British Columbia’s capital city was the only Canadian city to make it into Travel + Leisure’s 2015 list of the world’s friendliest cities.
Victoria was listed at the 19th in this year’s edition of the ranking. The city of 80,000 people, with an urban region of 345,000, was ranked alongside other cities such as Reykjavik, Iceland and Bangkok, Thailand.
Three Irish cities made the top five spots, including Galway, Ireland which ranked first place. Australia’s two largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney, came in at seventh and eighth place. Vancouver frequently competes with these two Australian cities in other rankings of the world’s most livable cities.
A similar ranking conducted by Conde Nast Traveler in 2014 ranked Victoria as the world’s third friendliest city, just behind Auckland, New Zealand and Melbourne. However, the magazine’s 2015 ranking released last month excluded Victoria.
Travel + Leisure’s friendliest cities ranking is based on the votes by the publication’s readers and considers factors such as the people who are proud of their city, passionate about their culture, invested in their city’s future and are eager to share all of this with visitors.
“Like voluntary tour guides, they’re the first to point you in the right direction, share a little-known cafe home to the most spectacular local delicacy, or defend its proverbial walls in times of crisis or controversy,” reads the ranking’s description.
Here’s Travel + Leisure’s full description of Victoria as one of the world’s friendliest cities:
“Victoria is a storybook city, best known for its magnificent Butchart Gardens and windswept seafront. ‘[The] city had a lot of character,’ remarked one voter. Take the ferry from Vancouver to best appreciate the wildness of the region. While the city has done away with its reputation for being staunchly English, you can—and should—take afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress. The William Edwards china, sterling silver service, and live piano music set a purposefully British mood.