The latest World Happiness Report (2013) has declared Denmark the happiest country in the world, followed by Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands and Sweden (in that order).
Within the last calendar year, I have been lucky enough to travel to all 5 of these countries. At the time, I didn’t know the “official record” that these were the happiest countries in the world. But looking back, it makes perfect sense.
Each and every country is so welcoming that I never wanted to leave. The people are extremely friendly, the economy seems to be just right, and the positive vibes in the air are just too good to be true.
So, why should you add these countries to your travel list? Read about them below and find out what makes them the Happiest Countries in the world!
I knew that Denmark was a special place from my first impressions of Copenhagen. Everyone is beautiful and has a giant smile on their face. Copenhagen is one of the most biker-friendly cities in Europe, so I recommend renting a bike ($10USD per day) and roaming around town.
The people are friendly, outgoing and extremely welcoming. No matter where I went around town, I had a positive feeling and I was eager to explore around.
Head over to the Tivoli Gardens or the King’s Garde to get a taste of what I am talking about. Both of these places are so inviting that you can spend an entire day there and never be bored!
It may just be a coincidence, but Norway is the most naturally beautiful country that I’ve ever seen. It would only make sense that the people are just as easy-going and fantastic as the environment.
If you want a natural experience, then I recommend going to a Western city called Bergen. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, and it is known as the “Gateway to the Fjords,” because many of the Norway’s most spectacular fjords are located in the area.
Everyone that I met there was first to say hello and greet me with a smile. It was one of the happiest trips of my life!
Another beautiful country amidst the grand Alps Mountains is Switzerland.
This country is pretty small, so I highly recommend taking a train throughout its entirety. The countryside is hard to beat anywhere in the world. The Swiss landscape is so beautiful that it looks like a drawing out of a Dr. Seuss Book.
Switzerland is not a member of the EU, and just seem to have their own fantasy world compared to the rest of Europe. The people are relaxed, joyful and friendly.
Head over to Interlaken if you want to experience true bliss. It’s sandwiched in between the Alps and 2 giant freshwater lakes. You won’t regret it!
The Netherlands is a special place. Of course, the most talked about city is Amsterdam, which is also one of the most visited cities around the world.
The Netherlands, as a whole, is a remarkable place with a thriving culture that is full of life and happiness. Dutch people are just about as kind as they come, and you’ll find that out by every local that you meet.
Amsterdam is another bike-friendly city, so most of the transportation is via bicycle. When I was there, I just lost concept of time and was in complete shock by the beauty around me.
Spend an afternoon in Vondelpark for a picnic and enjoy the incredible atmosphere. On any given nice day, thousands of people will be hanging out and enjoying life to the fullest.
Sweden is an amazing place. I was lucky enough to go to both Malmo and Stockholm, and it sparked my appetite with the urge to explore more around this beautiful Scandinavian country.
People frequently approached me on the street and asked me if I needed help getting around. It made me feel very welcomed into their country.
I also realized that Sweden is a very accepting society, which has positively shaped their culture to one of the finest in the world. It’s very easy to figure that out just after a few hours of being there.
Stockholm city is really the place to be. It’s the capital city of Sweden and is the place where all the biggest activities are happening. I found lots of relaxing parks around the city that were excellent places to hang out for a few hours.
Author Bio: Owner and founder of www.thehungrypartier.com – Drew Goldberg is a recent college graduate who has visited 43 countries since the beginning of 2012. His favorite things about traveling are eating the local foods, meeting awesome people and experiencing the nightlife scene. Drew is currently teaching English in South Korea and he blogs about food, culture and nightlife at the Hungry Partier. Follow him on Twitter @Drewbinsky7