Inside the Happiest City in the Happiest Country in the World

Finland has just been declared the happiest country in the world for the sixth year in a row. Why are they so happy? Apparently, Finnish happiness stems from a close relationship with nature and the country’s down-to-earth lifestyle. That explains why Tampere — a city where nature comes right into the center of town — is regularly voted by Finns as the place they would most like to live. Around 100 miles north of Helsinki, Tampere is considered good-mood central, and part of that is due to the pristine beaches that are just minutes away and the fairy-tale woods where winter skiing is sublime. The views of the lakes from the Pyynikki observation tower are breathtaking, and after a quick tour you can enjoy some of the best donuts on the planet at Market Hall — the largest covered market in the Nordic countries. Stalls are filled with high-quality local produce, and the cafes are a great place to grab lunch. Meanwhile, the Vaprikki Center offers 10 small museums to tour, ranging from natural history to computer games. At the end of the day, you can wind down at the lakeside Kaukajarven municipal sauna, featuring hot stones, buckets of water, and happy Finns. Sports fans can enjoy a hockey game at Nokia Live Arena, which is home to two top-flight ice hockey teams. The stadium also incorporates the 5-star Lapland Hotel, which has balcony suites that look down on the arena. Whatever you’re looking to enjoy, it can definitely be found in Tampere, and if that doesn’t make you happy, nothing will.

Pyynikki Observation Tower

Market Hall

Vaprikki Center

Nokia Arena