Happiest Country in the World

The great Greek philosopher, Aristotle, once famously said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.”  Happiness is defined as a state of mind, and it is a feeling that we seek and strive for every day. While you may do everything in your capacity to feel truly happy and make your loved ones feel happy, have you ever thought about what makes a nation a happy nation? And how to determine if a nation is happy? 

Well, recently, The World Happiness Report released its annual ranking of the happiest countries in the world. The report is prepared by UN (United Nations) Sustainable Development Solution Network, and they use six key factors to rank more than 150 nations as the happiest countries in the world based on the following six pillars – 

  •     GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita
  •     Social Support
  •     Health of the general population
  •     Freedom to make own life choices
  •     Generosity of general population
  •     Corruption levels 

Based on the above factors, the World Happiness Report assesses the happiness gap between the most happy country in the world and the least happy country. This year, in 2023, Finland took the top spot in the happiest country in the world ranking, followed by Denmark and Iceland in the second and third spot, respectively.  

Let us look at the top happiest countries in the world in 2023.  

  1.     Finland
  2.     Denmark
  3.     Iceland
  4.     Israel
  5.     Netherlands
  6.     Sweden
  7.     Norway
  8.     Switzerland
  9.     Luxembourg
  10. New Zealand


Let us know more about the happiest countries in the world from a tourism perspective, like the best places to see, things to do, best time to visit, best places to stay, etc.  

  • Finland

Finland is one of the few Scandinavian-European nations that is still to get the popularity it deserves. A land of geographical and climatic extremity, Finland dances to its own Nordic beats and is blessed with natural beauty that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.  

Known for being the best place on earth to witness one of nature’s most magical phenomena – the northern lights, Finland is a treasure trove of many mysterious places. From snowy mountains to glacial lakes and exotic wildlife, and hot natural saunas, there are plenty of places to explore and things to do in Finland.  

Best places to visit in Finland 

  •     Santa Claus Village 
  •     Northern Lights 
  •     Helsinki 
  •     Kemi 
  •     Levi 

With so much beauty all around, it is no surprise that Finnish people are happy, and the country is the happiest country in the world.  

Best things to do in Finland 

  •     Sleep/camp under the northern lights
  •     Visit the lighthouse island
  •     Get a taste of Finnish cuisine at the local restaurants and cafés. All the eateries in the countries serve food made from the freshest produce sourced locally from land, water and forests
  •     Enjoy hiking at the various hiking trails across the country. All national parks in Finland have a marked hiking route
  •     Meet the real Sant at Rovaniemi in Arctic Circle
  •     Visit the public sauna and spend a relaxing evening with your loved ones 

Best time to visit Finland 

Anytime is a good time to visit Finland. But you must plan your visit depending on what you are looking for. If you want to see the Northern Lights, the best time to visit Finland is from September to March during the winter season.  

The summer is the peak tourist season and it is the best time to enjoy going on a cruise, and indulge in several activities like hiking, fishing in the lakes, and taking part in the local festivals.  

Best places to stay in Finland 

Finland has many awesome stay options – from homestays to bed and breakfast and lavish hotels and resorts to suit your taste. If you are looking for a premium stay with luxury amenities, spacious rooms and exquisite dining experiences, you can choose to stay at any of the Club Mahindra partner hotels and resorts that is closest to your current city.  

Some of the best option include – 

  •     Holiday Club Caribia Turku
  •     Holiday Club Katinkulta
  •     Holiday Club Kuusamon Tropiikki
  •     Holiday Club Saariselka
  •     Holiday Club Saimaa

  • Denmark

Denmark is a tiny Scandinavian nation that is endowed with some of the most stunning landscapes you can find in the European continent. The wide-open spaces, lush green parks, majestic castles, mediaeval complexes, and a countryside that is pretty as a picture Denmark is a dream destination that would make you fall in love with it instantly.  

Once the heartland of the Viking Kingdoms, today, Denmark is considered one of the most important jewels of Europe as it culturally and geographically connects Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Also, rated among the top three happiest countries in the world, as a tourist you would surely love every bit of it and would want to keep backing for more.  

Best places to visit in Denmark 

  •     Elsinore 
  •     Tivoli Gardens  
  •      The Little Mermaid
  •     Rosenborg Castle 
  •     Skagen 

Best things to do in Denmark 

  •     Spend a fun day with your family and kids at Legoland
  •     Enjoy having a beer at the Carlsberg Brewery
  •     Go bridge walking over the Little Belt Bridge
  •     Attend the Roskilde Festival, the largest cultural festival in northern Europe
  •     Go on a sailing trip for a day on a Viking ship 

Best time to visit Denmark 

The summer months, i.e., from April to November are the best time to visit Denmark; it is also the peak tourist season. The winters here tend to be harsh, but it is a one-of-a-kind experience and has its own charm.  

  • Iceland

Iceland, apart from being one of the happiest countries in the world, is a land of many mysteries and extremities. It is a place where you can find diamond icebergs and sparkling lavas. There are obsidian beaches and towering mountains. Home to many legendary sites and some hidden gems, this incredible country is an epitome ‘dream’ destination.  

Best places to visit in Iceland 

  •     Reykjavik 
  •     Selfoss 
  •     Vík í Mýrdal 
  •     Keflavík
  •     Vestmannaeyjar 

Best things to do in Iceland 

  •     Go on a whale watching tour from Reykjavik
  •     Visit Lake Myvatn, a highly geothermally active lake in northern Iceland
  •     Relax in the natural blue lagoon spa. Known for its silica mud, the lagoon water is known to have healing properties
  •     See Dettifoss waterfalls that lie inside the Vatnajokull National Park in the north eastern part of the country. The falls, which gushes down from 144 feet creates the most spectacular natural sights in the world
  •     Explore the glacier-filled lake, the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon 
  •     Witness the northern lights  

Best time to visit Iceland 

The summer months, July and August are the warmest time in Iceland and the best time to visit the country. During these months, you have 24 hours of daylight and even during these months, the weather can be erratic. If you are keen on seeing the northern lights and want to explore the countryside, peaceful September to December would be the ideal time. It is also the best time of the year to visit the Blue Lagoon and it is the off season and you can have a good time, sans the crowd.  


The only middle-eastern country to feature among the top 10 happiest countries in the world list, Israel is popular worldwide as it is the hometown of Jesus. A country steeped deep in history; Israel has plenty of historic religious sites that finds its mention in the Holy Bible. As you travel across the country, you will also find many ancient Roman ruins dating back 1000 of years. Not to mention, it is home to some of the best natural landscapes.  

Best places to visit in Israel 

  •     Nazareth
  •     Tel Aviv
  •     Eilat 
  •     Dead Sea 
  •     Jerusalem 

Best things to do in Israel 

  •     Explore the various beaches across the country and get loads of vitamin sea
  •     Learn more about the city’s rich history and visit the various historical and religiously-important sites
  •     Hike through the red canyon, which is about 20 minutes from Eliat city
  •     Admire the beauty of the rugged terrain and the world’s first copper mine at Timma Park
  •     Visit the valley of Elah and hear the tales of David and Goliath
  •     Explore the Nazareth town and soak in its rich culture and history, and visit the various historic sites and monuments there 

Best time to visit Israel 

Israel is a middle-eastern paradise and although you can visit this beautiful and historical country anytime, the best time to visit Israel is between December and April. During the time of the year, the weather is pleasant and you can explore the places comfortably.  

If you want to enjoy the tranquillity of the Dead Sea, November to March would be the ideal time. If you want to experience Israel at its calmest, you must come here between May and September.  

  • Netherlands

Undoubtedly, the crown jewel of Europe, Netherlands is one of the most fascinating holiday destinations in the world. It is a Pandora's box of culture, art, history, heritage, and natural beauty. There is so much to see and do, you would be literally spoiled for choice and fall in love with the country a little more each day as you explore its nook and cranny.  

Best places to visit in Netherlands 

  •     Amsterdam 
  •     Rotterdam 
  •     Hague 
  •     Edam 
  •     Haarlem

Best things to do in Netherlands 

  •     Witness the gorgeous canals and take a boat ride in Amsterdam
  •     Explore the rich history of Netherlands by visiting the open-air museum at Zaanse Schans
  •     Enjoy spotting the local wildlife at the Hoge Veluwe National Park
  •     Visit the famous Rijksmuseum, the Dutch National Museum which holds several unique and rare antiques that date back to 18th Century
  •     Experience being on the highest swing in Europe at A’DAM lookout in Amsterdam 

Best time to visit Netherlands

The best time to visit the Netherlands is during the Autumn and Spring seasons. During this time of the year, the whole country has pleasant weather. Also, it is not the peak tourist season, which allows you to explore the popular attraction at leisure and without crowds.  

If you are looking to see the famous Dutch Tulip gardens, you must visit during the blooming season, i.e., from March to May.  

  • Sweden

Whether you are a hardcore adventure enthusiast, a foodie, history buff or a wildlife lover, Sweden promises to offer all kinds of experiences and more. With an endless number of amazing attractions, unspoiled nature, world-class museums, and ever-evolving culinary scene, makes Sweden one of the best destinations to visit in Europe and the world. 

Best places to visit in Sweden 

  •     Gothenburg 
  •     Abisko 
  •     Are 
  •     Oland 
  •     Marstrand 

Best things to do in Sweden 

  •     Take a tour of the Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the official residence of the country’s royalty – the King and Queen of Sweden and it holds great significance in Sweden’s history. 
  •     Explore the majestic Kalmar Castle that has an illustrious history. From its brilliant architecture to grand interiors, everything about it is awe inspiring. 
  •     Enjoy the novelty of spending a night at the Ice Hotel. Located about 200 km from the Arctic Circle, the Ice Hotel has an ice bar, and gigantic ice sculptures. 
  •     Satiate your craving for some thrilling fun and go kayaking or canoeing over the crystal-clear blue waters and under the sparkling sky.
  •     Visit the Gothenburg Museum of Art that features works of the legendary artists like Van Gogh and Picasso.  

Best time to visit Sweden 

June to August 

Best places to stay in Sweden 

  •     Holiday Club Ekerum
  •     Holiday Club Are

  • Norway

One of the most beautiful countries in the world, Norway's natural landscape is from another dimension. From its beautiful mountains to charming churches and ancient lighthouses, the land spells B-E-A-U-T-Y from every angle and at every turn that will leave you bewildered.  

Best places to visit in Norway 

  •     Geirangerfjord
  •     Lofoten Islands
  •     Bergen
  •     Kirkenes
  •     Preikestolen
  •     Notodden

Best things to do in Norway 

  •     Witness the stunning northern lights
  •     Explore Mount Floyen
  •     Visit the Oslo Cathedral
  •     Go Whale Watching
  •     Take a train ride from Flam to Myrdal. It is said to be one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. 
  •     Tour the Arctic Cathedral 

Best time to visit Norway 

June to August and March to May 

  • Switzerland

Switzerland is known for many classic things that are popular worldwide – watches, chocolates, knives, Alps, cheese and banks. Anything that has Swiss as a prefix has to be the best and elegant, right? Well, it is no surprise that it is one of the most visited and spectacular nations in the European continent. 

The stunning Alpine mountains oozing an undeniable romantic charm, the glittering lakes and the picturesque hamlets that seem like they have appeared from a storybook – Switzerland is a metaphor for all fairy tales. The country is full of natural wonders and you can spend a lifetime exploring it yet not have enough of it.  

Best places to visit in Switzerland 

  •     Lake Geneva
  •     Interlaken
  •     Bern
  •     Swill National Park
  •     Swiss Grand Canyon
  •     Zurich
  •     St Moritz 

Best things to do in Switzerland 

  •     Try paddle boarding at the famous Lake Geneva
  •     Take a boat trip to see the great Rhine Falls from close quarters
  •     Visit Chillon Castle one of the most historical monuments in the country
  •     Enjoy sky dining with your loved one in Zurich
  •     Gon on a wine tasting spree at the various local wineries. Swiss wineries are known to be among the best in the world
  •     Last but not the least, enjoy tasking some freshly made local Swiss Chocolates and satiate your sweet tooth cravings 

Best time to visit Switzerland 

April to June and September to November 

  • Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a small nation that is big on natural beauty and its surreal landscapes will you astonished. Luxembourg is replete with beautiful castles and fortresses that have earned a place in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Apart from the stunning monuments, the country also has many bustling cities and quaint hamlets that are equally alluring and worth exploring.  

Best places to visit in Luxembourg

  •     The Old Quarter of Luxembourg City
  •     National Museum of History and Art
  •     The Bock Casements
  •     Grand Ducal Palace
  •     The Walls of the Corniche
  •     William Square Palace 

Best things to do in Luxembourg 

  •     Discover the old town of the mediaeval era
  •     Visit the historical castles and marvel at their stunning architecture, and grandeur
  •     Explore the local history, and culture by visiting the museums
  •     Get a taste of the finest, locally-made sparkling wine
  •     Take a tour of the grand and the most popular attraction in the country, Notre Dame 

Best time to visit Luxembourg 

You can visit Luxembourg anytime of the year. But the best months are from June to August.  

  • New Zealand 

If there is one word that could describe New Zealand, it would be ‘heavenly.’ It is one of those places on earth that excites all your senses and imaginations at once. A land of mystery, and magical beauty, it is a place where you can enjoy skiing and surfing on the same day. Its geographical diversity is mind boggling to say the least and the humble and friendly locals only add to the country’s charm and make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.  

Best places to visit in New Zealand 

  •     Tongariro National Park
  •     Rotorua
  •     Auckland
  •     Coromandel Peninsula
  •     Fiordland National Park
  •     Abel Tasman National Park
  •     Kaikoura
  •     Wellington 

Best things to do in New Zealand 

  •     Go whale spotting at Kaikoura. It is one of the best places in the world to see humpback, sperm whales and other animals like dolphins, albatross, and fur seals in their natural habitat
  •     Try Boogie Boarding down the sand dunes at 90-Mile Beach 
  •     Climb up a volcanic island in Rangitoto
  •     Sample of the finest wines produced in New Zealand at Waiheke Island
  •     Kayak around the Cathedral Cove at Coromandel Peninsula 

Best time to visit New Zealand 

December to March 

‘The purpose of life is to be happy,’ said, the spiritual leader, his holiness, Dalai Lama. And what better way to be happy than travelling with your friends and families, and enjoy spending time with them. You can double your happiness by planning a visit to one of these happiest countries in the world and get new experiences that shows you new depths of happiness!

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About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 290,000 members , who can holiday at 140+ resorts in India and abroad.

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