We’re always searching for ways to make our lives more enjoyable. One of the best ways to find out what makes people feel good is to travel to the happiest countries in the world. Visiting these places will do more than just expose you to exciting attractions and beautiful cities; it can also open your eyes to the various lifestyles and cultures that lead to happy lives. Check out the top places to visit in these happiest places in the world.
This Scandinavian country is found near the top of almost every “world happiness” ranking. In the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index, Norway has actually ranked first in happiness for five years running. A steady economy, beautiful natural landscapes and strong social relationships have solidified this country’s happy factor.
If you want to experience the happy atmosphere in Norway, start by taking advantage of the country’s natural beauty. Norway’s fjords offer some of the most beautiful views in this part of the world. You can go skiing in the country where the sport is said to have originated. And while cities like Oslo are great for seeing the country’s economic success, you’ll get a great sense of the countries strong social ties by visiting small towns like Fredrikstad, a haven for crafters and artisans, or Tonsberg, a historic town with folk museum houses and Viking-era artifacts.
Denmark is another common name on many happiness lists. In fact, it actually came in first for happiness in a recent report from the United Nations General Assembly. Despite the country’s long, dark winters, citizens of Denmark enjoy a social security net that includes subsidized childcare, unemployment insurance and access to healthcare. In addition, people here report a higher trust of their fellow citizens and some of the strongest social relationships.
Copenhagen is a must for all Denmark visitors. Its picturesque homes, several high-end restaurants and designer shops all have a warm, cozy feeing that Danes value highly. In addition to meeting the friendly folks in Copenhagen, experience the peace found in the country’s calm natural landscapes. A popular stop is Jaegersborg Deer Park, where visitors can get up close to nearly 2,000 deer that don’t mind when humans are nearby.
Those who are motivated and ambitious will understand why the Swedes are so happy. This country ranks first in entrepreneurship and opportunity on the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index, giving residents the chance to make their dreams come true. The country also has a rich history and a wonderful juxtaposition of modern cities and traditional countryside.
Get a taste of both ends of the spectrum when visiting Sweden. For a modern look at entrepreneurship and local business ventures, visit Stockholm, which is widely considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Then, visit the car-free Koster Islands, home to tiny fishing villages that give you a glimpse into the past. You can relax in the peaceful atmosphere or explore by diving, sea kayaking or joining a seal safari.
In Canada, a great sense of personal freedom and social support helps make citizens happy. In addition, their education system scores highly worldwide, which helps boost their happiness ranking. When it comes to lifestyle, Canada offers a great mix of bustling cities and outdoor adventure.
Vancouver is an excellent vacation destination for those who love outdoor sports. You get to enjoy the culture and entertainment of a big city while also being able to ski, surf or hike nearby. A similar juxtaposition of luxury and nature can be found in the small mountain town of Banff. Canadians can satisfy their longing for both activity and relaxation by following a day of hiking or skiing with a stay at an upscale hotel and spa.
5. New Zealand
For those who can’t imagine themselves terribly happy in a cold climate, New Zealand offers an alternative to the northern countries on this list. With gorgeous landscapes, ocean proximity and adventurous residents, New Zealand is great for those who find happiness in nature. It also helps that the country ranks highly in education, social capital and governance.
Escape to the warm and inviting Bay of Islands, a vacation destination filled with golden beaches and fun activities like swimming with dolphins and cruising on the open water. Take time to soak up the country’s Maori culture, a special part of national history that includes traditional foods, dance and crafts. Queenstown is a major city that offers both adventure and relaxation. Enjoy activities like river rafting and skiing before relaxing with wine tasting in one of the many nearby vineyards.
By visiting some of the happiest places in the world, you can get a glimpse into what might make your own life happier as well. Soak up as much of the atmosphere and culture that you can while visiting these happy spots in order to find a bit of happiness to take home with you.