In a survey by Big 7 Travel, around 1.5 million social media users were asked to identify the friendliest city in the world for 2019.
Based on responses, a list of the top 50 friendliest cities in the world was drawn up. Two Asian cities made it to the top 10, and Singapore was ranked the 24th friendliest city in the world.
So what constitutes a friendly city? It’s not about how nice the place looks, it’s not about the food, and it’s not about the tourist attractions.
Let’s break it down—a city’s “friendliness” includes how easy the city is to navigate, how welcome you feel there and how its people interact with you, such as whether the locals can be bothered to help with tips or point you in the right direction and how open, accommodating or chatty people generally are.
Topping the “Friendliest Cities in the World” list is Vancouver, Canada.
While Canada’s reputation for politeness already precedes its cities and its citizens, Vancouver, which is in the beautiful province of British Columbia, has distinguished itself even further. Respondents noted that Vancouver’s residents, a multicultural bunch, were extraordinarily friendly.
The city has a strong community of people from different backgrounds, and it’s this sense of togetherness that makes visitors feel welcome and safe at all times. Locals are quick to offer assistance to tourists and the relaxed community vibe makes socialising in Vancouver fairly straightforward.
Kuala Lumpur, capital city of the neighbouring country Malaysia is in second place. Netizens noted that Malaysians are naturally friendly and very accommodating to strangers. Respondents called the temperament of the locals “easy-going” and said it was not difficult at all to make friends in the Malaysian city.
Bruges (Belgium), Taipei (Taiwan), and Hamburg (Germany) were in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively. Kuala Lumpur and Taipei were the only Asian cities to make it to the top 10.
Here’s who made it into the top 10:
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Christchurch, New Zealand
São Paulo, Brazil
Chiang Mai (Thailang) and Siem Reap (Cambodia) made it to 11th and 20th place, with Singapore 24th on the list of friendliest cities.
Travellers noted that from the moment they stepped foot into the country (at the unparalleled Changi Airport, still the best airport in the world), they were greeted with a welcoming atmosphere that continues everywhere in the city itself.
The fact that Singapore is so safe, green and modern is a huge pull for travellers and expats alike. With English as the first language and locals who are friendly and open, Singapore is a city that tourists appreciate and will definitely return to.
Guangzhou, China, beat all other Chinese cities to make it to the list, scoring the 38th spot. Despite the language barrier, travellers noted that the southern China city’s residents made them feel welcome.
The only other Asian city to the make the list was Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, at number 46. Commenters seemed surprised that the Philippine cities, normally cited as a very friendly, did not make the list. /TISG