Get Happy in the World’s Happiest Countries

Katia Hetter, CNN, March 21, 2014

Is there pixie dust mixed into the food and drink of the happiest places on Earth? Or is it something in the crisp clear air of many of the world’s happiest nations?

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The happiest of countries–many of which are in Scandinavia according the latest World Happiness Report–have a robust combination of higher life expectancy, gross domestic product per capita, social support, generosity, freedom to make life choices and lower perceptions of corruption. By analyzing happiness data, officials hope to improve the world’s social, economic and environmental well-being.

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1. Denmark

Denmark came in first place as the happiest country in the world in the 2013 happiness report and one of the happiest places in Denmark must surely be Tivoli Gardens. One of the world’s oldest amusement parks, Tivoli Gardens will reopen on April 10 for the season to throngs of native and foreign visitors. {snip}

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2. Norway

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3. Switzerland

The Swiss town of Zermatt and the 200 miles of ski slopes in the region will delight any avid skier. And serious hikers will enjoy the famous Matterhorn. Even in summer the slopes welcome some of the world’s national ski teams to train–and you, on your relaxing vacation.

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4. Netherlands

The tulip–the happiest and most iconic of Dutch flowers–has already started to bloom at the Keukenhof gardens, which opens March 20 for Holland‘s spring season. Visitors come from all over Europe to see the different varieties of tulips and other flowers. {snip}

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5. Sweden

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6. Canada

Protecting the land of Banff National Park is one of Canada’s happiest and smartest decisions and it is certainly worth your time to explore on skis. Check out Skoki Lodge to see the first commercial ski lodge built in Canada.

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7. Finland

Of course you should see the Northern Lights and even Santa Claus Village (open year round for your convenience). Want to make your trip to Finland a little more special? How about sleeping in a glass igloo at Kakslauttanen? Enjoy an amazing view of the Northern Lights and a starry sky above in your room temperature two-person igloo. {snip}

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8. Austria

The music at Vienna’s Musikverein’s famous Golden Hall, is happiness for the ears and having the famed chocolate Sacher torte at the Café Sacher in Vienna is music for the mouth.

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9. Iceland

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If you’re up for an adventure, head to Snæfellsjökull National Park to see a glacier on top of a still active volcano (although the last time it erupted was 1,900 years ago). You will spot Snæfellsjökull (Snæfell Glacier), Saxhóll volcano crater, Lóndrangar massive lava formations and Rauðfeldargjá the hidden waterfall. Snæfellsjökull was made famous by Jules Verne’s “A Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

10. Australia

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World Happiness Report 2013 (PDF)

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