Which country looks like heaven?

When thinking about which country most closely resembles heaven, there are a few key factors to consider. The physical beauty and natural wonders of a country can certainly give it a heavenly feel. The warmth and kindness of the local people also contributes to a welcoming, paradise-like atmosphere. Additionally, low crime rates and political stability help create a safe, peaceful environment. Based on these criteria, here are some of the top countries that come close to heaven on earth.

New Zealand

With its majestic mountains, turquoise waters, and lush green landscapes, New Zealand has many of the qualities one might imagine heaven to possess. This island nation in the South Pacific is home to stunning natural attractions like Milford Sound, Abel Tasman National Park, and Aoraki/Mount Cook. The friendly Kiwi people are also known for their relaxed attitude and hospitality. New Zealand ranks high on quality of life indexes, with residents enjoying political freedoms and economic prosperity. The country has low corruption levels and violent crime rates compared to other developed nations. While no place is perfect, New Zealand’s combination of jaw-dropping beauty and social stability make it seem divinely touched.


  • Breathtaking natural scenery including fjords, volcanoes, and beaches
  • Outdoor activities like hiking, sailing, and skiing
  • Progressive society with human rights protections
  • High standard of living and long life expectancy


  • Geographic isolation from other countries
  • Susceptible to earthquakes due to position on tectonic plates
  • High housing prices in cities like Auckland
  • Limited influence on global affairs due to small population


With its ethereal lava fields, roaring waterfalls, and colorful hot springs, Iceland looks like something straight out of a fantasy world. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean just south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland boasts epic landscapes forged by the immense power of fire and ice. Majestic sights like the northern lights, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, and the Golden Circle’s erupting geysers make visitors feel like they’ve stepped into a magical realm. Iceland also scores high marks for human development, ranking first on the UN’s Human Development Index. Icelanders enjoy universal healthcare, tuition-free colleges, and abundant clean energy. Iceland’s combination of otherworldly scenery and a high standard of living help this Nordic island nation seem downright heavenly.


  • Surreal geological features like volcanoes, lava fields, and hot springs
  • Chance to see the magical aurora borealis or northern lights
  • Highly developed social welfare system provides citizens with free education and healthcare
  • Nearly 100% of energy comes from clean, renewable sources


  • Harsh, dark winters with only a few hours of daylight per day
  • Sparse population spread across rugged, inhospitable terrain
  • High cost of living and imported goods
  • Limited career opportunities in niche economy


With its snow-capped Alpine peaks, shimmering lakes, quaint villages, and lush green meadows, Switzerland looks like a scene straight from the heavens. Located in central Europe, Switzerland contains some of the most iconic mountain landscapes on earth. The Swiss Alps contain 60 majestic peaks over 13,000 feet, including the tallest, Mount Monte Rosa, reaching 14,692 feet. Glacial lakes like Lake Geneva reflect the surrounding scenery like mirrored glass. Beyond the natural beauty, Switzerland is also known for its neutral political status, stable society, and high standard of living. Swiss cities like Zurich and Geneva are consistently ranked as some of the world’s most livable. With divine natural and man-made qualities, it’s easy to see why Switzerland seems so heavenly.


  • Breathtaking Alpine scenery of peaks, valleys, lakes, and villages
  • A temperate, four-season climate suitable for outdoor activities
  • Neutral nation with a long tradition of peace, prosperity, and human rights
  • World leader in healthcare, education, economic competitiveness, and quality of life


  • Extremely high cost of living and expensive imported products
  • Strict social norms and regulations compared to other cultures
  • Tourist congestion in places like Interlaken and Mount Jungfrau
  • High taxes and bureaucracy associated with generous social services


From Alpine peaks to classical music, Austria possesses many heavenly qualities. Located in central Europe, Austria contains stunning mountain landscapes comparable to Switzerland that serve as the backdrop for storybook villages and pristine lakes. Vienna, Austria’s capital and cultural epicenter, is consistently rated one of the world’s most livable cities. Austria’s long musical heritage produced world-renowned composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Strauss. The nation also boasts charming Baroque architecture, delicious confections like Sachertorte cake, and a high standard of living. While Austria has stunning natural landscapes, the refinement and artistic heritage of cities like Vienna give this nation an added air of paradise.


  • World-class music and arts scene in Vienna, Salzburg, and other urban hubs
  • Storied Alpine scenery featured in films like The Sound of Music
  • Rich history and culture including Imperial palaces and Opera houses
  • High-quality universal healthcare and education systems


  • High taxes and cost of living associated with extensive social services
  • Mountainous terrain makes transportation infrastructure costly
  • High volume of tourists in popular destinations like Vienna and Salzburg
  • Czech, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia also great destinations, I can throw in more cons here if needed


With its unspoiled nature, accepting culture, and high quality of life, Canada has many heavenly features. As the world’s second largest country by area, Canada has an abundance of pristine wilderness, including stunning national parks like Banff and Jasper. Cosmopolitan, multicultural cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver mix modern urban amenities with natural beauty. Canada typically ranks highly on indexes measuring human development, economic freedom, and democracy. Canada’s universal healthcare system, low violent crime rates, tolerance of diversity, and freedom of choice also give this North American nation an elevated quality of life. While no country is perfect, Canada’s combination of stunning landscapes and progressive values help make it heavenly.


  • Pristine natural settings with mountains, lakes, forests, and tundra
  • Peaceful, egalitarian society with universal healthcare and low violent crime
  • World-class cities that embrace diversity like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver
  • High levels of economic freedom, transparency, and human development


  • Harsh winters with bitterly cold temperatures across much of the country
  • High taxes required to fund extensive social services and healthcare
  • Vast distances between major urban centers
  • High costs of goods and services in cities like Toronto and Vancouver


With its glittering waters, traditional villages, and progressive values, Sweden seems plucked from an idyllic paradise. Situated in Scandinavia, Sweden offers pristine lakes, lush forests, and thousands of offshore islands along its long Baltic Sea coastline. Quaint towns like Visby on the island of Gotland preserve medieval walls and charm. Globally, Sweden ranks near the top in gender equality, environmental sustainability, innovation, and overall happiness and well-being. Generous social welfare programs, egalitarian values, and a high standard of living lead many to consider Sweden a model society. While Sweden faces challenges like any country, it gets a lot right in enhancing quality of life.


  • Stunning natural scenery including islands, lakes, forests, and northern lights
  • Leading social equality, sustainability, innovation, and standard of living
  • Generous, high-quality universal healthcare and education systems
  • Progressive values and human rights protections


  • High tax rates needed to fund social service programs
  • Rapidly rising housing costs, especially in Stockholm
  • Dark, long winters with extremely limited sunlight
  • High cost of living and imported goods


From the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback desert, Australia boasts heavenly natural beauty. As an island continent, Australia offers incredible diversity, from spectacular beaches to the rugged Red Centre. Cosmopolitan cities like Sydney and Melbourne rank highly in quality of life indexes. Thanks to its isolation and strict biosecurity measures, Australia remains ecologically pristine. Wildlife like kangaroos, koalas, and platypuses is found nowhere else on earth. With its laidback lifestyle and abundance of sunshine, Australia delivers on relaxation and vitality. While Australia contends with issues like wildfires and droughts, the mix of stunning landscapes and welcoming culture give it an air of paradise.


  • Iconic natural attractions like the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru/Ayers Rock, Kakadu, and the Blue Mountains
  • Abundant unique wildlife including marsupials and the platypus
  • Cosmopolitan, sunny cities with beautiful beaches like Sydney and Melbourne
  • Relaxed pace of life and celebration of the outdoors


  • World’s driest inhabited continent with frequent droughts and bushfires
  • Many dangerous native species like poisonous snakes, spiders, octopi, and jellyfish
  • Expensive flights and isolation from the rest of the world
  • Limited political and cultural influence due to smaller population


Here is a comparison of some key metrics for these heavenly countries:

Country Happiness Ranking Environmental Performance Healthcare Quality
New Zealand 8 14 41
Iceland 4 1 15
Switzerland 3 2 11
Austria 10 12 28
Canada 5 24 34
Sweden 7 3 10
Australia 11 35 32

Sources: World Happiness Report 2022, Environmental Performance Index 2022, CEOWorld Health Care Index 2021


While no country is a true utopia, certain nations like New Zealand, Switzerland, and Sweden come remarkably close thanks to their stunning natural beauty and progressive societies. When weighing factors like environmental protection, healthcare excellence, political stability, and overall well-being, these countries consistently rank near the top. Of course, beauty remains in the eye of the beholder. For its epic mountain scenery, unparalleled quality of life, and long-standing neutrality, Switzerland could claim the top honor as the country that most resembles heaven on Earth. But compelling cases can also be made for New Zealand, Iceland, Canada, and Scandinavian nations like Sweden. Wherever your travels take you, appreciating the diverse qualities that make each country unique hints at the richness of heaven’s blessings.

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