Lifestyle,  Travel Diaries

A Friendly Smile: These 8 Countries Rank Among the Most Hospitable Ones in the World

One thing to consider when planning your next globetrotting adventure is how welcoming the host country is to tourists and ex-pats. 


France, for example, is notorious for their rude reputation. Multiple other countries lie on the other end of the spectrum, like Thailand in southeast Asia. In fact, Inspire4travel book fast because of the reputation that residents give visitors a generous and kind reception.


Many times the issue isn’t rudeness. Rather, it comes down to cultural differences. In some countries, eye contact and smiles are a way of life and when residents of a country don’t have the same customs, it’s chalked up to rudeness. 


Tips For Getting on a Country’s Good Side


When visiting a new country, setting aside one’s ego can greatly improve relations with the locals. Think of it as someone inviting you into their home and adhering to their customs. Before you can follow the customs, you have to learn them. 


Another thing to learn is the basics of the country’s language. Communication is easier than ever now with smartphones that can translate on the fly. However, an effort to learn the language and traditions goes a long way in gaining acceptance. 


Even though you may only be in a foreign country for a short time, the impression you leave impacts your home country as a whole. You’re not building diplomatic relations, but being a courteous guest can’t hurt. 


8 Countries that Roll Out the Welcome Mat


There is no specific reason why the citizens of some countries are friendlier than those of other countries. Is it the overall happiness or is it a perceived friendliness because the customs are similar to what we’re used to? 


Whatever the reason, these 8 countries are considered the most sociable and hospitable. 


  1. The Netherlands – The citizens of the Netherlands are from humble beginnings; farmers, artists, traders. Tourists and exchange students are flocking to the nation in droves. 


  1. Mexico – Home to many sandy beach resorts and ancient ruins, Mexico is a popular vacation stop. Despite the negative media reports, the citizens of the country are amicable and receptive to newcomers. 


  1. Iceland – One of the coldest countries in the world has the warmest residents. The volcanic nation is also one of the most peaceful and safe, if unpopulated, regions.
  2. Vietnam – Incredible vista, pristine beaches, and exotic foods are just a few reasons why people visit Vietnam. The packed roads and street vendors can give the impression of rudeness, but at heart, residents are friendly and joyful.  


  1. Canada – The U.S.’s neighbor to the north has a reputation as one of the friendliest countries on earth. The multicultural nation is welcoming to everyone and is relatively safe. 


  1. Scotland – The weather may be dreary, but the locals are not. Once you get past the gruff accents, Scottish people become fast friends with outlanders.


  1. Costa Rica – The South American country nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea is a popular tourist destination for people who love the sand and sun of beach vacations. Warm weather and amazing views could put anyone in a good mood. 


  1. New Zealand – “Down Under” usually refers to Australia, but can also mean the neighboring small island. The residents of the peaceful nation are described as friendly and down-to-earth. 


A Smile Makes the World Go ‘Round


Friendliness is subjective. What may be friendly in your country is considered rude or uncouth in another country. Before stamping your passport, research the customs of your host country to ensure you don’t offend anyone. 


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