Networking, unexpected drop-ins, incessant phone calls, pesky get-togethers … many of us just aren’t cut out for so much social stimulation.
If you’re an introvert, you will understand how important it is to live in an environment in which you can thrive in. I like to think of the introvert as a prickly, desert-hardy cactus, which can self-sufficiently survive in solitary landscapes. But put the cactus in the middle of a bustling city, or in a chaotic office, and it will be over-watered, over-stimulated, and underdeveloped.
As introverts, we ain’t no sunflowers, wallflowers perhaps, but definitely not sunflowers.
If we can’t find the space to live happily and freely … well then what? As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get … going, and the final option at the end of the day may well be going someplace else.
So if you’ve ever considered emigrating to another country, a much quieter country, this article will be of use to you.
The following list of introvert-friendly countries is by no means definitive, and was compiled through research undertaken on a variety of forums and websites. Every country has a mixture of introverts, ambiverts, and extroverts, so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever find an “introvert paradise” with 100% of the population introverted. That’s just unrealistic.
You will however, find different cultures, customs and norms in each of the following countries that are perhaps better suited to the quiet, reserved person.
11 of the Most Introverted Countries in the World
The following list is ordered alphabetically, and provides useful information on each introvert-friendly country for your disposal. Enjoy!
Population: 8,414,638 (2011 Census).
Official Language: German.
Cool Attractions: Melk Abbey, Vienna State Opera, Hohensalzburg Castle, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Innsbruck Altstadt, Schönbrunn Palace.
What people say: “I’ve been to Austria a few times, beautiful country, introverted yes, friendly, not so much.” (city-data.com)
Population: 11,035,948 (2012 Census).
Official Language: Dutch, French, German.
Cool Attractions: Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Liege, Spa, Namur, Mechelen, Hasselt, Dinant.
What people say: “Of the nineteen or so countries I visited, perhaps the most profound experience was in the Flanders region of Belgium. It was here I embraced the knowledge of how special it was to live as an introvert.” (nancyfenn.wordpress.com)
Population: 10,436,560 (2011 Census).
Official Language: Czech.
Cool Attractions: Prague Castle, Terezin, Concentration Camp, Cesky Krumlor, Konopiste Chateau, Karlovyvary.
What people say: “In the USA I can get along, though too much “people time” makes me tired and edgy. Here in Prague, though, my introvert nature can breathe an expand, as this is an introvert nation”. (praguepies.blogspot.com.au)
Population: 5,602,536 (2013 Estimate).
Official Language: Danish.
Cool Attractions: Tivoli Gardens, Legoland Billund, Tycho Brake Planetarium, Rosenborg Castle, The Little Mermaid.
What people say: “(The Danish) are just not easy to know on a closer level. I would say they are more private and keep to those they know well.” (portal.foreignersindenmark.dk)
Population: 1,294,455 (2011 Census).
Official Language: Estonian.
Cool Attractions: Tallinn Zoo, Lahemaa National Park, Tartu, Parnu, Rouge, St. Mary’s Cathedral.
What people say: “On average, Estonians are introverted and they do not show much emotion”. (www.photologix.nl)
Population: 5,421,827 (2012 Estimate).
Official Language: Finnish, Swedish.
Cool Attractions: Fortress of Suomenlinna, Power Park, Lapland, Rauma, Helsinki Cathedral, Mekaanisen Musiik in Museo.
What people say: “Put two Finns in an elevator. Neither of them says a word and they don’t feel uneasy at all. There is mutual understanding between them that they didn’t have to start small talk”. (www.wrongplanet.net)
Population: 321,857 (2013 Estimate).
Official Language: Icelandic.
Cool Attractions: Gullfloss Waterfall, The Blue Lagoon, Geysir Hot Springs, Vatnajokull National Park, Lake Myvatn.
What people say: Iceland has a whole section of a social networking site dedicated to Icelandic introverts and shy singles. Enough said.
Population: 128,056,026 (2010 Census).
Official Language: Japanese.
Cool Attractions: Mount Fuji, Great Buddha of Kamakura, Golden Pavilion, Disneyland, Imperial Palace, Hiroshima, Universal Studios.
What people say: “But at some point it hit me: I’m an introvert and Japan is a country that rewards introverted behaviour. Suddenly I knew why I never felt very comfortable in the US, where extroverted behaviour is praised … I have often said that if I were going to design my own country, it would resemble Japan”. (bungotaketa.wordpress.com)
Population: 2,970,371 (2011 Census).
Official Language: Latvian.
Cool Attractions: Siguida Castle, Venta Waterfall, Pedvale Open-Air Museum, Aglona Basilica, Rundale Palace and Museum.
What people say: “… people here are introvert(ed) and communicate inside their close circle of friends”. (integration.lv)
Population: 9,555,893 (2012 Census).
Official Language: Swedish.
Cool Attractions: Liseberg Funpark, Slottet Castle, Carl Larsson-Garden, Foteville Viking Reserve, Domkyrkan Cathedral, ABBA:The Museum.
What people say: “... social relationships are particularly problematic among Swedes. This may manifest itself as communication apprehension, reservedness, desire for social autonomy, positive attitudes towards loneliness, and strict boundaries between private and public life“. (www.nordicway.com)
Population: 7,954,700 (2011 Census).
Official Language: German, French, Italian, Romansh.
Cool Attractions: Lake Geneva, Swiss Alps, Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory, Zurich, Interlaken, Lucerne.
What people say: “Switzerland’s type is much more introverted, inward, private. Few Swiss, for example, entertain others in their homes. Where an introvert in America is the “odd man out”, in Switzerland the introvert is the norm“. (jungiancenter.org)
You may also like to check out Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, South Korea, Luxembourg, Germany and China as potential introvert-friendly cultures. Also, if you have any suggestions, or positive and negative experiences while traveling to any of these countries, please feel free to share below!