The Happiest Destinations on the Planet

Written by: Dave Owen

Is travel a cure for the blues? Maybe!

We’re not saying that travel will fix all your problems if you’re feeling low, but it has been proven that a holiday is the best way to boost your mood. Even booking something and having it to look forward to can make everything seem brighter. So we went in search of the world’s happiest places to give you a few ideas.

The World’s Happiest Country

It’s time to head to Denmark! While it might not be top of your bucket list, the World Happiness Report deems it the happiest country on the planet.

It certainly has a lot to cheer up any visitor: Copenhagen is a modern, trendy capital city, the food is amazing (especially seafood and hotdogs), there are Viking recreation shows with actual Vikings (sort of), and outside the cities there’s a captivating landscape of fjords, heaths, bogs, and coastline to discover.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Switzerland came a close second in the poll, followed by Iceland; apparently sunshine isn’t so important after all.

The UK could only limp into 23rd place. All the more reason to escape.

Europe’s Happiest City

Remember that awkward moment when we recommended Denmark? Yeah, it’s Denmark again. In fact, it takes both first and second place.

Little-known industrial city Aalborg claims the title of happiest city in Europe. Its lovely waterfront, symphony orchestra, and world-class university ensure its residents stay chipper.

Aalborg, Denmark

Copenhagen is second, with only 5% of residents saying they’re not happy with their life. Imagine asking that in Croydon! The earliest UK entry is Newcastle upon Tyne at number 10. Denmark’s not looking so bad now, eh?

Thailand

If hot and sunny with incredibly friendly locals is a must, look no further than Thailand – it’s nicknamed the Land of Smiles for a reason.

There’s the debauchery of Bangkok and Pattaya (if that’s your kind of thing), the beaches and adrenaline activities in the likes of Krabi, Phuket, and Koh Lanta down south, or you can head north to meet elephants, visit temples, and trek in the jungle.

Thailand - The Land of Smiles

Thailand is almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Disney World

Yeah, okay, cool travellers don’t go to Disney World. Whatever. According to Disney it’s the Happiest Place on Earth, and they have no reason whatsoever to lie.

Disney parks have sprung up all over the globe, so you can go all the way to Florida to visit the flagship Disney World (which covers an area the size of Manchester), or pretend you have some class and spend a weekend at Disneyland Paris.

Disney World Florida

Either way, your frown better like being upside down.

Bhutan

A remote Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas might not seem like an obvious choice, but then neither did Denmark, probably.

Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan

For a start, Bhutan boasts largely untouched mountainous landscapes accented by peaceful, picturesque monasteries. Most importantly, it really cares about the happiness of its people. While most countries measure prosperity in financial wealth, Bhutan measures it in the wellbeing of its people, putting it at the heart of all its public policy. How many countries can say that?

On a more serious note

We really do believe that travel can improve your life, but we also know it can be stressful, especially if you struggle with anxiety. We asked a professional cognitive behavioural therapist to provide some tips for travelling with anxiety, and you can read that article here.

Check out these top travel experiences

Search

Fantastic Morocco, Spain & Portugal

from £650

14 days

From Marrakesh to Madrid this fantastic tour visits three countries over 14 days. From couscous to tapas and from desert...

Eastern Trail

from £539

8 - 8 days

Laze in the sun, travel back in time, and explore bustling cosmopolitan capitals of this undiscovered side of Eastern Europe.

South Africa and Lesotho Cape Town to Johannesburg

from £795

17 days

Witness first-hand all that is fantastic about South Africa - stunning beaches, dense forests and abundant marine and bush wildlife.

Stoke Travel Glamping

from £130

1 days

Enjoy Europe’s biggest festivals with Stoke Travel Festival Glamping. Because inside every hardened Stokie there’s a softie craving a little...

Ultimate Explorer – Total New Zealand

from £2300

27 - 28 days

Quite possibly the best way you can see the real NZ and top rated by National Geographic. This trip combines...

Ultimate Eastern Adventure

from £939

15 - 15 days

In Bond movies, Eastern Europeans are always the bad guys. But casting directors need to grow up and get real...

Hot Rocks – North Island Adventure

from £900

9 - 10 days

Experience the best of the North Island on this unique tour which combines accommodation in stunning locations with optional activities,...

Winterless North Tour

from £210

3 days

Experience the Northland and soak up the sunshine. With a huge range of activities to do ranging from dolphin swimming...

Ultimate Vietnam

from £790

14 days

See the best of what Vietnam has to offer! Explore Hanoi, escape to Halong Bay on a Junk Boat, stay...

Epic New Zealand Tour

from £2269

24 days

Be awed by spectacular glaciers, mountainous ranges, and dazzling blue water. Soak up the beauty of our stunning landscapes, experience...

Search

China Family Holiday

from £3134

China

Take the family on a memorable adventure through China to see all sides of this colourful, cultural and naturally beautiful...

Best of Thailand & Malaysia

from £1691

Thailand

Visit South-East Asia’s buzzing cities and pristine islands on a highlight packed journey through Thailand and Malaysia. Explore these distinct...

Egypt & Jordan Adventure

from £1699

Egypt, Jordan

A wide-ranging adventure showcasing the region’s natural wonders and fascinating cultures, offering the perfect combination of guided excursions and free...

Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure

from £3383

Ecuador

Prepare for a unique adventure packed full of ancient sights and breathtaking beauty as you travel from the bustle of...

North India Explorer

from £408

India

Ride a rickshaw in Delhi, brush up on your bargaining skillz in Chandni Chowk and have a spiritual experience in...

Cruise the Hidden Gems of Greece

from £1964

Greece

Discover a side of Greece riddled with myth and magic as you cruise through the Aegean – soaking in sights,...

US & Canada Discovery

from £2482

Canada and America. Both big places with big reputations, so take your time soaking it all in on this tour...

Honolulu Lei-Over

from £410

Welcome to Hawaii – home to picture-perfect beaches, swaying palms and a million hilarious puns. Get lei’d (see what we...

Southern Spice

from £1689

10 - 10 days

India

Take a sojourn to where the spices grow and the palm trees slope, under the beam of India's southern sun....

La Paz to Lima

from £2236

Bolivia

Journey through the Andes on this Overland adventure into ancient Inca heartlands. Unlock the secrets of the many mystic sights...

Find more travel inspiration from our writers

Search
[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]