Lonely Planet Writer

Top tourist destinations among world’s unfriendliest cities

Major cities at the heart of global tourism have dominated the most unfriendly city category in a new survey.

Moscow named the world's unfriendliest city
Moscow named the world’s unfriendliest city Image by kishjar? / CC BY 2.0

While Moscow shares the dubious honour of ‘winning’ the title of ‘unfriendliest city,’ such holiday hotspots as Cannes and Marseille in France and New York and Los Angeles in the US are perilously close behind in the list for the unwanted title.

visitors to Los Angeles described locals as "rude."
Visitors to Los Angeles described locals as “rude.” Image by Ron Reiring / CC BY 2.0

The Independent in London reports that the surprise is that so many of the world’s cities renowned for their culture, cuisine and night life are so far down the line when it comes to being just plain friendly and kind to tourists.

Marseilles cityscape, France. Image by Martin Fisch / CC BY-SA 2.0
Marseilles named as o the world’s fourth most unfriendly city Image by Martin Fisch / CC BY-SA 2.0 CC BY-SA 2.0

Moscow has grown exponentially as a tourist destination in the past few decades. But Muscovites were found by the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, to be unhelpful and aloof to visitors – so prevalent that it dropped to worst ranking among the cities surveyed.

New Yorkers were unhelpful when tourists sought directions to places of interest
New Yorkers were unhelpful when tourists sought directions to places of interest Image by Erik Drost / CC BY 2.0

The same common courtesy was lacking in both US cities with denizens of Los Angeles being described as “rude” while New Yorkers were said to be unhelpful when asked directions to tourist attractions.

At the other end of the spectrum the people of Galway in Ireland were described as the “friendliest people they had ever met” while the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, got the accolades from visitors of being “magical” and “enchanting.”

The following is the list of the world’s 15 unfriendliest cities – 1 Moscow; 2 Atlantic City; 3 St Petersburg; 4 Marseille; 5 Los Angeles; 6 New York; 7 Philadelphia; 8 Baltimore; 9 Las Vegas; 10 Cannes; 11 Beijing; 12 Miami; 13 Washington; 14 Frankfurt; 15 Boston.