Find (or at least look for) happiness in the streets of this top-ranked city.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated October 25, 2018
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If you’re already planning (or dreaming of) the trips you’ll take in 2019, listen up: Lonely Planet, the company behind those comprehensive, portable, genius travel guides for destinations across the globe, has announced its list of the top cities of 2019, and the top city is totally bucket list–worthy.

Given the top spot on the list for its design chops, excellent food, and cool Scandinavian vibe, Copenhagen, Denmark, has been (deservedly) named Lonely Planet’s top city to travel to next year—but its appeal extends far behind its restaurant offerings, charming streetscapes, and gorgeous historic waterfront.

This year, Denmark was named the third-happiest country in the world by the United Nations, beat only by its neighbors Norway and Finland; as the largest city in Denmark, it’s safe to believe that Copenhagen’s residents enjoy a level of happiness far above that of any city in the U.S., which came in 18th on the U.N.’s 2018 World Happiness Report.

Beyond that none-too-shabby superlative, Copenhagen boasts a huge population of bicyclists (63 percent of residents commute by bike)—and it’s near impossible to be sad or stressed while riding a bike, right? The city’s council is working to make Copenhagen the world’s first carbon dioxide–neutral capital; the city is home to two amusement parks, one of which is the world’s oldest. And, of course, Copenhagen is the home of hygge, the Danish word for what is essentially pure coziness. Can we move there already?

If you won’t take our (or Lonely Planet’s) word for it, take a peek at the numerous accolades the city has received over the last few years, including world’s best city to swim in, a nomination for world’s most gay-friendly destination, and the world’s best city for families.

And, of course, if you do want to travel just for the food, you can’t go wrong with Copenhagen—its restaurants collectively boast a total of 18 Michelin Stars, more than any other country in Scandinavia and a sure sign that the city is a foodie paradise. And isn't a good meal paramount to happiness?

Does Walt Disney World currently have the title of The Happiest Place on Earth pretty much on lock? Sure. But Copenhagen might come close—it even has its own ode to The Little Mermaid. You’ll just have to check it out for yourself to decide.