15 Friendliest Cities in the UK to Visit in 2024

The United Kingdom is a country known for its friendly and welcoming locals. From the bustling cities to the quaint villages, you’ll find that most places in the UK are a lot friendlier than you might expect. 

In this article, we’ll look at the top 15 friendliest cities in the UK to visit in 2024, along with why they’re considered friendly and their average rankings from various polls. 

Key Takeaways

  • Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle, and Oxford are some of the friendliest cities in the UK. Enniskillen, Derry, and Belfast are Irish cities included in this list. 
  • Each city shares one thing in common: friendly and welcoming locals.

Friendliest Cities in the United Kingdom

1. Glasgow

Glasgow is a city on the River Clyde in Scotland. The people here are really friendly and treat everyone like family. 

They welcome visitors to explore their mix of museums, parks, and arts, such as the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, and National Theatre of Scotland. This welcoming atmosphere shows in its ranking as the 4th friendliest city in the UK.

Glasgow City Council-img
City Council Building in George in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

2. Cardiff

Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is a bustling city surrounded by beautiful countryside that walkers adore. It is full of historical houses, a bunch of castles (they say it has the most in any city worldwide), and the famous BBC studios where Doctor Who is filmed. 

The folks in Cardiff are known for their warm hospitality and welcome everyone with open arms.

 And it shows as Cardiff was ranked as the 5th friendliest city in the UK according to a report by Time Out. 

3. Newcastle

Newcastle is a lively city, with great nightlife and plenty of things to see and do. The city is home to many historic landmarks, including the famous Tyne Bridge. In terms of friendliness, Newcastle was ranked as the 4th friendliest city in the UK in 2022 by Move IQ. 

4. Oxford

Oxford is known for being a very friendly city. In a poll conducted by The Independent in 2021, it took the top spot as the friendliest city in the UK. 

People here are helpful and supportive, with many locals feeling that it’s a great place socially and a charitable community. The city’s vibrant cultural scene, historic architecture, and world-renowned university contribute to its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.

5. Derry

Many people might overlook Derry when traveling around Northern Ireland, but it’s actually a cool city with lots of culture and history. The locals are happy to share their traditions and show newcomers the best spots in town. Hence, Derry was ranked as the 10th friendliest city in the UK in 2022, according to Time Out. 

6. Liverpool

Liverpool is a city in northwest England that grew around where the River Mersey and the Irish Sea meet. It used to be a busy trade port from the 18th to the 20th centuries. 

Now, it’s a city with many art galleries and music spots and is famous for being the hometown of the Beatles. In a recent survey by CN Traveller, Liverpool was ranked as the 2nd friendliest city in the UK.

7. Manchester

Manchester, the first industrial city in the world, has a rich history. It was home to the UK’s first working canal. Even though it has changed a lot since the 19th century, you can still see its historical charm in various parts of the city. 

Alongside modern shops, a lively arts and culture scene, and a constantly evolving food scene, Manchester’s Northern charm is hard to resist. CN Traveller also ranks it as the 2nd friendliest city in their 2023 poll, in a tie with Liverpool and Belfast. 

8. Belfast

Northern Ireland is famous for its friendly people, and that’s why Belfast is also ranked as the 2nd friendliest city in the UK. People visiting or who have visited Belfast often mention how inclusive the residents are. It’s also the birthplace of the Titanic, and there’s a joyful atmosphere in the many pubs around the city.

9. Aberdeen

The ‘Granite City,’ renowned for its gray-toned architecture dating back to the Stone Age, is also home to some of the world’s happiest and most welcoming people.

Recently ranked 7th in the latest CN Traveller poll, this city is full of museums, green spaces, and sandy beaches that look beautiful, whatever the weather.

10. York

In York, the locals go above and beyond to make you feel welcome. People here greet you with smiles and warmth everywhere, from grocery stores to the street.

Visitors ranked it highly in terms of helpfulness from strangers, and in a poll conducted by Time Out in 2022, York secured the impressive 4th spot for its welcoming atmosphere.

11. Leeds

Leeds throws its weight around as the biggest city in Yorkshire, but its heart remains inviting. Home to many historic buildings, like the Town Hall, it blends charm with a vibrant pulse. 

Whether you’re drawn to buzzing nightlife or prefer historic explorations, it offers something for everyone. And it doesn’t hurt that this friendly city was ranked 8th in the UK by Time Out, so you know there’s plenty to discover.

12. Kirkwall

Orkney’s largest town, Kirkwall, was awarded the title of the friendliest place in the UK in 2023. A study by Booking.com considered factors like having the most positively reviewed places relative to their size to identify the safest areas in Britain.

People in Kirkwall, Orkney’s biggest town, shared stories that highlighted how safe it is. A taxi driver, for instance, left his wallet, phone, and car keys in his unlocked car for four days, and nothing was taken. On a different occasion, he dropped £850 at Kirkwall Airport, and a kind stranger handed it in at the information desk for him to retrieve.

13. Glastonbury

Glastonbury has something for everyone with its rich stories and delightful surprises. Whether you’re into amazing music at the famous Glastonbury Festival, enjoying breathtaking views of the Somerset Levels, or exploring the unique shops along the main street, the town has it all.

In fact, Glastonbury was ranked 7th on the list of the most welcoming cities in the UK for 2023, according to Booking.com.

14. Enniskillen

Enniskillen has it all—history, charm, and castles. Despite being a small town, you can immerse yourself in its rich history, marked by landmarks like the famous Enniskillen Castle, and bask in the warm and inviting atmosphere.

In 2023, Booking.com ranked this place 4th on its list of the most welcoming cities in the UK.

15. Worcester

Worcester shows its history through the centuries-old Worcester Cathedral and paints vivid pictures of the past in the Tudor House Museum.

But this city isn’t just a museum piece; it’s brimming with life and known for its friendly atmosphere. In fact, it was even ranked among the 11 friendliest cities in the UK in 2017. 

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a traveller, culinary tourist, and money expert. He is the co-founder of Only Earthlings and established the popular Savvy New Canadians platform. Enoch has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, Best Life Online, GOBankingRates, Penny Hoarder, Globe and Mail, Yahoo, and CBC News.

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