Traveling With a Smile: 20 Incredibly Friendly Countries

Traveling With a Smile: 20 Incredibly Friendly Countries

Traveling around the world is not just about sightseeing and exploring new cultures, but it’s also an opportunity to connect with warm-hearted locals and experience the kindness that makes the planet a brighter place. From heartwarming greetings to genuine hospitality, some countries are renowned for their exceptionally friendly citizens. So, if you find yourself visiting one of the 20 countries listed below, make sure you put on your friendliest smile.

1. Thailand

Welcome to the home of the world-famous Thai smile! Nicknamed "The Land of Smiles", Thais are known for their genuine warmth and hospitality. Whether you’re exploring bustling Bangkok or the quiet countryside, you’ll always be met with friendly locals eager to show you their culture. Past visitors have stated that there's just something less-intimidating about this country!

mathew-schwartz-gsllxmVO4HQ-unsplash-1024x682.jpgPhoto by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

2. Canada

Oh, Canada! You've probably heard the rumours about how friendly Canada is. This vast and diverse country is not only blessed with stunning landscapes, but also some of the friendliest people you’ll ever encounter. From Toronto to British Columbia, Canadians never fail to make you feel right at home. Not only will you find a cheerful atmosphere here, you'll fall in love with how polite the people are.

guillaume-jaillet-EIWCd0414xQ-unsplash-1024x682.jpgPhoto by Guillaume Jaillet on Unsplash

3. New Zealand

Kiwis, as New Zealanders are affectionately known as, are some of the most easy-going and friendly people around. Their welcoming nature and laid-back attitude help to create a warm and enticing atmosphere for travellers looking to explore this amazing country. Not to mention they have great accents!

tobias-keller-73F4pKoUkM0-unsplash-1024x682.jpgPhoto by Tobias Keller on Unsplash

4. Ireland

In Ireland, you’ll find much more than just beautiful landscapes and rich history - you’ll discover some incredibly hospitable souls who are more than ready to share a pint and a laugh with you. Given the Irish's friendly disposition, small talk is a common occurrence here, even between strangers. Politeness and respect is also valued highly here, leading to a community of kindness.

jason-murphy-rTG1TR6Ygb0-unsplash-1024x768.jpgPhoto by Jason Murphy on Unsplash


 5. Japan

Japan’s culture is one that is deeply rooted in respect and kindness, making it a very friendly destination. Although there are some major cultural differences and language barriers, prepare to be amazed by the courtesy and helpfulness of the Japanese people, making your travels all the more comforting and relaxing. As such a hot and popular place to travel, it's reassuring knowing that you can easily find help the moment you need it.jezael-melgoza-alY6_OpdwRQ-unsplash-1024x683.jpgPhoto by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

6. Costa Rica

Regarded as one of the safest and most family friendly travel destinations in Central America, Costa Rica’s motto, “Pura Vida” fully embodies the country’s kind spirit. As you embrace the country’s local lifestyle, you’ll find it awfully easy making friends with the Costa Ricans in no time. They absolutely love sharing their love for their culture with any foreigners and visitors they come across.atanas-malamov-4jgWVpKHO_4-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Atanas Malamov on Unsplash

7. Portugal 

Portugal's warm-hearted people will make you feel as if you’ve found a second home. From the picturesque streets of Lisbon to the sunny beaches of the Algarve, expect to find a friendly welcome at every turn. The Portguese are a very proud people and love representing their country. Since English is a pretty widely-spoken language throughout the country, it can also be very comforting for travelers.nick-karvounis-Prb-sjOUBFs-unsplash-1024x683.jpg

8. Columbia

As you listen to the rhythm of salsa and smell the aroma of coffee, you’ll find the vibrant spirit of the Colombians. Despite a tumultuous past, they exhibit an infectious positivity, welcoming everyone into their country with open arms and hearty smiles. Rich with lively festivals and public squares, these events are a testament to their friendly and outgoing nature. 

mike-swigunski-6TTRv195rfo-unsplash-1024x682.jpgPhoto by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

9. Australia

Australians are known and beloved for their casual and friendly attitude; they love meeting new people and making new friends. Their infectious cheer and love for outdoor activities also make meeting Aussies a delightful experience. If you ever find yourself in the Down Under, you’ll quickly realize they’re always ready to lend a hand or share a laugh. 

photoholgic-jK9dT34TfuI-unsplash-1024x482.jpgPhoto by Photoholgic on Unsplash

10. Brazil

Brazilians, who are full of spirit and warm hospitality, will make you feel at home immediately. Their love for soccer, samba, and vibrant carnivals creates the most welcoming and exciting atmosphere. With the country having such cordial nature, it ensures that every visitor becomes a part of their large, enthusiastic family.

agustin-diaz-gargiulo-7F65HDP0-E0-unsplash-1024x682.jpgPhoto by Agustin Diaz Gargiulo on Unsplash


11. Scotland

In the windswept highlands and lively cities of Scotland, you’ll encounter the true essence of “Cèilidh”, a social gathering filled with stories, music, and laughter. Scots are renowned for their welcoming and kind nature as they’re always eager to share their rich history and hearty meals with visitors. connor-mollison-3rkosR_Dgfg-unsplash-1024x682.jpgPhoto by Connor Mollison on Unsplash

12. Bhutan

Also known as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon”, don’t be intimidated by its name. Bhutan is a place where Gross National Happiness is far more important than Gross Domestic Product. This philosophy resonates deeply with the Bhutanese people, who are always ready to share their culture and welcome newcomers with smiles. 

aaron-santelices-ZdwVvRdel8A-unsplash-1024x682.jpgPhoto by Aaron Santelices on Unsplash

13. Mexico

You shouldn’t be surprised to see Mexico on this list as Mexican warmth and friendliness are as famous as their delicious cuisine and colourful festivals. Mexicans have a strong sense of community, often going out of their way to help others. If you visit this country, you’ll likely experience amazing hospitality like no other.

jezael-melgoza-3snKY0XMKwg-unsplash-1024x683.jpgPhoto by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

14. Greece

Greek Philoxenia, or love for strangers, makes it one of the friendliest countries around. They truly take this philosophy to heart, creating an unmatched warm atmosphere the moment you arrive. The Greek tradition of hospitality is legendary, extending from the islands to the mainland. And when it comes time for you to go, you’ll leave with a heart full of Greek music, dance, food, and most importantly, love and warmth from the locals.

johnny-africa-_ZX0S27D3fw-unsplash-1024x768.jpgPhoto by Johnny Africa on Unsplash

15. Fiji

In Fiji, “Bula” or hello, is more than just a simple greeting. It encapsulates the spirit of Fijian life, one that is full of happiness and friendliness. Fijians are famously welcoming, and they’ll do so with an infectious laughter and smile. Traditional Fijian culture is based on the principle that everyone in the community is cared for and looked after - a principle that extended even to visitors.

dean-mcquade-6QG53_QOtqM-unsplash-1024x680.jpgPhoto by Dean McQuade on Unsplash

16. Iceland

Consistently rated as some of the happiest people on the planet, Icelanders are as warm as their famous hot springs. Known for their strong sense of community and togetherness, they’re always eager to share their stories, music, and the beauty of their nation. They're especially known for their calm behaviour, evoking a non-judgmental and humble dispostion.

robert-lukeman-zNN6ubHmruI-unsplash-1024x619.jpgPhoto by Robert Lukeman on Unsplash


17. Kenya

Kenya, the heart of African safari, is filled with the warmest and friendliest people. By nature, Kenyans exude a deep sense of pride in their culture and are enthusiastic about sharing it with visitors. Their “Harambee” spirit, meaning “all pull together”, make Kenya a truly beautiful country.

sergey-pesterev-dwxr-nabxck-unsplash-1-1024x685.jpgPhoto by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash

18. Nepal

Nepalese people are renowned for their welcoming nature - their greeting, “Namaste”, which translates to “I salute the divine in you”, captures just how respectful the people are. They have a relatively low criminal rate and is known to house plenty of kind-hearted citizens. 

raimond-klavins-KKm1ua7MSf0-unsplash-1024x575.jpgPhoto by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

19. Norway

Norwegians, with their love for “Friluftsliv” or open-air living, are incredibly approachable and personable. Although they appreciate their personal space, they’re eager to share their love for nature and outdoor activities. Norway’s natural beauty is only surpassed by the warmth of its people.

michael-fousert-lE5-z4nTCTQ-unsplash-1024x575.jpgPhoto by Michael Fousert on Unsplash

20. Philippines

Last but not least, the Philippines is often referred to as the “Land of the Warm Hearted”. Filipinos are known for their infectious joy and resilience, making everyone feel at home with their exceptional hospitality and “Bayanihan” spirit, a sense of communal unity and cooperation. They're taught at a very young age to be empathetic and respectful to others in the community, paving the way for them to be exceptionally generous people.

toa-heftiba-MGUC3WkLkWM-unsplash-1024x680.jpgPhoto by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

As you travel around the world to visit new and exciting places, you’ll find yourself immersed in different cultures as you meet the most amazing people. In these 20 friendly countries, you can expect the warmest of welcomes, leading to the most memorable experiences of your life.