward Americans, it would be Mexico.'
It may be a county besieged with racial tensions following the controversial election of one Donald Trump, but according to tourists frequenting the 50 states, the people have been nothing but friendly.
Taylor added that while he is American, he's still 'always found Americans 'friendly' while another user said, 'The USA is probably the most friendly and courteous place on Earth.'