• France's news in English

Riviera cities among 'world's least friendly'

The Local · 4 Sep 2015, 11:53

Published: 04 Sep 2015 11:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
It's official. The French Riviera is an unfriendly travel destination. 
Well, at least that's according to 200,000 readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, who were quizzed on 266 holiday hotspots around the world and asked to rank the "friendliness of their people".
In the list of the 30 worst-offending cities, France could lay claim to four - Marseille (4th), Cannes (10th), Nice (22nd), and Lyon (26th).
And even though it's technically not French territory, Monaco's Monte Carlo also deserves a mention after grabbing 28th place on the far from flattering list.
Although on the plus side, for once Paris did not make the list.
But all in all it suggests that the French Riviera and Marseille, which is close by is not exactly the friendliest place to be. 
But why?
The magazine noted that many travellers found Marseille to be "quite unkempt and gritty", yet still "far more laid-back and accommodating than Paris". As for Cannes, readers noted that its "charm was fading away" and likened it to "an aging beauty".
Nice was similarly slammed: "The people were not friendly at all," said one. "I would not pay to go back."

(The Nice coastline. Photo: Uccio D'Agostino/Flickr)
The ten most unfriendly cities in the world
1. Moscow, Russia
2. Atlantic City, USA 
3. St Petersberg, Russia
4. Marseille, France 
5. Los Angeles, USA
6. New York, USA
7. Philadelphia, USA
8. Baltimore, USA
9. Las Vegas, USA
10. Cannes, France
Story continues below…
French cities regularly take a bashing when it comes to unfriendliness ratings. Last year, a similar survey by travel site Condé Nast found that three of the world's top five "unfriendly" cities were in France, with Cannes in second, Paris fourth, and Marseille in fifth. 
The Local's readers couldn't agree in the article's comment section whether the "unfriendly" reputation was a myth or a reality.
"The French could not care less about 'service'," wrote one. "It is non-existent. They are arrogant and feel they are doing you a favour."
Another responded: "Learn just a little polite French and like me you will rarely experience any rude behavior from the locals - often quite the opposite. I often find my American counterparts are some of the most ignorant and rude tourists I have ever seen."
So is it the tourists who are rude or the locals - what do YOU think? Share your experiences below.
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available