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15 Best Places to Visit in Finland, From the Sauna Capital of the World to Santa Claus Village

From national parks and beautiful lakes to modern cities and the home of Santa Claus, these are the best places to visit in Finland.

top 3 places to visit in finland

Visit Finland

If you’re planning a trip to Finland, there’s a good chance seeing the northern lights is at the top of your list. During the winter months, Lapland, the country’s northernmost region, is known as one of the best places in the world to view the famed natural light display. Amazing as the experience may be, though, spotting the aurora borealis is just one of the many reasons to visit this Nordic country. 

Adventurous travelers and those who prefer fresh air to indoor activities will feel right at home in Finland. Nicknamed the “Land of a Thousand Lakes,” the country has around 188,000 lakes, giving way to activities like ice fishing, swimming, paddleboarding, and cruising. Finland is also covered in lush forests and vast wilderness; in fact, there are 41 national parks, all of which showcase the diversity of Finnish landscapes, flora, and fauna. Spending time in the great outdoors is crucial to understanding Finland and what makes it so special — so be sure to save time in your itinerary for a trip to Lake Päijänne or Nuuksio National Park. “The everyday life is rather similar in all the Nordic countries, but I believe Finns appreciate silence and nature even more,” says Riitta Kiukas, CEO of Active Holiday Finland by Skafur-Tour . “One hour in a forest every day keeps us happy.” Other places to search for the secret to Finnish happiness include Helsinki (the country’s capital), Rovaniemi (the home of Santa Claus), and any of the country’s traditional saunas. 

Consider giving yourself at least five to seven days to explore Finland. “Geographically, Finland is big, and distances are long. Therefore, I would recommend reserving a week at the minimum,” says Kiukas. And if you get lost or need help during your travels, don’t be afraid to ask a Finn for assistance. “I think one of the biggest misconceptions about Finland is that people are very reserved and cold. As that may be for some, most are truly nice and warm and willing to go a long way just to help somebody out,” says Eero Vottonen, chef of Palace , a Michelin-starred restaurant in Helsinki. 

Meet the Expert

Riitta Kiukas is the CEO of Active Holiday Finland by Skafur-Tour, a Finnish travel agency offering a number of tours and experiences. 

Eero Vottonen is the award-winning Finnish chef at Palace, a Helsinki restaurant that has earned two Michelin stars. 

Interested in learning more about what this Northern European country has to offer? Read on to discover the 15 best places to visit in Finland, according to locals. 

Related: The Best Times to Visit Finland for Outdoor Adventures, Northern Lights Viewing, and More

fotoVoyager/Getty Images

Not only is Helsinki the capital of Finland, but it’s also the gateway to discovering the rest of the country, particularly for international travelers. Like many European cities, Helsinki mixes history — it was founded in 1550 — with modern art, architecture, and a number of incredible restaurants and cafes. For a culturally rich experience, browse the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art , Design Museum , and Galerie Forsblom .

Åland Islands

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Around 6,700 islands make up the archipelago of Åland. Chef Vottonen notes its “beautiful scenery with a lot to explore,” particularly in the summertime. The autonomous region is ideal for island-hopping; the islands with permanent residents are connected by ferry. Not sure where to begin? Kiukas suggests Kökar, “a small island with a unique archipelago nature.” “Our clients just love everything there, and many cycle through the Åland Islands,” she says.

Eduardo Cabanas/Getty Images

Rovaniemi is the “Official Hometown of Santa Claus” and the capital of Lapland. Visitors make their way to the city’s Santa Claus Village — where you can meet the man himself — all year round, although it’s most popular during the holiday season. If you come to Rovaniemi in the summer, however, you’ll get to experience the midnight sun, the natural phenomenon where the sun doesn’t set. 

Related: How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Finnish Lapland — Northern Lights and Midnight Sun Included

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The sauna is central to Finnish culture, and Tampere holds the title of the “Sauna Capital of the World,” with the most public saunas (55 and counting) in Finland. Chef Vottonen describes his former hometown as having “the easiest and [most] chilled vibe.” Those interested in experiencing a traditional sauna should book a session at Rajaportti , the country’s oldest still-operating public sauna.

Nuuksio National Park

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“Us Finns usually have a relationship with the wild or forest,” says Chef Vottonen. “Hiking or walking through one of [our] amazing national parks shows you the reason why. [They’re] usually very well maintained and with the possibility to reserve indoor sleeping.” Nuuksio National Park is easy to reach from Helsinki, and overnight travelers can reserve a cozy cabin to sleep in after a day of hiking, swimming, or cycling in the park.

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The oldest city in Finland and the country’s former capital, Turku should be on every traveler’s radar, particularly if they’re interested in Nordic cuisine. Travel + Leisure journalist Tom Vanderbilt highlighted Smör and the Michelin-starred Kaskis in his guide to Turku , but there are a variety of other restaurants — and things to do — to fill your day in the riverside town. Most notably, there’s the 13th-century Turku Castle, Turku Cathedral, and the open-air Market Square.

Kiukas adds Posio, “the most sustainable village in Finland,” to her list of the country’s best places to visit. Located in Lapland, Posio is great for “individuals and small groups searching for authentic experiences,” she says. The village is also the center of Finnish ceramic culture; Pentik , the world’s northernmost ceramic factory, and the Arctic Ceramic Centre both call Posio home.

Suomenlinna

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You’ll find Suomenlinna , an 18th-century sea fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a group of islands near Helsinki. Chef Vottonen calls it a “must-visit in the summer,” and recommends travelers have “a picnic, take a dip in the ocean, or enjoy the restaurants.” Those interested in the sea fortress’ history can learn more in the six different on-site museums .

Finnish Lakeland

Finnish Lakeland is the largest lake district in Europe, and there are a variety of towns, villages, and bodies of water to explore in the region. Kiukas recommends starting with Hämeenlinna or Lahti, “southern Finnish towns so close to Helsinki that many travelers just pass by.” “This is where the lake district starts, and you can get a taste of country life — slow down and enjoy silence, lakes, and the nature around you,” she says.

Ranua Wildlife Park

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If you want to see a polar bear, lynx, arctic foxes, and a large variety of other arctic species, make your way to Ranua Wildlife Park , about an hour’s drive south of Rovaniemi. The animals live in enclosures in the midst of the northern coniferous forest, and the park is open year-round. 

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For a dose of Finnish history, Chef Vottonen recommends visiting Porvoo, the second oldest city in Finland. “[It’s] only a short drive from Helsinki by car,” he says, or travelers can “enjoy the boat ride… and see the beautiful coastline.” The Old Porvoo neighborhood is recognizable for its traditional red-painted wooden houses along the Porvoonjoki River, and its cobbled streets and quaint cafes create a picture-perfect scene for both travelers and locals alike. 

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Winter sports enthusiasts will be interested in visiting Levi, the largest ski resort in Finland. Skiing, snowboarding, dogsledding, winter hiking, and snowshoeing are all available in Levi, and it’s also a great destination for seeing the northern lights. The light show is visible on most clear nights, but you can also take a guided tour to ensure you get the best views.  

Kiukas calls Varkaus a “hidden gem by Lake Saimaa,” and she says there’s a “contrast created by pure lake nature and industrial heritage.” Given its access to the surrounding lakes and canals, it’s a popular destination for those traveling by water. When not exploring the waterways, visitors can stop at the “Museum” of Mechanical Music (with purposeful quotation marks around “museum”), the Taipale Canal Museum , or the Väinölä Art Centre .

Lemmenjoki National Park

Harri Tarvainen/Visit Finland

The largest of Finland’s national parks, Lemmenjoki is known for its natural beauty and its history of gold prospecting. To explore the area, visitors can hike, canoe, or hop aboard a boat on the Lemmenjoki River. Travelers may also get a glimpse of the culture of the Indigenous Sámi people; the park features old housing and hunting grounds. 

Julia Kivela/Visit Finland

Kiukas suggests those traveling to Finland make a stop in Fiskars, an “example of an old industrial village now offering working spaces for artisans and artists.” Billed as a “home of creativity,” the village is the birthplace of Fiskars Corporation, the well-known Finnish company that makes cooking, gardening, and craft products — including the world's first plastic-handled scissors.

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17 Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Finland

Written by Jim O'Donnell and Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Jul 26, 2022

From the vibrant art-filled cities of Helsinki and Turku to the depths of the boreal forests and the thinly inhabited outer archipelago, Finland offers a wealth of attractions and beautiful places to visit.

It's also a relatively unknown corner of Europe, likely because it is so far from the mainstream tourist routes, but the country's many cultural and historical sites add to the unspoiled natural surroundings to make it an ideal destination.

Finland's lakes, fells, rivers, and vast wild areas, along with the certainty of snow in the winter make it a Nordic playground for both winter and summer activities.

Helsinki is the main point of entry for most visitors to Finland. The busy Baltic port is where you'll find the most important museums, as well as architecture by some of the greatest Finnish architects, and numerous things to do.

Within easy reach of Helsinki are the charming smaller cities of Turku and Porvoo. But it would be a shame to confine a trip only to the Baltic coast, when so much beautiful open countryside beckons. To the west lie the Finnish lakes, and in the north is the vast area beyond the Arctic Circle, home of the midnight sun, northern lights, and some of Europe's best winter sports.

Winter or summer, Finland offers plenty of things to do. Plan your trip with our list of the top attractions and places to visit in Finland.

1. Suomenlinna Fortress

2. kauppatori (market square) and esplanadi, 3. rovaniemi and the arctic, 4. helsinki churches, 5. go skiing or ride a dogsled, 6. shop and browse in helsinki's design district, 7. watch the northern lights, 8. åland archipelago, 11. lake saimaa and savonlinna, 13. tampere, 14. lemmenjoki national park, 16. hameenlinna, 17. ranua wildlife park.

Suomenlinna Fortress

One of the world's largest sea fortresses , the 18th-century fort on Suomenlinna is a 15-minute ferry ride from Helsinki's Market Square (a mini-cruise that has lovely views of the city as a bonus attraction).

The main point of interest is the fortress-castle whose construction was begun in 1748 during an era of Swedish rule, originally named Sveaborg. In 1808, troops surrendered the fortress to invading Russians, and its condition deteriorated over the following century.

Finally, after independence was regained in 1917, the Finns took control of the fortifications and began the slow process of restoring the landmark. It was an active submarine base during World War II , and today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction.

Begin with the audio-visual experience in the visitor center (it's in English) for a lively history, then explore its ramparts, tunnels, and museums and walk the trails around the beautiful island. Or sign up here for a guided walk to learn more about the fort and its various attractions. Among these are the 250-ton Vesikko submarine, used by the Finnish Navy from 1936 until the end of World War II.

The Ehrensvärd Museum illustrates the earliest Swedish period, and the Doll and Toy Museum displays dolls, dollhouses, and toys in an old Russian villa. Various buildings house studios and shops of glassblowers, potters, and other craftsmen, and in the summer, you can stay for evening dance and musical performances of the Suomenlinna Summer Theatre .

Official site: https://www.suomenlinna.fi/en

Kauppatori, Helsinki

Helsinki's harbor is an integral part of the city, whose important landmarks overlook it. It's also a popular gathering point, with an open-air market of local farmers, craftsmen, food producers, and fishermen , who sell directly from their boats.

You may catch the fragrance of salmon cooking over cedar planks beside the boats, and depending on the season see a rainbow of glistening ripe berries or baskets of foraged woodland mushrooms. The historic 1889 market hall shelters more food vendors, but the outdoor market is a year-round tradition, protected by tarps and tents in the winter.

Stretching from one side of the Market Square, the open swath of the Esplanadi is where the entire city seems to congregate on summer evenings. The tree-lined promenade is bordered by elegant buildings and a pavilion houses the Kappeli Restaurant, whose terrace is especially popular on summer evenings when there are concerts in the bandstand.

A fountain, another work by Eliel Saarinen, supports a statue of Havis Amanda, Helsinki's symbol. Helsinki's most unusual museum, the Street Museum , climbs from market Square to Senate Square, a one-block progression from the early 1800s to the 1930s, with paving surfaces, street lights, mail boxes, and phone booths changing with each era.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Helsinki & Easy Day Trips

Reindeer and sleighs in Rovaniemi

The Arctic Circle runs across northern Finland, right through the town of Rovaniemi, giving it claim to being the Gateway to the Arctic . In the summer, this means the famous Midnight Sun .

While the sun only stays above the horizon for a full 24 hours in Rovaniemi on the summer solstice in late June, from late May to early August it never drops far enough for it to get dark. Locals are out enjoying their great outdoors throughout these "White Nights" and welcome tourists to join them.

Rovaniemi is in the center of a vast natural area of rushing rivers for canoeing, swimming, or fishing, with trails alongside them for hiking and cycling. The city is best known (ask any Finnish child) as the home of Santa Claus, right astride the Arctic Circle at Santa Claus Village . You can meet reindeer here or visit a Sami reindeer farm.

To learn more about the Lapland culture and about the natural history, meteorology and geology of the Arctic, visit the stunning Arktikum Science Museum .

Read More: Top-Rated Things to Do in Rovaniemi

Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral

Three of the top places to visit in Helsinki are churches, two of them cathedrals and the third a landmark of modern architecture. Uspensky Orthodox Cathedral rises dramatically above the east side of the harbor, its 13 green-topped spires ending in gold cupolas. This is western Europe's largest Orthodox church, its interior glowing with gold, icons, crosses, altars, and intricately decorated arches. The cathedral serves Helsinki's large Russian population, and visitors are welcome.

On the hill directly behind the harbor and an equally visible landmark to those approaching Helsinki by sea, the huge Neoclassical Lutheran Cathedral is so close and so large that it appears to be standing on the roofs of the harbor-front buildings. The tall green dome and broad steps of the early 19th-century cathedral form the majestic focal point of Senate Square.

The buildings facing the square complete a harmonious enclosure, one of Europe's most beautiful public squares. It is used frequently for celebrations and as the starting point of parades. In December, the entire square is filled with booths selling beautiful local crafts and holiday foods.

While these two cathedrals are firmly in the traditions of their denomination, Temppeliaukio Church is an architectural experiment, carved into solid rock on a relatively small space in the center of the city. Architects Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen designed the church, covering it with a rounded, woven copper roof supported by concrete spokes. The acoustics created by the combination of copper and stone are remarkable, making this a popular venue for musical concerts of all styles.

Dogsledding in Rovaniemi

In the winter, the Arctic region is a paradise for skiers and others who love snow and ice sports. You can ride across frozen lakes and visit Sami villages on a dogsled safari , learn to drive your own reindeer sled, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for miles, and watch the spectacular northern lights.

Downhill skiers should head about 170 kilometers north of Rovaniemi to Levi , a center for all winter recreation, with miles of scenic Nordic ski trails, lighted for night skiing. So are the pistes and slopes of Finland's largest downhill ski area. Many hotels at Levi have rooms with glass ceilings, so you can watch the northern lights from inside.

Design Museum Helsinki

The epicenter of modern Scandinavian design, Helsinki has an entire district devoted to studios, galleries, and even antique shops dedicated to Finish designers and their work. Whether you're shopping or just looking, a few hours in these neighborhoods is a chance to experience this vibrant facet of Finnish arts and culture.

Design District Helsinki brings together creative people in the central neighborhoods of Punavuori, Kaartinkaupunki, Kamppi, and Ullanlinna, where you'll find boutiques, galleries, and studios devoted to contemporary designs in fashion, jewelry, furnishings, tableware and everyday items.

Along with the shops, you can arrange visits to some designer studios, such as Raaka Rå (organic pottery) and Paja (artisan jewelry) to see craftspeople at work; contact them through the Design District website. You'll also find shops specializing in design-driven antiques and vintage Finnish designs, such as Art.fi and Artek 2nd Cycle.

For an overview (and a great shop) visit the Design Forum Finland on Erottajankatu, which showcases the best of Finnish design in everything from dishes to paperclips. To see how Finnish design and craftsmanship have developed, and see some outstanding examples from the past, visit the Design Museum in the Kaartinkaupunki neighborhood.

Official site: https://designdistrict.fi/en/

Northern lights

For most people, seeing these blazing curtains of light drape across the sky is a once-in-a-lifetime treat. Finland is one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights . Although, at times, the lights can be seen even in the southern most regions of the nation, the best place to see them is in the region close to or north of the Arctic Circle.

Here, between September and March, visitors are almost guaranteed a show if the sky is clear. A wide range of hotels in the north cater specifically to people wanting to see the lights. Also, the Finnish Meteorological Institute allows you to sign up for free Northern Lights email alerts.

Åland Island

The Åland Islands (or Åland) are an autonomous archipelago between Sweden and Finland. A predominantly Swedish-speaking province of Finland, Åland is comprised of a few large islands and nearly 10,000 smaller ones. Åland has a unique history. It was ceded to Russia by Sweden in 1809. In 1854, a combined British/French fleet took the islands, destroying the fortress. After that, the entire archipelago was demilitarized and remains so to this day.

About 27,500 people live in Åland, with about 11,000 in the main town of Mariehamn . The main industry of the islands has always been shipping and trade, so the Maritime Museum, the Museum Ship Pommern, and the Maritime Quarter in Mariehamn are worth seeing to understand the islands' fascinating maritime history.

Also worth a visit is the Jan Karlsgården open-air museum in Kastelholm, where you can see what a typical island farm looked like around 1890. However, the big draw to Åland these days is its unspoiled nature and beautiful landscapes.

On midsummer's eve, Åland holds a massive and ancient celebration marking the longest day of the year. The lovely landscapes and seascapes make it a favorite with artists, and their studios and galleries are popular with tourists, who arrive by boat from Turku and Stockholm.

Turku Castle

The southwestern Finnish town of Turku, the country's oldest town and until 1812 its capital, lies on the Gulf of Bothnia, at the mouth of the Aurajoki River. Turku lies in the area where the successors to the Swedish Vikings landed in the 12th century and set out to conquer what is now Finland.

With eight centuries of history, it is today the most traditional medieval town in Finland, but in addition to its outstanding medieval buildings, you'll find examples of Art Nouveau and modern architecture, such as the Sibelius Museum , by Woldemar Baeckman.

The river is a focal point for the city, lined with historic boats, some of which have been converted into restaurants. In the summer, locals gather along its banks in the evening and in the winter, it becomes a giant skating rink.

On the northeast side of the river is the commercial center with the Kaupatori (market square) shopping center and lovely Orthodox Church . On the opposite bank the medieval cathedral , consecrated in 1290, rises above the Old Great Square . It is a massive brick church in Late Romanesque style with Gothic and Renaissance additions and a massive 97-meter-high tower, which dominates the city.

During the midsummer Medieval Festival , the old square's ensemble of historic buildings regains its medieval air with craft stalls and food vendors.

Tall ships docked on the River Aura in Turku

Just down from the cathedral along the river, two old sailing ships are moored - the "Suomen Joutsen," now a training school for seamen, and the "Sigyn," the last remaining wooden barque used for sea trade. Both are open to the public in summer.

Nearer the harbor is Turku Castle, built around 1300 on what was then an island at the mouth of the river. It was enlarged in the 16th to 17th century and now houses the Turku Historical Museum .

For a look at what Turku looked like in the early 1800s, stroll through the streets of the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum , an entire neighborhood of 40 homes, the only ones saved in the fire that destroyed Turku in 1827. Preserved as a museum village, its homes and workshops now house artisans who demonstrate period crafts.

Porvoo

The country's second oldest town, Porvoo, is 48 kilometers east of Helsinki. It rises from a picturesque riverfront lined with little red wooden buildings, through a charming tangle of old streets and ochre-colored wooden houses to its hilltop medieval cathedral . Highlights here are the ornate 1764 pulpit and wall paintings from the 15th century.

Between the river and the hilltop cathedral is the Market Square with two museums worth visiting. One has exhibits on local history and the other, the Edelfelt-Vallgren Museum , is of particular interest to those fascinated by the Art Nouveau movement. It features the furniture, ceramics, and other works of several artists who formed an art colony here at the turn of the 20th century.

Porvoo is still known for its fine crafts, so allow time for browsing the shops and studios. In the summer, you can visit Porvoo from Helsinki by boat.

Castle Olavinlinna, Savonlinna

The entire eastern portion of Finland is more sea than land. With literally tens of thousands of lakes, rivers, marshes, and ponds, eastern Finland is a fabulous aquatic playground. The dominant lake of the region is massive Lake Saimaa , the "lake of a thousand islands." Lake Saimaa itself has an area of some 1,300 square kilometers - excluding its numerous islands.

The whole lake system is drained by the river Vuoksi, which leaves Lake Saimaa to the north of the town of Imatra and flows into Lake Ladoga in Russia. The hilly shores of the lake and most of the islands are almost entirely covered with coniferous forest, with some birch forest farther north.

Savonlinna is the main city of Finland's lake region. A popular spa and holiday resort, Savonlinna grew up around Olavinlinna Castle, begun in 1475 and Europe's northernmost medieval stone fortress still standing.

The castle, which has been beautifully restored, contains a number of handsome rooms, among them the King's or Knights' Hall , the Congress Hall , and the Great Hall . Three massive round towers have survived, and in one of them, the Church Tower , is a small chapel. In the Great Bastion is a summer café.

East of Savonlinna lies Kerimäki and the largest wooden church in the world. A must do when in the lake region are the boat cruises. From Savonlinna, there are boat trips to the other towns on Lake Saimaa, to Punkaharju , with the Retretti Art Center , the largest in the Nordic countries, to the monasteries of Uusi Valamo and Lintula . Another day trip option is a cruise down the Saimaa Canal to Vyborg in Russia on the Baltic Sea.

Vaasa

Established in the 1300s, Vaasa was an important town in the time that Sweden ruled Finland. The original town burned down in 1852 and was relocated six kilometers northwest near a better harbor. The ruins of the old city are now a giant park (Vanha Vaasa, Gamla Vasa).

The town is about 34 percent Swedish speaking and retains many ties to Sweden. Surrounded by a wide range of cafés, restaurants, and shops, the large market place is the center of city life. This peaceful town offers plenty of attractions. Visitors can walk along the waterfront, which begins in front of the town and extends for miles along the coast.

Other attractions include the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, down at the harbor, the Ostrobothnian Museum, the Terranova Kvarken Nature Center , the Tikanoja Art Museum, and the Vaasa Maritime Museum .

Just to the east of the city center, on an island, is Tropiclandia and tropical spa , a waterpark inside a heated dome packed with pools, slides, and saunas. South of Vaasa is the famed Söderfjärden crater caused by a meteor millions of years ago. To the north lies the Kvarken National Park , a wild archipelago hosting many great hikes and excellent bird-watching opportunities.

Vaasa also hosts a number of notable cultural events, including the Night of the Arts ; the Korsholm Music Festival , one of the most noted of chamber music festivals; and the Vaasa Choir Festival . Vaasa claims to be the sunniest town in all of Finland, so soak up some rays on one of the many beaches.

Orthodox Church in Tampere

Founded in 1779 as an industrial settlement, Tampere is Finland's third largest town, but doesn't feel like a large urban center. It lies between two lakes: Näsijärvi, to the north, and Pyhäjärvi, to the south, which are linked by the Tammerkoski , a stretch of rapids nearly a kilometer long.

Along with its industry, Tampere is known for its active cultural life with an open-air theater and frequent festivals. These include the November Tampere Jazz Happening , a tradition now for more than 35 years, when world-renowned names in jazz perform throughout the city in small concert venues and clubs.

In the Vapriikki Museum, you'll find the Natural History Museum and other exhibitions. Three churches are of note: Tampere Cathedral is known for its unusual paintings and frescoes depicting skeletons in black hooded capes, created in the early 1900s by Finnish symbolist painter Hugo Simberg.

The Kaleva Church, a soaring concrete building constructed in the 1960s has a floor plan in the shape of a fish, an ancient Christian symbol. The green-domed brick Orthodox Church of Saint Alexander Nevsky and Saint Nicholas has a sumptuously decorated interior.

Lemmenjoki National Park

Anyone seeking an Arctic wilderness experience will love Lemmenjoki National Park. The tract of boreal forest is the largest park in Finland and one of the most extensive chunks of wildlands in all of Europe, covering more than 2,589 square kilometers. For the trekker, there are hundreds of kilometers of marked trails, as well as free and open wilderness huts and more sophisticated rental huts with sauna and campfire places.

The namesake of the park, the Lemmenjoki River, is a sight to behold as it flows down from the fells into a stunning valley of towering pines. Visitors can either rent a boat or take a tour. This is the place to find brown bear, wolves, and wild golden eagles, as well as moose and reindeer.

Oulu

Sweet little Oulu lies near the north end of the Gulf of Bothnia, at the mouth of the Oulujoki river. It began as a village clustered around the late 16th-century castle built by King John III of Sweden on the island of Linnansaari at the mouth of the Oulujoki.

At the north end of the busy Kirkkokatu stands the c athedral , originally built in 1770-72. Beyond, at the north end of Kirkkokatu, a small bridge leads into the beautiful island of Ainola , where you'll find a park and the Provincial Museum . Farther north is the Botanic Garden, and on the island of Hupisaari, a summer theater.

Another popular tourist attraction is the Tietomaa Science Center to the east of the Oulu Botanic Garden. In the summer, spend some time at the Market Square over coffee and classic Finnish pastries. A few kilometers up the Oulujoki is the island of Turkansaari , once the home of Russian traders in the city and now an open-air museum.

Hameenlinna

Like many Finnish towns, Hämeenlinna began near a castle, in this case the 13th-century Tavastehus Castle . Its distinctive red-brick fortifications top the list of places to see in Hameenlinna. The other place you shouldn't miss seeing is Aulanko Nature Reserve . Part garden park, part forest reserve, it is the first National Urban Park in Finland.

The English-style park was constructed between 1883 and 1938, and in addition to hiking its well-kept trails among exotic and native trees, you can climb the 30-meter-tall granite tower on Aulangonvuori Hill for views across a typical Finnish forest and lake landscape. More than 50 different species of trees and shrubs are identified along the nature trail round Lake Joutsenlampi. Two historic pavilions and the ruins of a late 19th-century castle are also in the park.

Hämeenlinna was the birthplace of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) and north of the market Square is the Sibelius Museum; a little bit farther on is the Sibelius Park and the nearby Hämeenlinna Historical Museum .

Lynx in the Ranua Wildlife Park

This park is part zoo and part wildlife preserve, home to more than 50 species of animals who call the arctic their home. Their most famous residents are Venus and Manse, the only polar bears residing in Finland . The park is naturally home to many reindeer, as well as the smaller wild forest reindeer and several varieties of deer.

Other park residents include large mammals like moose and brown bear, canines like the Arctic fox, grey wolf, and the dhole, and smaller animals like mink, otter, and stoat. There is also quite a variety of owls and geese, as well as several eagles and other birds. Visitors can stroll the grounds for a self-guided tour or book an "arctic safari" to learn more about the animals and their habitat.

Address: Rovaniementie 29, 97700 Ranua, Finland

Official site: https://english.ranuazoo.com

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Finland Travel Guide

35 BEST Places to Visit in Finland

Looking for the best places to visit in Finland? Discover the breathtaking beauty of Finland's hidden gems - from Saariselkä to Suomenlinna, and explore enchanting national parks and serene lakes. 

Looking for the best places to visit in Finland? Discover the breathtaking beauty of Finland’s hidden gems – from Saariselkä to Suomenlinna, and explore enchanting national parks and serene lakes.  

This Nordic gem offers a plethora of breathtaking destinations that are worth a visit. Whether you’re an avid explorer or simply seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Finland has something special in store for you. 

Each city has a unique allure, inviting you to unravel its secrets and create unforgettable memories. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on a journey through Finland’s captivating wonders. 

From bustling cities to serene natural landscapes, no shortage of beauty awaits your arrival. Join us as we uncover this Nordic paradise that truly has it all – history, culture, nature, and so much more. 

Follow me on Instagram , where you’ll see more personal tips about living in Finland from a local resident chef and content creator 🍃🍃🍃

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Table of Contents

Looking for the best places to visit in Finland? Discover the breathtaking beauty of Finland's hidden gems - from Saariselkä to Suomenlinna, and explore enchanting national parks and serene lakes. 

Helsinki: The capital city

Is Helsinki Safe for Travel in 2023? And Safety Tips to Follow!

The capital city, Helsinki, the picturesque capital of Finland, is undeniably a must-visit destination for anyone exploring this enchanting Nordic country. Nestled on the southern coast of Finland, Helsinki is the country’s most popular and vibrant city. 

Boasting a blend of modernity and rich cultural heritage, Helsinki offers many attractions that will leave visitors spellbound. One of the top places to visit in Helsinki is undoubtedly the iconic Senate Square. 

This grand square is surrounded by stunning neoclassical buildings, including the magnificent Helsinki Cathedral. With its distinctive green dome and pristine white facade, the cathedral is an emblematic symbol of Finnish architecture. 

For those interested in delving into Finland’s history and culture, visiting Suomenlinna should be high on their list. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an archipelago fortress just off Helsinki’s coast. 

Steeped in history, Suomenlinna dates back to the 18th century and offers visitors a chance to explore its fortified walls, hidden tunnels, and museums and even enjoy picnics by its picturesque shores. Stroll along its charming waterfront promenades to truly experience Helsinki’s charm and beauty. 

From Kauppatori (Market Square), bustling with local vendors selling fresh produce and unique handicrafts, to Esplanade Park, filled with lush greenery and vibrant flower beds – these areas offer perfect spots for leisurely walks or simply enjoying a cup of coffee while soaking up the Finnish atmosphere. Whether exploring museums like Ateneum or Kiasma showcasing world-class art collections or immersing yourself in nature by visiting nearby national parks such as Nuuksio or Sipoonkorpi – Helsinki has something for everyone. 

No visit would be complete without experiencing Töölönlahti Bay’s stunning scenery or venturing out to Lake Saimaa, the largest lake in Finland, for serene boat rides or leisurely walks along its shores. Helsinki is Finland’s capital city and the gateway to exploring the diverse wonders of this beautiful country. 

With its captivating blend of modernity and heritage, Helsinki offers many attractions and experiences that will make your visit unforgettable. So pack your bags and prepare to embark on a journey through southern Finland’s charming cultural hub. 

🛏️ Book your hotel ahead of time to get the best deals, click here to find the best hotels to stay in Helsinki !

🧳 One of the best way to explore a new destination stress-free is through guided tours! Check this out to find the best tours in Helsinki .

Tampere: The Finnish Manchester

Looking for the best places to visit in Finland? Discover the breathtaking beauty of Finland's hidden gems - from Saariselkä to Suomenlinna, and explore enchanting national parks and serene lakes. 

Tampere, often referred to as the Finnish Manchester, is a vibrant city in Finland that offers a unique blend of industrial history and modern attractions. Nestled between two gorgeous lakes , Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi, Tampere boasts stunning waterfront views that add to its charm. If you’re planning a trip to Finland, Tampere should definitely be on your list of places to visit. 

One of the best places to explore in Tampere is the picturesque Amuri district. This historic area is known for its well-preserved wooden houses and charming streets. 

Take a leisurely stroll through this neighborhood and soak up its old-world ambiance. You can also visit the Amuri Museum of Workers’ Housing, which provides fascinating insights into the lives of industrial workers during the early 20th century. 

For those seeking cultural experiences, Tampere has plenty to offer. The city is home to various museums and art galleries catering to different interests. 

The Vapriikki Museum Centre is an absolute must-visit. Located in an old factory building by Tammerkoski Rapids, it houses numerous exhibitions ranging from natural history to technology and even the Finnish Baseball Museum. 

Another noteworthy attraction is the Sara Hildén Art Museum, which showcases contemporary art from Finland and beyond. Additionally, if you’re a fan of architecture or history buffs, don’t miss out on visiting Tampere Cathedral (Tampereen Tuomiokirkko). 

This impressive Lutheran church stands tall as one of the top attractions in town with its distinctive red-brick facade and beautiful interior. Step inside and admire its grandeur while learning about its historical significance. 

While planning your trip to Finland, don’t overlook Tampere – a city that offers industrial heritage and modern delights. Explore its charming districts like Amuri with their preserved wooden houses, or immerse yourself in the rich cultural scene by visiting fascinating museums and art galleries. 

Tampere Cathedral is also worth visiting for its architectural beauty and historical significance. Including Tampere in your itinerary will enhance your overall experience of this enchanting country. 

Where to stay in Finland? Find great deals and book your hotel through this link !

Don’t want to stress about what to do? Book tours to make your trip easier and more exciting !

Espoo Modern Art Museum

Espoo, a vibrant city in southern Finland, is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a blend of nature and urban charm. It is situated just west of Helsinki and offers a delightful contrast to the bustling capital. 

With its picturesque landscapes, modern architecture, and cultural attractions, Espoo has something for everyone. One of the most beautiful places to visit in Espoo is Nuuksio National Park. 

This pristine wilderness covers vast expanses of lush forests dotted with crystal-clear lakes. Nature lovers can immerse themselves in the tranquility of this enchanting park by hiking along its numerous trails or enjoying a peaceful picnic by the shores of one of its many lakes. 

If you’re lucky, you might spot some native wildlife, like reindeer grazing peacefully among the trees. Espoo offers fascinating glimpses into Finland’s past for those interested in history. 

The medieval Espoo Cathedral, dating back to the 13th century, is an iconic landmark and architectural masterpiece. Stepping inside this historic place of worship allows visitors to marvel at its stunning stained glass windows and ornate decorations. 

Apart from its natural beauty and historical sites, Espoo is also known for its modern attractions. The WeeGee Exhibition Centre is an impressive cultural hub with several museums showcasing art, design, and history exhibits. 

One standout attraction within WeeGee is the EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art – which presents contemporary works from Finnish and international artists. To truly experience Espoo’s charm, take some time to explore Tapiola Garden City with its unique blend of urban planning and green spaces. 

Developed in the mid-20th century as an ideal residential area combining housing with nature conservation principles, Tapiola is now recognized as a prime example of modern Finnish architecture. Espoo stands out amongst other places in Finland due to its harmonious blend of natural beauty and modern amenities. 

From the serene landscapes of Nuuksio National Park to the cultural richness of WeeGee and the historic allure of Espoo Cathedral, this province of Finland offers an array of experiences for every traveler. So, if you’re planning a trip to Finland, take advantage of Espoo as a captivating destination worth exploring. 

Looking for the best places to visit in Finland? Discover the breathtaking beauty of Finland's hidden gems - from Saariselkä to Suomenlinna, and explore enchanting national parks and serene lakes. 

Located on the west coast of Finland, Vaasa is a charming city that offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty. With its picturesque archipelago, vibrant cultural scene, and fascinating museums, Vaasa is a must-visit destination in Finland . One of the main attractions in Vaasa is the Old Town, known as Vanha Vaasa. 

This area is steeped in history and showcases the city’s architectural heritage. Explore the cobblestone streets lined with colorful wooden houses that date back to the 19th century. 

Take a leisurely stroll along Market Square and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere as you browse through quaint shops and enjoy delicious Finnish cuisine at one of the cozy cafes. Visiting the Ostrobothnian Museum is highly recommended for those interested in learning about Finnish history. 

This museum provides fascinating insights into local culture and showcases exhibitions on maritime history and traditional craftsmanship. Another notable museum is Terranova, which focuses on natural sciences and features interactive exhibits that are both educational and entertaining for visitors of all ages. 

Nature enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in and around Vaasa. The Kvarken Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Baltic Sea, offers breathtaking views and unique landscapes shaped by glacial activity. 

Take a boat tour to experience this natural wonder up close or explore one of the many hiking trails along its shores. If you want an unforgettable experience, why not visit a reindeer farm? 

Just outside Vaasa lies Korsnäs Reindeer Farm, where you can get close to these majestic creatures while learning about their importance in Sami culture. Enjoy a reindeer sleigh ride through snow-covered forests or participate in traditional Lappish activities such as lasso throwing or cooking over an open fire. 

From its historical charm to its beautiful natural surroundings, Vaasa stands out as one of Finland’s most captivating places to visit. Whether you’re interested in immersing yourself in Finnish culture, exploring the great outdoors, or simply taking a leisurely stroll through the Old Town, Vaasa offers something for everyone. 

Porvoo: The second oldest city

Porvoo Archipelago

Nestled along the southern coast of Finland, Porvoo is a charming gem that is the second oldest city in the country. Steeped in history and adorned with picturesque wooden houses, this idyllic destination offers visitors a glimpse into Finland’s rich cultural heritage. There are plenty of reasons why Porvoo should be on your list of places to see in Finland. 

Wandering through Porvoo’s Old Town feels like stepping back in time. The cobblestone streets are lined with brightly colored wooden houses, many dating back to the 18th century. 

Strolling through these narrow lanes, you’ll find quaint boutiques, art galleries, and cozy cafes around every corner. The Old Town Hall, with its distinct red facade and clock tower, stands proudly on a hill overlooking the town square. 

One of Porvoo’s most iconic landmarks is the Cathedral. This stunning piece of architecture dates back to the 13th century and is located atop a hill, offering panoramic views over the city and its surroundings. 

Inside, you’ll find magnificent frescoes and beautiful stained glass windows that add to its ethereal charm. For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Porvoo Museum is a must-do. 

Housed in an old granary building near the riverbank, this museum showcases exhibits that delve into Porvoo’s past – from its role as an important trading hub to its struggles during various wars. The museum also highlights famous Finnish artists who found inspiration in Porvoo’s quaint streets. 

Whether exploring historical sites or simply soaking up the atmosphere at one of Porvoo’s delightful waterfront cafes, this enchanting city promises an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking an authentic taste of Finland’s past. With its unique blend of architectural beauty and cultural significance, it’s no wonder that Porvoo remains one of Finland’s best-kept secrets for both locals and travelers alike.

Turku: The former capital

Turku Cathedral Tuku Finland

Turku, the former capital of Finland, is a city that effortlessly combines history and modernity. Situated on the southwest coast of Finland, this charming city offers many attractions and experiences for visitors to enjoy. 

One of the highlights of Turku is its magnificent Turku Castle, which dates back to the 13th century. This well-preserved medieval fortress stands proudly by the Aura River, showcasing its grandeur and rich history. 

Exploring its ancient halls and chambers gives one an immersive experience of Finland’s past. Aside from Turku Castle, numerous other attractions make Turku a must-visit place in Finland. 

The city’s lively riverfront area is lined with bustling restaurants and cafes where you can relax and savor delicious Finnish cuisine while enjoying picturesque views of boats sailing along the river. Another notable site in Turku is the maritime museum, where you can delve into Finland’s seafaring heritage through interactive exhibits and fascinating displays. 

For those seeking cultural enrichment, Turku boasts an array of museums and galleries that showcase Finnish art and history. The Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum allows visitors to explore underground archaeological excavations while appreciating modern art exhibitions. 

The city also hosts annual festivals like Ruisrock, one of Europe’s oldest rock music festivals. While exploring Turku can keep you occupied for days, venturing outside the city opens up even more opportunities for adventure. 

Just a short drive from Turku lies Naantali, a charming coastal town known for its picturesque old town and Moomin World theme park. With its captivating blend of historical landmarks, vibrant riverside ambiance, cultural attractions, and proximity to other noteworthy destinations around Finland, Turku undoubtedly deserves a prominent spot on any traveler’s itinerary. 

Whether you’re fascinated by medieval castles or crave some urban exploration mixed with coastal beauty – this former capital has it all. So, hop on a train from Helsinki or embark on a road trip and discover the allure of Turku for yourself. 

Central Pori Church Pori

Pori, a charming city in Finland located on the western coast, is worth visiting during your Finland travel adventure. With its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, Pori offers a unique experience showcasing the best Finnish design and natural beauty. One of the must-visit attractions in Pori is the iconic Yyteri Beach, which stretches for six kilometers along the Gulf of Bothnia. 

This sandy paradise is perfect for leisurely walks, sunbathing, or even trying your hand at various water sports. The beach offers stunning views and an opportunity to bask in the tranquility of nature. 

Additionally, if you’re lucky enough to be there during sunset, you’ll witness one of the best things about Pori – breathtakingly beautiful sunsets that paint the sky with vibrant hues. For history buffs, a visit to Old Rauma should be noticed. 

This UNESCO World Heritage site boasts well-preserved wooden houses dating back to the 18th century. Strolling through its narrow streets feels like stepping back in time. 

One such place is Reposaari Island, reachable by ferry from central Pori. This idyllic island offers picturesque views and peaceful surroundings perfect for a day trip or overnight stay in one of its cozy cottages. 

Additionally, exploring hiking trails around Pori allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this region of Finland. While Helsinki may be the most popular city in Finland due to its status as the capital, Pori offers a different kind of experience that is well worth exploring. 

From the stunning Yyteri Beach to the historic charm of Old Rauma and the natural beauty of Reposaari Island, Pori has something for everyone. So, if you’re planning a trip to Finland, include Pori on your itinerary and discover this enchanting city has hidden gems. 

The Åland Islands

Marienhamn Aland islands

The Åland Islands, located in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland, are a hidden gem often overlooked in favor of more mainstream destinations. However, these islands offer a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a relaxed island atmosphere worth exploring. One of the highlights of visiting the Åland Islands is its stunning archipelago. 

With over 6,700 islands and skerries to explore, it’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. The rugged coastline is dotted with picturesque fishing villages where you can discover charming red wooden houses and taste authentic Finnish culture. 

Exploring the archipelago by boat or kayak allows you to fully immerse yourself in this tranquil setting and witness breathtaking sunsets over the sea. For history buffs, the Åland Islands are home to several interesting landmarks. 

One notable attraction is Kastelholm Castle, a medieval fortress that offers insight into Åland’s past as an important strategic location in maritime trade routes. The castle provides stunning views over the surrounding landscape and houses exhibitions showcasing its historical significance. 

In addition to its natural beauty and historical sites, the Åland Islands are also known for their maritime traditions. Sailing enthusiasts will find plenty to enjoy here, with numerous regattas throughout the year. 

Visiting one of the island’s maritime museums is highly recommended for those interested in maritime history or just looking for an enjoyable day out. The Åland Islands may not be on everyone’s radar when planning their trip to Finland, but they offer something special for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path destination. 

Whether drawn by its unspoiled landscapes or curious about its fascinating history as an autonomous region within Finland, exploring this beautiful archipelago will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Savonlinna: Home of Medieval History

Olavinlinna fortress in Savonlinna center Finland

Home of Medieval History Nestled in the heart of Finland, Savonlinna is a picturesque town that transports you back in time with its rich medieval history. As you wander through its cobblestone streets, you can’t help but feel a sense of enchantment and wonder. 

The highlight of this charming town is the magnificent Olavinlinna Castle, a stunning 13th-century fortress that stands proudly on an island in Lake Saimaa. Olavinlinna Castle is a sight to behold and hosts the world-renowned Savonlinna Opera Festival during the summer months. 

This annual event attracts opera enthusiasts from all over the world who gather to witness breathtaking performances against the backdrop of this historic castle. The festival’s magical ambiance and extraordinary acoustics within the castle’s walls make it an unforgettable experience. 

Aside from its medieval allure, Savonlinna offers visitors a range of activities and attractions that showcase Finland’s natural beauty. Explore Lake Saimaa by taking a relaxing boat trip or embarking on an exciting kayaking adventure. 

The lake is dotted with idyllic islands and hidden coves waiting to be discovered. You might even catch glimpses of Finland’s resident wildlife, such as seals and ospreys, if you’re lucky. 

Savonlinna also boasts several museums that provide fascinating insights into Finnish culture and history. For instance, the National Museum of Finland showcases an impressive collection of artifacts chronicling the country’s past, including exhibits on Savonlinna. 

Delve deeper into local traditions by exploring exhibitions dedicated to traditional Finnish costumes, folk music, and ancient folklore. If you’re seeking a destination that combines rich medieval history with breathtaking natural landscapes, Savonlinna should be at the top of your list when considering places to visit in Finland. 

Immerse yourself in Olavinlinna Castle’s enchanting atmosphere, witness world-class opera performances, and explore the beauty of Lake Saimaa. Savonlinna offers a unique blend of cultural treasures and natural wonders, making it an irresistible addition to any Finland travel itinerary. 

Rovaniemi: The official hometown of Santa Claus

Lapland Santa Holidays_Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi - Featured

Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus, is a magical place nestled in the heart of Lapland in northern Finland. This enchanting city offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the holiday spirit all year round. As you step into this winter wonderland, you’ll be greeted by a cheerful atmosphere and the unmistakable aroma of freshly baked gingerbread cookies. 

One of the top attractions in Rovaniemi is Santa Claus Village, where you can meet the jolly man himself. Here, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a fairytale as you wander through charming cottages adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. 

Take a moment to sit on Santa’s lap and share your Christmas wishes – it’s an experience that will warm your heart and make you feel like a child again. If you’re visiting Rovaniemi during wintertime, don’t miss the chance to embark on an exhilarating reindeer sleigh ride through the snowy forests. 

Picture yourself snuggled in blankets as these graceful animals guide you through breathtaking landscapes – it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. And for those seeking even more thrills, hop on a snowmobile and zip across frozen lakes and hills under the shimmering Northern Lights . 

Beyond its association with Santa Claus, Rovaniemi boasts other delightful attractions too. The Arktikum Museum provides fascinating insights into Arctic life and culture while showcasing stunning displays about Lapland’s indigenous Sami people. 

For nature enthusiasts, Ounasvaara Hill offers excellent skiing opportunities during winter and stunning hiking trails during the summer months. Rovaniemi shines as one of Finland’s most cherished tourist destinations. 

Whether meeting Santa Claus himself at his village or indulging in exciting outdoor activities amidst breathtaking landscapes, this city has something for everyone seeking an unforgettable experience in Finland’s Lapland region.

Are you planning your travels? Here’re my top travel resources!

I’m a serial planner both in life and in travel – I have bucket lists, things to do, see, and everything. So, I always love when my life is sorted easily using tools and resources that would make my general planning a little smoother and easier. Therefore, in my many years of traveling the world, I’ve seen myself returning to these travel resources repeatedly. And here I am, sharing my tips to make your life easy and breezy so you can stress less, travel heaps, and focus on the fun part of travel!

  • Booking.com  – I book all my hotels through this website and don’t honestly use anything else. They always have the best prices, in my opinion.
  • Airbnb  – If I’m traveling long-term to one destination, I book my flats through Airbnb.
  • Skyscanner  – The best place to find cheap flights on flexible dates. I use this a lot to score cheap flights within Europe!
  • SafetyWing  – Always travel insured! Never leave your home country without one. It is worth the extra money, I promise you!
  • GetYourGuide  – Hands-down, the best place to find cool and unique tours if you don’t feel like winging it, and go straight to a local expert. I use this a lot in new destinations to get acquainted with the area!
  • My Pretty Wild World Travel Diary (coming soon)  – A book you can write down your travel plans, create itineraries, track down your budget, and dot down memories along the way! A handy book you can keep and read later to revisit memory lane.
  • Pretty Wild World Travel Planning Printables (coming soon)  – Are you a nut like me when it comes to planning? Yes? Good. My travel planning resource in one zip file is an easy-to-use printable planner that comes with tips that helps you plan your travels during the planning stage, a pre-flight checklist, an itinerary planner, and so on.

The Northern Lights and Lapland

snowshoeing on the snow in lapland

Lapland, a magical region in northern Finland, offers an enchanting experience for those seeking the ethereal beauty of the Northern Lights. This natural phenomenon, also known as Aurora Borealis, is caused by the interaction between charged particles from the sun and the Earth’s magnetic field. The best time to visit Lapland to witness this breathtaking spectacle is during winter when nights are long, and the skies are clear. 

One of the most popular destinations in Lapland for chasing the Northern Lights is Rovaniemi, which proudly holds the title of “Official Hometown of Santa Claus.” Imagine standing under a sky filled with green, purple, and pink hues while surrounded by snow-covered landscapes. It truly feels like your own fairytale come to life. 

While enjoying this celestial show, you can visit Santa Claus Village and meet Santa himself or participate in thrilling winter activities like reindeer sleigh rides or snowmobiling through the pristine forests. Another must-visit spot in Lapland is Levi. 

Situated above the Arctic Circle, Levi offers an excellent chance to witness the Northern Lights and a wide range of exciting winter activities. From skiing on its well-groomed slopes to exploring ice caves or trying ice fishing on one of its frozen lakes, Levi has something for everyone seeking adventure in this winter wonderland. 

After a day filled with exhilarating activities, indulge yourself with traditional Lappish cuisine at one of their cozy restaurants or unwind at a luxurious spa. For those looking for a more remote experience away from tourist crowds, head to Lemmenjoki National Park. 

Here, you can immerse yourself in the untouched wilderness and find solace amidst nature’s serenity while still watching for dancing lights across the night sky. You may even have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness reindeer herding by local Sami people, who have been living harmoniously with nature in this region for centuries. 

Lemmenjoki National Park offers hiking trails, camping opportunities, and the chance to explore the rich culture and traditions of the indigenous Sami community. Lapland offers an extraordinary experience for those seeking the beauty of the Northern Lights. 

Whether you choose Rovaniemi, Levi, or venture into more remote areas like Lemmenjoki National Park, you are guaranteed a mesmerizing display of colors illuminating the Arctic skies. So bundle up and prepare to be awestruck by nature’s splendid light show in one of the most captivating regions in Finland. 

BEAUTIFUL SNOW COVERED COTTAGE IN SALLA, NORTHERN FINLAND

Salla, a charming destination in northern Finland, is an absolute gem for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Lapland, Salla offers a unique blend of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and serene beauty. 

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Finland, Salla should definitely be on your list. One of the highlights of visiting Salla is exploring its pristine wilderness. 

As part of Lapland’s vast natural playground, this region offers incredible hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing opportunities. The Urho Kekkonen National Park is a must-visit attraction for nature lovers , encompassing sprawling forests, glistening lakes, and majestic falls. 

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this national park as you traverse its well-marked trails, or simply find serenity by one of its crystal-clear lakes. In addition to its natural wonders, Salla holds cultural significance with its rich Sami heritage. 

The Sami people have inhabited this region for centuries and have left their mark through traditional crafts and cultural practices. Take some time to visit the Sámi Museum Siida to learn more about their way of life or attend one of their fascinating cultural events that showcase traditional music and dance. 

Another notable attraction in Salla is the charming village itself. With its cozy accommodations and local eateries serving traditional Lappish delicacies like reindeer stew or salmon soup, you’ll find that staying in Salla provides an authentic Finnish experience. 

Salla has everything from vast national parks like Lemmenjoki National Park to charming villages and rich cultural experiences. Whether you’re an avid adventurer or simply searching for a peaceful retreat, this hidden gem in northern Finland will surely leave you with unforgettable memories. 

Jyväskylä

Jyvaskyla centrum fInland

Jyväskylä, located in the heart of Finland, is a vibrant city that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Known for its stunning lakes and lush green forests, Jyväskylä is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. 

One of the top attractions here is Lake Päijänne, the second-largest lake in Finland. Its crystal-clear waters and picturesque surroundings make it an ideal spot for boating, fishing, or simply enjoying a peaceful lakeside picnic. 

For those interested in history and architecture, Jyväskylä doesn’t disappoint either. The city boasts several beautiful buildings designed by Alvar Aalto, one of Finland’s most renowned architects. 

The Alvar Aalto Museum pays tribute to his genius with its impressive collection showcasing his innovative designs. Another gem is the University of Jyväskylä’s Main Building, a masterpiece that combines functionality with aesthetic appeal. 

Jyväskylä also hosts the world-famous Neste Rally Finland, part of the FIA World Rally Championship. If you’re a motorsports enthusiast or just love witnessing adrenaline-pumping action firsthand, this event should definitely be on your bucket list . 

The rally attracts drivers from around the globe who showcase their skills on challenging forest tracks. In addition to all these attractions, Jyväskylä offers an abundance of outdoor activities, such as hiking trails in Leivonmäki National Park and exhilarating water sports on Lake Jyväsjärvi. 

Whether you want to immerse yourself in nature or explore fascinating architectural wonders, Jyväskylä has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure in this captivating city that effortlessly combines natural beauty with cultural richness! 

Kemi Church

Kemi, a charming coastal town located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, is one of the must-visit places in Finland. Known for its breathtaking landscapes and unique attractions, Kemi offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. 

One of the top tourist attractions in Kemi is the world-famous Snow Castle. This magnificent structure is built entirely from snow and ice every winter, making it a true marvel to behold. 

Inside the castle, you can explore beautifully carved rooms, visit an ice restaurant, or spend a night in an ice hotel . The SnowCastle also hosts various events and activities like ice sculpting competitions and snow slides that guarantee an unforgettable time for adults and children. 

For those interested in history, a visit to Kemi’s gem, the Kemi Church, should be on your list. Built in the 19th century with its iconic red-brick exterior, this Lutheran cathedral is a testament to Finnish architecture. 

Step inside to admire its elegantly designed interior with intricate woodwork and stunning stained glass windows. The church also houses an interesting museum that sheds light on the town’s history. 

If you’re seeking adventure amidst nature’s splendor, head to Ajos Harbor, where you can embark on an unforgettable reindeer safari across snowy landscapes. Experience the thrill of gliding through pristine forests while being led by these gracious animals who play a significant role in Finnish Lapland’s culture and heritage. 

STONE CHURCH IN KUHMO, FINLAND

Kuhmo is a hidden gem in the vast wilderness of Finland. Nestled in the eastern part of the country, this charming town offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Kuhmo is known for its pristine lakes, dense forests, and abundant wildlife, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. 

One of the best things about Kuhmo is its untouched wilderness. The town is surrounded by several national parks, including the renowned Hossa National Park. 

With its crystal-clear lakes, rugged cliffs, and ancient forests, Hossa is a haven for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, canoeing, and wildlife spotting. The park also boasts prehistoric rock paintings that glimpse Finland’s rich history. 

For music lovers, Kuhmo is famous for hosting an annual chamber music festival that attracts musicians worldwide. The Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival occurs every summer and showcases some of the finest classical performances in intimate settings. 

It’s a truly magical experience to listen to world-class musicians playing in the heart of Finnish Lapland. If you’re interested in immersing yourself in Finnish culture and traditions, Kuhmo offers plenty of opportunities to do so. 

The town has several museums where you can learn about Finland’s folklore and history. The Juminkeko Foundation Museum introduces visitors to Kalevala, Finland’s national epic poem filled with mythical tales and heroes. 

Additionally, you can explore local handicrafts at workshops or visit traditional farms to experience authentic Finnish farm life. Kuhmo may be off some people’s radar regarding popular tourist destinations in Finland; however, it truly deserves recognition as one of the best places to visit in this beautiful country. 

With its untouched natural landscapes, cultural festivities like the chamber music festival, and opportunities to immerse oneself in Finnish traditions – Kuhmo offers an authentic taste of what makes Finland so special. So, if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Finland, explore the wonders of Kuhmo. 

Evangelic Lutheran Church

Kajaani is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Finland. This quaint town may not be as well-known as Helsinki, the capital city, but it certainly has its unique charm worth exploring. 

The first thing that will catch your eye when you arrive in Kajaani is its impressive fortress. Known as Kajaani Castle, this historic landmark dates back to the 17th century and offers a fascinating glimpse into Finland’s rich history. 

Aside from its historical significance, Kajaani boasts a picturesque landscape that is simply breathtaking. The town is situated on the banks of the beautiful Lake Oulujärvi, which happens to be the fifth-largest lake in Finland. 

With its crystal-clear waters and tranquil surroundings, it’s no wonder that locals and visitors alike flock to this natural paradise for swimming, fishing, and boating activities. Another highlight of Kajaani is its proximity to the stunning Finnish archipelago. 

From here, you can embark on a scenic ferry ride across numerous islands and witness firsthand the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast or simply looking for peaceful relaxation by the water’s edge, exploring these islands should be on your itinerary. 

If you’re interested in delving deeper into Finland’s culture and heritage while visiting Kajaani, visit the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki. This museum offers a comprehensive collection of artifacts showcasing Finland’s history from prehistoric times to modern-day life. 

It’s an ideal way to gain insight into what makes this country unique. While Kajaani may not be one of Finland’s most well-known tourist destinations, it certainly has its charm and allure for those looking to explore beyond the beaten path. 

From its majestic fortress and stunning lake views to its connection with Helsinki through history and culture at the National Museum of Finland – Kajaani offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences that will leave a lasting impression on any traveler. So, the next time you plan your visit to Finland, take advantage of the opportunity to discover the hidden treasures of Kajaani. 

Oulu: Tech and nature combined

AN ICONIC LIGHTLHOUSE, A FAMOUS LANDMARK IN OULU

Oulu, located in the northern province of Finland, is a captivating city that seamlessly melds technology with nature. Known as the “Silicon Valley of Finland,” Oulu boasts a vibrant tech scene surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. 

It is undoubtedly one of the top places to visit in Finland for those seeking a unique and diverse experience. The city center of Oulu is characterized by its modern architecture and bustling atmosphere. 

Walking through the streets, you’ll find various innovative startups, research centers, and universities contributing to Oulu’s status as a leading technology hub. The city’s technological prowess is further exemplified by its commitment to smart infrastructure and digital solutions that enhance everyday life. 

Beyond the urban landscape lies an abundance of natural wonders waiting to be discovered. Just a stone’s throw away from Oulu lies the stunning Bothnian Bay, part of the Baltic Sea. 

The archipelago surrounding Oulu offers countless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore its pristine islands, indulge in water activities such as kayaking or fishing, or simply relax on sandy beaches basking in the warmth of Finnish summer days. Moreover, if you’re lucky enough to visit during winter, Oulu becomes a gateway to witnessing one of nature’s most captivating displays—the Northern Lights. 

Embarking on an excursion into Finnish Lapland from here gives you an excellent chance to catch sight of this ethereal phenomenon dancing across the Arctic sky. Oulu provides a harmonious blend of technology and nature—an enticing combination that sets it apart from other Finnish cities. 

Whether you’re fascinated by cutting-edge innovation or yearn for serene natural landscapes just outside your doorstep, this vibrant city has something for everyone. So pack your bags and head northward to explore this hidden gem on your next visit to Finland! 

Joensuu Art Museum ONNI

Joensuu is a charming city located in the eastern region of Finland, known as North Karelia. It offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions, making it a must-visit destination in Finland. 

Nestled on the shores of Lake Pyhäselkä, Joensuu is surrounded by picturesque landscapes and offers plenty of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. One of the highlights of Joensuu is its vibrant art and cultural scene. 

The city boasts several galleries, such as the North Karelia Museum, which showcases the rich history and culture of the region. For those interested in contemporary art, Joensuu Art Museum Onni houses an impressive collection of Finnish modern art. 

If you want to explore the great outdoors, Koli National Park is just a short drive from Joensuu. This stunning national park offers breathtaking views from its highest peak, Ukko-Koli. 

Hiking trails wind through lush forests and around pristine lakes, allowing you to immerse yourself in Finland’s natural beauty. To taste local traditions, visit Carelicum, an open-air museum that exhibits traditional Karelian architecture and showcases the way of life in this region. 

Here, you can learn about traditional crafts like woodcarving and weaving while enjoying delicious Karelian pastries. In addition to its cultural offerings, Joensuu hosts yearly festivals that showcase Finnish music, dance, and folklore. 

The Ilosaarirock Festival draws music lovers across Finland with its diverse lineup featuring local and international artists. Whether seeking outdoor adventures or immersing yourself in Finnish culture, Joensuu is worth visiting while exploring Finland. 

Its proximity to Koli National Park and its vibrant arts scene provide an enriching experience for travelers looking to discover lesser-known gems beyond Helsinki’s bustling streets. So hop on a ferry or take a scenic drive to this beautiful city in northern Finland and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Lappeenranta

DOCK VIEW OF PARKED BOATS IN LAPPEENRANTA, EASTERN FINLAND

Lappeenranta, situated in the southeastern part of Finland, is a charming city with a delightful blend of history, nature, and modern attractions. Known as the “Pearl of South Karelia,” Lappeenranta is a popular destination for locals and tourists. 

One of the top attractions in Lappeenranta is its picturesque waterfront, where you can take leisurely walks along Lake Saimaa’s shores or hop on a boat to explore the stunning archipelago. For history enthusiasts, Lappeenranta has an impressive fortress that dates back to the 18th century. 

The Lappeenranta Fortress, located on a hill overlooking Lake Saimaa, is one of Finland’s best-preserved fortifications from that era. Take a guided tour to learn about its rich history and admire the panoramic views from its ramparts. 

You’ll also find museums showcasing various aspects of Finnish culture and heritage within the fortress grounds. If you’re in Lappeenranta during winter, embrace Finland’s love for winter sports by visiting the Myllysaari Ski Center. 

It offers excellent downhill skiing slopes suitable for both beginners and seasoned skiers. You can rent equipment on-site or take lessons if you’re new to skiing. 

There are also well-maintained cross-country skiing trails in and around Lappeenranta for those who prefer gliding through serene snow-covered landscapes. Another highlight of visiting Lappeenranta is exploring its vibrant city center. 

Stroll along bustling pedestrian streets with shops, cafes, and restaurants offering delicious Finnish cuisine with traditional and international flavors. Remember to check out local boutiques selling handcrafted items like woolens or unique souvenirs to remember your visit. 

Lappeenranta offers visitors a diverse range of experiences – from exploring historical sites like the magnificent fortress to enjoying the natural beauty of Lake Saimaa and indulging in winter sports activities. This charming city in the southeastern part of Finland truly has something for everyone, making it a must-visit destination for those looking to uncover Finland’s best.

Rauma: UNESCO old town

Old Rauma

Rauma, located on the west coast of Finland, is a hidden gem that should be noticed on your trip to Finland. This picturesque town is known for its well-preserved Old Town, which has earned UNESCO World Heritage status. 

As you wander through the narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll feel like you’ve returned in time. The colorful wooden houses’ charming facades are a testament to the town’s rich history and architectural beauty. 

One of the best things about Rauma is its Old Town Square, known as Kauppatori. Here, you can soak in the vibrant atmosphere and admire the stunning 18th-century buildings surrounding it. 

Take a leisurely stroll down Raatihuoneenkatu Street and browse local boutiques showcasing the best Finnish design. From handmade ceramics to traditional textiles, you’ll find unique souvenirs to bring back home. 

For those seeking cultural experiences, a visit to Rauma Art Museum is a must. Housed in an old customs building dating back to 1888, this museum showcases contemporary Finnish art and regularly hosts temporary exhibitions showcasing renowned artists around Finland. 

Immerse yourself in the local art scene as you explore thought-provoking installations and captivating paintings. If you’re looking for outdoor adventures around Rauma, head towards Kuuskajaskari Island, located in the archipelago region of Finland. 

This stunning island offers beautiful sandy beaches where you can relax under the sun or take refreshing dips into the Baltic Sea during summer. For thrill-seekers, there are also opportunities for kayaking, sailing, or even trying your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. 

Rauma offers an unforgettable travel experience with its UNESCO Old Town and vibrant cultural scene. Whether strolling through cobblestone streets or exploring local boutiques showcasing Finnish design, this charming town has something for everyone. 

Enjoy visiting nearby islands in the archipelago region to taste Finland’s stunning natural beauty. Rauma is an essential destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the best of Finnish history, culture, and design. 

Hold up! Have you thought about the importance of travel insurance?

Remember this:  anything can happen. Travel is fun, but your health is more important; thus, I always, always, always recommend getting insured during the duration of your trip. I have benefitted from having one multiple times, and it has been covered for thousands of euros!

The latest one is not necessarily “health” related – it was during the peak of the unspeakable terrible C that consumed the world. I was living in Vietnam when I received an email from SafetyWing (my travel insurance) that if I want they’ll fly be back home to Finland as the world goes through a global emergency alert. I flew back fully covered, and dealing with  SafetyWing  was a breeze despite the roar of people in contact with them trying to get back home.

I can’t highly recommend them enough. Otherwise, I rarely get sick; hence I don’t always need to head to a hospital, but knowing that I have travel insurance makes me feel safe at the very least.

Read my post about  why you should get travel insurance  for more information. Otherwise, you can get a free quote from  SafetyWing  – they’re the best, in my opinion.

Kotka, a city on Finland’s southeast coast, is known for its picturesque landscapes and rich maritime history. As you embark on your trip to Finland, explore this hidden gem that perfectly blends natural beauty and cultural heritage. One of the best places to visit in Kotka is the Sapokka Water Garden, a stunning oasis where nature meets art. 

This unique park features an intricate network of canals, bridges, and waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths while admiring vibrant flowers in bloom and listening to the soothing sounds of flowing water. 

The Sapokka Water Garden provides an enchanting escape from bustling city life and offers numerous spots perfect for picnics or simply relaxing with a book. For history enthusiasts, Kotka Maritime Museum is an absolute must-visit. 

Housed in an old customs house near the harbor, this museum takes you on a fascinating journey through Finland’s maritime past. Explore exhibits showcasing ship models, navigational instruments, and artifacts from shipwrecks that tell stories of seafaring adventures. 

Take advantage of touring the museum’s shipyard area, where you can marvel at restored historical vessels up close. If you’re seeking enchanting natural beauty combined with cultural heritage, Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge is another highlight in Kotka. 

Located by the beautiful Kymi River, this lodge was once a favorite retreat for Russia’s Tsar Alexander III. Immerse yourself in its elegant surroundings as you walk through historical rooms adorned with exquisite furniture and heirlooms dating back centuries. 

Afterward, stroll along the riverbank trails while enjoying breathtaking views, or try fishing just like the Russian nobility did during their visits. Kotka offers various activities suitable for all types of travelers seeking unforgettable experiences. 

Hämeenlinna

Top Day Trips from Helsinki

Located in the southern region of Finland, Hämeenlinna is a charming city that perfectly blends history and natural beauty. One of the top places to visit in Hämeenlinna is the medieval Häme Castle, also known as Hämeen linna in Finnish. 

This impressive fortress takes you back in time with its centuries-old walls and well-preserved architecture. Walking through its corridors and climbing the tower provided breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. 

Another highlight of my trip to Hämeenlinna was visiting Aulanko Nature Reserve, a true paradise for nature enthusiasts. With lush forests, serene lakes, and picturesque trails, this place offered an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

For history buffs like me, visiting Hattula Church is an absolute must. Situated about 20 kilometers from Hämeenlinna, this beautiful cathedral holds great significance as one of Finland’s oldest churches that has remained intact for over 800 years. 

Hämeenlinna truly exceeded expectations with its diverse range of attractions that catered to every interest. Whether you’re interested in immersing yourself in history at Häme Castle or indulging in nature at Aulanko Nature Reserve, this quaint city has something magical to offer every traveler. 

With its convenient location between Helsinki and Tampere, a visit to Hämeenlinna can easily be incorporated into any Finland travel itinerary. So, add this gem of a city to your list of places to visit in Finland and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of this enchanting province. 

Saariselkä

Saariselka, Finland- Featured

Saariselkä is a charming winter wonderland in Lapland, Finland’s heart. Known for its pristine natural beauty and serene atmosphere, it offers an array of exciting activities and breathtaking sights, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Finnish experience. 

One of the highlights of Saariselkä is its enchanting reindeer farm, where visitors can get up close and personal with these majestic creatures. Imagine meeting these gentle animals, learning about their lives in the Arctic, and even taking a reindeer-drawn sleigh ride through the snow-covered forests. 

It’s an experience that truly captures the essence of Lapland’s unique culture. For those seeking more adventure, Saariselkä boasts excellent skiing opportunities. 

With its well-maintained slopes and modern facilities, it caters to beginners and seasoned skiers alike. Whether you’re gliding down the gentle slopes or tackling more challenging runs, the exhilaration of skiing amidst Finland’s stunning landscape is unparalleled. 

Visitors can explore its intricate architecture, marvel at its stunning stained glass windows, or simply take a moment to reflect on its peaceful ambiance. Saariselkä is undeniably one of Finland’s top places to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty while enjoying thrilling adventures. 

This town has something for everyone, from reindeer farms to exhilarating ski slopes and historical landmarks like the cathedral. So whether you’re planning a trip to Finland or seeking new destinations within the country itself, Saariselkä should definitely be on your list of must-visit places in this enchanting land of wonders. 

Hanko, Finland

Hanko, a charming seaside town on the southern coast of Finland, is undoubtedly one of the best things you can experience while visiting this beautiful country. Known as the sunniest town in Finland, Hanko attracts visitors with its idyllic coastal views, sandy beaches , and unique blend of nature and history. 

As you explore this gem of a destination, you’ll soon discover why it’s considered one of Finland’s most beautiful places to visit. One of the main attractions in Hanko is its stunning beaches . 

With over thirty kilometers of coastline along the Baltic Sea, this Finland tourist place offers an array of sandy shores perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge. The most popular beach in Hanko is Bellevue Beach, known for its picturesque setting and crystal-clear waters. 

Whether you’re looking to relax on the sand or engage in various water sports like windsurfing or paddleboarding, Hanko’s beaches have something for everyone. Besides its breathtaking beaches , Hanko boasts a rich maritime history that adds to its allure as a Finland sightseeing destination. 

The town’s strategic location has made it an essential part of history and left numerous traces of its maritime heritage. Exploring the Hanko Museum will take you on a journey through time as you learn about the town’s significance as a trading hub and witness captivating exhibits showcasing old photographs and artifacts from bygone eras. 

In addition to soaking up sun rays and delving into history, there are plenty more things to do in Hanko. Nature enthusiasts can embark on scenic hikes along picturesque trails that wind through forests and coastal cliffs while offering breathtaking views at every turn. 

backlit scenes with ski lift chairs on hillside, Levi ski resort, Finland

Levi, located in the Lapland region of Finland, is undoubtedly one of the most popular and picturesque places to visit in Finland. Nestled amidst enchanting snow-capped mountains and breathtaking natural beauty, Levi offers various activities and attractions that cater to thrill-seekers and those seeking relaxation. 

One of the highlights of a visit to Levi is its exceptional ski resort. With well-groomed slopes catering to all levels of expertise, from beginners to seasoned skiers, it’s an ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts. 

Whether you’re looking to hit the slopes for an adrenaline-filled adventure or enjoy a leisurely day in the snowy wonderland, Levi has something for everyone. Apart from skiing, Levi also boasts an array of other winter activities. 

You can embark on a mesmerizing reindeer sleigh ride through the tranquil forests or try snowboarding at their professional-grade snowboard park. For those seeking even more excitement, why not hop on a thrilling snowmobile safari and explore the stunning Arctic landscapes surrounding Levi? 

Levi won’t disappoint if you’re more inclined to explore cultural attractions. The village has several charming shops where you can find traditional Finnish handicrafts and souvenirs. 

You might also want to visit the fascinating Samiland exhibition—a unique showcase that delves into Sami culture and traditions. With its pristine natural beauty, exhilarating winter sports opportunities, unique cultural experiences, and warm hospitality from locals who take great pride in their region of Finland, Levi is truly worth a visit. 

Oulanka National Park in Kuusamo

Nestled in the picturesque region of Kuusamo, Oulanka National Park is a true gem among Finland’s natural wonders. This breathtaking park spans over 270 square kilometers and offers visitors an unforgettable experience in the heart of nature. Oulanka National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, from dense forests to stunning waterfalls and meandering rivers. 

One of the highlights of Oulanka National Park is its impressive network of hiking trails that cater to all levels of expertise. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking to embark on your first adventure, there’s a trail for everyone here. 

One popular route is the Pieni Karhunkierros Trail, which takes you on an approximately 12-kilometer journey through lush forests, along riverbanks, and past dramatic gorges. The trail offers breathtaking views at every turn and immerses you in the Finnish wilderness’s tranquility. 

Another must-see attraction within Oulanka National Park is the renowned Kiutaköngäs Rapids. These powerful rapids are formed by the convergence of two rivers, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that captures the imagination. 

Standing on one of the viewing platforms overlooking this natural wonder, you can feel the sheer force and energy as water crashes against ancient rocks. It’s an awe-inspiring sight that showcases the raw power and delicate beauty of nature. 

Beyond its scenic landscapes, Oulanka National Park also boasts diverse wildlife that adds to its allure. Keep your eyes peeled for elusive creatures like reindeer and moose as they roam freely throughout their natural habitat. 

Birdwatchers will be delighted by sightings of various avian species fluttering amidst tall trees or soaring high above rugged cliffs. Oulanka National Park truly encapsulates everything that makes Finland an extraordinary destination for those seeking enchanting natural beauty combined with outdoor adventure. 

Whether you’re exploring its hiking trails, witnessing the breathtaking rapids, or simply immersing yourself in the serenity of its surroundings, visiting this park is an experience like no other. So grab your hiking boots and camera and prepare to make memories that will last a lifetime in this remarkable corner of Finland. 

Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, located in western Lapland, is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Spanning over 1,000 square kilometers, this national park offers breathtaking landscapes and a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. 

One of the highlights of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is its extensive network of hiking trails. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner looking for a leisurely stroll, routes are available to suit all levels of fitness and abilities. 

The marked trails take you through varied terrain, from lush forests to pristine lakeshores and picturesque falls. As you explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, keep an eye out for native wildlife such as reindeer that roam freely in these unspoiled surroundings. 

For those seeking a more immersive experience in the wilderness, camping is permitted in designated areas within the park. Picture yourself setting up your tent under the starry sky, surrounded by the serene beauty of Finnish nature. 

Waking up to birds chirping and breathing in the crisp morning air is an unparalleled experience that will rejuvenate your spirit. In addition to its natural wonders, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is also conveniently located close to some charming cities worth exploring during your visit to Finland. 

Lake Saimaa

rocky shores of Lake Saimaa

Lake Saimaa is one of the most enchanting destinations in Finland, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Situated in the eastern part of the country, this stunning lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes that will leave you breathless. 

As you explore Lake Saimaa, you’ll have the opportunity to visit various charming towns and cities that dot its shores. One such town is Savonlinna, home to the world-famous Olavinlinna Castle. 

Built in the 15th century, this medieval fortress is a must-visit attraction for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. Take a guided tour inside the castle to learn about its intriguing past, or attend one of the renowned opera festivals held here during the summer . 

For nature lovers, Lake Saimaa offers numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. Explore the vast national parks nearby, such as Kolovesi National Park or Linnansaari National Park, where you can immerse yourself in Finland’s pristine wilderness. 

Take a hike along scenic trails, go fishing in tranquil waters teeming with fish species, or simply relax by the lakeside and soak up the serene atmosphere. One unique experience to be noticed when visiting Lake Saimaa is a visit to a reindeer farm. 

These gentle creatures are an integral part of Finnish culture and tradition, and getting up close with them will give you an authentic taste of Finland’s countryside charm. Learn about their way of life from local herders or even take a reindeer sleigh ride through snow-covered landscapes during winter. 

Lake Saimaa captures all Finland offers – from natural wonders to rich history and cultural heritage. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, this destination has it all. 

So, plan your trip today and discover why Lake Saimaa ranks among the top attractions in Finland.

Helvetinjärvi National Park

Nestled in the heart of Finland lies a hidden gem known as Helvetinjärvi National Park. This stunning natural haven is a must-visit for travelers seeking tranquility and breathtaking landscapes. As you venture into the depths of this picturesque park, you’ll be greeted by dense forests, crystal-clear lakes, and rugged cliffs that seem to have been carved by a divine hand. 

One of the highlights of Helvetinjärvi National Park is its extensive network of hiking trails. Lace-up your boots and embark on an adventure through this enchanting wilderness. 

The trails range from easy strolls along the lakeside to more challenging treks leading to panoramic viewpoints, offering awe-inspiring vistas. Along the way, keep an eye out for unique flora and fauna that call this park their home. 

For those seeking a truly immersive experience in Finnish culture, Helvetinjärvi National Park also offers camping facilities. Spend a night under the starry sky, surrounded by the gentle whispers of nature. 

Build a bonfire and gather around it with newfound friends as you share stories and laughter late into the evening. And what better way to complete your camping experience than with a rejuvenating sauna session? 

After a long day of exploring, unwind in one of the traditional Finnish saunas available within the park. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life in Finland, Helvetinjärvi National Park provides an ideal sanctuary where time seems to stand still. 

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature enthusiast, or simply craving some peace amidst stunning surroundings, this national park has something for everyone. So grab your backpack and embark on an unforgettable journey through one of Finland’s best-kept secrets – Helvetinjärvi National Park! 

lake inari

In the northernmost part of Finland lies the enchanting village of Inari. Nestled amidst pristine wilderness and encompassing Lake Inari, this idyllic destination is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and avid adventurers. The allure of Inari lies in its untouched beauty and unique cultural heritage. 

One of the main draws to Inari is its stunning natural surroundings. With vast forests, shimmering lakes, and snow-covered landscapes during winter, it offers a picturesque setting that is a feast for the eyes. 

During winter, visitors can indulge in a wide range of exciting winter sports activities, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. Imagine gliding through the frozen landscape on skis or experiencing the thrill of catching fish from beneath a thick layer of ice – these are just some of the unforgettable experiences that await you in Inari. 

Aside from its natural wonders, Inari also holds great significance to Finland’s indigenous Sámi culture. The Sámi people have inhabited this region for centuries, and their rich heritage is showcased at the Siida Museum. 

Here, visitors can learn about their traditional way of life, see intricate Sámi handicrafts, and gain insights into their spiritual beliefs. Immerse yourself in their fascinating culture by participating in reindeer sleigh rides or learning about traditional herding practices from local Sámi guides. 

When visiting Inari, explore Lake Inari – one of Finland’s largest lakes, boasting over 3,000 islands. Rent a boat or take a guided tour to appreciate its expansive beauty. 

You may even be lucky enough to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights dancing across the night sky during winter. If you’re seeking an escape into nature combined with an immersive cultural experience, look no further than Inari. 

Utsjoki, located in the northernmost region of Finland, is truly one of the best places to visit in this stunning country. While Helsinki, the capital of Finland, maybe a popular spot for Finland sightseeing, Utsjoki offers a completely unique experience. 

Nestled amidst breathtaking scenic landscapes and surrounded by the pristine wilderness of Lapland, Utsjoki is a hidden gem that should not be missed. One of the most beautiful aspects of Utsjoki is its proximity to nature and its incredible wildlife. 

The region boasts an abundance of reindeer farms where visitors can have an up-close encounter with these majestic creatures. Imagine experiencing the thrill of feeding and petting reindeer in their natural habitat – it’s an unforgettable experience that truly captures the essence of Finnish culture. 

For those seeking adventure and outdoor activities, Utsjoki has plenty to offer. During winter, this area of Finland transforms into a wonderland perfect for winter sports enthusiasts. 

Cross-country skiing through snow-covered trails or thrilling snowmobile rides across frozen lakes are just a few examples of the exhilarating activities available here. But Utsjoki isn’t just about adrenaline-pumping adventures; it also provides ample opportunities for relaxation and tranquility. 

The breathtaking natural surroundings make it an ideal destination for hiking enthusiasts who can explore scenic trails while taking in panoramic views. Additionally, during dark winter nights, if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing northern lights dancing across the sky, your stay in Ustjoki will reach new levels of magic. 

Utsjoki stands tall among Finland tourist places as one of the must-visit destinations for its unparalleled beauty and connection to nature. It offers a unique blend of adventure and serenity that perfectly encapsulates what makes Finland a remarkable country to explore. 

Whether you’re looking for thrilling winter sports or seeking solace amidst stunning landscapes, Utsjoki has something for everyone. So, when planning your trip to Finland, include a visit to this incredible region and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Lahti, a picturesque city in southern Finland, is a hidden gem that offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and urban attractions. Known as the “Sports Capital of Finland,” Lahti boasts an array of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and historical sites that make it worth exploring. Nestled on the shores of Lake Vesijärvi, the largest lake in Finland’s southern region, this vibrant city has something to captivate every traveler. 

One of the must-visit attractions in Lahti is the Sibelius Hall. This iconic concert hall stands proudly on the shore of Lake Vesijärvi and is renowned for its stunning architecture. 

Named after Jean Sibelius, one of Finland’s greatest composers, this venue hosts various concerts and events throughout the year. Immerse yourself in symphony performances or attend a classical music festival to appreciate Finnish culture at its finest. 

A visit to the Lahti Art Museum is highly recommended for history enthusiasts. Housed within an elegant building with large glass windows overlooking Lake Vesijärvi, this museum showcases an impressive collection of contemporary Finnish art. 

Admire paintings by renowned artists like Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Helene Schjerfbeck as you stroll through its galleries. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that highlight emerging talents from across Finland. 

To experience nature at its finest, head to Messilä Ski Center just outside Lahti city center. Whether you are an avid skier or just looking for winter fun, Messilä has you covered. 

With numerous slopes catering to all skill levels and state-of-the-art facilities offering skiing lessons and equipment rentals, it’s no wonder this place is popular among locals and tourists alike. While Helsinki may be the capital and home to several iconic landmarks in Finland, take notice of other remarkable places like Lahti when planning your trip. 

From its captivating concert halls and art museums to outdoor adventures at Messilä Ski Center, Lahti is a destination that truly encapsulates the spirit of Finland. So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to explore the beauty and charm of this unique Finnish town. 

Lemmenjoki National Park

Nestled in the heart of Finnish Lapland, Lemmenjoki National Park is a hidden gem that showcases the untouched beauty of the Arctic wilderness. Spanning over 2,850 square kilometers, Finland’s largest national park offers an immersive experience for nature enthusiasts. 

The park is known for its pristine landscapes, vast river valleys, and abundant wildlife. One of the most remarkable features of Lemmenjoki National Park is its network of hiking trails. 

Wanderers can explore the park’s diverse terrain, ranging from ancient forests to rugged fells. A popular trail leads adventurers to Ravadas Falls, an impressive cascade that tumbles down rocky cliffs into a crystal-clear stream below. 

As you hike along these trails, watch for reindeer herds gracefully roaming through the wilderness – a sight that epitomizes the true essence of Lapland. For those seeking a truly authentic Finnish experience, Lemmenjoki National Park provides ample opportunities to embrace traditional activities. 

Rent a canoe and paddle along the tranquil Lemmenjoki River as you soak in the serenity and breathtaking scenery surrounding you. If you’re feeling adventurous, embark on gold panning – a unique activity that lets you try to uncover precious nuggets in one of Europe’s last remaining gold rush areas. 

As darkness falls upon this remote corner of Finland, lucky visitors may have the chance to witness one of nature’s most extraordinary phenomena – the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights. With little light pollution in this secluded region, conditions are ideal for witnessing this ethereal spectacle painting vibrant colors across the night sky. 

Lemmenjoki National Park embodies Finland’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage while offering visitors an escape into untamed splendor. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or simply yearning for tranquility amidst stunning landscapes, this enchanting destination should undoubtedly be on your list when exploring the wonders of Finland. 

Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna Fortress in Helsinki

Nestled on a cluster of islands just off the coast of Helsinki, Suomenlinna is a captivating destination that should be on every traveler’s radar when exploring Finland. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a historic sea fortress from the 18th century. Stepping foot on Suomenlinna feels like stepping back in time as you wander through its stone walls, explore its dungeons, and admire its well-preserved buildings. 

One of the highlights of Suomenlinna is its impressive fortifications. As you stroll along the fortress walls, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding sea and the Helsinki skyline. 

The fortifications themselves are incredibly well-preserved, and you can’t help but feel a sense of awe as you imagine what life was like for those who once defended this strategic stronghold. Beyond its historical significance, Suomenlinna also offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in Finnish culture and nature. 

The island has several museums that provide insight into Finland’s maritime history and military past. One must-visit spot is the Ehrensvärd Museum, which houses informative exhibits about the fortress’s construction and historical events that took place there. 

For nature lovers, Suomenlinna boasts beautiful walking trails where you can soak up the serene surroundings. You’ll find lush green fields dotted with wildflowers, shady groves perfect for picnicking, and even idyllic spots for swimming or sunbathing during warmer months. 

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful retreat from bustling Helsinki, Suomenlinna is undoubtedly one of Finland’s best places to visit. Its unique blend of historical charm and natural beauty makes it an unforgettable destination worth exploring. 

Urho kekkosen National Park

Urho Kekkonen National Park, located in the Finnish Lapland, is a stunning destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning over 2,550 square kilometers, this national park offers breathtaking landscapes that truly showcase the beauty of Finland. 

With its diverse flora and fauna, pristine wilderness, and abundance of hiking trails, Urho Kekkonen National Park never fails to captivate visitors. One of the highlights of a visit to Urho Kekkonen National Park is the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing phenomenon of the Northern Lights. 

The park’s remote location from light pollution provides optimal conditions for viewing this celestial spectacle. Imagine standing under a clear Arctic sky as vibrant green, purple, and pink ribbons dance across the horizon—an experience that will leave you in awe. 

To increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights, visiting during autumn or winter when darkness lingers longer in this part of Finland is best. Apart from chasing the Northern Lights, there are plenty more activities to enjoy in Urho Kekkonen National Park. 

Hiking enthusiasts will be delighted by its extensive network of well-maintained trails catering to varying difficulty levels. From leisurely walks through lush forests to challenging treks up rugged peaks offering panoramic views, there is something for everyone here. 

Pack sturdy walking shoes and a camera as you explore this outdoor paradise. To fully immerse yourself in Finnish nature and history while visiting Urho Kekkonen National Park, take some time to explore the Savonlinna Fortress located within its borders. 

What are my favorite travel must-haves?

As a frequent traveler, I’ve learned a lot throughout my years of travel, and there are five items that I always carry with me regardless of where I go and how long the trip is. Here are my five travel must-haves!

  • Warm packable jacket  – I always carry a light jacket, even when heading to warm countries. There hasn’t been a time I never used it, especially in airports and planes.
  • Transparent toiletry bag  – I often bring a carry-on if I’m only traveling within Europe for a few days. Life is so much easier to go through security checks with a transparent toiletry bag.
  • Kindle Paperwhite  – I love a good read and always take my Kindle everywhere. It keeps me entertained during long flights and waiting times.
  • Powerbank  – I don’t know how I could travel without one! Having a power bank saved me a ton since I carry a lot of electronic devices with me.
  • Travel Adapter  – I never leave my luggage without a travel adapter! I carry one with me all the time. It is just one of that travel-must haves that doesn’t hurt to have in your bag at all times.

So, planning to visit Finland soon?

As we conclude our exploration of the enchanting destinations in Finland, it is evident that this Nordic country offers a plethora of experiences for every traveler. From the vibrant streets of Helsinki, where you can immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of Market Square and indulge in delectable Finnish cuisine, to the breathtaking natural wonders like seeing the Northern Lights or skiing down the slopes in Levi, Finland truly has something for everyone. 

One remarkable landmark that is worth a visit is Olavinlinna Castle in Savonlinna. This medieval fortress stands majestically on an island and hosts an annual opera festival, attracting music enthusiasts worldwide. 

The combination of history and culture makes this UNESCO World Heritage site a must-see attraction. For those seeking a unique encounter with nature, a visit to a reindeer farm is an unforgettable experience. 

Interacting with these gentle creatures while learning about their importance to Finnish culture gives you an authentic glimpse into traditional Lapland life. Additionally, explore Rovaniemi, where you can feel like a child again by visiting Santa Claus in his village. 

As you plan your journey through Finland’s diverse landscapes and cities, be sure not to overlook Turku Castle. This well-preserved medieval fortress offers captivating guided tours that travel back in time. 

It’s fascinating to imagine how life unfolded within its walls centuries ago. Finland truly deserves its place among the top travel destinations worldwide. 

With its breathtaking natural beauty, such as seeing the Northern Lights or exploring national parks like Pallas-Yllästunturi or Lemmenjoki, as well as rich cultural attractions such as Olavinlinna Castle or Turku Castle, it promises an immersive journey filled with unforgettable experiences. So pack your bags and prepare to embark on an adventure through this enchanting land – Finland awaits! 

Do you need help planning your trip to Finland? Here are my top tips!

  • The Best Finland Travel Guide  – My Finland overview, you’ll find everything you’d need to know about Finland.
  • When is the best time to visit Finland for northern lights  
  • When is the best time to visit Finland – Monthly breakdown
  • BEST Places to Visit in Finland  and  Best Cities in Finland  – Cities, and towns you must not miss!
  • Things to do in Finland ,  Finland Holidays to Experience ,  Tourist Attractions in Finland  – Touristy stuff, but still worth reading! Finland, in general, offers pretty cool experiences regardless of how “hyped” it is.
  • If you’re staying in Helsinki, you can book your  hotel stay in Helsinki  or  near Helsinki airport .
  • Cities to visit during a short visit:   Helsinki ,  Porvoo ,  Tampere ,  Turku ,  Ålands , Hanko , and  Vaasa .
  • When to visit?  Summer ,  Autumn ,  Spring , and  Winter  – Decide when to come and then base your activities on that!
  • How to dress for winter in Finland  – Always dress according to the weather. It will make your experience much better!
  • Top tips and important info:   Supermarkets in Finland ,  Budgeting tips for Finland ,  Tipping in Finland ,  What to wear in Sauna ,  Sauna etiquette ,  Public Saunas in Helsinki
  • Finnish culture introductions:   How to say hello ,  Finnish food and cuisine ,  Facts about Finland ,  Finnish Breakfast Guide , Finnish drinks

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Looking for the best places to visit in Finland? Discover the breathtaking beauty of Finland's hidden gems - from Saariselkä to Suomenlinna, and explore enchanting national parks and serene lakes. 

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About me

Evan Kristine a.k.a Pretty Wild World is a professional travel blogger with over 10 years of experience in content creation. Originally from the Philippines, she's been living in Finland for 15+ years working as a chef and entrepreneur in Tampere, Finland.

She's an expert in Finland travel and explores the country often sharing her insights and tips in this blog and social medias. She also splits her free time either going for weekend getaways in Europe or galavanting to different European destinations on her holidays. All her useful Europe travel guides are also in this blog!

Evan Kristine is also the food blogger behind at The Kitchen Abroad and on her free time, she enjoys decorating her 75m2 apartment and shares her experience over at Solía Avenue .

A true master of her own life and despite her busy schedule juggling life as a chef, blogger, and entrepreneur, she still finds time to read 50+ books a year and indulge in several hobbies like hiking, working out, yoga, and painting.

9 thoughts on “35 BEST Places to Visit in Finland”

I will definitely consider visiting some of these places in the near future. Thank you for this insightful article.

Finland is breathtakingly beautiful! I would love to visit Kemi and Savonlinna. These places are truly like dream destinations. Is there any best time to visit?

Hi Rashmi! Thank you for dropping by. The best time to visit depends on you and what you want to do. Normally we recommend to visit during summer as Finnish winter can be harsh for some foreigners but if you do want to experience the Northern lights, skiing, and other winter sports then of course winter is the best time to visit 🙂

Finland is truly a magical place would love to venture off here especially in the Lapland regions to seethe northern lights.

This email doesn’t need to be published, either. You are in serious need of proofreading here, half the time one doesn’t even know what country one is in… I volunteer, since obviously you don’t have anybody yet.

Not sure what you mean by “half the time one doesn’t even know what country one is in”. I’m pretty sure I know I’m in Finland if I’m in it?

Wow these are all great spots. Reminds me of my time in Finland as an exchange student. Beautiful country with a lot of nature to explore

Thanks, Philip! Hope you enjoyed your time here in Finland 🙂

Love the article. My family and I Had a wonder 11 days in Finland last year. I wish we had more time to explore all the cities in the article. However, you haven’t mentioned the Naantali home of Moomin world, or Saarisëlka with its charm and the famous Kakslauttanen arctic resort, where Santa lives.

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Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled

15 Breathtaking Places to Explore in Finland

This sometimes mysterious country is known for its breathtaking forests, stunning aurora displays, vast areas of unspoiled wilderness and its fondness for saunas!

From the breathtaking landscapes of Finnish Lapland to creative bistros filled with cloudberry liquor-swilling locals in Helsinki, here are my personal favourite places I’d love to share with you…

1. Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland

This capital is a unique and eclectic mix of contemporary and Art Noveau architecture, excellent designer restaurants, lively bars, creative cafes, beautiful boutiques, and galleries wrapped up in one stylish, neat, compact package!

Also, throw in some quirks and eccentricities—locals casually walking across the frozen sea during mid-winter, the long rows of heavy metal bars, and the super-cute Moomin cafe—and you’ve got quite an extraordinary city! The Finnish capital has gained a huge fan! 

It’s also a progressive place with a burgeoning vegan scene, a commitment to sustainability, and a charming small-town friendliness.

My favourite highlights include Uspenski Cathedral, the Sibelius monument, the Katajanokka district and Temppeliaukio Church (aka the unique rock church which has become a huge tourist hotspot)! 

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2. Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi Finland

Of course, everyone has heard of Santa Claus, but did you know he was based in Finland? Rovaniemi was home to the original figure Santa Clause was based on, so if you have a child with wild Christmas eyes, Rovaniemi is the ideal place to take them on a Finnish holiday! 

In the city, residents have lovingly embraced the legend and figure of Christmas, so sights and sounds of the season can be seen throughout the land.

Adults can also enjoy this area, with exceptional views of the Northern Lights and endless days during June and July when the sun never sets. This season is referred to as the Midnight Sun.

3. Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna Finland

Few areas anywhere in the world hold as much history as Suomenlinna. This area of Finland has not always been a part of the country but has changed hands a few times.

Once owned by Russia and Sweden, this island is now one of the most visited places in the country.

Suomenlinna was constructed as a fortress in 1748 and has always served as a fortress in some form or another. It is also home to a small community of residents. Suomenlinna is certainly something to behold; I believe this World Heritage Site should not be missed! 

4. Arctic Resort Kakslauttanen

ARCTIC RESORT KAKSLAUTTANEN,

It is a stunning, tranquil, but much sought-after resort due to its incredible, unique accommodations.

Located in Kakslauttanen, Finland, the big draw is their world-famous glass igloos, which allow you to experience the feeling of sleeping under the stars and, of course, make the most of the Northern Light should make an appearance.

Surrounded by thick forest and the Kakslauttanen River and covered in snow during the winter months, this place isn’t cheap, but it sure is the stuff of dreams!

5. Nuuksio National Park

Nuuksio National Park Finland

National parks are known for providing an escape from everyday modern life, and that is exactly what you will find at the stunning Nuuksio National Park .

This nature lover’s dream is just outside Finland’s capital and offers an array of opportunities to reconnect with nature and enjoy the epic beauty of the forest.

Camping and hiking are permitted in this national park, and the many waterfalls and breathtaking photo opportunities keep tourists and locals coming back again and again! 

Porvoo Finland

In terms of a quaint little fishing village, Porvoo is not, but with just over 50,000 residents, it does maintain a lot of a small-town feel but with big-city dreams.

This part of Finland is one of the six remaining medieval towns, first mentioned in history in the 14th century.

History is everywhere you look in Porvoo, and tourists enjoy various activities, from kayaking the waterways to enjoying the many quaint shops and cafes throughout the city.

The allure of Porvoo is often linked to its ability to recapture the old-world feel while managing as a modern town. I would say I don’t forget to pack your camera. This place is highly photogenic!

7. Lake Saimaa

Lake Saimaa Finland

This country has a substantial number of lakes—the most in Europe! Lake Saimaa is the largest of these interconnected bodies of water.

The lake system can be viewed from land, but you must travel by boat to see this remarkable piece of paradise’s massive scope and exceptional beauty.

Tours are common on Lake Saimaa, and I highly recommend going on one to try and catch a glimpse of the Saimaa Ringed Seal, which is currently endangered—merely a few hundred exist! Aw! 

8. Oulanka National Park

Oulanka National Park Finland

Oulanka National Park is an extraordinary magical wilderness, especially during the winter. It covers an area of 270 square kilometres in Finnish Lapland (the far north of the county).

Initially established in 1956, it caters to many outdoor and adventure lovers. During the summer, you’ll hear Brooks gushing and rivers rushing between the densely packed trees. During the winter, the snowy wonderland is also somewhere that often hosts the incredible Northern Lights.

I highly recommend staying at Basecamp Oulanka, as I did, sampling their homemade cloudberry liquors and taking refreshing dips in their outdoor hot tub!

9. Turku Archipelago 

Turku Archipelago Finland

A unique aspect of Finland can be found in the Turku Archipelago. The locals like to think this is one of the most stunning beauty spots in the whole world!

I do agree that the sprawling 20,000-island chain is something extraordinary. I also admire that even though each island is separate, they all seem to work together as an encompassed community.

A network of ferries manages island travel, so tourists need not contend with renting a vehicle. However, renting a bicycle can be a huge help as this is the general mode of transport for most people living and visiting the area.

10. Utsjoki

Utsjoki Finland

Located in Lapland and bordering Norway , Utsjoki’s small population of just over 1,200 helps maintain the small village feel that attracts many visitors yearly.

This Sami village is where tourists can slow down from hectic city life and enjoy the sheer beauty of nature’s splendour. The Tenojoki River flows along Utsjoki’s northern border, attracting its share of fishermen.

11. Naantali

Naantali Finland

A land of endless festivals and embracing Finish culture awaits you in Naatali! This is a pretty resort town located in Southwest Finland, and festivals such as the Naantali Music Festival happen every June from the 6th to the 17th, attracting visitors from around the globe. The town, in general, maintains a unique old-world atmosphere that keeps visitors coming back again and a gain.

Kultaranta Gardens is just one of the many attractions in Naantali. It features a unique look at the 100-year history of the nation’s presidents.

12. Mariehamn

Mariehamn Finland

This is the capital of the gorgeous Åland islands, and Mariehamn attracts visitors for its magnificent beauty but also its walkability! Many enjoy visiting this classic shipping town as getting from one end to another is easy without ever setting foot in a car.

Ferries and foot traffic are the most common modes of transportation here. For the best view of this growing city, a trek up to Badhusberg will allow you to see Mariehamn from the top.

I would highly recommend browsing various shops and restaurants while strolling along Torggatan, the pedestrian precinct in central Mariehamn.

13. Saariselka

Saariselka, Finland

The main attraction in Saariselki is the Aurora Borealis! The Northern Lights attract countless tourists annually and encapsulate the imagination as streams of colour dance across the night sky.

In Saariselka, they make the event even more special with uniquely designed cabins. These cabins offer a pure view of the northern lights while guests remain toasty warm inside.

During the summer season, guests enjoy a trek into one of the last remaining vast wilderness opportunities in Europe. With so many forests disappearing, it is nice to return to nature in a wilderness-driven landscape like Saariselka.

14. Repovesi National Park

Repovesi National Park

Located only 3 hours from Helsinki in the municipalities of Kouvola and Mäntyharju, this former site for intensive commercial forestry, the Repovesi area successfully transformed into a gorgeous national park.

A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, the parks are filled with hills blanketed with thick, rugged forests and clear blue lakes both in summer and winter. During the winter, the whole place is covered in pure white snow.

15. Lake Pielinen 

Lake Pielinen Finland

Located in eastern Finland’s Karelia region, Pielinen Lake is the fourth largest in Finland. Its large drainage basin covers both east Finland and Russia.

In my opinion, it’s an unspoiled and tranquil spot home to many points offering fantastic views and recreational activities such as hiking and cycling. Other sights include small villages and towns on the forested hills of Karelia.

top 3 places to visit in finland

Scott Balaam - writer and photographer Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Australia, Ireland, UK and the USA but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting thirst for culture, good food and great football. In his spare time Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and also runs his own blog and Instagram page. He also counts Melbourne, the rest of Italy, Amsterdam, USA, Athens, Cape Town and Tel Aviv among his favourite places. Find Scott on Linkedin , Instagram , or Twitter . Hotel Reviewing Experience –Asked by many tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Visit Sweden ,  OET (Spanish Tourism Office) , Sultanate of Oman and  Travel Alberta . Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos . Also mentioned as a top UK travel journalist .

11 thoughts on “15 Breathtaking Places to Explore in Finland”

I have never been to Finland but looking at these beautiful places, I feel like I’ve been there, hoping after the Covid-19 I can start traveling again. I would love to go to that places

Amazing post with mesmerizing views!

I live in Kenya, and I see many tourists who come to appreciate our wildlife are from Finland, and one day I will visit. I love their tech companies and think that their school education system is the best.

Thanks for sharing your experience about FINLAND. You talked about in this article about 15 of the most beautiful places visit in Finland. I would like to know about local bus and cab services in finland how can we go from one place to another?

Finland seems to be the colorful place for travelling. I would really like to go there some day. The settlements seem amazingly beautiful.

All the photos are amazing. I would love to visit these places in Finland. Mariehamn, Oulanka National Park, and Porvoo are in my travel bucket list now 🙂

All the photos are breathtaking, Scott! I hope to visit all these places in Finland one day!

Wow, that created some serious Finland cravings!

This is amazingly beautiful place. I hope to go there someday. It seems like the beautiful country.

These are stunning places to visit. I recommend every tourist to visit these places. And you people doing a good job. Keep up the Good work.

Oh Wow! Finland is such a beautiful nature. I hope next time I travel

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The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » Finland » 25 Best Things To Do In Finland

25 Best Things To Do In Finland

Finland is perhaps not as well visited as other countries in northern Europe and as a result it still has an ‘other-worldly’ quality to it.

When people think of Finland they imagine majestic forests and stunning natural landscapes all of which you will find here, but if you prefer a little urban sprawl then you can still spend time in charming big cities like Helsinki and Turku .

One of the main reasons that people travel to Finland is take in all its wintery delights, be it visiting Father Christmas at SantaPark or riding with reindeer in Lapland.

If you like skiing then you will love the range of ski resorts dotted around the country, and in the summer months you can enjoy warmer weather that is perfect for hiking and biking.

Of course, the most famous of all Finland’s attractions are the mighty Northern Lights, which most people consider the highlight of a trip to this part of the world.

Lets explore the best things to do in Finland :

1. Meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus at SantaPark

Santa Claus Village

If you don’t want to go all the way to the North Pole then why not visit Rovaniemi in the north of Finland? Here you will find Christmas delights such as an Elf School and you can even meet Santa and Mrs. Claus who will teach you how to make gingerbread treats.

There is a Calligraphy School where you can pen a letter to Santa and a Post Office where the elves will show you all the mail they receive over the course of the year.

The main highlight here is to cross the Arctic Circle via an underground tunnel.

If you are travelling with children then make sure not to miss this Winter Wonderland experience in Finland.

2. Learn some history at Siida Museum

Siida Museum

Located on gorgeous Lake Inari in Inari is the Siida Museum which is said to be one of the best museums in Finland.

The museum is dedicated to telling the story of the Sami, or the Laplanders of Finland who were a semi-nomadic tribe.

At Siida Museum you will find nature exhibits as well as photographic galleries and interactive information sections.

The galleries chart the history of the Sami from ancient times until the modern day and you will also find engaging rotating galleries and a theater that has shows about the aurora, also known as the Northern Lights.

3. Dine at Restaurant Aanaar

Restaurant Aanaar

Also located in Inari is Restaurant Aanaar which looks out over the breathtaking Juutuanjoki’s Jäniskoski Rapids.

The reason why locals and visitors alike flock here is for the delicious plates that are all made from seasonal local ingredients and have an emphasis on less well known products such as angelica root and reindeer heart which is served with a zingy sauce made from pine needles.

You can also try the trout from Lake Inari as well as smoked beetroot and butter made from nettles.

4. Explore Olavinlinna

Olavinlinna

Olavinlinna is a castle that sits in Savonlinna and dates from the 15th century.

The castle is famed for its three dominating towers and was constructed on a rock in the center of a glassy lake to afford it more protection from enemies.

To get to the castle you will need to walk across a series of creaking bridges and the inside is a maze of ornate towers and serene chapels.

There are guided tours here which last an hour and will fill you in on all the history of daily life in the castle in the days of old.

5. Have a picnic at Suomenlinna

Sea Fortress of Suomenlinna

If you are looking for a day trip from neighboring Helsinki then consider taking the ferry to Suomenlinna Fortress.

The fortress is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and was built in 1748. It was originally erected by the Swedes before being captured by the Russians and then being regained by the Finns when they declared independence after the Russian Revolution.

Suomenlinna is a vast complex of 8 islands surrounded by 6 kilometers of walls and has some 290 different buildings, 100 guns and intact cannons.

It is also the location of 6 museums where you can learn all about Finland’s history.

The grounds are also a popular sport for picnicking and it can get quite busy at the weekends.

6. Go skiing in Levi

Levi, Finland

Levi is the best loved ski resort in all of Finland and is also the location of the Alpine World Cup Race which is held here every year.

You will find an amazing 43 different slopes here that are perfect for all different abilities as well as 26 ski lifts.

There are 124 miles of trails here and these include cross country ski sections as well as black runs for downhill skiers.

If you like snowboarding then there is also a dedicated snowboard park in the resort.

Anyone that doesn’t ski can also find a range of activities to enjoy here including husky sled rides and a cute reindeer park.

7. Visit the animals at Helsinki Zoo

Leopard at Helsinki Zoo

Helsinki Zoo has a long and illustrious history having first opened its doors in 1889, making it one of the oldest zoos in the world.

It sits on Korkeasaari Island and has an impressive 150 different species of animals as well as 1,000 kinds of plants.

The island spans 52 acres and you will find animals as diverse as camels, bears, wolverines, monkeys, and lions.

The zoo is segregated into sections including Amazonia, Africasia, and Borealia.

As you would imagine the zoo also has an abundance of Nordic animals like wolves, reindeers, elks, and bison.

8. Dig for amethysts at the Lampivaara Amethyst Mine

Lampivaara Amethyst Mine

The amethyst fell located in Lampivaara dates back 200 million years and is the only surviving mine of its kind that still exists in Europe.

To get to the mine you need to either hike or take a snowmobile through the Pyhä-Luosto National Park until you reach the hillside where the mine is situated.

Once there you can learn all about the history of amethysts in Finland as well as dig for them yourself using traditional techniques that have been used for centuries.

Incredibly you can even keep any amethysts you find as long as they are smaller than the size of a fist.

9. Enjoy the Archipelago National Park

Archipelago National Park

Nestled near Turku is the Archipelago National Park which was first inaugurated in 1983. The islands that make up the park offer a mixture of Finnish, Swedish, and Russian heritage and you will be surrounded by limpid sea and seemingly never-ending horizons.

Some ways to explore the abundance of rugged flora and fauna here is to rent a boat such as a sailboat or kayak and island hop at your leisure.

You can also check out the aquatic life like serene seals and babbling sea geese, or enjoy a spot of fishing as the waters here are filled with trout and pike.

10. Explore Seurasaari Open Air Museum

Seurasaari Open Air Museum

If you are in Helsinki and looking for something to do outside of the city then consider a trip to Seurasaari Island.

Here you will find an enchanting open air museum that will fill you in on everything you need to know about traditional life in Finland in the days of old.

The museum has 87 different buildings that date from the 18th and 19th century which include elaborate manors, traditional folk houses and farm buildings.

Local guides will take you on a tour while dressed in period garb to help you get in the mood, and you can learn about traditional crafts such as embroidery and spinning.

There are even folk dancing shows and traditional foods on sale if you fancy a taste of old fashioned Finland.

11. Shop at Market Square

Helsinki's Market Square - Kauppatori

Market Square in Helsinki is also known as Kauppatori and is the main square in the center of the city.

It is one of the most popular markets in northern Europe and has views over the spectacular Baltic Sea to the east.

Here you will find a wide range of local produce such as flowers, vegetables, fruits and baked goods.

This is also an arts and crafts market so it is the perfect place to pick up a few souvenirs of your trip to Finland.

12. Watch the Imatrankoski Rapids

Imatrankoski Rapids

The Imatrankoski Rapids are one of the most popular attractions in Finland outside of Helsinki.

The rapids date back 5,000 years and would have been the result of gushing waters from nearby lakes.

Now a large dam has been built and the rapids are released several times a day in the summer months so that visitors can enjoy the spectacle of the surging waves.

13. Have fun at Särkänniemi Amusement Park

Särkänniemi Amusement Park

Särkänniemi Amusement Park in Tampere is known for its fast paced rides and varied attractions that are fun for all the family.

The park has a large aquarium as well as a planetarium and a children’s zoo.

As if that wasn’t enough, you can also take in the views of surrounding Tampere from the observation tower which is called the Näsi Needle.

There are a range of rollercoasters here to enjoy like the Sky Rocket, the Tornado, and the Half Pipe and for younger visitors there are calmer rides like the Whirly Worm.

14. Explore Lake Saimaa

Lake Saimaa

If you are in the east of Finland then don’t miss the chance to check out Lake Saimaa which is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in Finland.

There is a reason that Lake Saimaa actually means ‘Lake of a Thousands Lakes’ and you will find over 1,300 square kilometers of water as well as a number of dainty islands.

The shores of the lake give way to amazing lush forest lands and hiking and biking are both popular pursuits in the area.

15. See the Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Many people come to Finland just to see the Northern Lights which is usually a travel highlight of a lifetime.

The Northern Lights can be spotted from different points in Finland but the best place to travel to is Lapland which is where you have the highest chance of success.

If you are coming just for the lights then try to time your trip between September and March when they are at their most visible.

The Northern Lights are actually caused by the glow of particles from the Sun as they enter the atmosphere of the earth and can only be seen around the North and South Poles.

16. Check out Pyhä-Luosto National Park

Pyhä-Luosto National Park

If you are looking for a picture perfect part of Finland then head for the Pyhä-Luosto National Park where you will find miles of pine forests and dramatic gorges and peaks.

The park is home to the Lampivaara Amethyst Mine but it also has 90 miles of walking trails so if you enjoy hiking then this really is a must-visit attraction.

Some of the main points of interest in the park are the Pyhä Waterfall as well as Isokuru which is famous for being the deepest gorge in the country.

There are also 75 miles of ski trails here and you can go snowmobiling or enjoy a reindeer sleigh ride.

17. Explore Turun Linna

Turun Linna

Turun Linna is also known as Turku Castle and if you are in the city of Turku in the southwest of Finland then this is not to be missed.

The castle is famous for several of its signature features such as two dominating dungeons as well as ornate banquet halls.

It is also the place to come if you want to know more about the history of Turku and there are galleries that will tell you how the castle morphed from a medieval fortress to a Renaissance masterpiece.

There are guided tours held here over the summer months from June to August which are perfect for anyone who wants to know more about the former residents of Turun Linna.

18. Marvel at Lumilinna

SnowCastle of Kemi

Lumilinna is actually better known as Lumilinna Snow Castle of Kemi and if you are in the area then you should definitely make the trip here.

The castle has everything you would expect, such as towers, walls, and a drawbridge but the twist is that it is all made out of compacted snow and ice.

It is rebuilt every year after it melts during the spring months and the interior is as exquisite as the exterior.

Here you will find thrones, four poster beds, and ice sculptures and you can even stay here overnight or eat in the snow restaurant.

19. Visit the Aland Islands

Aland Islands

The Aland Islands sit between Sweden and Finland and are technically their own autonomous region while also being a province of Finland.

Aland is comprised of over 10,000 small islands and has a population of around 27,500 people.

The main town is called Mariehamn and as this used to be a prime trading port you can learn all about nautical history at the Maritime Museum.

Other highlights are the Museum Ship Pommern and you can stroll around the Maritime Quarter which still stands proud in the town.

The easiest way to get to Mariehamn is to take a ferry across from either Turku in Finland or Stockholm in neighboring Sweden.

20. Meet the animals at Salla Reindeer Park

Salla Reindeer Park - Finland

Salla is one of the last parts of Finland which still has a wild reindeer population that are looked after by traditional herders who have worked with these amazing animals for generations.

At the park you can not only enjoy the snow covered scenery but also go on a range of tours such as sleigh rides and canoe outings.

The park also offers ice fishing and if you are feeling brave you can even try ice swimming here.

For something a little less adventurous there are a number of gentle hikes all over the park that take you through scenic marshlands and enchanting forests.

21. Marvel at Kummakivi Balancing Rock

Kummakivi Balancing Rock

Kummakivi means ‘Strange Rock’ in Finnish and if you are traveling to Ruokolathi then it is not to be missed.

The rock sits in a section of forest and balances atop a smaller rock, almost as if by magic.

Legend has it that that the rock was placed here by giants in the days of old although it is more plausible that it was carried here by a glacier which then melted leaving the rock perched in its precarious position.

The rock is thought to be around 8,000 years old so if you like geology then this one of the most amazing feats of nature in Finland.

22. Go to the beach at Hietaniemi

Hietaniemi Beach

On the outskirts of Helsinki is the area known as Hietaniemi which nestles on the coast of Finland.

Here you will find an unexpected golden sandy beach and also a number of shops where you can rent kayaks and canoes to take to the water.

There are also some parks that sit close by so that you can enjoy the coastal breezes as well as a range of local eateries.

If it’s too cold to enjoy the beach then there is also a sauna here where you can heat up in style.

23. Venture inside Högberget Cave

Högberget Cave

Located close to Helsinki is Högberget Cave which is also known as the ‘Womb of Mother Earth’. The area around the cave is famous for its hiking trails that cut through the beautiful Finnish countryside and adventurous trekkers can walk to the cave which opens out of the side of a rugged granite cliff.

The cave is said to date from the Ice Age and you can venture inside the gaping hole in the side of the mountain and take in all the majesty of this stunning relic from a bygone era.

24. Sleep under the stars at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland

Tucked away in the wilderness for which Finland is so well known is Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort which is a great pace for intrepid travelers looking to get away from the main tourist spots of Sweden.

The resort has the claim to fame of having glass igloos that let you look up directly at the Northern Lights and you can book one of these to sleep in overnight.

The resort dates from 1973 which is impressive as it looks like something out of a science fiction film.

25. Enjoy Linnanmäki Amusement Park

Linnanmäki Amusement Park

If you are looking for a little fun in Helsinki then consider a visit to the Linnanmäki Amusement Park which also happens to be the most popular amusement park in Finland.

Signature features of the park include its iconic water tower as well as a pretty Ferris wheel that gives you views across the city skyline.

The park first opened its doors in 1950 and has a range of both classic and modern rides that all age groups can enjoy.

25 Best Things To Do In Finland:

  • Meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus at SantaPark
  • Learn some history at Siida Museum
  • Dine at Restaurant Aanaar
  • Explore Olavinlinna
  • Have a picnic at Suomenlinna
  • Go skiing in Levi
  • Visit the animals at Helsinki Zoo
  • Dig for amethysts at the Lampivaara Amethyst Mine
  • Enjoy the Archipelago National Park
  • Explore Seurasaari Open Air Museum
  • Shop at Market Square
  • Watch the Imatrankoski Rapids
  • Have fun at Särkänniemi Amusement Park
  • Explore Lake Saimaa
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Check out Pyhä-Luosto National Park
  • Explore Turun Linna
  • Marvel at Lumilinna
  • Visit the Aland Islands
  • Meet the animals at Salla Reindeer Park
  • Marvel at Kummakivi Balancing Rock
  • Go to the beach at Hietaniemi
  • Venture inside Högberget Cave
  • Sleep under the stars at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
  • Enjoy Linnanmäki Amusement Park

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15 Best Places to Visit in Finland 2024

Discover the Arctic wonderland of Finland with these top 15 must-visit destinations. From its vibrant capital city to pristine national parks, let this guide take you on a journey through the best of Finland.

  • Helsinki - Capital Charm: Explore Helsinki's modern architecture, historic sites like Suomenlinna Fortress, and lively Market Square.
  • Santa Claus Village - Arctic Wonder: Experience Lapland's magic at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, known for winter sports, Northern Lights, and meeting Santa.
  • Åland Islands - Maritime Paradise: Visit Åland Islands for a blend of Swedish-Finnish culture, picturesque landscapes, and outdoor activities amid the archipelago.
  • Lakeland - Tranquil Retreat: Immerse yourself in Lakeland's serene beauty, featuring lakes, charming villages, and activities like kayaking and sauna experiences.
  • Archipelago National Park - Coastal Beauty: Discover the breathtaking Archipelago National Park, a haven for nature lovers with its islands and islets, ideal for peaceful coastal retreats.

Best Places to Visit in Finland , these words conjure images of pristine natural landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage. Finland, known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, has captured the hearts of travelers worldwide with its enchanting beauty and unique experiences. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a nature enthusiast, or a culture lover, Finland offers a plethora of winning destinations to explore in 2024 and 2025 . From the mesmerizing Northern Lights to the charming cities and breathtaking national parks, Finland is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. For those seeking tranquility amidst nature, the national parks are one of the best things to do in Finlanda . 

As we embark on the journey to discover the best places to visit in Finland in 2024 and 2025, let's immerse ourselves in the wonders of Finnish Lapland, the vibrant city of Helsinki, and the breathtaking national parks. Finland beckons with its diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes, promising an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of wanderlust, and get ready to explore the winning destinations of Finland

1- Helsinki Finland’s Southern Capital

Helsinki the Capital of Sophistication..helsinki cathedral - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Helsinki, the vibrant southern capital of Finland, is one of the famous Europe places that effortlessly blends modernity with rich cultural heritage. If you're considering a visit to this remarkable destination, there are a few things you need to know to make the most of your experience. From its captivating architecture to its thriving culinary scene, Helsinki has much to offer. Let's delve into the essential travel tips and insights that will ensure your journey is a memorable one. First and foremost, when planning your visit to Helsinki, it's crucial to consider the seasons. The city truly comes alive during the summer months, from June to August, when the long days and pleasant weather create a lively and energetic atmosphere. This is the perfect time to explore Helsinki's outdoor attractions, such as the beautiful Esplanade Park and the iconic Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. However, if you prefer a more tranquil and snowy experience, winter in Helsinki, from December to February, offers the enchanting allure of snow-covered streets, cozy cafes, and the possibility of witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights.

When it comes to getting around the city, Helsinki's efficient public transportation system is a traveler's best friend. The trams, buses, and metro provide convenient access to all major attractions, and a Helsinki Card can offer unlimited travel as well as discounts on popular sights. Additionally, the city is quite pedestrian-friendly, making it a joy to explore on foot. Remember to pack comfortable shoes and take advantage of the city's well-maintained walking paths. Helsinki, the vibrant capital of Finland, offers a delightful mix of modern urban attractions and natural beauty. Start your exploration by visiting the iconic Helsinki Cathedral, a neoclassical masterpiece that dominates the city skyline. Take a stroll through the historic Market Square, where you can indulge in Finnish delicacies and shop for local crafts. For art enthusiasts, a visit to the renowned Ateneum Art Museum is a must, showcasing Finnish and international masterpieces. Explore the unique architecture of the Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Church), built directly into solid rock. To immerse yourself in Finnish culture, head to the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Helsinki offers a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets. For a luxurious experience, consider Hotel Kämp, an elegant five-star hotel in the heart of the city. Prices for a standard room start at around $300 per night. If you're looking for a mid-range option, Hotel Fabian is a popular choice, offering stylish rooms with rates averaging $150 per night. Budget travelers can opt for Hostel Suomenlinna, located on the historic Suomenlinna Island, with prices starting at around $50 per night. The best time to visit Helsinki is during the summer months from June to August when the city comes alive with European festivals , outdoor activities, and long daylight hours. The average temperature ranges from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). Spring and autumn also offer pleasant weather but with slightly cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. Winter, from December to February, brings snow and chilly temperatures, creating a magical atmosphere for those who enjoy winter sports and holiday festivities.

2- Rovaniemi in Finland

Rovaniemi in Finland - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Rovaniemi, located in the beautiful country of Finland, stands out as an enchanting and captivating destination for travelers seeking a unique experience. Known as the official hometown of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi offers a wealth of attractions in Europe and natural wonders that make it one of the best places to visit. Nestled amidst the pristine Arctic landscape, visitors can revel in the breathtaking beauty of the Northern Lights, as Rovaniemi sits right on the Arctic Circle. The city is also home to Santa Claus Village, a magical place where young and old alike can meet Santa Claus himself, send postcards from the Arctic Circle, and explore a range of festive activities.

For those seeking adventure, Rovaniemi provides opportunities for thrilling experiences such as reindeer sleigh rides, husky safaris, and snowmobile excursions through the stunning Lapland wilderness. Moreover, the Arctic Wildlife Park offers a chance to encounter arctic animals in their natural habitat, including reindeer, polar bears, and lynx. The Arktikum museum provides fascinating insights into the Arctic region's history, culture, and unique ecosystems. Rovaniemi's charming cityscape is dotted with cozy cafés, restaurants serving delectable Finnish cuisine, and traditional Sami handicraft shops, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture. Whether you're captivated by the idea of meeting Santa Claus, longing to witness the dancing colors of the Northern Lights, or craving thrilling Arctic adventures, Rovaniemi is undoubtedly a must-visit destination that promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

3- Nuuksio National Park  in Finland

Nuuksio National Park amazing place to visit in Finland - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Nestled amidst the picturesque Finnish countryside, Nuuksio National Park emerges as a true gem and a haven for nature enthusiasts. Situated just a stone's throw away from Helsinki, Nuuksio offers a serene escape from bustling city life, making it one of the best places to visit in Finland. The park spans over 50 square kilometers and showcases a diverse range of landscapes, including lush forests, crystal-clear lakes, and rugged cliffs. Hiking trails crisscross through the park, guiding visitors to breathtaking viewpoints and hidden gems. Whether you're a novice or an experienced hiker, Nuuksio has a trail suited for every level of fitness and adventure.

Along the way, you'll encounter tranquil lakeshores where you can rest and admire the surrounding beauty or even take a refreshing swim during the summer months. The park is also home to an array of wildlife, including elusive owls, majestic eagles, and agile deer, offering nature lovers an opportunity to spot and appreciate Finland's rich biodiversity. Nuuksio National Park is particularly renowned for its tranquility and the sense of serenity it imparts to its visitors.

The peaceful atmosphere creates a perfect setting for activities such as meditation, yoga, and simply disconnecting from the fast-paced world. For those seeking a more immersive experience, camping sites are available within the park, allowing you to spend the night under the starry Finnish sky. Additionally, guided nature walks and workshops are offered, enabling visitors to learn about the park's flora, fauna, and cultural heritage. Nuuksio National Park showcases Finland's pristine natural beauty, providing a sanctuary for those seeking solace in the outdoors and a deep appreciation for the wonders of nature.

4- Kilpisjarvi in Finland

Finland, Lappland, Kilpisjaervi, woman sitting at wooden boardwalk - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Kilpisjärvi in Finland is a splendid destination that holds a special allure for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Located in the far northwestern part of Lapland, Kilpisjärvi is a small village surrounded by stunning wilderness, making it an ideal place to visit. The village is situated on the shores of Lake Kilpisjärvi, with Sweden and Norway bordering nearby, creating a tripoint known as the "Three-Country Cairn."

Kilpisjärvi is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, including rugged mountains, vast tundra, and serene lakes. One of the prominent features of the area is Saana, a majestic fell that offers spectacular hiking opportunities. Climbing Saana rewards hikers with panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness and the opportunity to witness the midnight sun during the summer months.

The region is also home to Finland's highest peak, Halti, which attracts experienced hikers and mountaineers seeking a challenge. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the wilderness, immersing themselves in the beauty of Arctic flora and fauna. In winter, Kilpisjärvi transforms into a winter wonderland, offering excellent opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even aurora hunting.

For those interested in cultural experiences, Kilpisjärvi offers a glimpse into the unique indigenous Sami culture. Visitors can learn about Sami traditions, art, and handicrafts through guided tours and cultural events.

Furthermore, the village provides various amenities such as accommodations, restaurants, and visitor centers, ensuring a comfortable stay and access to information about the area.

Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, stunning natural landscapes, or a cultural experience, Kilpisjärvi in Finland promises an unforgettable journey into the Arctic wilderness.

5-Porvoo in Finland “The History Town”

Houses By Lake And Buildings Against Sky - Photo Taken In Porvoo, Finland - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Porvoo, known as " The History Town " is a charming and historical place located in southern Finland. With its well-preserved medieval old town and rich historical significance, Porvoo offers a unique blend of culture, architecture, and scenic beauty.

One of the main highlights of Porvoo is its old town, which dates back to the Middle Ages. Strolling through its narrow cobblestone streets, lined with colorful wooden houses and charming boutiques, transports visitors back in time. The old town is home to iconic landmarks such as Porvoo Cathedral, a magnificent red-brick church that dominates the skyline, and the Porvoo Museum, which provides insights into the city's past.

The riverside promenade, known as the Porvoo River Walk, is a delightful spot to explore. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the idyllic riverfront, watch boats pass by, and relax in cozy cafés and restaurants. The red ochre warehouses lining the riverbanks add to the town's historic charm.

Porvoo is also famous for its artisans and craftsmanship. The town is dotted with artisan workshops, galleries, and boutique stores where visitors can discover unique handmade products, including ceramics, glassware, textiles, and traditional Finnish crafts. The lively local market square, where fresh produce, delicacies, and handicrafts are sold, is another must-visit spot.

To delve deeper into Porvoo's history, the Porvoo City Museum and the Runeberg Home Museum are considered one of the best museusms to visit in Europe that offer captivating exhibitions and displays. These museums showcase the town's past, including its connection to Finland's national poet, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, who lived and worked in Porvoo.

Nature enthusiasts will also find solace in Porvoo's surroundings. The nearby Porvoo Archipelago presents a stunning coastal landscape, with its countless islands, rocky shores, and tranquil waters. Exploring the archipelago by boat or kayak allows visitors to appreciate the area's natural beauty.

Porvoo's historical significance, architectural beauty, and vibrant cultural scene make it a perfect destination for history buffs, art lovers, and anyone seeking a tranquil and captivating Finnish experience.

6- Hanko in Finland

Hanko-in-Finland-Places-to-Visit-in-Finland-Planet-Travel-Advisor

Hanko, a picturesque seaside town located on the southern coast of Finland, offers a delightful mix of natural beauty, historical significance, and a vibrant summer atmosphere. Known as the " Riviera of the North " Hanko attracts visitors with its sandy beaches , charming harbor, and an array of recreational activities.

The town's main attraction is its stunning coastline, featuring numerous sandy beaches in Europe that stretch along the Baltic Sea. These beaches provide a perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming, and beachside picnics during the warm summer months. Visitors can also enjoy various water sports, such as sailing, kayaking, and fishing, making the most of Hanko's maritime charm.

Hanko's history as a spa town is reflected in its elegant wooden villas and grand buildings. Many of these structures date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Hanko served as a popular summer retreat for the Finnish nobility and Russian aristocracy. Taking a leisurely stroll through the streets, visitors can admire the beautiful architecture and immerse themselves in the town's nostalgic ambiance.

The Hanko Museum offers a glimpse into the town's past, showcasing exhibits on the area's history, maritime heritage, and its role as a strategic port during different eras. The museum is housed in an old customs warehouse, adding to its charm and historical significance.

Hanko's vibrant summer scene comes alive with its lively events and festivities. The Hanko Regatta, the largest sailing event in the Nordic countries, attracts sailors from around the world to compete in thrilling races. The Hanko Music Festival brings together talented musicians who perform in various genres, from classical to jazz, enchanting audiences with their performances.

Nature lovers can explore the stunning landscapes surrounding Hanko. The nearby Ekenäs Archipelago offers breathtaking views of the rugged coastline, dotted with islands and islets. Visitors can embark on boat tours or rent kayaks to discover the unique flora and fauna of this pristine coastal area.

With its captivating beaches, rich history, and lively atmosphere, Hanko stands as a perfect destination for those seeking a coastal retreat and a taste of Finland's seaside charm.

Best Places to Visit in Hanko in Finland such as

  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanko.
  • Hanko Water Tower.
  • Gunnarstrand.
  • Tulliniemi Nature Path.
  • Bellevue Beach.
  • Hanko Front.
  • Pike's Gut.
  • Hanko Museum.
  • The Path of Love.
  • The Emigration Monument.

7- Lake Inari in Finland

wight winter - Snow covering winter morning on Lake Inari with boat on foreground in Finland - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Lake Inari, located in the far north of Finnish Lapland, is a majestic and captivating destination renowned for its pristine wilderness, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural significance. As Finland's third-largest lake and one of the largest in Europe, Lake Inari offers a truly immersive and authentic experience in the heart of Lapland.

Surrounded by untouched nature and vast forests, Lake Inari is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The lake itself spans over 1,000 square kilometers and is famous for its crystal-clear waters, which reflect the ever-changing colors of the sky and surrounding landscape. The serene atmosphere provides a perfect setting for various activities throughout the year.

During the summer months, Lake Inari is a paradise for boating, fishing, and kayaking. Exploring the lake's numerous islands, bays, and hidden coves by boat or canoe allows visitors to discover secluded spots and enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding nature. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching various fish species, including salmon, trout, and whitefish.

In winter, Lake Inari transforms into a frozen wonderland, creating opportunities for unique experiences. The lake's frozen surface becomes a vast playground for ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Additionally, the northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, frequently grace the skies above Lake Inari during the winter months, offering mesmerizing displays of dancing colors and ethereal beauty.

The Sami people, the indigenous inhabitants of the region, have a deep cultural connection to Lake Inari. The Sami have inhabited the area for centuries and still maintain their traditional way of life. Visitors can learn about Sami culture, traditions, and reindeer herding through guided tours, visits to Sami villages, and cultural events.

Inari, a small village situated on the shores of Lake Inari, serves as the gateway to the lake and its surrounding wilderness. The village is home to the Siida Sami Museum and Nature Centre, where visitors can gain insights into Sami culture, the local ecosystem, and the natural history of the region.

Lake Inari embodies the raw beauty and tranquility of Lapland's wilderness, providing an unforgettable experience for those seeking a deep connection with nature and a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Sami people.

8- Northern Lights in Ivalo in Finland

Bright green aurora borealis, Finland - Aurora borealis, also known as Northern lights, north of the Arctic Circle, near Ivalo, Finland - Best Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Ivalo, located in the Finnish Lapland, is a prime destination for witnessing the awe-inspiring phenomenon of the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. Situated in the Arctic region, Ivalo offers optimal conditions for observing this natural wonder.

During the winter months, from September to April, the dark and clear nights in Ivalo provide an excellent backdrop for the Northern Lights to shine in their full glory. Away from the light pollution of cities, the pristine wilderness surrounding Ivalo offers unobstructed views of the night sky, making it one of the ideal European place to visit in Winter for aurora hunting.

To increase your chances of witnessing the Northern Lights, there are several options available in Ivalo. One popular choice is to embark on a guided Northern Lights tour. Knowledgeable guides lead visitors to the best viewing spots, taking into account weather conditions and aurora forecasts. These experts provide insights into the science and folklore behind the Northern Lights, enhancing the overall experience.

Another way to experience the Northern Lights is by staying in accommodations specifically designed for aurora-watching. Some hotels and resorts in Ivalo offer cozy glass igloos or unique cabins with large windows or skylights, allowing guests to admire the dancing lights from the comfort and warmth of their rooms.

It's important to note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and their appearance cannot be guaranteed. They depend on various factors, including solar activity and weather conditions. However, Ivalo's location within the auroral oval, an area known for frequent aurora sightings, increases the chances of witnessing this breathtaking spectacle.

Aside from the Northern Lights, Ivalo offers other winter activities and experiences. Visitors can engage in snow-based adventures such as snowmobiling, husky sledding, and cross-country skiing. The snow-covered landscapes and frozen lakes provide a stunning backdrop for these exhilarating activities.

Ivalo in Finland's Lapland is a remarkable destination for experiencing the enchanting Northern Lights. With its dark, clear skies and optimal location within the auroral oval, visitors have an excellent opportunity to witness the magical dance of colors in the night sky, creating lifelong memories in the Arctic wilderness.

Top Places to Visit in Ivalo in Finland Such as

  • Wild Spirit Park.
  • Extreme Huskies.
  • Ivalo Trek Lapland.
  • Northern Lights Riders.
  • Ivalo Safaris.
  • Arctica Lapland.
  • Guesthouse Husky.

9- Oulanka National Park   is an Amazing Place to Visit in Finland

Oulanka National Park - River Kitka, Oulanka NP, Northern Finland - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Oulanka National Park, located in northeastern Finland, is a true gem for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Known for its rugged beauty and pristine wilderness, the park offers a plethora of natural wonders and thrilling experiences.

Covering an area of over 270 square kilometers, Oulanka National Park showcases diverse landscapes that captivate visitors throughout the year. The park is characterized by its lush forests, meandering rivers, deep gorges, and impressive waterfalls. The most famous of these waterfalls is the stunning Kiutaköngäs, where the Oulankajoki River cascades over rugged cliffs, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

The park is crisscrossed by numerous hiking trails, allowing visitors to explore its breathtaking scenery on foot. One of the most popular trails is the Karhunkierros Trail, which stretches for approximately 80 kilometers and takes hikers through a variety of landscapes, including forests, suspension bridges, and rapids. Along the way, hikers can spot wildlife such as reindeer, moose, and a variety of bird species.

During the winter months, Oulanka National Park transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting cross-country skiers and snowshoeing enthusiasts. The park's extensive trail network offers opportunities to explore the snowy landscapes and marvel at the frozen waterfalls and ice formations.

The park is also home to the famous Jyrävä suspension bridge, which spans the Oulankajoki River and provides stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. Crossing the bridge is a thrilling experience, as it sways gently with each step, offering a unique perspective of the natural surroundings.

For thrill-seekers, Oulanka National Park offers the chance to experience exhilarating whitewater rafting on the rapids of the Oulankajoki River. Guided rafting tours take visitors on a thrilling adventure through the untamed waters, providing an adrenaline-pumping experience amidst the stunning scenery.

In addition to its natural beauty, Oulanka National Park is rich in cultural heritage. The park is home to traditional Finnish and Sami villages, where visitors can learn about the local way of life, traditions, and cultural practices.

Oulanka National Park offers a magnificent blend of unspoiled natural landscapes, thrilling outdoor activities, and cultural immersion. Whether you're seeking peaceful hikes through the forest, exciting whitewater rafting, or the chance to witness the beauty of Finnish Lapland, Oulanka National Park is a must-visit destination that promises unforgettable experiences.

10- Oy Levi Ski Resort

View Of Levi Village In Finland In Twilight, Modern Ski Resort In Lapland - Photo taken in Sirkka, Finland - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Oy Levi Ski Resort, commonly known as Levi, is a premier winter sports destination located in Finnish Lapland. Renowned for its excellent ski slopes, pristine natural surroundings, and a vibrant après-ski scene, Levi offers an unforgettable experience for both avid skiers and leisure travelers.

The resort boasts an extensive network of ski slopes catering to all skill levels, from beginners to advanced skiers. With over 40 slopes and a variety of lifts, visitors can enjoy a wide range of skiing and snowboarding opportunities. The well-maintained slopes provide excellent conditions for carving down the mountainside and experiencing the thrill of winter sports.

Levi's ski season typically runs from November to May, ensuring a long and reliable period for winter activities. The resort also has excellent snowmaking facilities, ensuring optimal skiing conditions throughout the season.

Apart from downhill skiing, Levi offers various other winter activities that appeal to adventurers of all ages. Visitors can try their hand at cross-country skiing on the vast network of trails, embark on thrilling snowmobile safaris through the snowy wilderness, or experience the unique joy of husky sledding. Ice climbing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing are also popular activities in the area.

For those seeking relaxation after an active day on the slopes, Levi provides a range of wellness and spa facilities. After a dip in the sauna, visitors can rejuvenate themselves with massages, hot tubs, and other treatments to unwind and recharge.

Levi's après-ski scene is lively and diverse, offering a vibrant atmosphere after a day of outdoor activities. The village center is home to numerous restaurants, bars, and cafes where visitors can indulge in Finnish cuisine, sip on hot drinks, and enjoy the social atmosphere. Live music, entertainment, and occasional events add to the festive ambiance of the resort.

Levi is also known for hosting various winter events and competitions, including international skiing and snowboarding competitions. These events attract top athletes from around the world, adding an extra dose of excitement and energy to the resort.

Furthermore, the northern location of Levi makes it an ideal destination for witnessing the captivating Northern Lights. On clear nights, visitors have a chance to marvel at the dancing colors of the Aurora Borealis, creating a truly magical experience.

Oy Levi Ski Resort offers a remarkable winter getaway with its superb ski slopes, thrilling winter activities, vibrant après-ski scene, and the opportunity to witness the captivating Northern Lights. Whether you're an avid skier, a lover of winter adventures, or simply seeking a unique and unforgettable vacation, Levi provides an exceptional destination in the heart of Finnish Lapland.

Amazing Places to Visit in Levi Such as

  • Manatee Springs State Park.
  • Fanning Springs State Park.
  • Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens.

11- Turku in Finland

Turku in Finland- Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Turku, located on the southwestern coast of Finland, is a city that beautifully blends history, culture, and modernity. As the oldest city in Finland, Turku is steeped in rich historical significance and offers a wide range of attractions and experiences.

The city's most iconic landmark is the Turku Castle, a medieval fortress that dates back to the 13th century. This well-preserved castle allows visitors to step back in time and explore its fascinating history through guided tours. Inside, you'll find exhibitions showcasing the castle's past, including its role as a royal residence and a strategic stronghold.

Another historical gem in Turku is the Turku Cathedral, a stunning Gothic-style church that dominates the city's skyline. This magnificent cathedral, built in the 13th century, is renowned for its beautiful architecture, intricate details, and impressive organ. Climbing the cathedral tower offers panoramic views of the city and the Aurajoki River.

The banks of the Aurajoki River are a lively hub of activity in Turku. The riverside promenade, known as the "Aura Riverfron," is lined with charming cafés, restaurants, and famous shops in Europe . It's a popular spot for leisurely walks, boat tours, and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. In summer, you can even hop on a riverboat cruise to explore the archipelago and its picturesque islands.

Turku's cultural scene is vibrant and diverse, with numerous museums and galleries that cater to a variety of interests. The Turku Art Museum showcases both Finnish and international contemporary art, while the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum offers a fascinating blend of history and modern art. The Forum Marinum maritime center provides insights into Finland's seafaring traditions and exhibits historical ships.

For those interested in Finnish history and culture, the Turku Museum Quarter is a must-visit. This area houses several museums, including the Turku Castle, the Turku Biological Museum, the Pharmacy Museum, and Qwensel House, where you can explore the history of pharmacy and admire the well-preserved 18th-century interior.

Turku is also known for its vibrant culinary scene. The city offers a wide range of restaurants and eateries, from traditional Finnish cuisine to international flavors. The local food market, Kauppatori, is a great place to sample local produce, seafood, and street food.

Throughout the year, Turku hosts various festivals and events that showcase its cultural richness. The Turku Music Festival, the oldest and largest music festival in Finland, attracts renowned musicians from around the world. The Medieval Market, held in the summer, takes visitors back in time with medieval reenactments, crafts, and food.

Turku combines historical charm, cultural experiences, and a modern atmosphere, making it a captivating destination in Finland. Whether you're exploring its medieval heritage, enjoying the riverside ambiance, or immersing yourself in its vibrant cultural scene, Turku offers a memorable experience for visitors of all interests.

Best Places to Visit in Turku Such as

  • Turku Castle.
  • Turku Cathedral
  • Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova.
  • Luostarinmäen Käsityöläismuseo
  • Turun Kauppahalli.

12- Saariselka , an Amazing Place to Visit in Finland

Arctic sunrise on snowy forest and tourist resort Lapland - snow in winter and traditional huts of Saariselka tourist resort, Inari, Lapland - Planet Travel Advisor

Saariselkä, located in the far north of Finnish Lapland, is a picturesque village surrounded by breathtaking Arctic landscapes. It is a popular destination for those seeking a unique winter wonderland experience and a gateway to the pristine wilderness of Lapland.

Saariselkä is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, characterized by snow-covered forests, frozen lakes, and majestic fells (rounded hills). The village offers a wide range of winter activities that allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the Arctic environment. Cross-country skiing enthusiasts can explore the extensive network of well-groomed trails that meander through the snowy landscapes, while downhill skiers can enjoy the slopes of the Saariselkä Ski Resort, which caters to all skill levels.

One of the highlights of a visit to Saariselkä is the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights. Due to its location above the Arctic Circle, Saariselkä provides excellent chances to see the Aurora Borealis during the winter months. Clear, dark skies and minimal light pollution enhance the visibility of this celestial phenomenon, offering a truly enchanting experience.

For a unique and unforgettable adventure, visitors can embark on a husky sledding excursion. Guided by a team of energetic and friendly huskies, you'll glide through the pristine wilderness, surrounded by snow-covered trees and the silence of the Arctic. This thrilling activity allows you to connect with nature and experience the power and enthusiasm of these incredible dogs.

Saariselkä is also a starting point for expeditions into the vast wilderness of Urho Kekkonen National Park. Here, you can embark on guided snowshoeing tours or snowmobile safaris, discovering the untouched landscapes and observing the local wildlife. Reindeer sleigh rides offer a more leisurely way to explore the surroundings while experiencing a traditional mode of transport.

After a day filled with adventures, Saariselkä provides a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The village offers a range of accommodations, from traditional log cabins to hotels with modern amenities. Many accommodations also feature saunas, allowing visitors to relax and unwind after their outdoor activities.

Saariselkä embraces the traditions and culture of the Sami people, the indigenous inhabitants of Lapland. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about Sami culture, traditions, and their close connection with nature through cultural exhibitions, reindeer farms, and Sami-guided activities.

Saariselkä offers a magical winter experience in the heart of Lapland. With its stunning natural landscapes, thrilling Arctic adventures, and the chance to witness the Northern Lights, it is an ideal destination for those seeking an unforgettable and authentic winter getaway.

Best Places to Visit in Saariselka Such as

  • Saariselkä Ski & Sports Resort Ltd.
  • Kaunispää Triangulation Tower.

13- Aland Archipelago in Finland

Aland Archipelago in Finland - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

The Åland Archipelago, also known as Åland Islands, is a unique and autonomous region of Finland situated in the Baltic Sea. Comprising over 6,700 islands, of which around 60 are inhabited, this picturesque archipelago offers a peaceful and idyllic escape with its stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage.

The Åland Islands are characterized by their rugged coastlines, smooth rocky shores, and lush greenery. The islands are a paradise for nature lovers, providing opportunities for hiking, cycling, and exploring the outdoors. The archipelago's unspoiled beauty can be enjoyed through its numerous nature trails that meander through forests, along coastal paths, and past charming villages.

One of the highlights of visiting the Åland Islands is exploring its extensive network of cycling routes. The archipelago is well-known for its cycling-friendly infrastructure, including well-marked paths, bike rentals, and bicycle-friendly accommodations. Pedaling along the scenic coastal roads and winding through charming villages allows visitors to experience the islands at their own pace, taking in the panoramic views and immersing themselves in the peaceful atmosphere.

The Åland Islands also offer a rich cultural heritage. The region has a distinct Swedish-speaking population, and Swedish is the official language alongside Finnish. The islands have a fascinating history, and visitors can explore historical sites, museums, and exhibitions that showcase the archipelago's past. The Åland Maritime Museum, located in Mariehamn, the capital of Åland, provides insights into the islands' maritime history, shipbuilding traditions, and seafaring culture.

Mariehamn itself is a charming town with a maritime atmosphere. Its tree-lined streets, well-preserved wooden houses, and beautiful parks make it a pleasant place to explore on foot. Visitors can stroll along the waterfront promenade, enjoy a meal at one of the seaside restaurants, or visit the Pommern museum ship, a historic four-masted sailing ship that offers a glimpse into the region's seafaring history.

The Åland Islands are also known for their maritime activities. Sailing enthusiasts can charter boats or join organized sailing trips to explore the archipelago's waters and discover hidden coves and secluded islands. Fishing is another popular pastime, with opportunities to catch various fish species in the pristine Baltic Sea.

Culinary delights are not to be missed in the Åland Islands. Local cuisine showcases the flavors of the sea and the region's agricultural produce. Visitors can enjoy freshly caught fish, locally sourced ingredients, and traditional dishes that reflect the archipelago's cultural heritage.

The Åland Archipelago offers a serene and enchanting escape in the Baltic Sea. With its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and opportunities for outdoor activities, it provides a unique blend of tranquility and exploration. Whether you're cycling through scenic routes, exploring historical sites, or simply enjoying the archipelago's peaceful atmosphere, the Åland Islands promise an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Amazing Places to Visit in Aland Archipelago Such as

  • Lasse Erikssons fartygsmuseum.
  • Flowpark Åland.

14- Savonlinna in Finland

Savonlinna-in-Finland - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Savonlinna, located in the heart of the Finnish Lakeland, is a charming town known for its beautiful lakeside setting, historic castle, and world-renowned opera festival. With its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions, Savonlinna offers a delightful destination for visitors.

The centerpiece of Savonlinna is Olavinlinna Castle, an impressive medieval fortress perched on an island in Lake Saimaa. This iconic castle, built in the 15th century, is one of Finland's most visited historical sites. Visitors can explore its ancient halls, climb the towers for panoramic views of the lake and the town, and learn about the castle's intriguing history through guided tours and exhibitions.

Every summer, Savonlinna comes alive with the sound of music during the Savonlinna Opera Festival. Held in the stunning setting of Olavinlinna Castle, this internationally renowned festival attracts opera enthusiasts from around the world. Performances by top-notch opera singers and orchestras create a magical atmosphere, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the world of opera while enjoying the enchanting surroundings.

Savonlinna's location amidst the pristine lakes of the Finnish Lakeland provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Lake Saimaa, the largest lake in Finland, offers a picturesque backdrop for boating, kayaking, and fishing excursions. Visitors can explore the archipelago, dotted with small islands, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the lake's crystal-clear waters.

For those seeking to connect with nature, the Linnansaari National Park is a must-visit. This national park, located near Savonlinna, is renowned for its unspoiled natural beauty, inhabited by rare seals and diverse bird species. Hiking trails allow visitors to explore the park's forests, wetlands, and rocky shores, while boat tours provide a unique opportunity to spot wildlife and admire the stunning landscapes.

Savonlinna's charming town center features colorful wooden houses, pedestrian streets, and inviting cafes and restaurants. Strolling along the waterfront promenade, visitors can enjoy the views of the lake and indulge in local delicacies, including fresh fish from Lake Saimaa. The town also hosts lively summer markets and events that showcase local crafts, food, and cultural traditions.

Savonlinna is also a gateway to the Finnish Lakeland region, offering easy access to other lakeside towns and attractions. Exploring the surrounding area allows visitors to discover more hidden gems, such as the idyllic town of Punkaharju with its stunning ridge landscapes or the ancient rock paintings of Astuvansalmi.

Savonlinna offers a harmonious blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From its magnificent castle and world-class opera festival to its picturesque lakes and outdoor activities, the town provides a captivating experience for visitors. Whether you're exploring the medieval fortress, immersing yourself in the world of opera, or enjoying the serenity of the Finnish Lakeland, Savonlinna promises a memorable and enchanting journey.

Best Places to Visit in Savonlinna Such as

  • Linnansaari National Park.
  • Kolovesi National Park.
  • Olavinlinna fortress.
  • Lusto - The Finnish Forest Museum.
  • Savonlinna Museo.

15- Kemi in Finland

Kemi in Finland - Places to Visit in Finland - Planet Travel Advisor

Kemi, situated on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia in northern Finland, is a vibrant city with a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and fascinating experiences. Known for its icebreaker cruises, stunning SnowCastle, and the famous Sampo Icebreaker, Kemi offers a range of attractions that captivate visitors.

One of the main highlights of Kemi is the SnowCastle, an extraordinary winter wonderland that is rebuilt every year using snow and ice from the nearby frozen sea. The SnowCastle features intricately carved ice sculptures, snow slides, and even an ice hotel where visitors can spend the night in a cozy, frozen setting. The castle offers a variety of activities, including snowboarding, ice skating, and guided tours, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of ice and snow.

Another must-see attraction in Kemi is the Sampo Icebreaker, a legendary vessel that provides an unforgettable Arctic adventure. Visitors can board the icebreaker and experience the power and thrill of breaking through thick ice, all while learning about the history and operation of the ship. The brave can even take a dip in the icy waters, wearing a survival suit for an invigorating Arctic swim.

Kemi is also known for its unique icebreaker cruises. These excursions take visitors on a journey through the icy waters of the Gulf of Bothnia, providing an opportunity to witness the stunning frozen landscapes, spot wildlife, and learn about the life and work in the Arctic sea. The cruises offer a truly immersive experience in the winter wonderland of Kemi.

For those interested in the local culture, the Kemi Gemstone Gallery is worth a visit. The gallery showcases a remarkable collection of gemstones, minerals, and fossils, providing insights into the geology and natural history of the region. Exhibitions highlight the beauty and diversity of gemstones found in Finland and around the world.

The city center of Kemi offers a range of amenities, including shops, restaurants, and cafes. Visitors can stroll along the Kemi River and enjoy the scenic views or explore the local boutiques and markets. The city also hosts various events throughout the year, such as music festivals, cultural celebrations, and winter-themed festivities, adding a vibrant and festive atmosphere to the city.

Kemi's location on the Gulf of Bothnia allows for a variety of outdoor activities. In the summer, visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and experience on the best beaches for swimming in Europe . In the winter, the frozen sea provides opportunities for ice fishing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The nearby Tornio River offers excellent conditions for salmon fishing, attracting anglers from around the world.

Kemi offers a unique blend of icy adventures, cultural attractions, and natural beauty. Whether you're exploring the SnowCastle, embarking on an icebreaker cruise, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Kemi promises a memorable and exciting experience. With its Arctic charm and a wide range of activities, the city is an enchanting destination that showcases the best of Finland's northern wonders.

In conclusion, all these 15 amazing places to visit in Finland have many Natural, historic, and tourist attractions you can take great pictures of. So when you visit Finland, we recommend that you go to these places and take pictures of them. Its medieval charm, delectable cuisine, and an emerging art scene beckon visitors to immerse themselves in its unique character. From exploring historic sites to indulging in local delicacies and celebrating the arts at cultural festivals , Filanda offers a diverse range of experiences. The town's natural wonders, from scenic hikes to serene boating, provide a tranquil escape into the surrounding countryside. Filanda promises an unforgettable Italian experience, making it a perfect choice for travelers seeking a taste of authentic Italian life.

Check-Out This Video About Finland Made By Scenic Hunter Youtube Channel

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15 Best Cities to Visit in Finland

By Alex Schultz · Last updated on October 3, 2023

A land of lakes and rivers, epic wilderness and endless forests, Finland is full of natural beauty – its delightful cities sit amidst some absolutely gorgeous settings. Lying on islands or surrounded by waterways, their picturesque streets are home to trendy boutiques and upmarket shops that highlight the best of Finnish design.

While its historic centers and old wooden buildings are marvelous to explore, the natural wonders that border the cities make them lovely bases from which to delve into the depths of Finland’s forests and lakes.

In the northern reaches of the country, the Arctic Circle beckons you ever onwards. There are some wonderful museums scattered around the best cities in Finland, highlighting its rich cultural heritage. Nearby Russia and Sweden only add to the intoxicating mix of influences that you find here.

Map of cities in Finland

Map of cities in Finland

Dating all the way back to the Stone Age, Vantaa is strangely devoid of historical sights – it is mainly an industrial area with a few large shopping centers scattered throughout. Thankfully, the peaceful Keravanjoki River bordering it helps give Vantaa some much-needed greenery.

While it is short on attractions, lots of people pass through – it is home to the Helsinki-Vantaa National Airport. More a gateway to the country than a destination itself, the fantastic Heureka science center with its interactive exhibitions is the other reason people visit.

Espoo

The home of Nokia, Espoo is a commuter city that lies not far from Helsinki. As such, it is a great option for a day trip if you are looking to get out of the capital for a bit. With some great shopping centers, lovely flea markets and atmospheric cafes and bars, Espoo’s main attraction is the brilliant Museum of Modern Art. Here, you can find a massive collection of artworks from the 20th Century onwards.

The sizeable student population breathes life into Espoo’s streets and from here, you can visit the delightful Nuuksio National Park nearby.

Kuopio

Lying on the shores of Lake Kallavesi, the sprawling forests and waterways that border Kuopio make it a delight to visit, and it really comes alive during the summer. There are several great museums and restaurants in town and it has the largest smoke sauna in the world!

A great time to visit is in June, when a fantastic dance festival takes place. There are lots of lovely outdoor activities on offer, you can take a cruise on the lake’s waters, hike in the forests or just simply laze around by the lakeside.

12. Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta

Lying on the shore of the largest lake in the country, Lappeenranta’s long and varied history saw it change from a garrison city to a spa town. Once part of the Swedish empire, the Russians also ruled at one point, before destroying much of it during the Winter War.

Nowadays, the huge fortress and spa still make Lappeenranta worth visiting, as does the magnificent Lake Saimaa, with its lovely harbor side cafes and terraces. As it lies so close to Russia, there is a delightful mix of cultures, and it is a popular tourist destination.

11. Joensuu

Joensuu

Lying next to the Pielis River, Joensuu is a lively university town – its youthful population makes it a fun and friendly place to stop by. Founded by Tsar Nikolai I, the city ironically has an interesting museum documenting Finland’s Winter War against the Soviets in the Second World War – there are a few other cultural attractions for visitors to enjoy too.

Due to heavy bombing, most of Joensuu was destroyed, so there is now a modern appearance to the city. From here, you can easily head off into the wilderness of nearby Karelia.

Porvoo

The second-oldest town in the country, Porvoo’s historic center is beautiful to behold, with old warehouses lining the Porvoo River and delightful cobbled streets snaking away from its banks.

Dating back to Medieval times, its proximity to Helsinki makes it a popular day trip and its colorful wooden houses make it a scenic place to stop by. With a great culinary scene and lots to offer in the way of arts and culture, Porvoo is well worth a visit.

Vaasa

Lying just across the Gulf of Bothnia from Sweden, Vaasa has a large Swedish population – it was in fact named after Swedish royalty. Once ruled by the Russians, the Old Town burnt down in a fire, so most of the city is relatively modern.

As there are three universities in Vaasa, there are lots of bars and restaurants to cater to thirsty students. There are some great museums on offer, as well as a lively arts and culture scene. A popular family destination, there many great outdoor activities for people to enjoy, and the nearby Kvarken Archipelago is marvelous to explore.

8. Savonlinna

Savonlinna

The undoubted highlight is the spectacular 15th Century Olavinlinna Castle, which hosts a fantastic Opera festival each year. Relaxing by the harbor or at one of the cafes lining the market square is heavenly, and there are numerous forests and waterways for visitors to explore.

Rauma

Rauma’s sprawling Old Town emanates forth from the delightful market square, and its old wooden center is remarkably the largest in all the Nordic countries. A former trading center, it is lovely to wander around the old streets and soak in the fantastic architecture on offer.

Rauma is still an important port, thanks to its great location on the Gulf of Bothnia. Renowned for its lacemaking, Rauma celebrates this rich heritage each year with a lively festival.

At times, you can hear Rauman gial, a local dialect that yet again highlights the city’s rich cultural heritage. With lots of little islands just off the coast, exploring them in summer is lovely, while in winter, there are lots of winter sports to have a go at.

Oulu

A wealthy city, Oulu is delightfully located on several islands which are connected by small bridges that cross the waterways. The Oulujoki River also runs through town on the way to the Gulf of Bothnia.

There is a lovely waterfront square full of shops, restaurants and food stalls for visitors to enjoy. In summer, it is packed, as Finns try and make the most of the sun. Its university specializes in technology, and the student population adds to the energetic feel, which manifests itself in a lively music and culture scene.

5. Jyvaskyla

Jyvaskyla

Lying between two lakes, Jyvaskyla is beautifully located and is the largest city in Finland’s Lakeland region. A vibrant place, there are some stunning architectural designs on show – its delightful setting next to the lakes only adds to the city’s scenic appearance.

The youthful population breathes energy and life into the streets, and there is some resulting great nightlife on offer, as well as some lovely arts venues to visit. In contrast to its peaceful appearance, Jyvaskyla hosts the World Rally Championships – visitors descend en-masse on the city when this event is in action.

In the summer, it is a fantastic place to visit – there are loads of lovely beaches and swimming spots dotted along the lakesides.

Turku

The former capital of Finland is lovely to spend time in. As the second-largest city in Finland, there are so many things to see and do here. Dating all the way back to the 13th Century, its stunning castle and old cathedral are just two of the highlights on offer.

The ancient history contrasts beautifully with the youthful vibe. With a sizeable student population, there are lots of restaurants, bars and clubs, and a happening arts and music scene. In addition to the bustling streets, the Aurajoki River trundles beautifully through the city center. From here, you can easily explore the nearby Turku Archipelago. Many people arrive to Finland through Turku’s busy port.

Tampere

With two enormous lakes bordering it, Tampere is a laid back city that has a rich art and cultural scene for visitors to enjoy. A picturesque place, rapids run through the middle of town and its leafy streets lead on to various parks – as well as the pristine lakes themselves.

Once an industrial powerhouse, the old buildings have been repurposed, and museums, cinemas and galleries have now replaced the manufacturing businesses that used to be here. With sculptures dotted about town, some lovely art on show, and a packed cultural events schedule, Tampere is a popular city to visit.

There are lots of bars, restaurants and shops on offer and some great nightlife for locals and tourists alike to enjoy.

2. Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi

Located in the far north of the country right next to the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland and the home of Santa Claus. As such, it is a popular tourist destination – though its functional and basic buildings are not the most attractive. This is because the city was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War.

The lovely Arktikum museum offers an interesting look at local traditions and history, as well as the culture of the Sami people. While Rovaniemi itself is relatively uninspiring, its nearby attractions in Santa Claus Village and the stunning rural surroundings make it a great city to stop by on your way to exploring the wilds of the north and the Arctic Circle.

1. Helsinki

Helsinki

Lying on the Baltic, Helsinki is a delightful city to visit, with lots of lovely architecture on offer highlighting Finland’s rich heritage. Whether it is modernism, art nouveau, or more traditional wooden buildings that you are after, everything seamlessly fits together.

Helsinki’s boulevards are lined with boutiques, shops and galleries that show off creative and innovative fashion, furniture and textile pieces – shopping here is a delight. On top of the cultural attractions, delicious, sustainable and healthy dining features heavily on restaurant menus, and there are some fantastic eateries here for foodies to explore.

Nature abounds in Helsinki – you can sail around the nearby islands before walking among the forests and exploring the lovely beaches. Whether it is summer or winter, Helsinki always warrants a visit.

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Finnish-ing touches: all you need to know before your trip to Finland

Kerry Walker

Apr 24, 2022 • 9 min read

Helsinkians spend some time inside Löyly's sauna. 

In Finland, the sauna is a way of life – and an essential experience for any visitor © Jonathan Stokes / Lonely Planet

Finland is the kind of place a child with a particularly vivid imagination might dream up, complete with flying reindeer, the real Santa and so much snow.

It’s a place of extremes – of darkness and light, of bitter cold and unfathomable wilderness. And it’s bound to be right up there with your Nordic dream destinations, whether you’ve come to dash through frozen forests by husky-drawn sleigh as the Northern Lights flash overhead in Lapland, or hunker down in a back-of-beyond summer cottage on the shores of a placid lake in the undying light of summer.

If you love saunas, silence and nature, you’ll fit right in. Here are the things to know to help you plan and prepare your trip and stay safe and healthy in Finland. 

Planning your trip to Finland

Consider arriving outside of helsinki.

Helsinki is the country’s principal gateway, though if you’re coming to Finalnd for a non-urban adventure you might consider flying into a regional airport like Rovaniemi (gateway to Lapland and Santa HQ) or Tampere (gateway to the lakes) instead. Once you’re in Finland, public transport is pretty good and efficient, with trains and buses joining the dots between major cities and towns. But if you’re heading into the wilds, you should count on renting a car, as distances are vast. Pack drinks and snacks for the journey as there’s little in the way of services between hubs.

The roads that sweep north to Lapland are often empty, but you’ll need to watch out for reindeer (the Porokello app warns of high-risk reindeer-crash areas) and ice in winter. 

Summers are for primeval pleasures; winters are for festive magic 

Finland is too big for just one bite, so plan carefully and resist the temptation to cram everything into one trip. 

Summer, you say? The Finns would agree: after long, dark, snowbound winters, they embrace the lighter days of summer with a truly biological urgency. June to August is a brilliant period for hiking and camping in wilderness areas like the reindeer-bobbled fells of Urho Kekkonen National Park in Northern Lapland , above the Arctic Circle. It’s also a great time to jump into a kayak to paddle the Lakeland (there are 188,000), waving to seals as you drift from one gorgeous little speck of an island to the next in Åland on the Baltic. 

Summer is when Finns tiptoe away from the world and back to nature in middle-of-nowhere cottages, some of which are totally off the grid. Days are spent in gleefully primeval ways: foraging for berries, swimming in ice-cold lakes, relaxing in saunas and spending nights under a canopy of stars. The climax is Juhannus , or midsummer, in late June, when families come together for picnics and dancing around bonfires. 

September is quiet and glorious in Lapland, with forests turning gold and crimson and reindeer beginning to rut. As snow arrives in October, a hush falls over the land and many sights and hotels close. But winter brings festive sparkle and visits to Santa in the Arctic north. As the days get shorter, you’ll enjoy the full-on Narnia effect, with dogsledding, snowmobiling, skiing and overnight stays in ice hotels . Get lucky in Lapland and you’ll see the Northern Lights come out to play (statistically October, November and March are best).

The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over snowed-in cottage in Lapland village. Finland

Keep costs down by eating at markets and camping

Finland isn’t cheap, but there are ways to cut costs and save a few euros. Make lunch your main meal of the day, as many restaurants and cafes serve a good-value all-you-can-eat lunch buffet that includes soups, salads and day specials. Most big towns also have a ​​ kauppahalli (covered market hall), where you can grab picnic fixings (breads, cheeses, deli produce, smoked fish) and graze at one of the stalls or cafes selling snacks.

Camping is an inexpensive way to travel around. Most campsites are excellent, with cabins to rent as well as plenty of space to pitch a tent – but they tend to only open from June to August. If you’re willing to forego the warm shower, you can wild-camp thanks to jokamiehenoikeus (everyman’s right) – a great (if adventurous) option in a country with 41 national parks and almost endless expanses of nature. 

Etiquette in Finland: how to fit in with the locals

Keep things casual .

Even in the heart of Helsinki, you can just tell that the Finns are craving the space and solace of the great outdoors, counting down the minutes and hours until they can give civilization the slip and escape to their mökki (summer cottage). The way they dress reflects their nature-loving spirit: casual, practical, sustainable and well suited to the extremes of the seasons. There’s no need to pack lots of fancy clothes, especially if you’re heading beyond the city (as you most likely are). Pack loose layers, thermals and sturdy walking shoes instead. 

Say hello, Finnish style

Kissing on the cheek? No. As a nation that prizes extreme apartness, Finns are a touch more reserved when it comes to greetings. Making eye contact and shaking hands is pretty standard; friends and family tend to hug. “ Hei ” and “ moi ” are two ways to say “hello.” Repeat the latter twice (“ moi moi ”) and it doubles as goodbye. Oh, and remember to be punctual – the Finns always are.

Remember that silence is golden

The old “silence is golden” proverb never rings truer than in Finland. Deep and introspective, the Finns aren’t fans of idle chitchat. Silence here is rarely seen as awkward; if there’s nothing pertinent to say, that’s just fine. You’ll often see friends together in the sauna, silent, perfectly happy in each other’s quiet company. So if a conversation comes to a natural halt, don’t feel as though you have to fill in the gaps with small talk.

And if you’re planning on having a lively chat with your mates in the sauna, think again. In Finland, the sauna demands deep respect – legend even has it that if you behave immodestly, you’ll have to face the fury of the saunatonttu , or sauna elf, who might burn it down in fury.

A blonde woman with a colorful towel in a sauna, Finland

Give the sauna a whirl – and take it seriously

Stripping naked, roasting in a sauna heated to 175°F (80°C), beating yourself with a circulation-boosting birch whisk (a vasta or vihta ), then diving into an avanto (ice hole): this is a Finn’s idea of fun. Sounds masochistic? This country has 1001 ways to toughen you up and the ritual of the sauna (pronounced “sah-OO-nah” rather than “SAW-nuh”) is just one of them. 

The sauna isn’t a luxury in Finland: it’s a way of life. Marriage, divorce, birth, death, new job: you name the life event and you can bet a sauna is involved. There are around three million saunas in Finland, in a country with a population of just 5.5 million. This is where the Finns socialize, do business, put the world to rights, rest, meditate and cleanse. Learning the art of sauna-going is offers a window into the country’s soul. 

Public saunas are nearly always separated by gender. To sauna like a Finn, shower first, get naked, keep quiet, take a towel to sit on and ladle water onto the stove to produce fragrant löyly (steam), taking care not to splash too freely. You should work up a sweat in around 15 minutes – but remember, it’s not a competition. Take frequent breaks and drink water to rehydrate.

People in reindeer-pulled sleigh caravan safari through a wintry forest in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

Embrace the outlandish 

This isolated land of extremes has bred a nation of fiercely independent and idiosyncratic people. Squeaky cheese ( leipäjuusto ) you dunk in coffee, salty licorice ( salmiakki ), ice swimming, flying reindeer, Moomins: Finns love things that the rest of the world consider...odd. If you single out any of these quirky institutions for praise, you just might make friends for life here. This passion for the weird and wonderful extends to a crazy line-up of events, with world championships for everything from wife-carrying to air-guitar playing and swamp soccer.

Health and safety in Finland 

Green, clean and conscientious, Finland is incredibly safe. Still, it’s worth bearing a few things in mind to make sure you stay healthy and happy.

Bring the bug spray

Though not exactly a health risk, the swarms of blood-thirsty insects that descend on the country’s north in summer can be a real bugbear. The mosquitoes, sandflies, midges and horse flies are at their most ferocious in July, but all summer long you’ll need to go armed with strong repellent, especially around lakes and in swampy, densely forested areas. In the wilderness, there are plenty of remote huts where you can crash with a mat and sleeping bag, but bringing along your own tent generally offers more protection from the mosquito storms.

Besides repellent, you might want to bring along a mosquito cap or hat and a travel net to cover your bed or your tent flap to keep the pesky biters at bay.

If you encounter any health issues, you’ll be in good hands

Perhaps it’s the air, the crystal-clear water at the turn of a tap, the vast open spaces, the long forest hikes, or the immune system-boosting saunas and ice swims: Finland radiates good health like few other places on earth. And the country has some of the best health care in the world – so if you do get sick you’ll be in the very best hands. As with all the Nordic countries, the level of care is extraordinarily high and doctors and medical staff generally speak excellent English. 

There are specific travel vaccinations to worry about, though you’ll want to make sure you have decent travel insurance all the same, especially if you’re planning on a winter-sports extravaganza in Lapland or straying from the well-trodden-path in the wilds of a national park. 

If you’re a citizen of the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or UK, you’re entitled to emergency medical treatment with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), though you will still have to pay a daily or per-appointment fee as a Finn would. Otherwise, look into whether your country has a reciprocal arrangement for free medical care in Finland. 

Sunset, morning light with big brown bear walking around lake in the morning light. Dangerous animal in nature forest and meadow habitat: wildlife scene from Finland, near Russian border

Keep an eye out in the wild

Beyond the cities, Finland is a wild, wild place. As with all extreme climates, there are the obvious risks of exposure, hypothermia and frostbite in the Arctic north, and rivers can be prone to flooding when the snow melts. It goes without saying that you should venture out well prepared with the right thermal gear if you are visiting Lapland in winter, when temperatures can plummet to a bitterly cold -22°F (-30°C). Always take a good map and compass, and inform someone of your whereabouts if you’re heading out into one of the vast national parks in the north. 

Predators like brown bears and wolves roam the forested wilds on the Russian border in the country’s east, though they generally mind their own business and pose no real threat.

You might also like: Capital gains: Helsinki on a budget Autumn in Finland: an alternative fall foliage tour Reindeer, bears and elusive seals: Finland’s finest wildlife experiences

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ROAD TRIP IDEAS & HIKING INSPIRATION FOR OUTDOORSY TRAVELERS

10 Must-Visit Cities in Finland

The best medieval castle in Finland. Olavinlinna Castle, Savonlinna

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Best cities in Finland

Which cities worth a visit to Finland the most? Which are the oldest, largest, and prettiest Finnish towns? We collected our favorite places all over the country. Besides Helsinki and Rovaniemi , you can read about several off-the-beaten-path destinations too. If you go on a cross-country road trip , make sure you visit as many as possible!

Joensuu, North Karelia

Joensuu is North Karelia’s capital in Eastern Finland at the northern end of the Saimaa lake system. Although the city has a short history, at the end of the 19th century, Joensuu was one of the largest harbor cities in the whole of Finland, and it had an important commercial role between North Karelia and Europe. The wood industry and forestry were dominant, explaining why forestry institutes and companies are located here. Currently, the city still has an important position with its universities – in case you would like to study here as Katalin and I did.

Joensuu, Finland

On the other note, the city and the region are famous for the lifestyle of the inhabitants. It is said that Joensuu is the only place in Finland where strangers will start talking to you on the bus. When you walk on the streets, you not only risk being talked to, but you will also notice that you stand out from the crowd if you wear your jeans 😉 Many people wear tracksuits and outdoor clothes every day. Also, Joensuu has a high percentage of the gay population. Another curious fact from statistics is that Eastern Finland has the second-highest percentage of people owning firearms after Lapland.

View from Ukko Koli in Koli National Park, Finland

However, it’s a very peaceful place worth visiting for its stunning nature and interesting culture! Most of the people come to town either for the Ilosaari Rock festival in summer or on their way to nearby Koli National Park , one of the most iconic Finnish national parks. Forests and lakes surround Joensuu. That explains why people tend to wear outdoor clothing. Spending free time actively is very common for both young and elderly citizens. For example, in winter, the city is empty, but life is concentrated on the lake where people ski, skate, fish, or just make a barbecue on ice.

Karol Read more stories from us about Finland

Related:  Joensuu & Eastern Finland guide

Savonlinna and the medieval Castle

Olavinlinna Castle, Savonlinna

If you are already in Eastern Finland, make sure you visit Savonlinna. The medieval  Olavinlinna  ( St. Olaf’s) Castle is the city’s symbol and main attraction. A Danish knight built it in the 15th century, and it is the world’s northernmost medieval fortress, furthermore, the most-preserved one in Finland. The interior is less impressive, as the original furniture got lost in a fire at the end of the 19th century, but it still worth the one-hour guided tour. The small museums are also located in the castle.

Related:   Olavinlinna – Savonlinna’s Medieval Castle

Helsinki, the capital

Helsinki Cathedral

If there is one city in Finland that you must visit, then look no further than Helsinki, its capital. I knew little of this city, much like the rest of Scandinavia, before my visit in late summer 2014 and was completely blown away by how beautiful it was. The laid-back charm mixed with Finnish understated elegance, as reflected in its architecture and lifestyle, completely blew me away. Clean roads, efficient and extensive public transportation and friendly people were the bonuses.

I explored quite a bit using trams # 2 and #3 (that go around in a loop and take you to most major attractions). I visited the Senate Square, Helsinki Cathedral, Presidential palace, the bustling waterfront, Helsinki’s favorite Market Hall (where I got lunch several times), and the museums. In fact, Alfredo Jaar’s (Chilean artist-activist residing in NYC) exhibit on human rights at Helsinki’s Kiasma museum remains my favorite to date. I loved the fresh seafood at the waterfront stalls, the ferry to the UNESCO heritage fortress island Suomenlinna and walking the cobbled streets to enjoy the different neighborhoods. Being on a business trip, I could not squeeze in more than a few extra days and thus would love to go back to see more!

Text by: Paroma from Year Of The Monkey Follow on her blog: yrofthemonkey.com and Instagram

To discover a couple of unusual places in Helsinki , make sure you read our latest guide. It includes, for example, two unique saunas too.

Helsinki-Finland

Porvoo, a historic town

porvoo old town best cities near Helsinki

Porvoo, the second oldest town in Finland (after Turku), is located on the south coast, an hour of drive away from Helsinki, and public buses run between the cities. The historic Old Town and colorful riverside warehouses are well preserved.  For example, the Cathedral (15th century) and the Town Hall (18th century) are some of the memorable buildings you will encounter. Also, colorful warehouses remind the past of the town too. Another reason that Porvoo is famous for its national poet, Johan Ludvig Runeberg. The town gave him a home, and you can learn more about his artwork in a small museum.

Rovaniemi, the doorstep to Lapland

Travel to Rovaniemi in Northern Finland was a dream come true. I’ve never traveled to such a cold place, but to witness the beauty of the Finnish Lapland was beyond my expectations. We visited Rovaniemi in January, and it was the best time to enjoy the nature activities and admire the magical Northern Lights. There are so many things to do in Rovaniemi that you need at least 4 days there. Rovaniemi is one of the best places in Finland to see the Aurora Borealis and learn and experience the Lapland culture. On our itinerary, we had Snowmobile Safari, Husky sled. We visited a reindeer farm and even got a reindeer drive license. Not to mention the fat bike tour during sunset, a visit to Santa Claus Village where we meet Santa, and the delicious food we eat there. We were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights on two nights, one during a picnic tour in the middle of the woods and another by ourselves close to town.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Follow Natalie on her blog: https://loveandroad.com/ and Instagram

Natalie Deduck, Love and Road

Read our  complete winter guide  or  summer guide  to Rovaniemi.

Fun fact:  Rovaniemi is the biggest city in Finland considering its area (7 582 km2). We live there for three years now, so we have TONS of local advice. Oh, and reindeer pictures.

reindeer

Tampere, southern Finland

tampere Finland best cities

Old industrial town Tampere is the third biggest city in Finland and definitely has a lot to offer travelers. The city is nestled between two lakes and has loads of forest nearby so that you can enjoy both city life and Finnish nature. From the Pyynikki observation tower, you have beautiful panoramic views of both lakes and the surrounding city. Plus, the cafe downstairs is serving the best sugar doughnuts ever!

Tampere is a city you should definitely visit during summertime. After long and dark winter, the city comes alive. Various events and festivals are organized all over the city, offering something for everyone – from Frenckell Wine Village to festivals celebrating African culture, rock music, and hip-hop, just to name a few.

Although Tampere is not that big city on an international scale, there is still an impressive selection of quality restaurants serving tasty national and international dishes. My personal favorites include Nanda Devi for Indian, Sitko for pizza, Antika for Greek food, and Edun Herkkukeidas for traditional Finnish home-style cooked lunch. Also, you must try the famous Tampere dish Tapolan Mustamakkara (blood sausage) that you can buy from market stalls in Tammelantori and Laukontori.

Tampere, Finland

Helena from Helena Travels Follow her on http://www.helenatravels.com/ and Instagram .

Turku – Åbo, the old capital and oldest city in Finland

Turku by night

Turku, or otherwise known as Åbo, is Finland’s original capital from where the Swedish colonized the remainder of the country. That makes it the country’s oldest city and very rich in history. Unfortunately, today not much of the city’s 700-year history can be observed, as the city was struck by not one but several devastating fires. The most notable fire, known as the Great Fire of Turku, in 1827 consumed about 75% of the entire town. The most notable remaining landmarks are Turku Castle and Turku Cathedral (both founded in the late 13th century).

Having lived in Turku for many years, my husband and I have a couple of favorite spots. When you are done roaming the market square, and you have walked along the Aura river to your heart’s content, go a little further. Go out to Ruissalo island for a hike along the seaside. Or go ice swimming at Uittamo beach. You can also do a couple of fantastic day trips to the small harbor town Naantali, Kurjenrahka National Park, or the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Rauma. Whatever you do, though, make sure to carve out time for an archipelago cruise. This is by far our favorite thing to do in Turku! Oh, and if you still have time, why not check out one of Turku’s strange pubs? A school, a pharmacy, a toilet.. that makes for a great pub crawl!

Turku, Finland

Jacky from The Nomad Epicureans Follow her on www.nomadepicureans.com and Facebook .

Jyväskylä, the university city

Jyväskylä

Jyväskylä is a popular university city, but it is well-known for the famous architect Alvar Aalto’s work for tourists. The Town Theater and some buildings in the main campus area represent the best of his works. At the Alvar Aalto Museum, you can see what else he designed all around Finland.

The other highlights of Jyväskylä are related to green areas. The Water Tower that hosts the Natural History Museum and a restaurant gives a great view of the city to the lake district.

Kemi, the Bothnian seaside

Kemi, Finland, is a quintessential Finnish seaside town. Located on the Gulf of Bothnia, it is a quiet city most famous for two things: The largest Snow Hotel in Finland (Lumilinna) and Santa’s Seaside Retreat. And while both are must-sees on your visit to this magical city, it’s nature that will really astound you. Hire a snowmobile for a few hours and trek across the frozen gulf. Yes, the ENTIRE Gulf of Bothnia is frozen during wintertime! It makes for an incredible (and sometimes nerve-wracking) experience. There aren’t many places you can walk, let alone snowmobile across a frozen gulf. You can meander through the small islands in the gulf and find a laavu to enjoy a perfect afternoon picnic in the woods. After a long day in the snow, warm up with a classic sauna and winter swim in the gulf! The best time to visit Kemi is in the winter – between December and March. During this time, you’ll experience the best Kemi has to offer, and your chances of seeing the Northern Lights are very high! Kemi is a wonderful place to spend a weekend!

Winter in Kemi, Finland

Cat Holladay from The Compass is Calling Follow her on www.TheCompassIsCalling.com and Facebook

Related: Don’t forget to  visit Tornio   if you are around.

Lappeenranta, the city between east and west

Lappeenranta is influenced by its location in both the western and eastern cultures and has access to the Saimaa lake system.

The 17th-century Historical Fortress can be visited all year round,  while the other city’s other biggest attraction is only present during the summer. Lappeenranta has the biggest sandcastle in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. It’s built near the harbor area and alongside other, smaller sand sculptures—a compulsory activity for families with small children.

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Travel resources.

There is nothing better than a relaxed holiday. To ensure your rest, make sure you reserve and book your accommodation and transportation in advance of your trip.

  • Don’t forget to insure yourself during your travels: SafetyWing . Check out their policies HERE . It also covers several virus-related expenses.
  • Look for the best prices on flight tickets, hotels, and car rentals: Expedia
  • Car rental: SIXt
  • Accommodation: Booking.com , Agoda or Hostelworld if you travel on a budget. Don’t forget that you can search for Apartments also on Booking.
  • Activities: GetYourGuide
  • Opinions on hotels and restaurants: TripAdvisor
  • Was your flight canceled or delayed? Get up to 600€ back with the help of Compansair!

best cities in finland to visit

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Do you want to know more about Finland?

About the author.

Katalin and Karol - Our Life Our Travel Writers

Katalin Katalin is a Lapland-based outdoor enthusiast who loves hiking, road-tripping, and traveling with her family. She spends her free time far away from civilization in one of the national parks around the world, explores off-the-beaten-path places, or hops on a road trip with her kids in an RV. Read more about her adventures and the blog .

6 thoughts on “10 Must-Visit Cities in Finland”

What a great round-up. Finland is the only country in Scandinavia I haven’t visited yet, so I’m definitely saving this for later!

Great guide thanks so much! Hoping to make it to Finland next year (especially Lapland during winter!)

Such a gorgeous looking place! Love the way you’ve described everything.

Finland looks so gorgeous! I’ve never been but I’ve been wanting to add it to my bucket list for a while now!! 🙂

I wish I had traveled more while living in Finland! Days were short however and so was my overall stay—only five months. Love this piece and I’m looking forward to going to Finland again, though I have no idea when in the world that could be!

This is a great list! I’ve only been to Helsinki and heard about Tempere, so it’s nice to add some other cities to my list! Rovaniemi looks wonderful, I’ve been in the Swedish Lapland so I can imagine how beautiful the Finnish Lapland is.

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top 3 places to visit in finland

top 3 places to visit in finland

Over 20 Things to do Finland + What You Need to Know Before Yo Go

i Finland is known to the world for three things: snow-dered igloos, the Northern Lights, and being recognized as the happiest country on the planet. The truth is, there are so many amazing things to do in Finland!

Your Finland vacation is sure to be filled with adventure. Portions of the country above the Arctic Circle and in this case, her location is everything, playing a big part in uncovering what to do in Finland. Here are the best things to do in Finland as well as many tips and facts to help you plan your Finland vacation. 

Where is Finland? Getting the Lay of the Land

Finland is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe . To its east is Russia. To the west are Sweden and Norway. To the north there are the upper reaches of Norway, the Norwegian Sea, and the North Pole.

Finland’s southern and western coastlines stretch from the Gulf of Finland to the far end of the Gulf of Bothnia. This forms the largest archipelago in the world, dotted by over 50,000 islands and skerries (rocky islets). 

Finland’s capital city is Helsinki, which is located on its southern shores. From Helsinki, it’s easy to hop over to the cities of Tallinn in Estonia; Stockholm, Sweden; and St. Petersburg, Russia, via daily ferry service.

Read our guide highlighti n g the best things to do in Helsinki on your family vacation .

When is the Best Time to Visit Finland

Any time is a great time to visit Finland because Finns embrace the gift of all their five seasons. Yes, you read that right. Finns have two seasons of winter. Regardless of the time of year, there are exciting things to do in Finland. When you choose to visit just depends on what you want to experience.  

Are you looking to see the Northern Lights, visit with Santa during the Christmas season, enjoy snow activities like ice-fishing, or stay in a real ice-igloo? Then you’ll want to visit Finland between December and March. Your daylight hours will be short and be prepared for temperatures to fall as low as -25 °C (-18 °F)

If you’re looking for longer days but still want to enjoy some snow activities, April and May are a good time to visit. There are also fewer crowds. 

The summer months are June, July, and August. In the Land of the Midnight Sun, the sun never sets. In Helsinki, the sun is out until around 11pm. Temperatures, even in the summer, are never hot, hovering around 15-20°C (60-70 °F). This is the time to sample fresh strawberries, go on hikes, and enjoy time kayaking in the sea or lake. 

The autumn season is September to November. Temperatures are cool, around 5-10°C (40-50°F) during the day, and close to freezing point at night. Up in the Lapland area, the aspens are turning yellow and the maples orange and red. And everywhere, the forest is carpeted with berries and mushrooms.

Flights to Finland: How to Get There

All your adventures in Finland are likely to begin and end in the capital Helsinki.

Finnair currently operates non-stop direct flights from around the world to Helsinki. Did you know that FinnAir has a free stopover program in Helsinki?  You can add a stop in Helsinki for up to 5 days for free enroute tween any city they fly between.

  • From the U.S – New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami. 
  • From Europe – Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London, Malaga, Milan, Paris, Prague, Stockholm, Vienna, Zurich
  • From Asia – Bangkok, Phuket, Singapore (over the north pole!)
  • From the Middle East – Dubai

Getting Around Finland

With a total area similar in size to that of California, seeing everything on our list of things to do in Finland will require more than one trip.

Fortunately, getting around Finland is eas y. Finnair operates domestic air travel. If you are heading to the Finnish Lapland, Finn Air operates flights to the cities of Kittilä, Ivalo, Oulu, and Rovaniemi. 

The roads in Finland are good and so is the public bus and rail service. For families, renting a car may be the most convenient and economical option. In Finland, they drive on the same side of the road as in the U.S.

The streets are in good condition, and street signs easy to read (although the names of the roads are in Finnish). We found it easy enough to follow along with the Google Maps GPS app. Just be sure to download the Google Map to your smartphone before hitting the road if you have limited data service. 

VR is the train line that offers a night train to major cities, with additional “Train Bus” service to smaller Lapland cities. Check train routes and time tables for details. In the cities, you can get around quickly and easily without a car.

Public transportation is excellent and works on a zone system. It’s economical to purchase a day ticket for specific zones, and you can get on and off the buses as many times as you want. 

A nice perk for traveling with a young child is that a child in a stroller and their accompanying adult get to ride public transportation for free.   

The Best Things to do in Finland

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing,”

I was told on more than one occasion by local Finns.

To people living in the Arctic Circle, this isn’t just a casual saying; it’s a mantra to live by. This Finnish attitude frames their relationship with nature.

The Finns have found a way to embrace every season, and in fact, winter is their highest travel season. When trees are massively laden with snow, and the lakes freeze over, Finns go ice-fishing, fat biking, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. 

During the long days of summer, you’ll find locals foraging in the forest, camping, boating, and kayaking. And of course, in all seasons, Finns sauna. 

For those of us who step into her sacred forests and row across her glassy lakes, we can experience the same spirit of Finland. All we need to do is to stop rushing around like tourists and embrace the simplicity of being, savoring, and observing.

While hiking in Nuuksio National Park , Annu, one of the co-owners of Hawkhill Villas and Cottages made an excellent suggestion, 

“In Finland, we have peace and tranquility. Take a few days, turn off your phone, and watch. Wake up when you feel you’ve slept enough, eat when you feel hungry, let nature guide your day. You’ll feel free!” 

So before mapping out a packed itinerary, I would encourage you to pick a handful of experiences and not try to squeeze too much in. Fully embrace the most beautiful gift that Finland has to offer – peace, tranquility, and freedom. 

See the Northern Lights from an Igloo Hotel

Season: Autumn and Winter

Where: Lapland

In Finnish Lapland, you have a chance of seeing the Northern Lights over 200 days in a year. The Aurora Borealis dances across Finland’s night sky from September to April.

During these cold winter nights, temperatures in Lapland can drop to -25 °C (-18 °F) . You’ll be grateful to wait inside the comfort of a glass igloo hotel for the Aurora Borealis to show up. Plus, it’s cool staying in one of these glass-domed igloo hotels, which have become quite synonymous with Finland!

Really want to see the Northern Lights in Finland? Here are all the Best Glass Igloo Hotels in Finland

Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Sea Fortress

Season: Year-round Where: Helsinki 

Finland has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites . Suomenlinna Sea Fortress is the most famous, and is a short ferry ride from Kauppatori (Market Square) in Helsinki.

While under Swedish rule, Soumelinna was the pride of its military, which first built the sea fortress to protect its territory from Russian advances. Suomenlinna continued to serve as an essential defense even under the Grand Duchy of Russia. 

Suomenlinna’s fortress walls span six islands. Kids will love exploring the bastion walls, discovering tunnels, and counting the dozens of canons found about the fortress.

The visitor’s center has a short film on the history of the fortress and offers walking tours. There are also six museums on Suomenlinna. Kids are likely to enjoy the Military Museum , the WWII Submarine Vesikko , and the Toy Museum . The fortress is also a popular place to enjoy a picnic on the beach or dine at one of the restaurants. 

Hang Out with Reindeer Herders

Season: Year-round Where: Lapland

The population of Finland is only 5.5 million. Reindeer outnumber people 2:1 in the Finnish Lapland!  

Although it looks like the reindeer are roaming wild, each is tagged and belongs to a reindeer herding family. Reindeer are the livelihood of the Sami people, who have been native to the area for over 5,000 years.

There are places in the southern part of Finland such as the Helsinki Zoo or the Reindeer Park in Nuuksio National Park, where you can see reindeer.

But to truly understand what the reindeer mean to the Sami people, you’ll want to spend an afternoon at Atelier Kangasniemi. It’s an unforgettable, meet-a-local kind of experience at the home and workshop of Ari and Irene Kangasniemi. 

When you arrive at their home and workshop, Irene and Ari show you the wide variety of items they make using reindeer horns, fur, and leather- shoes, chandeliers, knives, musical instruments, and jewelry. Then you get to make some of your own jewelry using reindeer horns to take home.

After you complete your masterpiece, you’re ushered into their cozy home for a spread of Finnish cinnamon buns and coffee. Irene and Ari are very excited to share their Sami heritage and lives with visitors through their stories and warm hospitality. 

Meet Santa in Lapland

Season: Year-round, but Best in Winter Where: Lapland

Did you know Santa’s home isn’t really in the North Pole? Just think about it, there aren’t reindeer living in the North Pole are there? Santa actually lives in the winter wonderland of the Finnish Lapland! If your kids are at the right age, a visit to Santa’s home turf can be absolutely magical.

Santa has many “homes” in Lapland. Depending on where you meet him, it can be quite a different experience. In Rovaniemi, you’ll find an entire Santa’s Village . It is open year round. 

At Santa’s Village, you can feed reindeer, take sleigh rides, mush huskies, and see Santa’s post office . He actually receives thousands of letters year-round from all around the world. The attraction is highly touristed and has a theme park feel to it. 

If you’re looking for a hand-on experience with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, check out Santa Park instead . Here you can make crafts, bake cookies, and go to “elf school”. Alternatively, you can book a private intimate Santa experience in Santa Claus Secret Forest for a private group. 

Forage for Mushrooms and Berries and Drink from a Stream

Season: Summer and Autumn Where: Nuuksio National Park, Espoo

Finland’s forests are some of the most magical and pure places in the world. Here you can drink unfiltered water from a stream. In the summer and autumn season, the mossy forest floor is covered with lingonberries, bilberries, blueberries, and cloudberries. There are also mushrooms everywhere. 

Anyone is free to forage on public and private land according to the law known as “Every Man’s Right.” We’ve been told that every Finnish child has spent countless hours foraging in the forest for berries .

If you’d like to forage for mushrooms too, be sure to go with a guide. Many mushrooms need a special preparation or are poisonous. Take a short drive from Helsinki is Nuuksio National Park, where there are berries and mushrooms galore for the taking.

Experience a Finnish Sauna

Season: Year-round Where: Everywhere in Finland

In Finland, it is estimated that there is one sauna for every two people (that’s 2.3 million saunas!). You really can’t come to Finland without experiencing one.

There are saunas on boats, by the lake, in a hotel room, on a Ferris wheel, even in Burger King if you can believe it! So whichever way you decide strikes your fancy, when in Finland, you shall sauna. 

The typical way locals go to a Finnish sauna is in the nude with family or a group of friends of the same gender. In a public sauna, there is typically a sauna for men and a sauna for women. You are free to wear your bathing suit, but be prepared to see others bare.

For Finns, sauna time is hangout time. The experience is punctuated by jumping into the snow or plunging into an icy lake or into the frigid ocean to cool off. The idea is to be ready to get right back into the sauna again. We recommend that you at least give it a try.

Stay in a Lakeside Cottage

Season: B est in Summer and Autumn Where: Nuuksio National Park, Lakeland Region

Finns value punctuality to a tee, but they are just as good about taking time to get away from everything. With thousands of lakes, there is nothing more quintessentially Finnish than to get away to a lake cottage for a few days. In fact, most families have their own lake cottage, but surprisingly few rent them out on Airbnb or VRBO. 

In Nuuksio National Park, we found Hawkhill Villas and Cottages on the shores of Lake Kaitlampi. Their log cabin cottages have been hand-built by the family. Each is unique and special. If you’re looking to center and connect with your family and yourself, parking yourself at a Lakeside Cottage is quintessential nature therapy.

Glide Across a Lake in a Rowboat

Season: Summer, Autumn, and Spring Where: Lakeland Region

There are 188,000 lakes in Finland. You’ll find lakes in every shape, size, and color in the Lakeland region. I’ve never seen so many perfectly glassy lakes in my entire life.

And where there is a lake, there is a rowboat. You can’t just get into any rowboat. But if you rent a lakeside cottage for a couple of nights, you can bet it comes with a rowboat. Regardless, you’ll certainly find opportunities to rent a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard just about anywhere. 

Stay on a Secluded Island in a Lighthouse

Season: Any Season Where: In the Finnish Archipelago

With over 50,000 islands in the Finnish Archipelago, there are many to visit. There are also a plethora of lighthouses. There are even a few lighthouses you can actually spend the night in – Kylmäpihlaja Lighthouse, Bengtskär Lighthouse, Söderskär Lighthouse, and Tankar Lighthouse. 

After the daytrippers leave these secluded islands in the Baltic sea, you’ll discover an exuberant solitude. With few distractions, you’ll hear every lapping wave, smell that savory seaweed, and see each streak across the rocks.

When the cold sea breeze blows, take a jaunt to warm up in the sauna. This simplicity, mindfulness, and connection to nature are how locals have lived on islands across the Finnish Archipelago for centuries.  Meet Paula the Lighthouse keeper .

Sleep in the Trees in a Tentsile Tent

Season: Summer Where: Nuuksio National Park and other Tentsile locations.

Have you heard of a Tentsile tent? It’s a zero-footprint hammock tent that can be suspended from three supporting trees over land or water. It’s a delightful way to sleep in the trees for a couple of nights. 

I’m not surprised that Finland has embraced the Tentsile experience more than any country in the world, because Finns love nature and are environmentally conscious.

There are currently seven official Tentsile Experience Camps in Finland, more than in any other country in the world. So, when in Finland, why not give Tentsile camping a try? At Nuuksio National Park, everything you need for the night is provided.

Spy on Brown Bears

Season: Summer Where: Eastern Lake Region – Hosaa National Park and the town of Kuhmo

Finland has the highest concentration of brown bears in Europe. And you have the best chance of seeing a bear in Hossa National Park where different operators offer tours. You’ll observe the bears and other wildlife, such as wolves and wolverines, from inside log cabin hides in the late afternoon.

During the winter, bears hibernate and give birth to cubs, but from June to August, they emerge from their slumber with their little ones.

June is the start of the mating season. The following operators offer bear safari experiences: Boreal Wildlife Center, Arola Bear , Martinselkosen Wilds Centre , and Hossan Karhut . 

Be a Husky Musher for a Day

Season: Any Season Where: Rovaniemi, Lapland

Although sled dog racing isn’t traditional to Finland, it’s become a favorite among winter visitors. It’s even possible to experience riding in a dog sled near Helsinki during the winter, but the place to go is Lapland. 

At Bearhill Husky in Rovaniemi, you can enjoy the thrill of being a husky musher even in the summertime, when the huskies stay fit by pulling four-wheeled carts. It’s something kids who are mature enough can do as well. Teens can mush in the snow if they are 16 and up and heavy enough to engage the brake. 

If you’ve never been pulled by a team of huskies, you are in for a treat. They are bounding with energy and eager to interact with their mushers. It’s a thrill to ride the forest trails with your team of huskies. 

Snowmobile Over a Frozen Lake and Go Ice Fishing

Season: Winter Where: Lapland

During the winter months, most of Finland’s 188,000 lakes freeze over . This means there are lovely wide open fields of snow to race snowmobiles across. In the northern Lapland region, fishing happens year-round too. When the fish are under a sheet of ice, you drill a hole with special tools, sink a line, and pull up your fish. 

In the Arctic Circle, winter temperatures are well below freezing. But to experience Finland like a local, put on a fur coat, jump on a snowmobile, and go catch some dinner. Our friends at Kidtripster have some essential tips for families who are interested in an ice-fishing snowmobile safari.

Appreciate Finnish Design and Architecture

Season: Any Season Where: Helsinki

Finnish architecture of the 19th century has made a mark in the world for its influence on Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), Nordic Classicism, and Functionalism. The two most notable Finnish modern architects are Alvar Aalto and Eliel Saarinen.

Wood construction has been the staple of Finnish buildings since its most primitive structures. But in recent times, Finnish architecture has pushed the boundaries of wood construction in technique and elevated its elegance.

If you’re a fan of modern architecture, here are a few outstandingly beautiful buildings to visit. The capital city of Helsinki is the largest city in Finland and naturally is a prime spot to find examples of beautiful Finnish architecture.

Finlandia Hall, Helsinki Oodi Library, Helsinki Music Hall, Kamppi Chapel of Silence, and The Rock Church are all must-sees. There are also several design stores in town selling home goods with Finnishe style so that you can take a piece of Finland home with you.

Visit a Church Built Inside a Rock

The Finns seem to have an appreciation for the unusual. Temppeliaukio Church, nicknamed, The Rock Church, is one magnificent example.

It took 60 years for the design to be accepted for this Lutheran Church in Helsinki. Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen proposed turning the idea of a church building completed upside down and inside out. 

The resulting building is a cavernous place of worship built inside the large granite rock instead of on top of it. It’s located in the Töölö neighborhood of Helsinki. It’s unlike any church you’ve ever seen and must not be missed while you are visiting the capital of Finland.

The Helsinki Cathedral in Senate Square and the Uspenski Cathedral , the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe, and also must-sees when strolling around Helsinki.

Sleep in a Snowcastle

Every winter, architects and the world’s best ice-sculptors congregate to design and build a brand new Snowcastle in the Finnish Lapland.

Located on the northernmost shores of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Snowcastle Kami is erected from scratch each year. It features a SnowHotel which you can spend the night in, SnowRestaurant and SnowChapel. 

If you have a little Frozen fan in your family, this snow castle is the largest in the world, and it’s sure to wow your kids. Pay special attention to all the detailed carving. The ice-castle is kept at -5°C (23°F), so dress warmly. If you are interested in the construction process, take a tour. 

Catch Moomin Fever

Season: Any Season

Where: Everywhere, but Especially in Helsinki, Turku

It’s easy to catch a little bit of Moomin fever in Finland. As soon as you step off the plane, you’ll see Moomin characters everywhere . To the Finns, Moomins are the equivalent of what Dr. Seuss means to American families. 

Do yourself and your children a favor and watch a few Moomin videos on Youtube before arriving in Finland so you can fully embrace these adorable characters during your visit.

There is a Moomin cafe in Helsinki and even a Moomin World amusement park near Turku , which is open in the summer and during Christmas. The official Moomin Museum can be found in Tampere.

Visit Charming Old Town Porvoo

Season: Year-round Where: 40 minutes East of Helsinki

Porvoo is the second oldest town in Finland and one of Finland’s most photographed. The old town area is famous for its bright red wooden warehouses and cobblestone streets along the riverfront. The town looks like a page out of a fairy tale. 

There are about 800 residents that live and work in Porvoo. The town is also known for having some of the best restaurants and cafes in the country , while home decor stores make for excellent window shopping. If you’re looking for old-world rural charm, Porvoo is a winner.

Sleep in a Prison Cell

Like a little dose of quirky? In Helsinki, Hotel Katajanokka welcomes guests to spend a few nights in the most comfortable prison cell in the world. This old red brick building was home to thieves and murderers serving out their sentences in Helsinki County Prison from 1837 to 2002. 

It has been renovated with stylish and luxurious nordic touches, but the hotel still maintains a touch of austerity. Instead of six to a cell, each room now sleeps two, even if you book a room in the solitary confinement cell. 

There are typical rooms as well. Some rooms even have their own saunas!

Although rumors fly that the hotel is haunted, the hotel historian there has not seen reports of real hauntings. So, go ahead and book a room, and you shall see. More likely than not, you’ll sleep like a baby because the rooms behind those thick prison walls are eerily quiet.

Fat Bike Over Dirt and Snow

Season: Any Season, but Best in Summer and Autumn

Where: Nuuksio National Park

Have you ever ridden a bike through the forest in the snow? Most bikes can’t handle that kind of terrain, but fat bikes have extra-wide tires and deep tread that can carve through dirt and snow like butter.

It’s a uniquely Finnish experience to hit the trails on a saddle. Enjoy the quiet tranquility of a snow-covered forest, lake, or the Finnish taiga. 

In the summer, you can still experience fat biking in many national parks and reserves, including Nuuksio National Park, just 45 minutes from Helsinki. The folks at Natura Viva offer guided fat bike tours, or you can rent a bike for an hour and explore the trails on your own.

It’s not an activity we suggest with young children, but active teens and tweens will definitely enjoy this unique way to experience the outdoors in Finland.  

Scale a Frozen Waterfall in Korouama Nature Reserve

Season: Winter to Late Spring Where: Korouama Nature Reserve , Lapland Region

Located an hour southeast of Rovaniemi is the beautiful Korouma Nature Reserve. Visitors are drawn to the gorges of this fracture valley. The steep cliffs are dramatic all year round, but in the winter, the small streams that flow over the cliffs become frozen waterfalls. 

Nature’s ice sculptures are shaped by variations in precipitation, wind, and temperatures. Some visitors come to admire the frozen waterfalls’ beauty, while others swing ice axes and pull on crampons for some epic ice-climbing . Can kids go ice-climbing? Yes, they can, but they need to be 12 and up.

Explore an Ice Breaker

Season: May through September Where: 2 Hours East of Helsinki

If you have a boat enthusiast in the family, do not miss the Maritime Museum of Finland . Finland is a country with a long and rich maritime history. During the winter, the Baltic Sea is plowed by powerful ships called ice-breakers that keeps the sea from becoming unnavigable.

The whole family can climb aboard the decommissioned ice-breaker Tarmo at this museum. You can also see an ice-breaker in the Lapland Region in Kami.

Visit a Finnish Castle

Season: All seasons

Where: An hour north of Helsinki

There is a marvelous medieval royal castle just an hour north of Helsinki in Hämeenlinna. Häme Castle sits on picturesque Lake Vanajavesi, and was originally built for the purpose of fortification during the 13th century and stood on the border zone between Sweden and Novrogorod, a region mainly made up of modern day Northern Russia today.

Through the centuries, the castle served as a military base, residence for visiting Swedish royalty, and even a prison before it was turned into a museum in 1979. Guided tours with Ensligh-speaking guides are the best way to experience the castle.

Kids love discovering hidden passages and letting out a collective “eww” upon learning about chamber pots and life without indoor plumbing. Families will also appreciate the playground located in the park next door to the castle.

Visit a Famed Glass Factory

Where: 90 minutes north of Helsinki

About 90 minutes north of Helsinki, you will find the Iittala Design Factory and Museum . Iittala is an icon of Finnish design, specializing in hand-blown glassware. Guided tours of the museum and factory are available.

Staff inside the museum are happy to walk you through the history of the company and its renowned master artists who created designs that became famous the world over. It fascinating to watch the artisans blow glass into masterpieces.

There is an Iittala Outlet Store located onsite and a playground in the courtyard for the kids to enjoy while you shop. There is also a chocolate factory next door filled with a variety of sweet treats.

More Important Things to Know About Finland

What do they eat in finland.

Fish and potatoes are staples in Finnish cuisine. Lohikeitto is a famous salmon and potato soup in a light creamy broth. Smoked salmon and grilled salmon are served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nothing too unusual about the preparation, but rest assured, that it’s delicious. So, eat up if you like salmon. 

Pike perch and Baltic herring are also popular fish on any menu. Deep-fried vendace (whitebait or smelt) is served like french fries by street vendors, usually with a side of grilled potatoes and vegetables.

It is also traditional to eat reindeer . I know, I know…how can you even think about eating Rudolph, but reindeer meat is tasty and lean. You’ll see reindeer on menus in burgers and meatballs. But the most traditional way to enjoy reindeer is salted and dried as Kuivaliha , or sauteed as Poronkaristys . 

There is nothing more Finnish than to enjoy a meal cooked over an open campfire. It is common to find a Laavu shelter in any park in Finland. It is stocked with firewood. A local picnic consists of roasting some Makkara (sausage) over the fire and sipping on berry juice. 

If you’ve ever had a meal at Ikea, you’ll find Lihapullat (meatballs) very familiar. It’s served on mashed potatoes with Lingonberry sauce . Sound familiar? This is a food tradition that the Finns and Swedish share. 

Karjalanpiirakat (Karelian pastries) and Lihapiirakka (Finnish meat pies) are also traditional foods you’re likely to find at breakfast, cafes, or bakeries. They are easy to appreciate. Karjalanpiirakat is a rye pastry topped with savory rice. Lihapiirakka is a wheat-based bread filled with ground meat and rice.

Fruits and Veggies

In the summer and autumn, there is an abundance of berries. Local families spend countless hours foraging in the forest to stock up on jams and compotes and enjoy berry desserts. Lingonberry , Bilberry , Cloudberry j uices are common as well. 

Sea Buckthorn is a bright yellow berry that contains as much vitamin C as an orange in a single tablespoon. Mix it with some pineapple juice and enjoy a shot for your daily dose of vitamin C.  A true Finn can’t live without Ruisleipa (Rye bread). It can be rather dense and dry, which might be an adjustment if you’re used to fluffy white bread. But we discovered it is very tasty in salads.

Coffee and Treats

Finns love their coffee as much as Italians and Americans. As a matter of fact, Finland consumes more coffee per capita than anywhere else in the world!

It is often enjoyed with Korvapuusti (cinnamon rolls), which are similar to the American variety without the gooey frosting. A hint of cardamom gives the Finnish variety a distinct flavor.

What to Pack for a Trip to Finland?

Here are a few things you might not think to pack for a trip to Finland that would be really useful. 

  • A jacket in all seasons – Summer lows are in the 50-55 °F and highs in the 68°F  to  70°F. It is a good idea to always have a light jacket with you even in the summertime especially if you plan to take a ride on a ferry out to an island. A windbreaker like this is perfect.
  • Extreme winter wear – during the long winter (Mid Nov to March) Finland is very cold. We’re talking about lows of -25 to -50°C (-18 to -58 °F) in the northern Lapland regions. Yikes! You’ll need layers of winter wear to protect you from the cold especially since many of the activities you’ll be doing in the Finnish Lapland will take you into the great outdoors. Here are some of our favorite winter tech clothing.
  • A scarf is also a good thing to have in all seasons. The Bioscarf air filter scarf has the added benefit of having an N95 filter built into it. Although the air in Finland is some of the purest in the world, they use woodfires for outdoor cooking and heating inside the home widely. If you are sensitive to smoke, having a scarf with a filter is awesome! 
  • Hat, gloves, and ear warmers – in the Autumn, a regular hat and gloves are fine. But in the Winter and Spring, be sure to bring a couple pairs of heavyweight waterproof snow mittens (so that one can dry while you use the other). A warm hat or a balaclava that covers your ears and face is also essential.
  • DSLR camera, appropriate lenses, and tripod – in the autumn and winter, it’s possible to see the Northern Lights even as far south as the Finnish Archipelago when you’re away from light pollution. But to take a photo of the northern lights , you need a camera that can set to long exposure with a wide aperture setting on a tripod. A lens that allows you to manually control the focus will allow you to turn off auto-focus which requires sufficient light to tune correctly. 
  • Eye masks – summer in the land of the midnight sun means that you’ll likely be sleeping when it’s still light out.  Having an eye mask can be really helpful. 

Do they speak English in Finland?

Yes! Almost every Finn we met was fluent in English and well versed with American and British pop culture. The official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. The Finnish language is really hard to learn, so we are thankful the Finns are so good at communicating in English. 

In any case, we found most signs are in all three languages. At tourist attractions, there are also materials and signs in Chinese and Japanese. Streets signs are mostly in Finnish. And grocery store labels are almost all in Finnish. No problem, just download the Google Translate app and hold it up against the packaging, and you’ll know what you’re buying.

Is Finland a safe country?

According to Travel-safe Abroad, Finland is one of the safest countries in the world to visit. It’s ranked #9 in terms of safety.

There are also not many natural disasters affecting Finland. Just be cautious about driving during winter in the less-populated Lapland area. These snow-covered roads are best left to locals.

Is Finland an expensive country to visit?

Finland is on the Euro, so depending on exchange rates, you might find it more or less expensive . Generally speaking, accommodations in Finland are expensive. A night in an igloo hotel can set you back 500-1000 Euros a night, depending on the season.

A mid-range hotel room is around 150-250 Euros a night. We were delighted to find that most hotels include a fantastic breakfast buffet in their nightly rate. 

A budget option for travelers is to camp while in Finland. Camping in Finland is free , and the national forest service offers lots of great amenities that make it entirely possible for families who want to enjoy the great outdoors.

The forest service even maintains wilderness huts that have fully stocked kitchens and beds. Most are free , and a few can be reserved for a fee. 

Museum tickets were reasonably priced, and most of the time, kids under the age of 18 were free. Activities and tours are comparable in price to the U.S.

Tipping in Finland

While service is gracious and kind in Finland, tipping is not expected anywhere unless you’ve experienced exceptional service. This is a considerable saving for a traveler.

Mobile phone and Wifi coverage in Finland

Mobile phone coverage is excellent all over Finland. Helsinki has free public wifi, but the connection can be spotty. The most affordable way to get cell phone service is to purchase a SIM card when you arrive. R-Kiosk is Finland’s convenience store that you can find just about everywhere. Pick up a SIM card for a little as 5 Euros a week.  

Many thanks to our media partners Visit Finland, and FinnAir who hosted us in various ways to facilitate the creation of this guide. This article contains affiliate links to Booking.com. This means that Trekaroo gets a small commission to help feed our baby kangaroos.

iFinland is known to the world for three things: snow-dered igloos, the Northern Lights, and being recognized as the happiest country on the planet. The truth is, there are so many amazing things to do in Finland! Your Finland vacation is sure to be filled with adventure. Portions of the country above the Arctic Circle and in this case, her location is everything, playing a big part in uncovering what to do in Finland. Here are the best things to do in Finland as well as many tips and facts to help you plan your Finland vacation.  Where is Finland? …

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The best holiday destinations for retired travellers

By Connor Sturges

East Melbourne city skyline and public gardens on a cloudy day

Gone are the days when retirees were considered little more than the ‘settled down’ sort. For many eager explorers, retirement means more time to see the world – a chance to gallivant globally.

A recent poll by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines found that 37 per cent of retirees surveyed described themselves as adventurous, while 24 per cent said they’ve got more adventurous with age. While the study found that 35 per cent of those over 55 believe a cruise is the best way to explore multiple destinations, a quarter claimed they never take the same trip twice.

In response to the trend, travel insurance company Paying Too Much compiled a list of the best destinations around the world for venturesome sixty-somethings. The company’s deciding factors are the number of three-to-five-star hotels, the average costs of these hotels, the number of off-peak tours, healthcare quality, the number of things to do, and the number of walking routes.

Here's the top 10.

Singapore skyline at dawn showing the Marina Bay Sands and the Flyer.

10. Singapore

The futuristic metropolis of Singapore ranks highly across much of the board, notably besides off-peak group tours – we’re assuming Singaporeans are an independent bunch. Unsurprisingly, there's hundreds of exquisite hotels , a whooping 825 things to do, and a high-ranking health system.

9. Munich, Germany

While Munich can’t quite compete with the German capital regarding things to do or the number of three-to-five-star hotels, it offers a great selection of activities – not forgetting the iconic Oktoberfest celebrations that take over the city each autumn .

8. Oslo, Norway

Norway is well known for its world-class healthcare and, similarly to Finland, happy residents. Its hotel scene is as sleek as it gets, as we found out on a recent stay at Villa Inkognito , while there’s no shortage of bucket list sights within easy reach, including the stunning fjords and, a bit further north, glimpses of the majestic Northern Lights .

Embankment In Helsinki At Summer Sunny Day In Finland. Cityscape

7. Helsinki, Finland

Condé Nast Traveller called it – Helsinki really is the new Scandi star . While exploring the 146 local walking routes and ticking off as many of the 266 things to do, expect help and smiles at every turn, as Finland recently topped the list of the happiest countries in the world (again).

6. Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane is undoubtedly one of the best destinations in the world for beach lovers, retired or not. The Gold Coast metropolitan region is within easy reach, and the central city’s modern infrastructure makes getting around a breeze – even when the sweltering temperatures leave travellers needing a literal one.

5. Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand ’s cosmopolitan North Island city of Auckland is the cheapest destination in the top 10, with the average off-peak week-long stay at £822. 310 walking routes mean there’s always ample time for a pleasant stroll, while the fabulous arts and culture scene is a great starting point when planning an itinerary.

Berlin Kreuzberg Oberbaumbridge Germany

4. Berlin, Germany

Indeed, Berlin often attracts a younger crowd – think of the notorious Berghain queue – but there’s lots for retirees to do if techno raves aren’t their vibe. There are museums, galleries and historical sites everywhere, from the Berlin Wall Memorial to the iconic Brandenburg Gate. The hotel scene is pretty impressive but comes at the third-highest cost on the list at an average of £1,924 for a week, off-peak.

3. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Do you love a tour? Amsterdam ’s the place for you. Paying Too Much’s study counts 361 off-peak tours designed with over-60s in mind, which is no surprise considering the significant number of things to do in the bustling city. Out of all the destinations on the list, it has the lowest number of walking routes – but we expect that’s because most are on their bikes.

2. Sydney, Australia

Sydney claims second place. While it’s an increasingly popular destination for younger gap year travellers, there are tons for mature travellers. It falls just behind Melbourne on things to do at a still-impressive 1,598, but it has almost double the amount of off-peak tours; popular excursions include sampling all the nearby wine regions have to offer and exploring the local food scene.

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A panorama of the Melbourne's skyline at blue hour

1. Melbourne, Australia

Proud Australians will be delighted to see Melbourne top the list of the best holiday destinations in the world for retired travellers. Furthermore, it’s the third Australian city on the list.

The southeastern Australian hotspot claims the top spot thanks to excellent infrastructure, an incredible number of things to do (Paying Too Much counts 1,838, to be exact), and a low average price for three-to-five star hotels – the average week-long stay costs just £860. Best of all, more than 15 per cent of Melbourne’s population are 60 and over, meaning new, like-minded friends are never far away, especially with 40 off-peak tours catered to retirees. None of this takes into account the fabulous food scene , which we’ve kept a keen eye on, of course.

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  2. 26 Fantastic Places to Visit in Finland (in 2023!)

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  3. 14 Best Places In Finland To Visit

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  6. 12 Beautiful Places to Visit in Finland

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VIDEO

  1. 10 Best Places to Visit in Finland

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  5. Top 10 Best Things To Do In Finland [Finland Travel Guide 2023]

  6. Helsinki One Day Trip

COMMENTS

  1. 15 Best Places to Visit in Finland

    Most notably, there's the 13th-century Turku Castle, Turku Cathedral, and the open-air Market Square. Visit Finland. Kiukas adds Posio, "the most sustainable village in Finland," to her list ...

  2. 17 Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Finland

    Winter or summer, Finland offers plenty of things to do. Plan your trip with our list of the top attractions and places to visit in Finland. On This Page: 1. Suomenlinna Fortress. 2. Kauppatori (Market Square) and Esplanadi. 3. Rovaniemi and the Arctic.

  3. 10 of the best places to visit in Finland

    Finland's largest fortress, Turun Linna, rewinds to the 13th century with its dungeons and lavish banqueting halls. And Turun Tuomiokirkko, the "mother church" of Finland's Lutheran faith, is a Gothic vision in red brick. Visit during the silent hour (9-10am) as the morning sun slants through the windows to see it at its most atmospheric.

  4. The 15 best things to do in Finland

    Here are 15 of the best things to do in Finland to get you started. See the Northern Lights in Lapland ©Anton Petrus/Getty Images. 1. See the northern lights in Lapland. Holding your breath as the aurora borealis swoops and sways in the frozen Arctic night sky is an experience not quite of this world.

  5. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Finland

    By ajitar. UNESCO World Heritage site - a military fortress seeped in history. See ways to experience (27) 2023. 2. Temppeliaukio Church. 8,824. Architectural Buildings. Also known as "Church in the Rock," this modern church is carved from rock and has a stunning copper dome.

  6. 10 best things to do in Finland

    Löyly is one of Helsinki's most famous public saunas and has become an iconic example of wooden architecture. Credits : Joel Pallaskorpi / Royal Restaurants. Celebrated Finnish designer and architect Alvar Aalto designed the Aalto vase in 1936. This Iittala-produced vase is still a staple of modern Nordic design.

  7. 15 Best Places to Visit in Finland

    These are best viewed from vantage points at Ukko-Koli Hill and Vesivaara. 9. Seurasaari. Source: KKulikov / shutterstock. Seurasaari. Encompassed by the Baltic waters just a little to the west of Helsinki, the verdant and calm island of Seurasaari represents arguably the most acclaimed open-air museum in Europe.

  8. Places to go in Finland

    The capital of Finland where vibrant urbanity meet... Lahti. Vibrant Southern lakeside city for sports fans and... Jyväskylä. Lakes, saunas, 4 national parks, 2 UNESCO sites & ... Porvoo. Historical seaside town where the ambience of days gone by meets modern design. Ruka-Kuusamo.

  9. Things to do in Finland

    Explore all things to do. Whether you're into outdoor activities or modern design, Finland has an activity for every taste and budget. When you find something you like, save it with the heart icon. Attractions. Design and art. Activities. Nature activities. Sauna. Food and drinks.

  10. 35 BEST Places to Visit in Finland

    Tampere: The Finnish Manchester. Tampere, Finland - December 12, 2020: View of the Tammerkoski Channel in Central Tampere. Tampere, often referred to as the Finnish Manchester, is a vibrant city in Finland that offers a unique blend of industrial history and modern attractions.

  11. Top Things to Do in Finland

    Things to Do in Finland, Europe: See Tripadvisor's 636,621 traveller reviews and photos of Finland tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend or in May. We have reviews of the best places to see in Finland. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions.

  12. 10 Best Places to Visit in Finland (+Map)

    While in Finnish Lakeland, you can also explore the university town of Jyväskylä or the medieval St. Olaf's Castle. 5. Turku [SEE MAP] Along the coast of Southern Finland is Turku, a city that served as the capital of Finland for much of the 19th century and is also believed to be the oldest in the nation.

  13. 15 Breathtaking Places to Explore in Finland

    3. Suomenlinna. Few areas anywhere in the world hold as much history as Suomenlinna. This area of Finland has not always been a part of the country but has changed hands a few times. Once owned by Russia and Sweden, this island is now one of the most visited places in the country.

  14. The Best Places to Visit in Finland

    Porvoo. One of the oldest towns in Finland, Porvoo is a charming destination known for its picturesque old town with cobblestone streets and colourful wooden houses. Just a 50-minute drive from Helsinki, Porvoo is an accessible escape into Finnish history and culture.

  15. 25 Best Things To Do In Finland

    Other highlights are the Museum Ship Pommern and you can stroll around the Maritime Quarter which still stands proud in the town. The easiest way to get to Mariehamn is to take a ferry across from either Turku in Finland or Stockholm in neighboring Sweden. 20. Meet the animals at Salla Reindeer Park.

  16. 15 Best Places to Visit in Finland 2024

    1- Helsinki Finland's Southern Capital. Helsinki the Capital of Sophistication - Helsinki Cathedral - Best Places to Visit in Finland. Helsinki, the vibrant southern capital of Finland, is one of the famous Europe places that effortlessly blends modernity with rich cultural heritage.

  17. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Finland (UPDATED 2024)

    10. Santa Claus Village. There is husky park, reindeer park, snow automobile park, snow man world, post office, arctic circle line , santa cla... 11. Arktikum. Open your eyes to the Arctic! Arktikum museum and science centre is an all year round destination and one of the must sees in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland.

  18. 26 Fantastic Places to Visit in Finland (in 2024!)

    Best Places to Visit in Finland 1. Porvoo. Finland's second-oldest city, Porvoo, is known for its red-painted waterfront houses and cobbled streets. The streets of Porvoo's Old Town ascend a steep hill toward an abundance of restaurants, cafes, and specialty shops with traditional Finnish delicacies, such as licorice, as well as other candy stores and antique shops.

  19. 15 Best Cities to Visit in Finland (+Map)

    8. Savonlinna. Lying at the heart of the Saimaa lake region, Savonlinna borders Russia and is beautifully set on a number of small islands. An attractive and picturesque place, two large lakes border it. In summer, it is a delight to visit, as the sun glints off the waters all around Savonlinna.

  20. Things to know before traveling to Finland

    As a nation that prizes extreme apartness, Finns are a touch more reserved when it comes to greetings. Making eye contact and shaking hands is pretty standard; friends and family tend to hug. " Hei " and " moi " are two ways to say "hello.". Repeat the latter twice (" moi moi ") and it doubles as goodbye.

  21. 10 Must-Visit Cities in Finland (& What to See Guide)

    Check the most unique and interesting cities in Finland. Biggest, largest or oldest? You will find the compelling mixture of beauty, history, and nature while visiting them. Besides the well-known Turku, Helsinki, Tampere, Rovaniemi, the more off-the-beaten-path destinations, Kemi, Porvoo, Savonlinna, Joensuu and some more towns made it to the list too.

  22. 30 Incredible Places To Visit In Finnish Lapland in 2024 (+ Map!)

    Best places to visit in Finnish Lapland 1. Rovaniemi. Rovaniemi is most famously known for being the capital of Lapland and the "official" home of Santa Claus.It is also one of the best places in Finland for catching a glimpse of the northern lights.. During World War II, Rovaniemi was almost destroyed, but today, it is a vibrant modern city jam-packed with things to do.

  23. Your Official Finland Travel Guide

    0°C. Helsinki region: cloudy. Use this guide to plan a trip to Finland and immerse yourself in the country's nature, forests, lakes and culture.

  24. Over 20 Things to do Finland + What You Need to Know Before Yo Go

    In Helsinki, the sun is out until around 11pm. Temperatures, even in the summer, are never hot, hovering around 15-20°C (60-70 °F). This is the time to sample fresh strawberries, go on hikes ...

  25. The best holiday destinations for retired travellers

    7. Helsinki, Finland. Condé Nast Traveller called it - Helsinki really is the new Scandi star. While exploring the 146 local walking routes and ticking off as many of the 266 things to do, expect help and smiles at every turn, as Finland recently topped the list of the happiest countries in the world (again). 6. Brisbane, Australia

  26. Summer in Finland

    Season of Midnight Sun. What is Finnish summer like and what can you do in Finland from June to August? We are not called the Land of the Midnight Sun for nothing; the long summer days and white nights are endless. Nature's own light show provides the perfect scenery for cottage holidays, bathing in a sauna, strolling around summer cities ...

  27. Top 10 Most Popular TV Shows on Netflix in Finland

    in Finland Weeks in Top 10 Weeks; 1: Baby Reindeer: Limited Series: 4. 2: A Man in Full: Limited Series: 2. 3: The Roast of Tom Brady: 1. 4: Bodkin: Season 1: 1. 5: ... We consider each season of a series and each film on their own, so you might see both Stranger Things seasons 2 and 3 in the Top 10. Because titles sometimes move in and out of ...