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Top 10 world’s unfriendliest cities

Each year, Travel + Leisure (T+L) go through a load of ‘world’s best’ awards to see how people rate the destinations they visit. Many of those surveys also say what people don’t like about the countries they visit, so T+L has curated a list of the 30 World’s Unfriendliest cities. Here are the top 10.

10. Cannes, France
Home to what could be considered the world’s most famous film festival, Cannes is also considered by many tourists to be quite snobby. It’s a beautiful place to visit, just don’t expect the locals to grace you with warm hospitality – unless, of course, you have a fat wallet.

9. Las Vegas, Nevada
Vegas may be famous for its flamboyance and high-scale frivolity, but it fails as far as friendliness goes. Those who can flaunt the big bucks will have no complaints, but for the rest of us, Las Vegas may be better experienced on the big screen – or so says T+L. Still, who can resist that gaudy architecture, flashing lights and neon signs that promise you’ll win big?

8. Baltimore, Maryland
Known as Charm City, Baltimore may have lost some sheen since the riots (or ‘protests’) of 2015. So its high ranking may have something more to do with perceived safety rather than local hospitality. Baltimore is well known for its seafood – especially crab – which is one of its major exports and attractions.

7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
According to T+L survey respondents, the City of Brotherly Love isn’t so loving. Philadelphia is home to the famed Liberty Bell, as well as several other historic landmarks. In fact, ‘Philly’ is the only city in the United States to enjoy World Heritage City status. Just don’t expect a hug when you visit.

6. New York, New York
This one is probably a no-brainer, at least based on reputation. From personal experience, New York is a fascinating place, but the locals aren’t the most affable. ‘Hard’ would be a suitable descriptor. Still, if you don’t mind the crowds and the fact that, even if you lived there all your life you’d never scratch the surface of this massive metropolis, New York City is a fantastic place to visit.

5. Los Angeles, California
LA may be packed with beautiful people, but it sadly lacks in hospitality, unless, again, you’ve got big bucks and an attitude to match. According to one T+L respondent, the residents are not only self-righteous and pretentious, but also “rude, unhelpful people trying to scam you for everything”, suggesting it may be better to leave LA to the locals.

4. Marseilles, France
Another French city to make it to the top 10, Marseilles may have magnetic attraction for the more romantic roamers, but as far as giving much love? Don’t hold your breath. France’s second-largest city may be referred to as “unkempt and gritty”, but Marseille is still a town to mark on your map if you ever visit France.

3. St Petersburg, Russia
Being home to some of the world’s most astounding architecture doesn’t stop St Petersburg from popping into the number-three spot, but, gee, it’d still be worth a visit. Definitely one on my bucket list.

2. Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City is the east coast of America’s answer to Las Vegas, but it’s hardly a suitable comparison. Many of those surveyed questioned whether New Jersey’s ‘Sin City’ is still recovering from the massive blow (pardon the pun) it copped from Hurricane Sandy. It would certainly be enough to make me a little inhospitable.

1. Moscow, Russia
As far as landmarks and culture, Moscow is right up there. But Moscow also finds itself at the top of the World’s Unfriendliest City list, maybe due its horrendous traffic and “aloofness” of its residents, but also maybe because it finished last on T+L’s culinary polls. 

These rankings may hint at countries being somewhat inhospitable, but for many they are still charming places to visit. Surprisingly, of the top ten cities listed, only three countries were represented: Russia, the United States and France. Lists such as these obviously don’t do their tourist trade much harm, as they are still quite popular destinations.

Of the cities you’ve visited, which was the unfriendliest?

Related articles:
Top 10 tourist-friendly countries
Ten gestures you should avoid making overseas
Safe cities for solo women travellers

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