The Traveler Review Awards, which Booking.com presents annually, honor travel destinations that provide the greatest overall travel experience.
To identify the world’s most welcoming city, the company examined over 309 million verified customer reviews for lodging in over 221 countries.
The charming seaside village of Arraial d’Ajuda in the Brazilian state of Bahia was declared victorious.
One of the most affluent and international locations on the Brazilian coast is Arraial d’Ajuda. Condensed into the tiny village size, it is home to people from all over the world who first visited as tourists but were so drawn to the area that they returned time and time again until making Arraial their permanent home.
The village’s history dates back to the discovery of Brazil in 1500, with Arraial d’Ajuda being one of the first places Portuguese explorers landed. This historical significance is palpable as one wanders through its quaint streets, lined with colorful houses, traditional churches, and artisanal shops that reflect the rich cultural tapestry of the region.
Arraial d’Ajuda is renowned for its stunning beaches, such as Praia do Mucugê, Praia dos Pescadores, and Praia da Pitinga, which boast clear pristine waters, lush tropical vegetation, and coral reefs.
Beyond its natural wonders, Arraial d’Ajuda is celebrated for its lively atmosphere, particularly evident in its bustling nightlife and numerous festivals. The village comes alive with music, dance, and capoeira performances, showcasing the Afro-Brazilian heritage that permeates Bahia. Foodies will also find delight in the local cuisine, which offers mix of traditional Brazilian flavors and seafood delicacies.
Other welcoming cities in the world
Greece’s Ermoupoli was ranked second. This waterfront city is well worth a visit because of its stunning neoclassical architecture and pastel-colored buildings that cascade into the sea.
Portugal’s Viana do Castelo, which is located north of Porto, came in third. One of the city’s icons, the stunning hilltop Santa Luiza Sanctuary Basilica is also the greatest place to get expansive views of the whole region.
Daylesford, Australia, which is well-known for its mineral springs, and Grindelwald, Switzerland, which offers visitors stunning Alpine scenery and becomes a great hiking destination in the summer, won fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Moab, Utah, the only American destination on the list, is ranked sixth.