A list of 15 nicest, most polite European countries might be helpful for someone planning a trip abroad. Vacation and site seeing in Europe is always a blast, but it certainly helps if the locals are accommodating and friendly.
Of course, that depends on culture too. For instance, while Americans believe it’s polite to smile at passersby, Russians would interpret this as making fun of them. It’s difficult to act in a way that’s acceptable to all the surrounding cultures and countries, especially when you’re just there to explore and have fun. But, no matter the language barriers, we can find at least some common ground with almost every country, even if we have to search for it. After all, a bad first impression doesn’t necessarily mean the entire country is not worth giving a second try.
Because while this list may seem useful, it’s extremely difficult to specify whether or not a whole country is rude or polite. Just like in America, the big cities and highly populated areas may imply more coldness than the rural areas. So before you go judging an entire country based on how rude the waiter was at that restaurant in Italy, slow down. Do a lot of exploring and a take lot of time in the country before jumping to conclusions.
To form our list of nicest, most polite European countries, we referred to many reputable sites who had lists of polite and rude European countries, including Forbes‘ World’s Friendliest Countries, Trips to Discover‘s 16 countries with the world’s friendliest people, CNN Traveler‘s Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the World, Independent‘s Friendliest Cities in the World, Telegraph‘s Friendliest Country in Europe, Insider Monkey‘s 25 Friendliest Countries to Americans, Fodor‘s Travels Friendly Locals, Mobal‘s 16 Friendliest and 11 Rudest Countries, Forbes‘ World’s Rudest Nations for Travelers, and Travel CNN‘s World’s Top 10 Rudest Countries. That’s 10 lists, and if you’d like to know their methodology, visit their sites.
Each time a European country was listed as friendly, we gave it a point, a polite country ranking. But we also ranked using the opposite criteria. Each time a European country was listed as rude, we subtracted a point. As a result, some of the countries we ranked even ended up with -1 and -2 points. But it was only fair. The most polite country in Europe according to our list can be found at the bottom, while the unfriendliest countries in Europe are at the top. And since so many people have such differing opinions about the politeness or rudeness of European countries, many of our countries were constantly having points added and then subtracted.
Why? Because like we said, this list is very subjective. It’s hard to be unbiased about whether someone is nice or rude. Maybe it’s just a bad day for them, or maybe it’s just a bad day for you. It’s good to keep the famous Plato quote in mind: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” Especially those who live in countries that are not as well off as the U.S., we might add. (You might not be very kind either if you were barely surviving from day to day.) This excuses no one from being unkind, but it does make it more understandable.
The same goes for the most friendly countries in Asia, the Middle East or Africa, where some are especially poor (and conversely the rudest countries in Asia, the Middle East or Africa). In case you are wondering about the rudest country in the world, the answer is France. Surprised? When it comes to worldwide rankings, they are same for years, as witnessed by the lists of friendliest countries in the world 2016 and rudest countries in the world 2016.
That said, you might also enjoy our lists of smartest countries with the highest IQs in the world, and most gay-friendly countries in the world. We are sure that you are going to be surprised when overlapping those lists with today’s list of most polite countries in Europe.
Otherwise, here goes. 15 nicest, most polite European countries.