Pushing ahead in queues, making loud phone calls or watching videos in public and not braking for pedestrians: According to a new survey, Essen residents show the most impolite behavior. The prime example is right next to it.

Long-distance travel will not be cheap in 2023 either, and accordingly between 30 and 50 percent of Germans have vacationed in their own country in recent years. There would already be city trips in regions where people are friendly and polite and welcome strangers with open arms. At least in big cities, this is not always the case, as a survey by the language learning platform Preply now shows.

According to this, Essen is the rudest of the 20 largest German cities. However, this is not said by holidaymakers, but by the residents themselves. The market research company Censuswide asked 1,525 people in Germany’s major cities how often they observed rude behavior in their own place of residence. A total of twelve aspects were queried, ranging from “cars don’t slow down when they see pedestrians” to “people use loudspeakers to make phone calls in public”.

Respondents were asked to rate the frequency of these behaviors in their city on a scale of 1 to 10. The higher the rating, the more common. From the responses, Censuswide calculated the average value for each city. Food got the most points. On average, residents gave 6.47 points here. The Ruhrpott city performed worst of all in ten of the twelve categories, including “Being loud in public”, “Closed body language” and “Disrespecting personal space”.

The second most rude German city was Dresden with a score of 6.12. Here, most people in public constantly look at their smartphones and are most rude to service staff, such as waiters or salespeople. Frankfurt am Main (6.00 points), Cologne (5.99) and Dortmund (5.93) follow in the other places in the overall ranking.

So while two Ruhrpott cities are among the five most impolite in the country, the politest city in Germany is also in the metropolitan region. Bochum did best with an average of 5.17, beating Bremen (5.35), Hanover (5.49) and Nuremberg (5.53).

Bochum has the best rating in six categories. Among other things, the city has low values ​​of 4.08 for “rudeness towards service staff” and 4.23 for “telephoning with loudspeakers in public”. Bremen wins two categories. On the one hand, very few people in public on the Weser seem to constantly look at their smartphones and – much more importantly – very few watch videos in public without headphones. Hannover and Münster share the last three category victories. In the student city in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, very few people push their way through queues.

But Preply wanted to know more, including whether residents think it’s locals or newcomers who misbehave. The answer brings a clear draw across the country. 57 percent of those questioned cannot or do not want to commit themselves, of the remaining 43 percent only a narrow majority blames the newcomers. This is most pronounced in Leipzig and Düsseldorf, while in Münster and Dresden it is primarily the locals who are seen as impolite.

However, the survey should generally be viewed with humor. First, the data are not representative. The only criterion for participation was that a respondent had to have lived in the respective city for at least one year. Second, even the rudest city in Germany isn’t really rude. On a scale of 1 to 10, the average is 5.5. So Essen doesn’t even beat that by a full point. In addition, the national average is 5.84, which is pretty much in the middle of the scale. And thirdly, the difference between the rudest city of Essen and the politest of Bochum is just 1.3 points. So there is nothing standing in the way of a pleasant city trip in summer in any major German city – at least not the politeness of the residents.

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