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15 Friendliest Countries in Europe

In this article, we will be taking a look at the 15 friendliest countries in Europe. If you wish to see the top ones, then head straight to the 5 Friendliest Countries in Europe.

Global tourism, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, continued its recovery in 2023. Nearly 975 million international tourists traveled between January and September 2023, a significant 38% rise over the same period in 2022, according to the most recent data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Global tourism returned to 87% of pre-pandemic levels during this period. Other findings from the UNWTO also show that during the first nine months of 2023, tourism in the world's most visited region, Europe, hit 94% of pre-pandemic levels, largely due to intra-regional demand and travel from the US. The region received 550 million international tourists, accounting for 56% of the global total.

Meanwhile, figures from the Eurostat show that the estimated number of nights spent at tourist accommodation establishments in the EU touched 2.92 billion last year. This number is 1.6% more compared to 2019, the pre-pandemic year, when 2.87 billion tourist overnight stays were recorded.

Adding to this, according to the World Travel Market (WTM) Global Travel Report, Turkey is positioning itself to surpass France and become Europe's second most popular vacation spot, following Spain. While the total number of visitors to Europe decreased by 3% from 440 million in 2019 to 428 million in 2023, Turkey, which straddles Europe and Asia, saw a staggering 73% rise in its visitors when compared to the time before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Turkey is therefore far ahead of France and Spain, where visitor numbers have increased by 31% and 33%, respectively, compared to 2019 figures. Travelers have traditionally flocked to the country because of its affordable prices, rich history, and stunning beaches.

Anyone interested in traveling to Europe this year can use United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:UAL) or Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) to grab a flight. On the other hand, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) is providing lodging services to travelers in the region.

United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:UAL), based in Chicago, Illinois, provides air transportation services to more than 210 destinations in the U.S. and more than 120 destinations internationally. As of February 15, the stock has returned 3.81% to investors on a year-to-date basis.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:UAL) reported a revenue of $13.63 billion, which showed a 9.9% growth from the same period last year.

Don't Miss: 30 Friendliest Countries in the World and 25 Most Unfriendly Countries in the World.

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, offers more than 4,000 flights per day between more than 275 destinations on six continents.

Here are some of the comments from Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL)’s Q4 2023 Earnings Call:

“Our December quarter results marked a strong close to year two of our three-year plan. For the full year, we reported earnings of $6.25 per share, the second highest EPS result in our history on revenue that was 20% higher than the prior year. We delivered an 11.6% operating margin and pre-tax income of $5.2 billion, a near doubling over 2022. We generate free cash flow of $2 billion while investing $5.3 billion back into the business, and we improved our leverage by two full turns and reinstated our quarterly dividend. Return on invested capital was 13.4%, a five-point improvement from 2022, a tremendous amount of progress, especially if you consider where we sat the short three years ago, and I’m so proud of our team across the board. Sharing our financial success is a long-standing pillar of Delta’s culture, and I’m thrilled to announce that we’ll be rewarding our employees with $1.4 billion in well-earned profit sharing on Valentine’s Day.”

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT), based in McLean, Virginia, is a global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 22 brands comprising more than 7,500 properties and nearly 1.2 million rooms in 126 countries and territories. The stock has returned 5.83% to investors on a year-to-date basis as of February 15.

On February 7, the company announced a quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share, which was consistent with its previous dividend.  Moreover, hedge funds like the company. According to Insider Monkey’s third quarter database, 53 hedge funds were bullish on Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) and disclosed positions worth $3.98 billion in the company.

Having said that, we have put up a list of the friendliest countries in Europe for our readers today. The region is home to some of the most-visited destinations worldwide, and offers a wealth of unique food, culture, and history. At the same time, our travel experiences across various European nations can vary from enjoyable to unpleasant ones. You can also have a look at the 15 Most Unfriendly Countries in Europe and 15 Friendliest Countries in Asia.

15 Friendliest Countries in Europe
15 Friendliest Countries in Europe

Our Methodology

We used a consensus opinion-based rankings approach for this article. Information was collected from Quora and relevant Reddit threads, like r/AskReddit, r/solotravel, r/digitalnomad, r/TravelHacks, and r/travel among others, where users not only share their first-hand experiences but also inquire about various places where visitors felt welcomed.

Each country received a score based on the number of positive remarks. This means that it received a score of 1 each time it was brought up in relation to a cordial interaction. Finally, we sorted the countries by their scores and identified the 15 friendliest countries in Europe. The countries have been ranked in ascending order based on their overall scores. A higher score indicates a higher amount of pleasant experiences with the locals of a specific European country.

It's important to remember that these types of lists of the friendliest nations are always subjective and fail to include countries that ought to be at or near the top of this list. Please note that we regarded Turkey as a European country for the purpose of this article.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a similar consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

Friendliest Countries in Europe

15. Hungary

Insider Monkey Score: 3

We start our list of the friendliest countries in Europe with Hungary, known for its rich culinary culture, the beautiful Danube River, and the architectural wonders of Budapest. It is also among the most visited countries in the world.

At the same time, our research suggests that Hungarians are perceived as introvert and quiet people. Moreover, many travelers report that they are unlikely to receive a helpful reaction if they approach an elderly person on the street, in part because of the language barrier. However, younger individuals who speak foreign languages are always kind enough to help visitors.

14. France

Insider Monkey Score: 3

The French are very private people who like to keep to themselves. However, foreigners are welcomed with great warmth in France, famous for its rich history, vibrant cities, stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and world-renowned fashion. The country topped our list of the most visited countries in the world, and hosted 48.4 million people in 2021.

13. Slovenia

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Reddit and Quora users who have traveled to Slovenia report that the people there are quiet and reserved. Nonetheless, if a stranger approaches them and strikes up a conversation, they will make them feel included and welcome.

12. Belgium

Insider Monkey Score: 4

Next up on our list of friendliest countries in Europe is Belgium. Belgians value privacy, but they are also kind and open minded.

In 2021, it hosted 3.2 million visitors, ranking among the most visited countries in the world. At the same time, travelers on Quora note that the country's public spaces have a laid-back vibe, and visitors are typically made to feel welcome.

11. United Kingdom

Insider Monkey Score: 4

Though generally polite and welcoming, the British find it difficult to strike up a conversation with strangers. As per our research, many travelers on Reddit and Quora said that that locals of the country are kind enough to assist visitors upon request.

Moreover, as previously noted, the country has a long history of welcoming international students to study at its universities. The number of international students studying in the United Kingdom in 2021–2022 was 679,970.

10. Finland

Insider Monkey Score: 4

Finland, a Northern European nation bordering Sweden, Norway and Russia, is among the happiest countries in the world. Our research indicates that Finns tend to be reserved, so they are unlikely to start a conversation. However, they are the most generous individuals that are always happy and willing to help visitors.

9. Croatia

Insider Monkey Score: 5

Croatia, located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, is well-known among tourists.  Croatians are typically kind and amiable. Additionally, they take great pride in their culture and will gladly share their traditions and customs with visitors.

8. Iceland

Insider Monkey Score: 5

Next up on our list of friendliest countries in Europe is Iceland, famous for its natural wonders, abundant wildlife, lively towns, imposing waterfalls, volcanoes, geysers, and Northern Lights.

According to a number of travelers on Reddit and Quora, the people in the country are quite friendly and would typically go above and beyond to assist you if you simply approach them and ask for assistance.

7. Turkey

Insider Monkey Score: 6

Turkey, located both partially in Western Asia and Southeastern Europe, is one of the most immigrant-friendly countries in the world. Based on our research, a number of travelers on Reddit and Quora claimed that the people of this country in general are amongst the most hospitable, inclusive and generous that you will ever come across.

The nation hosted nearly 50 million visitors last year, and is among the friendliest countries in Europe on our list.

6. Italy

Insider Monkey Score: 6

Italy, a country in Southern Europe, is famous for its incredible food, rich historical sites, highly regarded art, charming small towns and picturesque cities, and coastlines. In general, Italians are open, friendly, and easy to connect with. The pleasant locals of the country greeted 49.8 million tourists in 2022.

Moreover, Italy is ranked as the fifth friendliest nation in the world by U.S. News.

 

Click to continue reading and see 5 Friendliest Countries in Europe.

 

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Disclosure: None. 15 Friendliest Countries in Europe is originally published on Insider Monkey.