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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

You have more chances of getting your purse back in Helsinki than Lisbon, in Bombay than Madrid and in Budapest than in Prague. Check out this list of the world’s most honest (and dishonest) cities according to America’s Reader’s Digest.

How do you measure a city’s honesty?

Reader’s Digest had a good idea. Their methodology isn’t exactly scientific but we strongly advise you not to try the experiment yourself, even in Finland.

The magazine sent journalists around the world to the 16 largest tourist cities. The experiment asked these journalists to lose their purses and wallets in different places around the city: parks, on the street, in stores, on public transportation, etc. and count how many times it was returned to them.

In Lisbon and Madrid, the journalists “lost” 11 and 10 wallets respectively! On the flip side, only 1 was lost in Helsinki, 3 in Mumbai and 4 in Budapest. Here are the full results:

  1. Helsinki, Finland (11 wallets returned out of 12)
  2. Bombay, India (9 out of 12)
  3. Budapest, Hungary (8 out of 12)
  4. New York City, United States (8 out of 12)
  5. Moscow, Russia (7 out of 12)
  6. Amsterdam, Netherlands (7 out of 12)
  7. Berlin, Germany (6 out of 12)
  8. Ljubljana, Slovenia (6 out of 12)
  9. London, UK (5 out of 12)
  10. Warsaw, Poland (5 out of 12)
  11. Bucharest, Romania (4 out of 12)
  12. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (4 out of 12)
  13. Zurich, Switzerland (4 out of 12)
  14. Prague, Czech Republic (3 out of 12)
  15. Madrid, Spain (2 out of 12)
  16. Lisbon, Portugal (1 out of 12)

So let’s recap: Lisbon and Madrid are the bigger thieves while Helsinki, Bombay and Budapest have the most honest locals.

The results are pretty interesting but this isn’t the first time Reader’s Digest has tried to uncover the world’s most honest cities. In a previous experiment in 2007 the magazine scattered 960 mobile phones in 30 public places in 32 cities. In this little game it was the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana that came out on top as the most honest with 29 out of the 30 phones returned. Toronto came in second with 28 (out of 30) returned. Seoul and Stockholm came in third and fourth place respectively. In Helsinki and Budapest, 23 phones were found and returned.


Myth buster!

We want to take this opportunity to share a video with you on a social experiment done by the American Broadcasting Company where a thief tries to steal a bike in a public park. A hidden camera catches all the action and the reactions of passersby change drastically depending on the thief’s identity: a white teen, a black teen and then a pretty blonde.

Have you ever “lost” your wallet or purse while travelling abroad?

Imgs: stylecountz, msvg / Flickr cc.

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