Skip to main content

Most welcoming European city is ...

By Simon Busch, CNN
December 2, 2013 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
Budapest is the most welcoming of European cities, according to Housetrip.com. This painted lady in the city's Heroes' Square sure has a ready grin. Budapest is the most welcoming of European cities, according to Housetrip.com. This painted lady in the city's Heroes' Square sure has a ready grin.
HIDE CAPTION
Winning smile
From Lisbon, with dog love
Autumnal Amsterdam
Paris in the springtime
But Rome in the summer?
Berlin even cooler in winter
Solo travelers, si!
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Budapest most welcoming city overall, says rental website
  • Paris nicest in springtime and Berlin friendliest in winter
  • Lisbon's especially welcoming if you're (traveling with) a pet

(CNN) -- A visa, toothpaste, spare underwear.

All essentials for a decent vacation.

But what about something less substantial -- a pleasant welcome when you arrive?

After all, the friendliness of the people you meet often determines whether your memories of a place are fond or foul.

Now welcomes have been rated.

The apartment-rental website HouseTrip.com (which operates on a similar model to Airbnb) has crunched the numbers on 130,000 of its users' European city reviews.

And the city most often given a five-star rating across the seasons for its all-round cheeriness was that capital of grand boulevards and paprika-scented restaurants, Budapest.

Lisbon scored second-best for the quality of its welcomes overall, and Amsterdam came third.

More: 11 things to know before visiting Hungary

Berlin\'s even cooler in winter -- apparently.
Berlin's even cooler in winter -- apparently.

Welcome secrets

The secret of a good welcome?

HouseTrip reckons it isn't so complicated.

"Budapest is a consistently good option because costs are so low," said the website's CEO, Arnaud Bertrand.

"Travelers feel like they get what they pay for ... which leads to them feeling happier and more satisfied with their stay."

So it's all about being cheap.

Yet welcomes seem to be seasonal.

While Budapest scored highest throughout the year, it wasn't the most welcoming city in any one season.

Instead, Paris was the most convivial city in spring, Rome in summer, Amsterdam in autumn and Berlin in deepest winter.

More: How to be a Parisian

Brawling room at the Pantheon

Apart from Paris in the springtime -- the song seems to have it right -- those results often defy expectations.

Rome in summer? When traffic rage boils over and it's brawling room only at the Pantheon?

And in wintry Berlin it's hard to think of anything else but your shoes freezing to the sidewalk.

Lisbon: Perfect with pet.
Lisbon: Perfect with pet.

But "friendly locals and cozy bars mean our guests love the [Berlin] experience," says HouseTrip.com.

Solo travelers, si!

In other results, Paris was rated the most welcoming city for couples and Madrid for solo travelers.

Lisbon was the best place to travel with a pet.

More: 20 most annoying things people do on planes

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 0049 GMT (0849 HKT)
As the new season of "Game of Thrones" approaches, we pick out 20 stunning spots in one of its most oft-used locations.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
They're hot, they're popular, they're stylish. Now they're your tour guides to Italy's fashion capital.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0410 GMT (1210 HKT)
A quarter of the year's flown by, it's time to plan a vacation. TripAdvisor's list of Top Destinations should help.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0523 GMT (1323 HKT)
You may not have those $10 Heinekens and $6 bags of M&M's to kick around anymore. Happy now?
April 7, 2014 -- Updated 0725 GMT (1525 HKT)
Japan isn't a country to which you just show up and wing it. Here's how to arrive prepared.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
The Economist is latest to dogpile on the reputation of U.S. airports; one industry leader says he knows why.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 0623 GMT (1423 HKT)
Laojun Mountain Natural Reserve gave out bags of mountain air to Chinese residents. After seeing these photos, you'll want some too.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
Forget space. Our very own planet is ripe for investigation. Here are some of the spots we know least about.
March 31, 2014 -- Updated 0651 GMT (1451 HKT)
A colossal empire of little houses stacked on top of each other, connected by staircases snaking under dangling wires -- Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
Move to squeeze in extra passengers brings dose of economic reality to dreams of luxuriously pimped aircraft.
April 1, 2014 -- Updated 0803 GMT (1603 HKT)
British sound engineer wants you to ditch the camera and open your ears to "sound tourism."
March 30, 2014 -- Updated 2256 GMT (0656 HKT)
Think bouncing on the end of an elastic rope is tough? Try jumping off a wooden tower with only a vine tied to your ankle.
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 0538 GMT (1338 HKT)
Decimated by poaching, black rhino numbers are starting to increase again, thanks, in part, to on-foot tracking tours for tourists.
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 0259 GMT (1059 HKT)
Singapore Changi Airport has been crowned the best in the world for the second year in a row at the World Airport Awards.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 2202 GMT (0602 HKT)
What do you get when you combine 60,000 photos, eight-hour cliff treks and months of patient processing? One of the year's great time-lapse videos.
ADVERTISEMENT