Finland is officially the happiest country in the world.
For the sixth year running, the World Happiness Report has declared Finland to have a happiness score of 7.842 out of a possible 10, making it happier than any other destination.
Just some of the reasons why Finns are so happy, according to the report, is because they feel a strong sense of community and trust in one another. The country also has some of the lowest levels of suspicion of government corruption.
But what does that mean for tourists? It means that the people of Finland are warm and welcoming and that the country is a safe place to travel.
Here are six of the best reasons to consider visiting Finland:
Finland is well known for its beautiful and unspoiled landscapes. From snow-covered pine trees to rugged mountains and flat rolling hills to the south, the range of landscapes to appreciate is incredibly diverse.
In addition to this, there are 39 national parks to explore in Finland. Visitors can also explore Saimaa, the country’s largest lake, where people travel from across the globe to fish.
Of course, the main attraction of Finland’s landscapes is the chance to view the breathtaking aurora borealis, better known as the Northern Lights.
Finnish Lapland is the place to go for the best chance to see this natural phenomenon. The Northern Lights season in Finnish Lapland is between Mid-August until Early April.
There are some national cuisines that are world-renowned thanks to their broad appeal. Italian, Chinese, and Mexican foods can be found almost anywhere you travel.
The same cannot be said of Finnish food, but that doesn’t mean that Finnish food isn’t delicious and worthy of exploration.
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Seafood is abundant due to the huge number of lakes in the country, and chefs in Finland focus on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients that make the cuisine especially appealing.
Gravlax, rye bread, and sauteed reindeer are particularly popular local dishes.
Fans of modern, minimalist architecture will love visiting Finland.
Many of the buildings take inspiration from the local landscapes, and a minimalist, modern approach is often adopted to avoid detracting from the beauty the country already possesses.
Renowned architect Alvar Aalto is particularly popular here, and you will find his work everywhere.
Expect clean lines, natural materials, and buildings that are breathtaking in their simplicity.
Helsinki is the capital of Finland, as well as its most populous city. While most people think of Finland as being a remote and quiet country, Helsinki is the opposite of these things.
This is the perfect place to explore Finland’s rich cultural heritage, enjoy the vibrant night life, and enjoy Finland’s bustling art and music scene.
Did you know that Finland is the heavy metal capital of the world? Metal heads flock to Helsinki to see the huge number of national and international metal bands that frequently tour the country.
For a slightly quieter night out, there are also plenty of bars and nightclubs to enjoy in the city.
Explore Finnish Lapland
It would be near-impossible to talk about traveling to Finland without mentioning Finnish Lapland.
The home of Santa Claus and his reindeer; big kids and little kids alike will enjoy the high-octane activities to enjoy here, as well as stunning snowy scenery.
You can hunt for Santa Claus in his woodland cabin, ride in a sled pulled by husky dogs or by reindeer, and if you’re looking for even bigger thrills, you can take a snowmobile safari across the rugged terrain.
Finnish Lapland is also a great place to enjoy skiing, with Kittila here considered to be one of the best ski destinations in the country.
Embrace Sauna Culture
Taking a sauna is a very important part of Finnish culture. The concept of the ‘sauna culture’ in Finland involves using the sauna to cleanse both the body and the mind in order to obtain a sense of inner peace.
Almost 90% of Finns take a sauna once a week, and enjoying time in the sauna is integral to Finnish socializing and well-being.
Tourists are encouraged to experience the sauna culture for themselves during their time in Finland and will be presented with plenty of opportunities to give it a try.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com