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28 Aug 2015

Tourism Ireland welcomes news that Galway, Dublin and Cork are voted friendliest cities in the world – by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine

Three Irish cities – Galway, Dublin and Cork – have made it into the top four friendliest cities in the world in the annual reader survey of Travel + Leisure, a major US travel magazine based in New York. Galway is in first position, with Dublin and Cork coming in third and fourth place respectively.

Every year, Travel + Leisure asks its readers to weigh in on their favourite cities around the globe, in its annual World’s Best Awards – its annual reader survey which rates destinations and travel providers. The magazine has unveiled the results of its 2015 survey, including its list of the world’s friendliest cities. To view the results, click here.

Welcoming the news, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “I am delighted to see three of our cities appear in the prestigious Travel + Leisure survey of friendly cities around the globe. It is another well-deserved accolade for Galway, Dublin and Cork. Again and again, our research shows us that the friendliness of our people is one of our unique selling points. It is the warm welcome and the ‘craic’ here that resonates with our overseas visitors and makes our cities, and the island of Ireland, such a great choice for a short break or holiday. This accolade by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine gives Tourism Ireland another great platform to continue to promote our cities and Ireland around the world as a ‘must-see’ destination.”

Comments from Travel + Leisure readers about Galway included:
“The hospitality and the humor of Ireland’s people makes it a perfect destination.” Another voter claimed Galway was home to the “friendliest people [they had] ever met.” So what does it take to come out as the friendliest city in the world? Galway won readers’ hearts with its festive nature, lively population, and musicality. Fiddlers and banjo-players, flautists and whistlers bang out traditional Irish reels on pedestrian streets and in all the pubs. And no wonder! It’s known countrywide (and beyond) as the “most Irish” city.”

This is what Travel + Leisure has to say about Dublin:
“The people of Dublin’s confident, cosmopolitan, and gregarious nature is best experienced at the din the new Hipster Triangle, where creative locals indulge in “only-in-Ireland” ice cream flavors at Murphy’s (think toasted Irish oats and brown bread made with milk from Kerry cows) and dig in to Jo’Burger. Here, picnic tables fill up during lunch hour with jars of house-made, grown-up lemonade and Charolais burgers.”

Here are some of the comments about Cork:
“In the country’s largest county, verdant hills bloom with wildflowers, rivers run through ruins, and courteous locals welcome visitors with open arms. If, despite being surrounded by some of the friendliest people in the world, you still need a break from socializing, take to the new Wild Atlantic way: a scenic driving route stretching 1,500 miles along the coast.”  

The top ten friendliest cities, according to the 2015 Travel + Leisure survey, are:
  1. Galway
  2. Charleston, North Carolina
  3. Dublin
  4. Cork
  5. Siem Reap, Cambodia
  6. Auckland, New Zealand
  7. Melbourne, Australia
  8. Sydney, Australia
  9. Edinburgh, Scotland
  10. Savannagh, Georgia

Dublin was also recently voted the world's second friendliest city by readers of Condé Nast Traveler, the prestigious US travel magazine; and “favourite worldwide city” at the Trazee awards in Orlando, Florida.


Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • In 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.4 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.1 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.