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9 things to do in the world’s happiest country
Finding your bliss in the world's happiest place
Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but your vacation can be. In fact, a trip to the happiest place on earth will put a pep in your step. And no, we’re not talking about a particular amusement park. According to the World Happiness Report of 2016, Denmark tops the list of the world’s happiest countries. The report is based on things like “social support” and “generosity,” but we’d guess the vibrant gardens and breathtaking palatial architecture aren’t hurting folks’ contentment quotient, either.
1. Explore National Aquarium Denmark
Via Flickr/News Oresund
There’s something fishy about one of the most popular Denmark attractions. Northern Europe’s largest aquarium has everything from hammerhead sharks to bright coral reefs. There is also something otter-ly amazing about the furry creatures that live at the aquarium. You’ll be smiling in no time.
2. Tour Nyhavn District
Via Flickr/Dennis Jarvis
For a look at some of the most historic streets in Copenhagen, visit the Nyhavn District. Candy-colored homes along the canal will give you serious real estate envy, and a myriad of restaurants welcome you to dine near the water. If you dine on the outdoor patio, you’re sure to hear jazz music emanating from a street performance nearby. Make sure you meander past No. 67, where HC Andersen himself once lived.
3. Visit famous castles
The Danish know how to construct an epic palatial estate. If you doubt us, just sign up for a Frederiksborg and Kronborg castle tour. Should you get deja vu in Kronborg Castle, it’s because you read about it in your 9th-grade literature class. Shakespeare based Hamlet off this royal residence.
4. Eat at Noma
Via Flickr/Håkan Dahlström
The happiest country on Earth must have good eats, right? Right. One of the best activities in Denmark involves a fork. And when you want the best of the best, the most delectable of all delicacies, Noma is the place to be. This Copenhagen restaurant books up months in advance and uses only Scandinavian ingredients.
5. Sun bathe at Søndervig Beach
There is more to Denmark than Copenhagen, and a 4-hour drive to the west coast proves our point. The cozy seaside town of Søndervig is the perfect place to plant yourself in the sand. Wade out into the North Sea, or just soak up the sounds of the crashing tide from a beach chair. Yes, this is bliss indeed.
6. Go on a city bike tour
Via Flickr/Tony Weber
Cycling is not just a fun Denmark adventure—it’s also a regular means of transportation. Get with the program and sign up for a city bike tour in Copenhagen. From the seat of your smart bike and with a professional guide leading the charge, you’ll zip past places like Amalienborg Palace, the Kastellet fortress, and the Nyhavn waterfront. With the wind in your hair, you’ll begin to see what all the happiness hype is about.
7. Pose in front of the Little Mermaid
Via Flickr/News Oresund
The Langelinie promenade is home to one of the world’s most famous statues. The Little Mermaid lives here, but she’s no ginger. Instead, she is as perfectly bronzed as someone sunbathing in the South of France. Posed on a rock, the statue was commissioned by the founder of Carlsberg and inspired by an HC Andersen fairy tale. As far as tourist attractions in Denmark go, this one is as Danish as it gets.
8. See a historically accurate Viking village
Via Wikimedia Commons/Taxiarchos228
SKOL! You don’t have to be a Minnesota football fan to appreciate a horned helmet and be intrigued by the ways of Viking clans. Venture to Frederikssund Viking Village just outside Copenhagen or Bork Vikingehavn in western Denmark, and you’ll time travel back 1,000 years or so. Don’t worry, you’ll still get a signal.
What would you do on a vacation in Denmark?
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