32 of the happiest places in the world to visit, according to the Happiness Index

Beautiful scenery, interesting architecture and some of the best nature spots in the world

L-R: Kuwait, Sydney and Czechzia
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The happiest places to visit offer beautiful scenery, interesting architecture and some of the best nature spots in the world.

According to 2024’s World Happiness Report, the happiest country in the world to live in is Finland - with its trifecta of pretty cities, buildings and nature spots, and of course the healthy and happy lifestyle and lovely people.

But if you’re looking to holiday in a haven of happiness, Finland isn’t the only country in the world to add to your travel list, as it’s joined by a whole host of places - from small European areas to some of the world’s biggest countries.

32 of the happiest places to visit - based on the happiness index

1. Finland


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Home to artsy cities, beautiful nature spots and, of course, the famous Lapland, Finland topped the list of the world’s happiest countries. It’s known for its warm and good-natured people, peaceful lifestyle and is said to have some of the cleanest waters in the world. 

2. Denmark


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While this year sees Denmark in the second spot, it has held the top spot as the world’s happiest country multiple times in the past. It's known for its friendly people and progressive attitudes - and of course, its beautiful, colourful capital, Copenhagen, is a must-visit.

3. Iceland


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With a Northern Lights sighting on most people’s bucket lists, Iceland is known for being one of the most reliable places to get a peek at the famous Aurora Borealis - but it's also the third happiest country in the world. Visit their beautiful nature spots, waterfalls and the Blue Lagoon.

4. Sweden


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A picturesque country known for its cosy architecture, beautiful lakes and innovative designs, Sweden is also said to be one of the best countries in the world for both affordability and safety - both likely contributing factors to its high ranking of fourth place worldwide.

5. Netherlands


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With its high-quality healthcare and education, useful public transport system and good work-life balance, it’s no surprise that the Netherlands secured sixth place on the list. Visit the country’s many cultural and historical museums, travel the canals or cycle around the cities.

6. Norway


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With free university education, a living wage for everyone and apparently the highest social mobility in the world, there are many reasons to enjoy the Norwegian life - all of which contributed to its ranking as the seventh-happiest country in the world. And we haven’t even addressed the country’s beautiful fjords and magnificent nature spots…

7. Luxembourg


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A small country but one that is known as one of the safest cities in the world, Luxembourg is home to beautiful buildings, sights and museums - and the eight happiest people in the world. Visit the historic castle or cathedral, go on a walking trail or take a trip to one of the many museums.

8. Switzerland


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With gorgeous mountains, plenty of cheese and even more chocolate, what more could you ask for when it comes to happiness? Well, it turns out that Switzerland also has a high-quality education system, a strong healthcare system and a fantastic standard of living to offer, making it the ninth happiest country in the world. 

9. Australia


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A vast country with plenty to see and something for everyone, many people lean towards Australia, the 10th happiest country in the world, for its relaxed outdoor lifestyle and generally very warm weather. It’s also known to have quite a friendly population, a healthy work-life balance and a good quality of life.

10. New Zealand

New Zealand

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With accessible healthcare, a low cost of living and a good quality of life, it’s no wonder New Zealand is the 11th happiest place to live. It’s also known to be relatively safe and have a friendly people. Of course, one of the most well-known aspects of the country is its beautiful outdoor scenery.

11. Costa Rica

Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is known for its warm weather, biodiversity and protected spaces - and for securing the 12th spot in the ranking of the happiest countries. Home to beautiful wildlife and even more beautiful scenery, it offers a laidback lifestyle and plenty of opportunities to connect with nature - both green and blue.

12. Kuwait


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Kuwait is known for being quite a safe place to be with its low crime rate. Not only that but jobs in the country also offer high salaries and lower taxes, thanks to the government’s wealth and the currency is generally pretty strong. It also has warm and sunny weather for most of the year, all of which helped secure its spot as the 13th happiest country in the world.

13. Austria


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This Alps-adjacent country is, of course, made up of beautiful mountains, landmarks and nature spots. Home to the world’s largest ice cave, a vast fortress, a beautiful palace, plenty of museums and gorgeous lakes, there’s plenty to do and see on a trip to the 14th happiest country.

14. Canada


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A vast country with plenty of land and a surprisingly small population given its size, Canada is the 15th happiest country in the world. With a great quality of life, it offers easy employment opportunities, free schooling and a generous healthcare system. It’s also known to have a very friendly population and the weather generally fits the four seasons.

15. Belgium


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With stunning cities, plenty of sweet treats (chocolate and waffles, anyone?) and even more beer, Belgium (placed 16th in the ranking) has a light and happy culture that everyone should experience at least once. It’s home to good - and affordable - universities and interesting historical sites, making it a pleasure for locals and tourists alike.

16. Ireland


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Ireland is home to breathtaking nature spots and bustling but beautiful cities. It is known to have a warm population and energetic culture, with an interesting history to learn about too. Go there to eat, drink, read, dance, walk, learn and explore the 17th happiest country in the world.

17. Czechia


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Czech Republic (the 18th happiest country in the world) is known for its affordable cost of living, clever and easy-to-use transport system and good quality of life. A haven for interesting architecture, find gorgeous landmarks in styles like Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic - and, of course, lots of history, culture, beer and nice food.

18. Lithuania


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Home to castles, churches, fortresses and palaces, Lithuania is known for its rich history and culture, with one of the biggest remaining medieval old towns in Europe found here too. For those who live there, access to free education, healthcare, and active leisure is a big plus and they offer generous parental leave policies too, making it the 19th happiest country worldwide.

19. United Kingdom

United Kingdom

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With one of the biggest free healthcare systems in the world, vast employment opportunities and cities steeped in history, you can see why the UK made the list, in 20th place It may be relatively rainy, but it has a reasonable climate and good transport links to most places in the world.

20. Slovenia


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Slovenia (21st happiest country in the world) is known for its gorgeous landscape that varies from mountains to forests, hills and countryside, alongside rivers, lakes and the sea. It’s home to cultural hubs, energetic cities and the famous Lake Bled - so definitely has plenty to do for those who want to visit.

21. United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

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With a warm climate year-round (though maybe a bit too warm in the summer), plenty of employment opportunities and lower tax rates, it’s easy to see why residents love living here. For those visiting, you’ll find clean (but hot!) beaches, sprawling shopping malls, plenty of AC and some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, making it the 22nd happiest country in the world.

22. United States

United States

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A country that’s home to many a type of destination, United States residents can have everything from a bustling city weekend to a lakeside break, hot beach holiday or snowy ski trip without leaving the country. With easy transport links within and out of the country, vast employment opportunities and some of the world’s most famous landmarks, it definitely deserves its 23rd place on the list.

23. Germany


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Germany is home to busy cities, with an affordable cost of living and an advanced public transport system that makes it really easy to get around. With great job opportunities and a good work-life balance, it’s easy to see why the residents are happy living here (securing 24th place). Visit for gorgeous landscapes and beautiful architecture.

24. Mexico


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Mexico (the 25th happiest country in the world) is known for its cultural heritage and interesting - and very old - history, as well as its beautiful beach destinations, bustling cities and absolutely delicious food. Visit the Mayan ruins and learn about the culture’s history, dive into Mexico’s capital city, or head down to Yucatán for an in-depth exploration of the country’s history and culture.

25. Uruguay


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Uruguay offers a peaceful atmosphere and laidback lifestyle, with a whole host of beautiful beaches, cultural landmarks and historical sites. It’s said to be the safest country in South America and has a low cost of living - great for both locals and tourists. It secured 26th place in the list of happiest countries.

26. France


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Home to some of the world’s best wine, prettiest towns and most famous landmarks, France is definitely one to visit - and we can see why people like living there too (and it secured 27th place on the list). A pleasant climate with progressive cities living alongside luxurious holiday destinations, it’s one that you don’t even have to venture out of.

27. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

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For those living in the country, Saudi Arabia (28th on the list) offers tuition-free university education, tax-free salaries, and a free universal health care system - mostly thanks to its wealthy government and oil reserves. It has beautiful buildings and cultural sites, bustling cities and vast deserts to visit.

28. Kosovo


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Kosovo (29th on the list) is known for its rich history and interesting culture, with plenty of beautiful architecture on offer and mostly mountainous landscapes. The up-and-coming country is home to buzzy cities, gorgeous views, cathedrals, libraries and low-key eateries.

29. Singapore


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The smallest country in Southeast Asia, Singapore (placed 30th on the list) is known for its sleek architecture, clean city and dazzling skyline. It has a relatively low crime rate, delicious food and polished buildings - and while the cost of living isn’t the lowest, it does come with a touch of luxury to everything.

30. Spain


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While Spain isn’t on the World Happiness Report’s official list, we had to make an addition thanks to its unique and culturally rich cities, delicious food and drink and very attractive climate. Visit the country's beaches on the famous ‘costas’ or explore the beautiful city hubs that are known for their architecture.

31. Indonesia


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Another addition from us, Indonesia has a relaxed lifestyle that makes us want to apply for a visa and hop over. With beaches for every atmosphere and budget, a low cost of living and amazing food, this country made from numerous tiny islands is one that we think deserves a place on the list.

32. Portugal

View of river and town in Porto, Portugal

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And one more from us that we just had to include, Portugal is home to some of the world's best food, prettiest streets and most beautiful beaches - and the weather's not too bad either. If you're a wine fan, it also has some of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world, with plenty of delicious varietals to taste.

Aleesha Badkar
Digital Beauty Editor, woman&home

Aleesha is Digital Beauty Editor at woman&home, where she gets to share her expertise into all the best techniques, sharpest tools and newest products—with a particular savvy in skincare and fragrance.

Previously, she was Deputy Editor and Beauty & Fashion Editor for My Imperfect Life, where she headed up the beauty, fashion and eCommerce pages. In the past, she has worked as Shopping Writer at woman&home, gained an AOP awards nomination after working on their news team, contributed to Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto and earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London.