Just over half (53) of the world’s top 100 most welcoming cities are national capitals according to a comprehensive study published in October 2017 by online tourism firm TravelBird.
Six country capitals appear among the top 10 warmest welcomers including number one ranked Singapore.
TravelBird created its rankings by analyzing the United Nations-World Trade Organization’s global top 500 tourist destinations based on factors that typically make visitors feel welcome. These factors incorporate the user-friendliness of airports, train stations and other ports of entry; how happy citizens are; openness to hosting touristsp and English proficiency. To enrich its findings, TravelBird conducted a poll surveying 15,000 travel journalists on their opinions about how welcoming each city is.
Also considered were attributes that could negatively impact how welcoming each city is perceived such as overcrowding, long lineups, high cost-of-living, over-tourism and residents’ attitudes about how tourism impacts their daily lives.
Based on these myriad factors, TravelBird developed an algorithm to produce each city’s overall score. In term, those final scores determine the top 100 most welcoming cities.
The following analyses present different perspectives on the most welcoming capital cities. Results are extracted from TravelBird’s top 100 ranking listed by overall scores and also grouped according to continent.
Searchable List: Most Welcoming Capital Cities
The table below showcases the 53 most welcoming capital cities on the planet in ascending order. The RANK column grandfathers the overall ranking of each city from the top 100 list which includes both capital and non-capital cities.
Besides documenting the corresponding country for each entry, the above table displays TravelBird’s calculated welcoming score by capital city in the rightmost column.
Most Welcoming Capital Cities by Continent
The following analyses chunks the 53 most welcoming capital cities by continent, which are then presented in alphabetical order. Within each continental grouping, capital cities are listed in descending order beginning with the capital that garnered the highest overall welcoming score.
Three national capitals in Africa made the list of 100 most welcoming cities, albeit in the lowest 20% of the top 100 list.
- 80. Johannesburg, South Africa: 5.07 overall score
- 93. Nairobi, Kenya: 4.31
- 94. Cairo, Egypt: 4.28
Even though English proficiency is a key factor on which each city’s degree of welcoming was evaluated, Asian capital cities placed second behind only Europe in terms of the number of top 100 most welcoming cities.
- 1. Singapore, Singapore: 8.22 overall score
- 7. Tokyo, Japan: 7.89
- 23. Kathmandu, Nepal: 7.32
- 46. Bangkok, Thailand: 6.41
- 54. Taipei, Taiwan: 6.11
- 56. Jakarta, Indonesia: 6.06
- 59. Seoul, South Korea: 5.95
- 62. New Delhi, India: 5.73
- 66. Hong Kong, China: 5.61
- 75. Beijing, China: 5.18
- 81. Manila, Philippines: 5.04
- 85. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 4.70
- 95. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: 4.27
- 96. Colombo, Sri Lanka: 4.24
- 98. Hanoi, Vietnam: 3.98
- 99. Bucharest, Romania: 3.82
- 100. Budapest, Hungary: 3.74
Twenty-two European capital cities ranked among TravelBird’s top 100 most welcoming cities, making Europe the continent home to greatest number of number one welcoming capital cities.
- 2. Stockholm, Sweden: 8.02 overall score
- 3. Helsinki, Finland: 8.01
- 6. Lisbon, Portugal: 7.90
- 8. Oslo, Norway: 7.88
- 12. Copenhagen, Denmark: 7.63
- 13. Dublin, Ireland: 7.58
- 19. Berlin, Germany: 7.37
- 27. Bern, Switzerland: 7.21
- 29. London, United Kingdom: 7.06
- 35. Brussels, Belgium: 6.90
- 41. Vienna, Austria: 6.60
- 42. Madrid, Spain: 6.52
- 48. Prague, Czech Republic: 6.31
- 52. Amsterdam, Netherlands: 6.12
- 64. Athens, Greece: 5.64
- 65. Paris, France: 5.62
- 71. Rome, Italy: 5.44
- 72. Reykjavik, Iceland: 5.31
- 76. Sofia, Bulgaria: 5.15
- 79. Warsaw, Poland: 5.10
- 86. Kiev, Ukraine: 4.61
- 97. Moscow, Russia: 4.12
Seven of the top 100 cities offering the warmest welcome to visitors serve as capitals for Middle Eastern countries. Six make the grade ranking among the 50 most welcoming cities.
- 22. Abu Dhabi, UAE: 7.34 overall score
- 30. Doha, Qatar: 7.05
- 36. Manama, Bahrain: 6.80
- 38. Beirut, Lebanon: 6.78
- 40. Kuwait City, Kuwait: 6.73
- 50. Muscat, Oman: 6.29
- 58. Amman, Jordan: 6.01
One North American capital city placed among the world’s top 100 most welcoming cities.
Finishing well down the list at number 84, Mexico City in Mexico garnered an overall score of 4.80.
Three South American capitals made the top 100 ranking for the world’s most welcoming cities. Peru’s capital Lima earned the highest overall score as calculated by TravelBird.
- 34. Lima, Peru: 6.91 overall score
- 73. Buenos Aires, Argentina: 5.29
- 74. Bogotá, Colombia: 5.22
Standard Digital, Nairobi City beat Cairo, Moscow and Budapest to make it to top 100 list. Accessed on November 6, 2017
TravelBird, Most Welcoming Cities. Accessed on November 6, 2017
Wikipedia, TravelBird. Accessed on November 6, 2017