People & Stories

Why Portugal is considered the friendliest country in the world (plus 9 more of the world's kindest countries)

Ever wondered who the world’s kindest countries are? Rubbing shoulders with friendly locals can make your trip one to remember. It’s why to mark World Kindness Day on November 13, we’ve looked at the world’s kindest countries to find out who the friendliest people in the world are. 

An InterNations survey studied more than 180 countries, measuring the friendly attitude toward expats, ease of making local friends, and if expats were likely to stay forever. Let’s take a look at who makes foreigners feel most welcome, despite culture and language differences.

1. Portugal

What makes the Portuguese the friendliest people in the world? Portugal is one of the safest countries to travel to in the world and, according to the InterNations survey, 94% of Portuguese locals are friendly towards expats and tourists. More than a third of expats reported feeling at home immediately while nearly half said they might stay in Portugal forever. Add in a rich cultural history, limitless supply of pasteis de nata and incredible coastline and countryside, Portugal truly deserves top spot.

GET INSPIRED BY: Best of Portugal 

2. Taiwan

Taiwan is well known for friendly locals and a culturally diverse, open-minded society. The Asian island country is also famous for its delicious street food. Pick up a local pineapple cake at the famous Shilin Night Market and wander the big city of Taipei in awe of the buzz. If you get lost, just ask a local for directions in one of the world’s kindest countries.

Taiwan is one of the world's kindest countries

3. Mexico

What would the world be without tacos, tequila and Mariachi bands? Mexico is an incredible destination with food, culture and traditions that vary throughout the huge country. Visit ancient temples, eat delicious spicy tacos, celebrate the Day of the Dead and lounge on white sand beaches. Along the way some of the friendliest people in the world will make you feel welcome.

beautiful places to propose Ruins of the Mayan fortress and temple near Tulum, Mexico

4. Cambodia

Bounce between gold dusted temples, quiet rice fields, fragrant food markets and World Heritage-listed cities to discover why warm Cambodia is one of the world’s kindest countries. Greet monks in saffron robes and meet the shy smiles of locals where tradition and contemporary culture combine.  

GET INSPIRED BY: Thailand and Cambodia Uncovered

5. Bahrain

This small Arab state is an archipelago, with one big island and 30 smaller ones, found in the Persian Gulf. The name in Arabic means “two seas” and thanks to greater access to the ocean Bahrain is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse, cosmopolitan places in the region. The small, friendly country is known for its groves of palm dates, pearl industry and theme parks.

Bahrain is one of the world's friendliest countries

6. Costa Rica

Walk through the tree canopy in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, or canoe the lagoons and beaches of Tortuguero looking for sloths, toucans, rare ocelots and sea turtles. This Central American country is best known for wild jungles, stunning beaches, volcanos, exotic wildlife, and thrilling adventure activities. Costa Rica is also one of the world’s friendliest countries, ranking as the top country to make local friends with a 78% rating. 

GET INSPIRED BY: Costa Rica Adventure

7. Oman

Relatively close to Bahrain, Oman also makes the list of the world’s friendliest countries and has a long history to share. The big country with a small population is known for Arabian horses, camels, frankincense trees, date palms, gorgeous mosques, terraced orchards, fortresses and Al Said, the world’s third largest yacht which is owned by the Sultan. The capital Muscat has been in existence since the sixth century BC. Safe to say there is plenty of history to explore in one of the world’s kindest countries. 

8. Colombia

What is Colombia famous for? Arepas, specialty coffee and the friendliest people in the world. And Shakira and Sofia Vergara, of course. Rich in history, incredible landscapes, well-preserved colonial architecture and vibrant colourful carnivals, the South American nation is a must if you like to meet friendly, outgoing locals.

9. Vietnam

From the towering limestone karsts of Halong Bay to the joyous hawkers of the Mekong River, Vietnam is a country of beauty, harmony and contrasts. Wander green rice paddies or white sand beaches, visit plundering waterfalls and dense jungles. Explore religion and war history and eat fresh and healthy Vietnamese cuisine in one of the world’s kindest countries.

GET INSPIRED BY: Highlights of Vietnam

10. Canada

Maybe it’s the maple syrup, gorgeous landscapes and ice hockey that make Canadians so nice. A nation of polite people, the friendly humans of Canada have a reputation for being super lovely, generous and apologetic. This kind nature makes travelling around the country a breeze as everyone – from your hotel concierge to taxi driver to waitress – is sweet and caring.

GET INSPIRED BY: Canada’s Rockies

Have you visited any of the world’s kindest countries? Do you think Portugal has the friendliest people in the world? Let us know about your travel in the comments…

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