The World’s Friendliest Cities
A Bucket List For Social Explorers
If you’re into hostelling, chances are you already know that the secret to awesome travels is awesome people. So to help you get the most out of your next trip, we’ve put together a guide to the friendliest cities in the world.
We surveyed thousands of people in cities from Barcelona to Seoul about their social lives – How welcoming are they to strangers? Do they love to party every night of the week? How often do they eat out with their friends? The results might just surprise you…
1. Gothenburg, Sweden
Gothen-what?! Officially the world’s friendliest city, it’s surprising how few people know where Gothenburg actually is. Sweden’s second largest city scored highly across all categories, including being welcoming to visitors, finding any excuse for a party, having a shared purpose, and being social media addicts. Read our Insider Gothenburg Travel Guide and start planning your trip to this Scandi hub of sociability.
2. Stockholm, Sweden
Pipped to the top spot by its little sister, Stockholm is the second friendliest city in the world and the perfect place for a solo city break. Stockholm topped the “welcoming” category, which will come as no surprise to anybody who’s visited this friendly city. The city even manages to avoid the soulless subways of many cities by filling them with art.
3. Chicago, USA
Chicago, aka America’s Second City, is the home of legendary sports, unbelievable food and a wealth of creativity. It ranks highly amongst cities where people eat out with friends most frequently (second only to NYC), and if you’ve ever tried Chicago-style pizza, you’ll understand why. If you’re looking for good eats and social vibes, the Windy City has got you covered.
4. Boston, USA
Boston ranks highly in both frequency of eating out, and of meeting up with friends. The Massachusetts city is known the world over not only for its incredible food and world-conquering sports teams, but also for its incredibly strong sense of community and sociability.
5. New York, USA
When it comes to eating out with friends, New York City is the world’s number one! NYC is known the world over as the city that never sleeps, and for good reason. Almost any type of food is available at almost any time of day. Food brings people together, and nowhere is that more true than in the Big Apple.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
It’s easy to love Copenhagen, and its appeal can be summed up in just one word: HYGGE! The residents of Copenhagen love entertaining at home more than anywhere else, and it’s one of the most socially tolerant cities in the world.
7. Madrid, Spain
If you are an “any excuse to party” type of person, Madrid is the place to be. The locals aka “Madrileños” enjoy a good night out with friends and if you think you’ve got the stamina, they’ll be happy for you to tag along. Finish a big night out in true Madrid style with churros and chocolate for breakfast at the tradicional Chocolatería San Ginés, which is open 24h. Party + churros = perfection.
8. Rome, Italy
People in Rome are known all over Italy for their friendliness: it’s so easy to ask for help from a random person on the street or to make new friends in a club! If you’re looking for a place to meet new people, go to “Piazza Trilussa” on the Tevere bankside. Every night it’s packed full of locals and travellers sitting on the fountain’s stairs, chatting and watching the street artists perform.
9. Hamburg, Germany
In Hamburg you’ll not only find a maritime spirit, it’s also one of the most welcoming cities in the world. With Reeperbahn in St. Pauli it also has one of the most famous red light districts in the world. Make sure you check out Uebel & Gefährlich, probably the best club for live music in Germany.
10. Dublin, Ireland
Few things in life will beat sitting at a pub table with your favourite drink and favourite people. Picture that in the pub capital of the world, and you have the perfect night out. Dublin puts huge importance on socialising so if you want to get into the Dublin spirit, just head to the Temple Bar area for a nice pint and amazing live music.
More Tips For Where To Eat, Drink & Party Around The World ?
New York City is a foodie wonderland where you will find any type of food your heart desires — from vegan eggplant sandwiches to deep south eggs.
February 22, 2017
Sweden doesn’t exactly have a reputation as being a great place for the young and broke. But Gothenburg, the country’s second biggest city, may just surprise you.
February 20, 2017
Everyone remembers that bangin’ hostel bar where epic party nights weren’t just a one off. We’re not talking about a game of beer pong and cheap Jäger shots in the basement.
November 30, 2016
Tag us @hostelworld on Instagram and tell us about your most memorable #MeetTheWorld moment for the chance to be featured!