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Newfoundland and Labrador

This Italian town has been named the ‘friendliest place in the world’

Polignano a Mare, Italy - October 1, 2018: Scenic view of Lama Monachile Cala Porto beach in Polignano a Mare, province of Bari, Puglia region, Sauthern Italy

Lama Monachile Cala Porto beach in Polignano a Mare, southern Italy (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Who doesn’t love a little bit of Italy? It has fantastic food, breathtaking views, great weather and is packed with culture.

But it got even better because one of its cities was just named the friendliest place on earth.

Polignano a Mare topped the list when it came to finding the friendliest place to travel from Booking.com.

Located on Italy’s Adriatic coast, the city is known for its stunning clifftop location and white pebbly beaches – and now has the most welcoming hospitality sector in the world.

White buildings of Polignano a Mare perched on cliffs above the turquoise sea, aerial view, Bari Province, Puglia, Italy

Polignano a Mare’s white buildings perched on cliffs overlooking the turquoise sea (Image: Getty Images)

Second place went to the city of Hualien, located on Taiwan’s east coast and known for its night markets and stunning, rugged beauty.

San Sebastián in northern Spain was close behind in the friendliness ranking – a humble beach town that has become a hub of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Dresden, Germany also made the list after being named one of the top travel destinations for 2023 by Lonely Planet.

The ten most inviting travel destinations in the world:

  1. Polignano a MareItaly
  2. City of HualienTaiwan
  3. San SebastianSpain
  4. DresdenGermany
  5. KlaipedaLithuania
  6. YorkGreat Britain
  7. ushuaiaArgentina
  8. Porto de GalinhasBrazil
  9. mexico city, Mexico
  10. gold coastAustralia

But Booking.com didn’t stop there. The website also named the most hospitable regions in the world.

La Rioja in Spain topped the list of friendliest regions with its renowned local wine industry. Friendly faces and wine, what’s not to love?

Britain’s County Down in Northern Ireland took fourth place as the friendliest region, while Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador was also mentioned.

Elevated view of San Sebastian (Donostia) city during sunset.  Spain.

San Sebastian overlooking La Concha Beach, Santa Clara Island and Mount Urgull (Image: Getty Images)

The ten most hospitable regions in the world:

  1. La RiojaSpain
  2. EpirusGreece
  3. Upper AustriaAustria
  4. county belowGreat Britain
  5. MuresRomania
  6. MarlboroughNew Zealand
  7. Ninh BinhVietnam
  8. lemonCosta Rica
  9. Newfoundland & LabradorCanada

Epirus, a region in northwest Greece, has also earned the title of one of the friendliest regions – the area is mountainous but also has some beautiful beaches and seaside towns.

Ninh Binh and Mures may be lesser-known destinations, but you can rest easy knowing that the local people are ready and willing to welcome you with a smile on their face.

With that in mind, where will you travel to next?

Do you have a story to tell?

Contact us by email at [email protected].

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