Date registered: Dec 2006
Vehicle: 2013 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI, 2011 Mazda 2, 2000 E320 4Matic Wagon (retired),1994 C280 (retired)
Location: Toronto, Canada
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In my travels I've found the British to be friendly and polite, if a little reserved, but always ready to help. The Irish were far and away the friendliest (and genuinely friendly, not just "you're a tourist and we want your money" friendly). The Austrians I encountered on a trip to Vienna were also very friendly and helpful, not at all what you'd expect from stereotypical "Germanic" people.
I've been to Paris 3 times now, and approached that first trip with some trepidation as I had heard horror stories about how rude Parisians could be. I didn't find them rude, I found them direct and honest - they don't necessarily observe the pleasantries and social conventions that North Americans (and especially we Canadians) use in every day life. We might view it as rude sometimes, but they would rather tell you the truth than gloss over something so they don't offend you. Being Canadian, we've always been able to communicate in French to some extent, which helps. However, they always could tell we were struggling and didn't hesitate to speak to us in English to let us off the hook. Just making the attempt gets you points, even if it is as simple as a French greeting and then questioning in English. I've been able to communicate freely in English in Paris, Amsterdam (and The Hague) , Brussels (as well as Bruges), Rome, Florence, and Vienna. The only place I had trouble was in Bratislava, but we were only there for a day on an organized tour, so it wasn't a big deal. Don't worry about language being a barrier.
I didn't have any trouble in Italy but I can't give you an honest gauge of the people, because my wife understands Italian clearly and speaks it better than she gives herself credit for (her parents were born there) so that made the experience easier. There was a slight haughtiness to the Romans that I didn't find in Florence.
The worst I've ever encountered in any country are German tourists. I've found them
pushy and abrasive. They do eat their Wheaties, though. They're a very big people.