International Day of Happiness 2018
It’s said that happiness is not a goal, but the path. The International Day of Happiness is celebrated around the world on 20 March so Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, invites you on a trip to some of the happiest countries* in the world full of experiences that are sure to brighten your day.
Norway – Be in awe of the Northern Lights
Each year between September and March, the sky above Norway ignites in an astounding light show. Vivid colours electrify the sky and delight anyone lucky enough to be looking up.
Where to stay: Situated in far northeastern Norway, Kirkenes Snowhotel features unique accommodation only 10 km from the charming small town of Kirkenes. The wooden cottages, available year round, are architecturally inspired by traditional Sami hunting and fishing huts. Built with the aurora borealis in mind, each cottage feature large windows and lounge chairs covered with warm sheep skins to enjoy nature’s light show from the comfort of your room.
Denmark - Practicing “hygge”
The secret of happiness in Denmark is called "hygge" – a kind of philosophy of life. It means enjoying the little things…a warm cup of coffee, a quiet afternoon at home reading under a blanket...In short, feeling undisturbed and good. To discover its real meaning, there’s nothing like spending some time in Copenhagen, wandering the charming streets and warming up a cosy, candle-lit café.
Where to stay: the Axel Guldsmeden is perfect place to stay to understand what "hygge" is. You’ll love its unique but cosy decor, its organic breakfast buffet and, above all, its peaceful and welcoming vibe.
Iceland - Bathing in the Blue Lagoon
Imagine this: you’re inside a natural outdoor pool, the water a warm 40 °C, but landscape is icy cold and resembles another planet. What's more, add a cool beer, a relaxing massage and a rejuvenating seaweed mask to finish and you’ll be pretty close to experiencing what true happiness feels like. Taking a bath in the Blue Lagoon, about 30 km from Reykjavik, is an unforgettable experience that is sure to put a smile on your face.
Where to stay: the Harbour View Cottages Grindavik is a great option for a place to stay near this natural wonder. It offers very nice, warm rooms with amazing sea views.
Switzerland - Emulating Heidi
The living image of happiness in Switzerland has a name: Heidi. Embrace your inner Heidi with a trip to Swiss Alps where you can let the spirit of your inner child run free while frolicking along the various hiking trails, goat stables and tiny alpine villages. You’ll fulfil a dream of your childhood and are guaranteed a laugh or two along the way.
Where to stay: if you want to follow in the footsteps of the Girl of the Alps, Heidiland is your destination. The Hotel Schloss Wartenstein is a beautiful hotel in the mountains with comfortable rooms and spectacular views overlooking the breaktaking Swiss Alps.
Finland - Meeting Santa Claus
Happiness and illusion go hand in hand. If we add snow, reindeer, elves and meeting Santa Claus himself, then we have it all. Even though the Christmas season is behind us, in Lapland we can go to the pay jolly Old St. Nick a visit any day of the year. And that’s not all, you can even send letters with a special Arctic Circle seal or take a sleigh ride together through the snow. It’s impossible not to feel happy!
Where to stay: It’s easy to believe in magic at the Santa Claus Holiday Village, a magnificent accommodation in Rovaniemi, very close to Santa's house. It can also help arrange reindeer, husky and snowmobile safaris.
Netherlands – Swinging your way to happiness
In the Netherlands, happiness is often going for a bike ride with family and feasting on Gouda cheese, but what about soaring through the sky on the highest swing in Europe? The Over the Edge swing is 100 meters above the ground and is one of the newest attractions of Amsterdam. Not for the faint hearted, you’ll be rewarded with some butterflies in your stomach and a spectacular panoramic view of the city.
Where to stay: After swinging through the skies, live like a true local with a lovely stay at the Houseboat PrinsHeerlijk, a houseboat moored in one of the picturesque canals of the city centre, close to many places of interest.
Canada – Zipping between the mountainsides
If flying is your secret to true happiness, than Canada can give you wings. In Banff National Park, you can fly over the Rocky Mountains in zip lines and unload your adrenaline like never before. Feel the rush of whizzing down the mountainsides and take in the beautiful scenery as you zoom through Canada’s oldest national park suspended high above the canopy.
Where to stay: Paradise Lodge and Bungalows, where the name says it all. The heaven in the form of mountain refuge, next to Lake Louise, in a perfect retreat amongst the spectacular landscape.
New Zealand - Visiting the Waitomo Glowing Cave
In New Zealand you can experience things that will put a smile on your face for years to come. One of the most magical experiences of them all is navigating the cave in Waitomo where millions of glowworms - little bugs that shine in the dark – live! The view thousands of little green dots twinkling in the cave walls is really incredible, like a fairy tale.
Where to stay: If you want to stay near the cave, the Waitomo Caves Guest Lodge is a very good option. It’s very well equipped to make a comfortable home away from home and has a beautiful view of the countryside.
Australia - Cuddling a koala
No one’s cuddles are as good as a koala cuddles. In Lone Pine, there’s a Koala Sanctuary where you can cuddle these cute natives and make a happy memory that is sure to last a lifetime. Oh! And you can also feed the kangaroos!
Where to stay: the Chapel Woods Bed and Breakfast is a perfect choice of a place to stay near the Koala Sanctuary of Lone Pine. It is set in a central location and is as beautiful as comfortable.
Sweden - Having fun at Liseberg amusement park
As a child, you always dreamed of the same thing: to spend your days inside of an amusement park. Now that you’re grown up, the idea of spending the day in an amusement park is still cool, so cool! One of the most beautiful parks in Europe (and largest in Scandinavia) is Liseberg, which has a lot of attractions to make kids of all ages happy.
Where to stay: The Avenue A1 are apartments located on Avenyn, the main street in downtown Gothenburg, very close to the amusement park. It offers modern, self-catering apartments perfect for resting after a day full of excitement and rollercoaster riding.