Planning a quiet retreat with the family, away from the daily hustle and bustle at home? Here is a list of the top 10 friendliest countries of the world …
Friends in Happiness?
According to the 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index, New Zealand — the 2nd friendliest country in the world, happens to be the 5th happiest country in the world.
There are scores of beautiful places to explore on this lovely planet that we call home. But often, it’s not just the beauty of the place, but the friendly nature of the locals that wins you over, and keeps you wanting to come back to the place.
As Mother Teresa rightly said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Gestures, at times even a hello, or just a smile from the natives can make you feel right at home when you’re away in a foreign place.
The latest report of the World Economic Forum (WEF) lists some of the friendliest countries for a foreign tourist to go visiting. Here’s taking a look at some countries of the world, where the people go out of their way to make their guests feel welcome.
Capital – Reykjavík
Population – 321,857
Tourists/year – 500,000
Very unlike its name, the people of Iceland are amongst the warmest people on Earth. The locals here tend to go out of their way to make tourists feel right at home. The warmth of the people, along with the natural hot springs here should make sure that your stay here is nice and comfy.
Capital – Wellington
Population – 4.4 million
Tourists/year – 2.4 million
If you’re on the shores of New Zealand, and you have a native Māori glaring down your eyes and pressing his nose against yours, don’t be frightened, ‘cos he’s merely greeting you with the traditional hongi. New Zealanders are just as welcoming as the beautiful beaches that line this scenic country. It’s no surprise then that most people who come here on a vacation seldom seem to miss home!
Capital – Rabat
Population – 32.8 million
Tourists/year – 8 million
Moroccan massages are arguably one of the best ways to unwind and pamper yourself; the reception and warmth that tourists receive when they visit Morocco is no different a feeling. Moroccans are known to be very gracious hosts and are delightful to talk to.
REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Capital – Skopje
Population – 2.06 million
Tourists/year – 700,000
Macedonia might be amongst the smallest countries in Europe, but they are no misers when it comes to friendliness and hospitality towards their guests. The warm reception tourists receive there is beautifully complemented by the lip-smacking food that Macedonians are known to dish out.
Capital – Vienna
Population – 8.4 million
Tourists/year – 20.8 million
The beautiful locales of Austria bear testimony to the warmth and friendliness of the people here. Austrians are known to be extremely helpful to anyone who comes visiting this gorgeous country. They pull out all the stops to make their guests feel warm and welcome always.
Capital – Dakar
Population – 12.8 million
Tourists/year – 1 million
The country of Senegal is at the westernmost tip of Africa. Senegal is an extremely sunny country, and so is the reception that the locals mete out to their guests. The people here are fun-loving, and will make you feel right at home in this wonderful country. The food and culture of Senegal add to making this a favorite tourist destination.
Capital – Lisbon
Population – 10.6 million
Tourists/year – 12.8 million
If the breathtaking sight of the Archipelago of the Azores isn’t inviting enough, the hospitality and warmth meted out by the Portuguese to its tourists should be all the reason you need to fly down to this beautiful European country. The wonderful cuisines of Portugal make it a must-visit place for all the food lovers out there.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Capital – Sarajevo
Population – 3.8 million
Tourists/year – 747,827
The plush green landscapes of Bosnia and Herzegovina act as a red carpet for anyone who comes visiting here. The lakes and rivers here add to the beauty of the place. The warmth and love with which the people here receive their tourists makes Bosnia the ultimate tourist destination for people from around the world.
Capital – Dublin
Population – 6.3 million
Tourists/year – 6.2 million
Just listening to Irish folklore and legends of Ireland, you’re bound to be tempted to visit this mystical place. Although the country might seem a little humid at times, that definitely doesn’t dampen the spirits of the locals here; the Irish go all out to ensure that their guests feel warm and right at home here. If that weren’t tempting enough for you, you also stand the chance of stumbling upon a leprechaun here, who might just grant you three wishes!
Capital – Ouagadougou
Population – 16.9 million
Tourists/year – 274,000
Completely landlocked, Burkina Faso seems to have friends on all sides. This tiny country in Africa might not be amongst the richest countries around, but few other countries can compare to the warmth and friendly nature of the people here. Although it might not figure in the list of the most happening tourist destinations of the world, it makes for a wonderful place to experience African culture and traditions firsthand.
* Number of tourists and population is as per latest data available.
Whichever of these places you choose to visit, you’re bound to come back with a broad smile, and let’s not forget to mention, some new friends. Bon Voyage then; the World awaits you!