Australia has always been high up on the “must-visit” list for people from around the world.
More often that not, you will hear tourists bang on about our superb beaches, food and laid-back lifestyle.
But there’s one city that tourists tend to flock to the most — appearing in two trending travel destination lists for 2023 — Sydney. But don’t worry Melburnians, because your city has been named the ‘friendliest in the world’.
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American Express Travel published its 2023 Trending Destinations list – compiled using the number of global American Express Card Member travel reservations made between 2019 to 2022.
And in its destinations list where people want to travel to the most next year was the only Aussie city – Sydney. The others included Florida Keys and Woodstock, Vermont in the US; Copenhagen, Lisbon, Paris, Montenegro and Istanbul in Europe; as well as Mexico City and Fiji’s stunning Yakuve Island.
Lonely Planet also released its “Best in Travel” list for 2023 and rather than a simple list, the 30 destinations are split up into five categories – eat, learn, journey, unwind and connect.
Sydney was listed in the latter, along with Boise in Idaho, Ghana’s capital Accra, Alaska, Albania and Guyana in South America.
“International visitors have missed Australia during the pandemic, and with travel returning Down Under, it’s also an opportunity to connect with the city in new ways,” the report states.
“From hosting one of the largest pride celebrations in the world to its new Indigenous tours over the bridge, return to Sydney and see it from a new perspective.”
Melbourne tops friendliest city list
However, Sydney isn’t the only Aussie city gaining attention.
Melbourne is equally known for its great food scene and night-life but one thing it can definitely boast about is its friendly locals.
The vibrant city topped the “Friendliest Cities in the World” list compiled by UK insurance company William Russell.
“We took a total of 23 of the most visited cities around the world, and ranked them on the factors above to find the most friendly city. Some cities were removed from the list that didn’t have data based on every one of our factors,” the study read.
Coming in first with a ‘friendly city score’ of 6.06 was Melbourne.
“Often referred to as the ‘capital of cool’, the residents are known for their friendliness,” the report read.
“We looked at data from city residents’ quality of life in Melbourne, and the city scored an impressive 7.296 out of 10. Melbourne’s top attraction, according to Yelp, is the Queen Victoria Market, with 237 reviews.
“Melbourne is a forward-thinking, rapidly growing city, and it is recognised for being a fully open, inclusive and competitive city, as well as a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community, who are often among the most marginalised communities around the world.”
In second place was Paris with a rating of 5.99, followed by Vienna (5.91), Madrid (5.76) and in fifth place Brussels (5.6).
In spots six to 10 were Barcelona (5.30), London (5.30), Copenhagen (5.15), Taipei (5.15) and New York City (5.08).
Sydney didn’t make the Top 10 on that list, but it came ninth in the “Top 10 safest cities in the world”.