With International Day of Happiness just around the corner on March 20, here are the top 10 countries that have happiness down to a tee according to the United Nations' annual World Happiness Report


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Above Helsinki, Finland (Photo: Unsplash.com)

Finland has topped the World Happiness Report for four years in a row. Here, its residents enjoy a free, relaxed way of life—thanks in large part to its focus on equal opportunity, which ensures that everyone receives quality healthcare and education. Finnish culture also focuses on encouraging co-operation and a sense of community, rather than competition.

Keeping in mind that time spent in nature has been proven to positively impact mental health, Finland offers access to some of the world's most beautiful national parks, crystal clear lakes, enchanting forests, ski resorts and of its famed Lapland region, which is popular destination for viewing the Northern Lights.   


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Above The dramatic landscape of Iceland (Photo: Unsplash.com)

The people of Iceland live amongst giants—formidable mountains and glaciers, geothermal lakes, and incredible national parks that have been untouched by time or man. It's that vastness and emptiness of Iceland's other-wordly landscape that makes it so appealing to visitors. 

Not to mention the sun shines here all summer - literally. The sun never sets during summer months. That said, Iceland is just as beautiful in its dark, cold months as it is in 24-hour daylight. The Northern Lights (or aurora borealis) occur year-round in Iceland, but are only visible in the dark, clear skies during the evenings from September to April.

Maybe just steer clear of Hákarl, or traditional cured Icelandic shark, which the late Anthony Bourdain described as one of the worst things he's ever tasted. 

See also: This Luxe Antarctica Camp Is Inspired By Space Travel


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Above Copenhagen, Denmark (Photo: Unsplash.com)

An emphasis on work-life balance, trust in the government, economic security and freedom are just some of the reasons Denmark is one of the world's happiest countries. 

It's also extremely eco-conscious—in 2020, more than 80% of the power generated in Denmark came from renewable power sources. Undoubtedly, that respect and love for the land also translates to the Danes' overall love for life. 

Denmark as a country rewards and cultivates creativity. Just look at its capital, Copenhagen, which is among the most innovative cities in the world.


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Above Photo: Unsplash.com

There's a lot to love about Switzerland. First, there's the incredible scenery, from the majestic Alps and lakes to its charming villages that look like places straight out of a storybook. Second, the food. While we love fondue and Swiss chocolate, Switzerland has an incredible dining scene thanks to its incredible fresh produce, and influences from neighbouring France and Italy. 

Switzerland is a favourite amongst the fashionable jet-set crowd during ski season, with world-class ski resorts including Zermatt, St. Moritz and Verbier. 

In general, it's just a beautiful and very laidback place to visit...the Swiss are known for being pacifists, after all. 


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Above Amsterdam (Photo: Unsplash.com)

Life is good in the Netherlands. Particularly in Amsterdam, with its long and illustrious history of embracing a liberal way of life, making it one of the most vibrant cities in Europe. Brimming with culture, Amsterdam is home to some wonderful and wacky museums, beautiful architecture and a young and lively creative scene. 

That said, there is so much more to the Netherlands than its capital - from the thriving green farmlands of the North and the coastal provinces of Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland and Zeeland, to the flowering hills in the South.


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Above Stockholm, Sweden (Photo: Pexels)

Sweden has long been hailed as a role model for quality of life. There's an emphasis on social equality that is built into its world-renowned education system, access to nature, a high life expectancy and, like many of its Nordic neighbours, it has a high GDP per capita. A perfect recipe for a long and happy life. 

For visitors, Sweden offers much to explore. From its chic, cosmopolitan capital of Stockholm and major cities of Gothenburg and Malmö, to its picturesque islands and vast forests and lakes. 

See also: You Can Watch The Northern Lights From Your Hot-Tub At This New Spa Resort In Sweden


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Above Nightlife in Berlin (Photo: Unpslash.com)

From the art and nightlife in Berlin to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany has a knack for enjoying life to the fullest. 

Berlin is a great destination for the culturally curious, with some incredible art galleries and museums, like Alte Nationalgalerie and Sammlung Boros, which is housed in a stunning brutalist-style building.

There's no shortage of sights for history buffs, either, with site like the Brandenburg Gate and the East Side Gallery, featuring over 100 murals and graffiti artworks by Berlin artists to commemorate spirit of the city during the reunification of Germany.


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Above Photo: Unsplash.com

One of the key reasons Norway has been a mainstay on the list of the world's happiest countries is the fact that much of their lifestyle is spent outdoors. And why wouldn't they? Known as the land of Vikings, Norway has an incredible landscape that includes fjords, mountains, and giant glaciers.

Then there's the cities of Bergen, Stavanger with traditional Scandinavian boxy, burnt-red buildings and soaring mountain backdrops, and the cosmopolitan city of Oslo with its unique architecture and world-class restaurants that show off Norway's bounty of organic produce and fresh seafood from the harbour. 

New Zealand

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New Zealand is the only country outside of Europe to make this list. 

Truly a world of its own, New Zealand's natural scenery is unreal - with ancient glaciers on one side, and volcanic sand beaches and tropical rainforests on the other.

It's also one of the top destinations for adrenaline junkies, offering everything from skydiving and bungey jumping, to zip-lining and white water rafting. 

See also: Why New Zealand Is Becoming A Hot Property Investment Destination


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Above Vienna (Photo: Unsplash.com)

Biking has become one of the most popular ways to get around Austria's countryside, small towns & cities—for both locals and tourists. Perhaps all those endorphins have something to do with this country landing a spot on the list? 

Austria is great to visit all year round, with its dreamy Christmas markets in winter and summer strolls around its waterfalls, lakes, snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills in the warmer months. 

Austria's capital, Vienna, is reason enough to visit. Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe (and there are many), Vienna never fails to stun with its exquisitely preserved Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture.

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