Global travel site Tripadvisor polled 75,000 people this year on how they rate the cities they visited. The results were recently published, and they are quite telling.
Number one on the unfriendliest cities
list is... Moscow.
That's right, all of us living in Moscow can pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Moscow smashed the competition again this year, and I think we can feel bullish about our chances for '13 as well.
Actually, living in the least friendly city has some obvious benefits. For example, when you go on a trip, no matter where you go people will be more friendly! If Tripadvisor is to be believed, it is physically impossible to leave Moscow and end up in a less friendly place. It kind of takes the pressure off.
In second place we find London. Maybe this explains why many Muscovites like London, it might feel a bit like home. They've got oligarchs and everything there. If only they would drive on the correct side of the road the place would be lovely.
Third and fourth are Hong Kong and Beijing. Well deserved I'm sure. If you want to go East and get a smile, Tokyo is the place to be instead. It ranked second on the most friendly list, just behind Cancun. Bangkok is another good bet, 7th friendliest in the world. And with tasty low priced food as well, if I might add.
European cities Brussels, Zürich and Paris are 6, 7 and 8 on this list of shame. Brussels always puts in a strong performance and this year was no exception. Its famous tourist attraction «Manneke Pis» was also voted the world’s biggest «tourist trap». In short, it appears most tourists are underwhelmed by a tiny bronze statue in a constant state of relieving itself. Everybody who has seen it is likely to agree. I’m Belgian and lived less than an hour away and I still felt cheated after I went to see it, so I imagine how the average Australian must feel.
I have also been to Zürich but I cant tell you much about it. Except that the food was enough expensive... And I don't remember that people were very friendly. So there you have it.
Paris is a regular appearance in the top 10, probably due to the continuing outstanding performance of the Parisian taxi drivers. I do feel the friendliness of their restaurant workers has improved the last couple of years, which may explain why they have dropped slightly in the ranking.
Marrakesh and Mumbai round out the top 10, I'm not sure why but I would guess that the sales “technique” of their market vendors has something to do with it.
All in all, there's no surprises on this list. Well, except that many of the 75,000 respondents actually remembered visiting Zürich. I don't think too many conclusions should be drawn from this list. Except that Muscovites do need to be careful when traveling to Cancun, Tokyo, Lisbon, Istanbul, Cape Town, Dubrovnik, Bangkok, Punta Cana (where the hell is that?) Amsterdam or Copenhagen. If you're not prepared, the sudden friendliness of those cities might be too much for you.