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Siena, Italy
Photograph: Shutterstock

It’s official: these are the 10 friendliest European cities

The CN Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards have spoken

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

History, attractions, food and nightlife are probably some of the factors you consider when choosing a city to visit. But it’s the friendliness of locals that can really make a visit. You can be in a gorgeous destination with plenty to do, but often it’s a charming interaction with someone who really knows a place that can make your day. 

So, where are Europe’s friendliest cities? The readers of travel mag CN Traveller have spoken in their Readers Choice Awards for 2023 – ranking at number one as the friendliest city in Europe, and scoring a 98.33% for general satisfaction, was Siena in Italy

The Tuscan gem is a vibrant destination, with a lively atmosphere and gorgeous Gothic buildings. There’s an abundance of buzzing cafes, family-run restaurants, and the town is famed for its annual Palio, a bareback horse race which takes place each summer on Piazza del Campo. The historic centre of the city is considered a site of ‘outstanding universal value’ by Unesco, and of course, the locals are notorious for their warm welcome. 

In second place it’s the Irish city of Cork, a charming, bustling hub in the heart of the wondrous County Cork landscape, worth visiting if you love food, stunning galleries, and good craic. 

In fact, the Irish are renowned for their friendliness all over the world, so it's no surprise that Dublin, the capital of the Emerald Isle, ranks as Europe’s third friendliest city. 

With everything from great pubs brimming with atmosphere to fiddle playing on the streets, it’s clear this city is one place where you can really get to know the locals. Plus, one attraction in the city was just voted the best in Europe by the World Travel Awards. 

Spain also scores well, as Malaga and San Sebastian both also make the list of the friendliest cities in Europe. 

Here is the top 10 list, decided by CN Traveller’s Readers Choice Awards. 

  1. Siena, Italy (98.33)
  2. Cork, Ireland (97.00)
  3. Dublin, Ireland (95.37)
  4. Helsinki, Finland (95.00)
  5. Belgrade, Serbia (94.55)
  6. Malaga, Spain (94.19)
  7. San Sebastián, Spain (92.67)
  8. Dubrovnik, Croatia (92.61)
  9. Bucharest, Romania (92.5)
  10. Ljubljana, Slovenia (92.31)

Discover Europe on Time Out

Europe is an immensely popular travel destination for its cuisine, culture, and bags of charm. Plan a trip with our guide to the best places in Europe to visit this autumn, or if you want to do your own research, head to our Europe hub for all the best things to do, see, eat and drink on the continent. 

Did you see that these two European cities are about to become a lot more expensive to visit?

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