iStock

In which city are you most likely to get a rude reception from locals? Travel + Leisure readers have crowned America’s capital of crabbiness.

No. 11 Philadelphia

11 of 21

Since it was the third-rudest city last year, the City of Brotherly Love appears to be successfully returning to its namesake roots. While these sports-loving folks may still have some East Coast curtness, you can break the ice by asking for a good lunch recommendation: the city ranked in the top five for burgers and street food.

See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

view of Philadelphia from the river, Pennsylvania

America's Rudest Cities

No. 11 Philadelphia

Since it was the third-rudest city last year, the City of Brotherly Love appears to be successfully returning to its namesake roots. While these sports-loving folks may still have some East Coast curtness, you can break the ice by asking for a good lunch recommendation: the city ranked in the top five for burgers and street food.

See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

iStock

America's Rudest Cities

Which is worse when you’re traveling: the local driver who blithely cuts you off in traffic or the surly cabbie who gives you attitude right to your face?

Such skirmishes no doubt fueled this year’s America’s Rudest Cities contest, voted on by Travel + Leisure readers. Three-time-champion Los Angeles, home of road rage, went head-to-head with classically brusque East Coast cities such as Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.—all of which landed in the top five.

New York ultimately claimed the title of No. 1 rudest city, a dubious award determined as part of T+L’s annual America’s Favorite Cities survey, in which readers rank 35 major cities in categories such as the best pizza, the most pedestrian-friendly streets, and even the most reliable wireless coverage.

A look at this year’s rudest top 20 reveals one overarching trend: the bigger the city, the bigger the attitude—or at least its perceived attitude. “People in big cities tend to be very direct,” says Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and owner of Protocol Etiquette School of Texas. While that alone can be fine, she adds, “it’s no excuse for being rude. ”

Smaller cities often have a slower pace, which may help explain why New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston all ranked in the top five for friendliness. They are also literally warmer cities, which may further mellow the locals.

But don’t give too much credit to southern hospitality. Atlanta made it into the rudest top 10—perhaps because it’s a sprawling metropolis, or because visitors expected more charm from the Georgian capital. Similarly, some visitors assume that they’ll get an all-smiles welcome in Orlando; any subsequent disappointment helped land the city at a grumpy No. 9.

New Yorkers, meanwhile, have long endured the notion that everyone expects them to be hostile. But are they just misunderstood?

“People in New York are constantly in a rush,” says Big Apple manners expert Thomas P. Farley, who writes the blog What Manners Most. “Certainly, they don’t linger on corners smiling, waving, and waiting to help people. But once you’ve stopped a New Yorker and asked them for directions, they’re usually more than helpful.”

And if someone gives you guff anyway? “Move on,” says Gottsman. “You can’t take it personally. If you do, then you start getting rude.”

Promoted Stories
Explore More
More from T+L