There’s plenty of lists on the internet naming the world’s safest countries or those with the best quality of life, but what about the friendliest countries in the world? We’ve pulled together ten of the most welcoming places around the world, where the local residents will welcome you with open arms. Perfect for solo travellers, or indeed anyone wishing to feel welcomed, here are the world’s most friendly locations.
Travellers to this south-east Asian country often name this country as the friendliest in the world, stating that friendliness is just a way of life here. Many backpackers settle down in Laos for several months or longer, thanks to the incredibly welcoming atmosphere. Locals actively welcome visitors with a positive attitude, offering helpful advice and cold beers when you need them the most.
Several surveys have named the Nepalese as the ‘nicest people on the planet’ thanks to their incredibly welcoming personalities. While they may follow different religions and speak several different languages, the locals are generally peaceful people who all get along in harmony. Visitors are eagerly welcomed into the country, with all needs catered for, especially in the more rural areas.
Known as the ‘land of smiles’, it’s no secret that Thailand is one of the friendliest countries in the world. While the locals in the large cities are definitely welcoming, head out to the beaches or the countryside to find the friendliest areas of the country. The Thai people are generally very happy to show tourists around and offer advice for making the most of their beautiful country.
When you live in such a beautiful country, it’s hard not to feel welcoming. Fijians are renowned across the world for their positive outlook on life, with many visitors naming them the nicest people in the world. Travellers will always feel welcomed by their warm and friendly attitude, as the locals are more than happy to share their knowledge of their country.
Scotland is always named the friendliest country in the British Isles, thanks to the laid-back attitude of its native people. Large cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh may be intimidating to some travellers, but the locals will help you to feel at ease, especially if you get chatting to one of them at the bar of a pub. Out in the more remote areas of the country, the local people are more than happy to offer their advice or to show you around.
New Zealand is a popular destination with outdoor enthusiasts thanks to its dramatic landscapes and the popularity of adventure sports. Travellers will be pleased to know that they are warmly welcomed here, as most New Zealanders are happy to show visitors around and offer recommendations for making the most out of their incredible country. Whether you’re planning on visiting the North or the South island, be prepared to be welcomed with open arms.
Canada is notorious for making its visitors feel welcomed, especially as their people are known to be among the most polite in the world. Locals are also exceptionally warm, friendly and helpful, eager to assist travellers and to welcome them to their country. Those working in the hospitality industries are known around the world for their friendliness.
Everywhere you arrive at in Morocco, whether it’s a riad or a restaurant, you will be provided with a complimentary cup of mint tea and local sweets or biscuits. The locals here are among the friendliest on earth with the country frequently named within the top three most welcoming countries. If you visit one of the smaller towns or villages, chances are that the local people will invite you into their homes for a cup of mint tea and the chance to talk to you about their lives.
Icelanders are famously friendly and welcoming, perhaps because the sense of community is so tight on the isolated island. Living in such an inhospitable place, people need to be able to rely on each other, so close communities are formed, which reach out to include visitors. The further away you travel from Reykjavik, the more isolated you become, but also the more welcoming the local get.
Known as one of the friendliest holiday destinations in Europe, Austria is an incredibly welcoming country due to the attitudes of its local people. Austrians aren’t shy, and are happy to smile and talk to strangers, making travellers feel right at home as they explore the beautiful mountainous country.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.