Travel

The friendliest and unfriendliest cities in the world

August 02, 2013

A seaside city on an island in the south of Brazil that’s been described as Latin America’s “hottest new party destination” has also been named the friendliest city in the world by readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

 Florianopolis, or the “Island of Magic,” was voted the friendliest destination on the planet, beating out runners-up like Thimphu, Bhutan and Queenstown, New Zealand with the top rating of 95.8.

Exact details on just what makes the South American city more hospitable than others are sparse, however, as a brief blurb of reader reviews describes its people as simply “nice” and the destination “stunningly beautiful.”

A New York Times article described the city as a mix of St.Tropez and Ibiza, minus the attitude and the prices.

Over the year, the 53-km (33 mile)-long coastline of white sandy beaches, surf-friendly waves, mega-clubs and beach bars have made it a preferred destination among affluent Brazilians and tourists who’ve done their research, the story says.

Meanwhile, a common thread among the top 10 friendliest cities is that most are small to mid-sized destinations from less affluent, modest countries such as Bhutan, Burma, Ireland and Indonesia.

Predictably, nowhere is there a New York, London or Tokyo in sight.

At the other end of the spectrum, of all the cities in the world, Newark, New Jersey emerged the unfriendliest for being rude and unpleasant.

“I visited Newark on business and would not recommend this city for anything, except a cheaper, less busy airport to fly into while visiting other cities,” said one reader.

It could be construed as a surprising choice, as the city best known as a transport hub beat out either hostile or politically volatile destinations like Islamabad, Pakistan; Luanda, Angola; and Detroit, Michigan, which was described as “the armpit of the world.”

And interestingly, while the top 10 friendliest list includes just one lone US representative (Charleston, South Carolina), half of the top 10 unfriendliest city destinations are American. - AFP/Relaxnews, 2 August, 2013.