The 2013 World Happiness Report found that people who live in northern Europe and Scandanavia are notably happier than others. After looking at some of the cities in these countries, it's not hard to see why.
This Danish city combines a youthful energy from its number of universities and colleges with the refined culture that comes with being the oldest city in Scandinavia. After considering Aarhus' beautiful natural harbor, its music festivals and outdoor theaters, and its various unique pedestrian areas, it's no wonder why the city's residents are so happy!
You'd think the cold weather and grey skies would be a huge downer, but the people of Oslo are some of the happiest in the world! This is probably because the Norwegian capital is so close to nature, and is stunningly beautiful because of it. But the city isn't just keeping nature-lovers happy — it's also buzzing with new clubs, bars, restaurants, and apartments to entertain the more urban-inclined residents.
You probably know Geneva as a center for internation humanitarian law, and it is home to dozens of United Nations offices. No wonder it is one of the main UN headquarters — the city's landscape is so serenely beautiful that even political negotiations don't seem so arduous. Geneva's residents stay happy year-round with warm beaches in the summer and plentiful skiing in the winter.
Most people will think of Amsterdam when it comes to the Netherlands, but this city located just south of the capital edges it out in terms of happy residents. Utrecht is described as being more relaxed and blissful than Amsterdam, combining big city amenities with a small town feel. Residents and visitors alike can wind down the day along the city's central canal, lined with bars and pubs.
Malmo is Sweden's third largest city, and its first fair-trade city, meaning that stores and workplaces actively promote ethical consumption. The city's Old Town offers up historical charm and cultural idiosyncracies, while development, transportation, and sustainability projects have also attracted various tech companies and university students that have modernized other sectors.