Published On: Thu, Aug 21st, 2014

Condé Nast Rates Johannesburg World’s Unfriendliest City


Though Johannesburg, South Africa, is “one of the most beautiful cities in the world, ” writes the luxurious travel guide Condé Nast, safety still remains a serious concern there, for tourists and locals alike. Especially if they have the kind of disposable income that goes along with subscribing to Condé Nast.

The magazine surveyed its readers on their most favorite and least favorite cities. Now, to start, would you be surprised o find out that three out of the ten least friendly cities making their living mostly on tourism—are in France? And that a few others are French speaking cities?

OK, so you know the survey is real. And folks have nothing prejudicial against the city of Johannesburg, other than the fact that you can get robbed, if not raped and murdered there, quite easily. So people are not fools.

“It is not safe to travel in Johannesburg independently, ” one reader warned, while others called it “dangerous” and “a city of crime and contrasts.” In one instance, a visitor was “pressured to give a tip for personal service, which was not received.”

Cannes, France, is second least favorite. Despite, or maybe because of the Cannes film festival, many Condé Nast readers are not crazy about Cannes on the French Riviera.

Some described the city as “very forgettable” and “uninspiring, ” and one reader even called it “a European Vegas, not on my return list.”


Moscow, Russia’s biggest city, is officiously the world’s third least friendly city. Paris came in fourth. But anything below first has to be a huge win for Paris, right? Marseille is fifth. Beijing is in sixth place. Though many readers find Beijing “fascinating” and “beautiful, ” many couldn’t stand its “terrible pollution, ” which kind of gets in the way of enjoying the city’s many charms.

“It’s a smoggy, crowded city that detracts from the amazing sites, ” one reader said, while another complained about its “dirty streets and hideous traffic.”

Frankfurt came in seventh, even if you’re not Jewish. Milan in eighth place – which we object to, because we love Milan, but we know better than to argue with the readers of Condé Nast.

Monte Carlo is ninth in unfriendliness. And Nassau, in the Bahamas, in tenth place. Though Nassau has “wonderful beaches” and great bars, the lack of infrastructure and activity immediately outside its well-trodden tourist areas makes it more boring than unfriendly, really.

And in case you were curious: Auckland, New Zealand is rated the friendliest in the world. Especially if you’re into sheep, and Melbourne, Australia, is tied for first place. Victoria, BC is third. Maybe this has more to do with readers who cannot communicate in French?

By the way, Cape Town, South Africa, is the eighth friendliest city according to this survey. So, go figure.

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