Let’s be honest, the world isn’t all a bed of roses. And thank god for that, as it would be a far more boring place if it were. There are still plenty of destinations around the world where impoliteness and rudeness is the order of the day. Whether you are talking about dirty Danes, arrogant Argentines or nasty New Yorkers, many places aren’t going to roll out the red carpet and treat you like a king when you visit. Here is a tongue in cheek guide to the four places with the rudest people in the world.

Warsaw, Poland

The Poles are famously rude people, and the art of concocting original, stinging insults is practically a past time in this Eastern European nation. And undoubtedly the rudest people in the entire nation are to be found in Warsaw, the bustling capital city. Customer service is, unfortunately, stuck in the Soviet era, while simple tasks like trying to find a spare seat on one of the city’s trams will be met with rolling of the eyes, audible tuts and sighs, if you are lucky. However it’s difficult not to admire the Polish approach to life; unlike us passive-aggressive, reserved Brits, the Poles are direct, brusque and to the point. And the inventiveness and wit they show in their insults is on a par with the finest poetry. Though you may wince when your nose is compared to a dead slug resting on a pile of poo, it’s ultimately meant to be humorous rather than hurtful.

Paris, France

The French have a reputation for being notoriously difficult; waiters who look down their noses at you, bureaucrats and politicians (de Gaulle and Sarkozy amongst them) who refuse to contemplate compromises, and a sense of humour that never strays from a tone of aloofness. Yet, truth be told, most people in France aren’t like that at all; these traits just describe a certain class of Parisian. Yes, the most romantic city on earth is also one of the rudest. Young kids on scooters will purposely try to run you down, guys selling bracelets will refuse to take no for an answer and chase you down the street, barmen will never make enough eye contact to take your order, rich old ladies walking poodles will shriek and run when you attempt to pet their beloved pooch. Single holidays here can be lonely affairs, but fortunately the Parisians tend to loosen up after a few bottles of plonk and a warm baguette. The trick is catching them when their guard is down, but before they’re so drunk they start talking about Napoleon.

Beijing, China

Despite being less than 500 miles apart, the far-eastern nations of Japan and China could not be more different. While the Japanese place incredible emphasis on concepts such as dignity, courtesy, respect and deference, in China it could be argued that the opposite is true. When walking the streets in the poorer parts of Beijing you will find people spitting and urinating on the streets, kicking unruly dogs up their backside, and mercilessly ripping into their counterparts. And don’t expect people to move out of your way or say sorry when they bump into you; it’s not the done thing. In fact, due to a cultural trait known as ‘saving face’, many Chinese will not say sorry for anything at all, with some preferring to deny culpability completely. Fortunately, a younger generation of Chinese people tend to be a little bit more conscientious, but when you are living alongside a billion people, it’s hard to be restrained all the time. After a while in Beijing, you’ll slowly find yourself acting this way too, but try not to copy the spitting thing.

London, UK

Our glorious capital, home to fine institutions such as the Houses of Parliament, the British Library and the National Gallery, Yet, scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find that Londoners are amongst the rudest people in the world. Fancy striking up a conversation with someone on the Tube? The entire carriage will look at you as if you were a brain eating zombie and slowly but surely start to move away. Want to ask for directions? Smartly turned out businessman will barely break pace as they bolt past you, ignoring your pleas for help. But don’t cast judgement too quickly, the fact is that London is a city on the move, and doesn’t have time to hang around. People in the Big Smoke are just too busy to care.