View Full Version : Tourist friendly countries

02-23-2014, 03:04 AM
Asking people who have more experience traveling than I do, I want to visit Italy and France one day. I was wondering how tourist friendly those countries are.

What were some of the more and less tourist friendly countries you've been too, and in what way?

02-23-2014, 03:19 AM
I haven't done much traveling, but all of the places I've been seemed very tourist-friendly! The Swedish and Danish folk were more than happy to jump to helping me with whatever I needed, and a couple of times some very nice gentlemen lifted my bags up to luggage racks or carried them off the transportation for me. (I flew into Denmark and took a train from Copenhagen to Vaxjo, where Pontus lives.) The stops were being broadcasted in the overhead speakers but I couldn't understand anything, so a very nice lady across the way told me when my stop was so I could get off. Most everyone spoke English and were very kind and welcoming. The Danish gentleman who checked my passport chatted me up a bit and wanted to know about my journey and the like. Very friendly! Pontus and I ate out sometimes and people were very friendly there as well. I particularly remember a nice Thai restuarant we went to were the staff was super polite and nice to us. Seems like Scandanavians in general are super polite!

London and Edinburgh were also very friendly. In London, I ordered an iced coffee and the gentleman behind the bar gave me a very puzzled look and it became apparent that iced coffee was not a thing there! He asked me exactly how I wanted it and I gave him directions from the other side of the counter. I think that this would have really bothered an American, but he was such a nice and charming old man to adhere to my request. Everyone in Scotland was lovely as well, but if I needed anything I really only had to have Mr. Daniel Towns do the talking for me in order to be taken care of. Lovely places, though, the both of them. Additionally, the lady who ran the bed and breakfast I stayed in was the sweetest little lady I think I've ever met, just so full of pure joy and happiness and caring and she was a delight to be around. I very much got the same feeling from smittenkitten's mother, who was so kind and charming that when she called Danielle as we were at the airport for me to fly out, she asked if she could talk to me to tell me goodbye and wish me well. Everyone all seemed to be very open and welcoming.

I've been nervous about traveling because I am very afraid of what most people think of Americans and that things we say or ask for or ask about might be absurd or ignorant. But I can't say I've had a single bad incident with the locals of any places I've been to. I'd like to visit France as well, and I do worry about my American-ness when traveling there (as well as a million other places). I think, though, that it all comes down to how you treat people. I am bubbly and optimistic and say my polite graces and whatnot, and people tend to respond in kind, no matter where I am.

02-23-2014, 03:16 PM

02-23-2014, 09:40 PM
I live in Denmark, and you didn't bother to tell me you were here? :(

I've been to Paris seven times, and I love the French people. Also, French guys know the true meaning of "French kissing".

02-23-2014, 10:24 PM
I was only there long enough to land and hop onto a train :(

02-24-2014, 10:38 AM
New Zealand was super tourist friendly. I think this is primary because tourism is such a big industry that it just makes things easy for tourists. Large numbers of hotels available at a variety of price points, lots of activities for tourists to indulge in, lots of useful websites for planning your trip including itinerary suggestions. Plus if you speak English, it's just easier traveling to another English speaking country.

I also found Italy to be fairly tourist friendly too. Much harder to navigate than NZ but a lot of that just comes down to the language barrier. But Italians were super friendly and never seemed to mind our mangled attempts at speaking their language.

To be honest though, any place that has a decent tourism industry going, you'll probably be fine. France has a reputation for being hard in tourists but I had a great experience there too. My biggest problem with France was actually that there were too many tourists and we attempted to do too many touristy things. A lot of people actually share this sentiment from what I could tell. Is visiting Versailles ever anything but a pit of misery? So much beauty but so many god damn people, ugh. One of the best things about Italy or Spain or New Zealand was just wandering down empty country roads or sidewalks and roaming around with no other people around. Though to be fair, I'm sure other parts of France are less saturated wih tourists than Paris and the immediate surrounding tourist attractions. I would like to go back to France one day and visit more of the countryside.

02-25-2014, 12:26 AM
New Zealand was super duper friendly. The Netherlands, Austria, Germany Switzerland and Italy were all very friendly and a pleasure to be in.

02-25-2014, 12:58 AM
New Zealand is great. You're probably 50/50 in Australia though. Most people love foreigners and are happy to chat or give directions or whatever, but some people are gigantic :bou::bou::bou::bou:s and will tell you to piss off back to your country (bonus points if you're not white).

03-19-2014, 03:32 PM
Like Shorty says, it depends on how you are as a tourist as to the reception you get. Sarah is super-friendly so pretty much anywhere she goes people will be friendly back. I've been to lots of places across the world and I've never experienced any kind of xenophobia... even with Britain having a reputation for behaving poorly when travelling abroad.

There will be some tourists who complain about certain places/people being rude. Sometimes they might not realise that they have actually been quite rude themselves in the first place.

All the Italians I've met have been lovely. I was in a bar in Venice a few years ago watching the Inter Milan v Manchester United game. The Italians in the bar were obviously favouring Milan whereas I was the only guy from Manchester there. They all knew I was a United supporter but there was no animosity there at all. We were actually winding each other up whenever our team had a chance to score!

Every country will have it's fair share of rude people though.

03-19-2014, 04:42 PM
Everyone in Northern Ireland was maximum friendly, barring one taxi driver who was merely "polite" :tongue: They were all super excited to hear that I was from America and wanted to know the details on where in America I was from (no one had ever heard of Montana so I just started telling people I was from "The Cold Part".) We stayed with Huxley's grandma and during a power outage the neighbors came and checked to be sure we were all okay. They were just really nice over there.

The folks in England were slightly more reserved but also very pleasant overall. They didn't seem quite so interested in my nationality-- perhaps because Americans are a more common sight in England than in Northern Ireland-- but I still got the curious looks when I spoke up with my apparently super weird General American accent, the same curious looks I'd gotten in Norn Iron.

Oddly the most off-putting part of my whole experience in the UK was that there was always this anti-immigration stuff on the news all the time and I couldn't help but feel like a Filthy Foreigner, even though I'm sure they were mostly talking about Middle Easterners or Romanians or something :p

Madame Adequate
03-20-2014, 12:21 AM
I've not traveled all that much (well I have, but always to the same country :p) but Americans have always been super, super friendly and welcoming, especially when they hear I'm from the UK. Just striking up conversations, being ready to help out, women hitting on me, all sorts of stuff. Funnily this was least true in New York because I guess there it's perfectly commonplace to have people way the heck more foreign than "Basically American with a different accent", but Missouri and Rhode Island and Montana and Washington State people are all incredibly friendly and engaging and it's really sweet.

Although Bozeman is absolutely filled with Brits so that may not last long for me there.

03-20-2014, 01:07 AM
Americans are always weirdly polite even when they are berating me in airports it was kinda unsettling

Old Manus
03-20-2014, 06:01 PM
You may get puzzled looks in Wales, but they're less to do with your accent and more to do with wondering why in God's name you wanted to come here.

03-20-2014, 06:15 PM
I wanna travel so bad but never seem to have the funds :< I really want to visit japan most of all but Ive heard that they arent as tourist-friendly....

Loony BoB
03-20-2014, 06:59 PM
I get treated as a foreigner in Edinburgh to this day because of my accent. The UK have given me very different receptions over the years, so here's the results so far...

Stockholm: 10/10 - Random student having some post-graduation party decided she would be our tour guide for an hour or two and just took us around on trams and whatnot, showing us cool places and teaching us words, it was great. Everyone was friendly.
Newcastle: 10/10 - Just such a lovely accent to listen to, and generally lovely to all people. Happy to talk to strangers about anything and not judgemental.
York: 9/10 - Basically really friendly and great people in general, who treat you sort of like you're already friends/family.
California: 8/10 - Very friendly people but some of them were not interested in being helpful to you at all. A train driver, for example, told me I had to board at a distant carriage, then just as I started moving down he hopped into the train and it took off about five seconds later.
Menorca: 7/10 - On occasion someone would not be interested in speaking to me because I didn't speak Spanish, but that was only once or twice in about a week, so it's not too bad.
Edinburgh: 6/10 - Not bad. Treat you like they don't care if you're a tourist or not a tourist, if that makes sense. Not rudely, but just... like customer service on a telephone, I suppose. It really depends on where you go, though.
Wales (except Cardiff): 6/10 - A bit like Edinburgh.
Germany: 6/10 - Hard to judge considering I rarely spoke to anyone who spoke English, as I was in a small town. Nice enough, I guess. Polite. Some made an effort, some were not interested at all.
London: 5/10 - Just not interested.
Glasgow: 5/10 - Some are lovely, some are most certainly not.
Ireland (Outside Dublin): 4/10 - Nicer than inside Dublin, but they still make you feel more like a "foreigner" than a "visitor".
Cardiff: 3/10 - Dublin and Cardiff seem to have a little bit in common (see below). My time in Cardiff was very short, though, so maybe it was just bad timing.
Ireland (Dublin): 2/10 - Grumpy moaning Dubliners, I tell ya...

03-21-2014, 04:40 AM
Ireland (Outside Dublin): 4/10 - Nicer than inside Dublin, but they still make you feel more like a "foreigner" than a "visitor".

Ireland (Dublin): 2/10 - Grumpy moaning Dubliners, I tell ya...
Coming over here taking our jerbs and seducing our women folk..

03-21-2014, 07:11 PM
Asking people who have more experience traveling than I do, I want to visit Italy and France one day. I was wondering how tourist friendly those countries are.

Italy: 10/10 everywhere except Rome

France: 7/10 in Paris, 5/10 pretty much everywhere else

I really want to visit japan most of all but Ive heard that they arent as tourist-friendly....

They're just as friendly to tourists as they are to natives, it's just that they typically aren't very expressive at all. Japan is really nice, though.

03-26-2014, 03:39 AM
if you make an effort to become somewhat French, the French respond warmly. They'll probably forgive your quebecais ;)

03-26-2014, 04:24 AM
Ontario French is not Quebecois French ;)

03-26-2014, 04:43 AM
England: 6/10. Generally quite amiable and they most certainly make you feel like you're not a tourist. I had some people get an attitude but I wonder if it was how I was coming off though.

Mexico: 8/10. Very friendly and good-natured, and this may sound weird but the services are excellent and the employees are laidback and awesome.

Puerto Rico: 10/10. Impeccably nice and welcome. They have a great sense of humor and are very willing to talk to you. I don't know if it's just politeness but everyone is extremely genial.

Wales: 9/10. Extremely hospitable and friendly. Most of them wonder why the hell you're there though.

Ireland: 6/10. I came across some mean mothersmurfers but overall people were nice enough.

If you come to the US, people are hopelessly friendly for the most part, and will ask you most anything that comes to mind and talk about virtually anything. My only caveat is people are sensitive about some religious and political stuff so watch your words.

03-26-2014, 09:55 AM
I like France but I don't like being a tourist there. A lot of pickpockets and alleyway scams. A friend of mine once said no to someone telling them they dropped their ring and then got pretty annoyed/aggressive when they said no and wouldn't give them money for the 'reward'

03-28-2014, 12:36 AM
I've been a tourist to several countries, including Italy and France, and no one was ever unkind to me. They treat you just like anyone else as long as you don't do anything to make them upset.