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Find your happy place

Discover why Norway is one of the
happiest countries in the world
– and see where and how you
can take part in our joy!

Enjoy nature .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway
Enjoy nature .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway

Flow, speed, zone, Zen. Gear up or wind down. Together with others, or all alone.

Happy places have many faces.

Nature activities .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway
Nature activities .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway

“Hiking in the mountains all by
myself gives me a unique kind
of peace of mind.”

Julie, Tromsø

Explore the mountains in Tromsø .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway
Explore the mountains in Tromsø .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway

“Two-thirds of the earth consists of water. Here, I can sit and feel connected to countries I've visited all over the world.”

Hans, Stavanger

The Endless Coast .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway
The Endless Coast .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway

“If you can cope with cold water, I think you can cope with almost anything.”

Berit, Trondheim

Swimming in Trondheim .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway
Swimming in Trondheim .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway

Even though it can be quite grey, dark, and cold here in the north, Norway keeps ranking as one of the world’s happiest countries.

Wonder what the secret is?

The Open Road .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway
The Open Road .
Photo: Trigger / Visit Norway

How happy we are with our lives is often tightly connected to how safe we feel, our financial conditions, and our degree of access to meaningful work and social relations”, says psychologist Ragnhild Bang Nes.

She is a renowned happiness researcher in Norway and the lead on well-being at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

“In Norway, we have a welfare system that takes care of us and saves us from a lot of worries. The inequality is low when it comes to the standard of living. We feel safe and free and have a strong sense of belonging”, she adds.

Portrait Ragnhild Bang Nes
Ragnhild Bang Nes.
Photo: Ellen Jarli

She points out that free education for everyone, equal access to healthcare, the fair distribution of goods, and a healthy work-life balance are some of the key factors that contribute to Norwegians’ sense of happiness, and to Norway for several years ranking among the top countries in the World Happiness Report.

The power of nature

Our beautiful, contrasting, and easy-accessible nature is also an invaluable source of well-being.

“We have long known that spending time in nature has a positive impact on our physical and mental health – and thus our level of happiness. In fact, we’ve seen through research that simply sitting in green nature is mood-lifting.”

If there's one thing Norwegians do a lot, it's spending time in the outdoors – whether in the mountains, in the forest or at the coast – or in a green lung in the middle of a bustling city. Alone or with others, all year round. This untamed love of the outdoors is an ingrained part of our national identity that we call friluftsliv.

Small steps to happiness

“When we spend time in nature, we can easily tick off all of the five documented ways to well-being”, says Bang Nes.

The World Happiness Report

Each year, three thousand respondents in 156 participating countries have been asked to evaluate their current lives on a scale from zero to ten, from “worst possible life” to “best possible”.

Through many years, Norway has been rated one of the happiest countries in the world!

These six main factors that represent various aspects of life are being used to measure countries’ degree of happiness:

1. GDP per capita

2. Healthy years of life expectancy

3. Social support (having someone to count on in times of trouble)

4. Trust (perceived absence of corruption in government and business)

5. Perceived freedom to make life decisions

6. Generosity (recent donations)

Published by the United Nations.

5 steps to well-being

Spend time and connect with family, friends, and people around you.

Be active 
Through hiking, cycling, paddling, et cetera.

Take notice 
By being curious, catching sight of the beautiful.

Keep learning 
Get to know a new activity or try a new path.

By helping others to have a good time, and express gratitude for what they give back.

Happy Family Outside .
Photo: Magnus Furset
Happy Family Outside .
Photo: Magnus Furset

We connect when we experience nature together with others, we are active when we walk in the mountains, we take notice when we enjoy the smells, views and the warming sun, we learn when we choose a new path, and we give when we help others have a good time outdoors.

These simple activities stimulate the brain’s reward system – and are all small steps to a happier life. Spending time outdoors is also tightly connected to “kos” (cosiness) – the unique Norwegian word for having a good time.

A country full of happy places

And sometimes, unique scenery and places can help you quite a bit along the way …

“Steep mountains, stunning fjords, charming summer towns in Southern Norway, fruit blooming in Hardanger, and the magical light and contrasting nature of places like Lofoten and Troms in Northern Norway – the whole country is a natural gift, full of happy places!” says Bang Nes.

Norway’s main cities also provide excellent opportunities for cheerful adventures, offering a lovely mix of cultural replenishment – and urban and easy-accessible nature experiences.


Choose the setting that describes your happy place:

Gateways to
Norwegian happiness

See locals’ tips to cultural experiences and great hikes in our small, big cities, easily reachable from many international airports.

Where is your happy place?

Now it’s your turn to find your happy spot! And the good news is: Norway is packed with places, activities, food, and fun designed to give you a proper happiness boost!

Take advantage of top offers

See our selection of companies that work hard to make you happy all through your trip.

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