Skip to main content

What are the world's friendliest/unfriendliest cities?

By Barry Neild, CNN
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1428 GMT (2228 HKT)
Is there a law that says every city list must say nice things about Sydney? The Aussie metropolis ranks fifth in Conde Nast Traveler's chart of the world's friendliest. Is there a law that says every city list must say nice things about Sydney? The Aussie metropolis ranks fifth in Conde Nast Traveler's chart of the world's friendliest.
HIDE CAPTION
Friendliest cities: 5. Sydney
5. Dublin (Ireland)
4. Charleston (South Carolina)
3. Victoria (British Columbia, Canada)
1. Melbourne
1. Auckland (New Zealand)
Unfriendliest cities: 5. Marseille (France)
4. Paris
3. Moscow
2. Cannes (France)
1. Johannesburg (South Africa)
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Annual Conde Nast Traveler survey names Melbourne and Auckland as world's friendliest cities
  • Aucklanders praised for their humor, while Melbournians are described as "a friendly bunch"
  • South Africa's Johannesburg topped the unfriendly city list with readers criticizing crime levels

(CNN) -- Australians and New Zealanders tend to get annoyed when their accents get mistaken for one another, but there's one thing they do share.

Both countries can lay claim to hosting the world's friendliest city, with Melbourne and Auckland jointly taking top honors in a new survey.

Another southern hemisphere destination -- South Africa's Johannesburg -- didn't fare quite as well, being named as the most unfriendly.

Conde Nast Traveler magazine's annual Readers' Choice Survey says it was "no surprise readers adore Melbourne," calling it Australia's "capital of cool."

Aucklanders were praised by readers for their "humor" and a view on life that's "something to aspire to attain."

New Zealand's beach culture
Underground Auckland
Melbourne: Australia's sporting capital?
Coffee tasting in Melbourne

Australia scored a friendly city double, with Sydney also making the top 10 alongside a global scattering that includes Cambodia's "awe-inspiring" temple gateway Siem Reap and "vibrant" Dublin.

The United States fielded two cities onto the friendly list, with Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, each winning praise.

MORE: Friendliest/Unfriendliest cities in the United States

'City of crime and contrasts'

CN Traveler says its "subjective" survey asked readers to rate cities on a number of factors, including "friendliness."

It said the results didn't always reflect the local residents.

Such is the case with Beijing, which made number six on the unfriendly list after being dissed for its "terrible pollution" and "dirty streets and hideous traffic."

The Chinese capital was joined by the French port of Marseille ("Stay away! Threatening"), "overcrowded and ostentatious" Monaco, "rude" Frankfurt, "forgettable" Cannes and -- to compound French ignominy -- "cold and aloof" Paris.

Johannesburg was named most unfriendly because, despite being "one of the most beautiful" cities, "safety still remains a serious concern" with one reader calling it "a city of crime and contrasts."

South Africa didn't come home empty handed, however.

Its coastal city of Cape Town placed eighth on the friendly list, with one reader describing it as "the most amazing place on Earth" thanks to its mix of nature, beaches and mountains.

MORE: Travel + Leisure names world's best cities

World's friendliest cities according to Conde Nast Traveler

11. Budapest, Hungary

9 (tie). Seville, Spain

9 (tie). Savannah, Georgia

8. Cape Town, South Africa

7. Siem Reap, Cambodia

5 (tie). Sydney

5 (tie). Dublin, Ireland

4. Charleston, South Carolina

3. Victoria, BC, Canada

1 (tie). Melbourne

1 (tie). Auckland, New Zealand

'Joburg' embraces cultural diversity
Street art comes to life in Johannesburg

MORE: 20 of the world's most beautiful best heritage sites

World's unfriendliest cities

10. Nassau, Bahamas

Exploring Ghandi Square

9. Monte Carlo, Monaco

8. Milan, Italy

7. Frankfurt, Germany

6. Beijing

5. Marseille, France

4. Paris

3. Moscow

2. Cannes, France

1. Johannesburg, South Africa

MORE: World's most expensive city is...

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 0149 GMT (0949 HKT)
Luxury Action will turn your travel scripts into reality and film them. As long as you're willing to travel to this country ...
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 0913 GMT (1713 HKT)
As entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles draws some of the best comic talent on the planet. Here's where to see it live.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 0342 GMT (1142 HKT)
Not many people choose flights based on the quality of an airline's catering -- but those who do should check out Saveur's Culinary Travel Awards.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
On the island of rice, curry, tropical fruit and fresh seafood, eating is an honor to the taste buds.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
Sparsely populated (by humans at least), this East Africa country offers so much more than just Mt. Kilimanjaro.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1432 GMT (2232 HKT)
Berlin's Tegel airport
It's crowded and outdated, but Berlin's hexagon-shaped Tegel air hub has won a place in the city's heart.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 0847 GMT (1647 HKT)
Amsterdam Museum of Bags and Purses
Shrine to a dead cat and a homage to fromage among Dutch capital's eccentric exhibitions.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0603 GMT (1403 HKT)
The OLAF scooter/luggage
Slovenian Kickstarter project encourages travelers to hop on their suitcase and cruise through terminals to connecting gates.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
The guidebook asked staff, contributors and authors for well-known and lesser-known recommendations.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
An airport in Asia has stolen the crown from Manila's Ninoy Aquino, voted 'world's worst' three years in a row.
ADVERTISEMENT