Tourists Will Interact With The World's Friendliest Locals In These Countries

When you visit a new country, you probably look forward to seeing the famous sights and trying local cuisine. However, it's often the people in that destination that make the experience so fulfilling and eye-opening. Chatting with a local about their lifestyle or getting insider tips from an outgoing stranger can often be more memorable than the museums and statues.

However, this all depends on how friendly people tend to be toward tourists. To find out which countries have the warmest locals, online money transfer service Remitly conducted a study of people from 27 different countries. It looked at which were the most agreeable (defined as being empathetic, caring, and altruistic toward others) based on a personality test. According to its findings, South Africa turned out to be the most agreeable — and, therefore, the friendliest — country in the world. Following the African country were Greece, Croatia, Mexico, and Sweden, respectively.

Visit South Africa for its friendly atmosphere

South Africa came in first place in Remitly's World's Friendliest Nations list, with an agreeableness score of 34.63 out of 40. The local culture puts great value on politeness, and people commonly greet others — including strangers — warmly and affectionately. South Africans are also, stereotypically speaking, chatty and prefer to strike up a conversation to fill the silence. If you travel to the country, don't be surprised if people confidently approach you, ready to share their lifestyle and learn more about your background.


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Remitly's study isn't the first time the land offering stunning coastline trails for hiking and a national park for viewing an array of wildlife was called friendly. A South African woman went viral after talking about her culture in a @humanstalkhumans TikTok clip, describing South Africans' tendency to smile and interact with strangers. Redditors in a r/southafrica thread also agreed that, despite the country's challenges and poor infrastructure, locals tend to be warm and friendly. South Africa was also considered "extremely welcoming" by 89% of survey respondents when it hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup (via Brand South Africa).

Greece came in second place for friendliness

Greece, known for its stunning islands and historical sites (see our guide to visiting the Acropolis In Athens), was also found to have a friendly culture in Remitly's study. The European destination scored 33.71 for agreeableness, just under South Africa. Some travelers who have spent time in Greece agree. "Greek people are so kind," TikToker @thefoodyfrog declared in a video. While visiting the country, the content creator was given free water by a train station attendant, hung out with some locals at a bar, and was approached by a stranger who offered to take their picture. Another TikTok traveler and mother, @romajay__, noted that the destination is especially ideal for families with children. "We spent 3 weeks in Greece, and the people are so lovely. Everyone loves kids, and Lenny [her child] got [so] much free food and snacks," she captioned her clip.

Remitly's report discusses the Greek concept of philoxenia and how this may inspire people to be warm and welcoming. In short, philoxenia equates to hospitality, a virtue that has been celebrated throughout Greece's long history. If you're invited for a meal or given a free personal tour of the sites, you have good ol' Greek philoxenia to thank.

Croatia is also known for its friendly locals

Croatia averaged a score of 33.5 out of 40 for agreeableness, placing it in the third spot in Remitly's World's Friendliest Nations list. According to the country's Ministry of Tourism and Sport, the number of travelers in 2024's pre-season increased by 10% compared to the previous year. While overtourism is an upsetting travel nuisance for locals and damaging to a country's resources, Croatians are generally happy to welcome travelers to their nation. After all, Croatia's economy is largely dependent on tourism. As long as travelers are respectful, most locals are happy to have them, and their friendliness reflects this.

Redditor u/Fdana took to r/croatia to share their positive experience visiting the Balkan country. "Just finished a holiday in Croatia and wanted to say that you guys are very friendly!" they wrote. "I'm not white so I thought I might see some racism (apologies for my ignorance) but I was wrong. Everyone was very friendly, spoke fantastic English and I never felt like I was being treated differently." Whether you're asking for directions or ordering a cup of kava (that's Croatian for "coffee"), you'll likely find people to offer help with a smile.

Mexico ranked fourth in the study

Mexico is the perfect place to visit if you're looking for photogenic beaches, delicious food, and the most breathtaking natural swimming holes. Another reason to add the country to your travel bucket list is that its people are known to be a warm and friendly bunch. In Remitly's study, Mexico ranked just below Croatia with an agreeableness score of 33.47. Community and family are important values in the North American country, and these attitudes often extend to tourists, too.

A viral TikTok posted by @girlvsglobexo confirmed this. In the clip, the content creator explains, "I've been to 50ish countries, and you meet nice people and you meet horrible people everywhere you go. But in Mexico, the percentage of nice people is actually unreal." The TikToker goes on to say that Mexicans are generally warm in a "calm way," rather than forcing or faking their friendliness. The video's comment section, flooded with feedback from locals, drove the point home. Many expressed that @girlvsglobexo is always welcome in their country and offered travel recommendations.

Sweden rounded out the top five

According to Remitly, Swedes are also highly agreeable. Sweden earned 33.30 points for agreeableness, landing it in the fifth spot on the list. In general, Swedish culture promotes equality and respect for each other's differences, and you'll likely find evidence of this when visiting the Scandinavian country. People tend to be kind and open-minded toward others.

With that said, don't expect people in Sweden to be as outgoing as they may be in some other destinations. Stereotypes of Swedes paint them as shy and reserved, and in many instances, this is at least somewhat true. People rarely go out of their way to chat with strangers, and small talk is commonly avoided. Therefore, friendliness can sometimes look different in Sweden compared to more extroverted and sociable cultures. Still, locals are often happy to offer advice, whether you're new to the custom of fika (Swedish coffee breaks) or learning how to celebrate Midsummer in Sweden.