Discover the Wonders of Finland: A Guide to Your Next Visit with Visit Finland


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Finland, located in Northern Europe, is a country known for its stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and unique culture. It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east. Finland is often referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes” due to its abundance of lakes, which cover about 10% of the country’s total area. In addition to its lakes, Finland is also home to vast forests, picturesque islands, and breathtaking national parks.

The history of Finland dates back thousands of years, with evidence of human habitation in the region as early as 9,000 BC. Over the centuries, Finland has been influenced by various cultures and civilizations, including the Vikings, Swedes, and Russians. This rich history can be seen in the country’s architecture, traditions, and cuisine.

Finland has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers from around the world. Its natural beauty, including the Northern Lights and midnight sun, attracts nature enthusiasts and photographers. The country’s unique cultural experiences, such as traditional saunas and festivals celebrating Finnish folklore, also draw visitors seeking an authentic cultural experience. Whether you’re interested in exploring vibrant cities or immersing yourself in nature, Finland offers something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • Finland is a country with natural beauty and cultural richness.
  • Top attractions in Finland include Helsinki and Lapland.
  • The Northern Lights are a magical display of colors in the Finnish sky.
  • The Finnish sauna is a relaxing and refreshing tradition.
  • Finnish cuisine is a delicious blend of Scandinavian and Eastern European flavors.

Top Attractions in Finland: From Helsinki to Lapland

1. Helsinki: The capital city of Finland, Helsinki is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that offers a mix of modern architecture and historic landmarks. Must-see sights in Helsinki include the iconic Helsinki Cathedral, Senate Square, Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, and the Temppeliaukio Church (also known as the Rock Church). The city is also known for its design district, which is home to numerous boutiques, galleries, and cafes.

2. Lapland: Located in the northernmost region of Finland, Lapland is a magical destination that offers unique experiences. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, including snow-covered landscapes, frozen lakes, and the famous Northern Lights. Visitors to Lapland can enjoy activities such as dog sledding, reindeer sleigh rides, ice fishing, and snowmobiling. The region is also home to Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, where visitors can meet Santa Claus himself.

3. Other popular destinations in Finland include Turku, the former capital of Finland and home to the medieval Turku Castle; Tampere, known for its vibrant cultural scene and beautiful lakeside setting; and the Lakeland region, which offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking.

Experience the Northern Lights: A Magical Display of Colors in the Finnish Sky

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are a natural phenomenon that occurs in the polar regions. They are caused by charged particles from the sun colliding with atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere. Finland is one of the best places in the world to witness this mesmerizing display of colors.

The best places to see the Northern Lights in Finland are in Lapland, especially in areas away from light pollution. Popular locations include Rovaniemi, Inari, and Kilpisjärvi. The best time to see the Northern Lights is during the winter months when the nights are long and dark. However, they can also be seen in autumn and spring.

To increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights, it is recommended to stay in a remote location away from city lights. It is also important to check the weather forecast and choose a clear night with minimal cloud cover. Patience is key when trying to see the Northern Lights, as they can be unpredictable and may require waiting for several hours.

If you’re interested in photographing the Northern Lights, it is recommended to use a tripod to keep your camera steady and use a wide-angle lens to capture as much of the sky as possible. It is also important to use a long exposure and a low ISO setting to capture the faint lights. Experiment with different settings and be prepared to take multiple shots to capture the best image.

The Finnish Sauna: A Relaxing and Refreshing Tradition

Topic Data/Metrics
History The Finnish sauna has been around for over 2,000 years.
Benefits Relieves stress, improves circulation, detoxifies the body, and promotes relaxation.
Usage Over 3 million saunas in Finland, with an estimated 2 million in private homes.
Traditions It is customary to sit naked in the sauna, and to beat oneself with birch branches to improve circulation.
Etiquette It is considered impolite to wear clothing or bring electronics into the sauna.

The Finnish sauna is a traditional Finnish practice that involves sitting in a heated room and then cooling off in cold water or with a cold shower. Saunas have been an integral part of Finnish culture for centuries and are believed to have numerous health benefits.

A Finnish sauna typically consists of a wooden room heated by a stove that contains hot stones. Water is poured over the stones to create steam, which raises the temperature and humidity in the room. Saunas are usually heated to around 80-100 degrees Celsius (176-212 degrees Fahrenheit).

Using a Finnish sauna involves several steps. First, you should undress completely and enter the sauna room. It is customary to sit on a towel or wooden bench to protect your skin from direct contact with the hot wood. Once inside, you can pour water over the hot stones to create steam and increase the humidity.

After spending some time in the sauna, it is recommended to cool off by taking a cold shower or jumping into a nearby lake or icy water. This helps to close the pores and refreshes the body. It is important to note that saunas are typically enjoyed naked, but some public saunas may have separate sections for men and women or require swimwear.

In addition to traditional saunas, Finland also offers other types of saunas, such as smoke saunas, which use smoke from burning wood to heat the room, and infrared saunas, which use infrared heaters to heat the body directly.

Finnish Cuisine: A Delicious Blend of Scandinavian and Eastern European Flavors

Finnish cuisine is a unique blend of Scandinavian and Eastern European flavors, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The cuisine is known for its simplicity and use of local produce, such as fish, berries, mushrooms, and root vegetables.

One of the most iconic Finnish dishes is salmon, which is often served smoked or cured. Other popular fish dishes include herring, perch, and whitefish. Traditional Finnish cuisine also includes reindeer meat, which is often served as a stew or in sausages.

Berries are an important part of Finnish cuisine and are used in a variety of dishes and desserts. Lingonberries, cloudberries, and bilberries are commonly used in jams, sauces, and pies. Mushrooms are also abundant in Finland and are often foraged and used in soups, stews, and sauces.

Rye bread is a staple in Finnish cuisine and is typically dense and dark in color. It is often served with butter or topped with cheese, fish, or cold cuts. Other traditional Finnish dishes include Karelian pasties (thin rye pastry filled with rice porridge), pea soup (typically served on Thursdays), and kalakukko (a fish-filled pastry).

To accompany their meals, Finns enjoy a variety of beverages, including coffee, which is the most popular drink in Finland. Finland is also known for its vodka production, with brands such as Koskenkorva and Finlandia being well-known internationally. For non-alcoholic options, Finns enjoy berry juices, such as cranberry or lingonberry juice.

If you’re looking to try Finnish cuisine, there are several restaurants and cafes in Finland that specialize in traditional dishes. Helsinki, in particular, offers a wide range of dining options, from fine dining establishments to casual cafes serving traditional Finnish fare.

Outdoor Activities in Finland: Skiing, Hiking, and More

Finland’s natural landscapes offer a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a fan of winter sports or prefer hiking and exploring nature, Finland has something to offer for everyone.

During the winter months, Finland is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding. The country has numerous ski resorts, especially in Lapland, where visitors can enjoy downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding. Popular ski resorts in Finland include Levi, Ylläs, and Ruka.

In addition to skiing, Finland offers other winter activities such as snowshoeing, ice fishing, and ice skating. Visitors can also try their hand at dog sledding or reindeer sleigh rides, which are unique experiences that allow you to explore the snowy landscapes of Lapland.

During the summer months, hiking is a popular activity in Finland. The country has a vast network of hiking trails that traverse its national parks and wilderness areas. Some of the best hiking trails in Finland include the Karhunkierros Trail in Oulanka National Park, the Hetta-Pallas Trail in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, and the Urho Kekkonen National Park in Lapland.

In addition to hiking, Finland offers opportunities for canoeing and kayaking on its numerous lakes and rivers. Fishing is also a popular activity, with visitors able to catch species such as salmon, trout, and pike.

Finnish Design and Architecture: A Unique Aesthetic Inspired by Nature

Finnish design and architecture are known for their unique aesthetic that is inspired by nature. Finnish designers and architects have gained international recognition for their innovative and functional designs.

Finnish design is characterized by simplicity, functionality, and a focus on natural materials. It often incorporates elements of nature, such as wood and stone, and emphasizes clean lines and minimalism. Famous Finnish designers include Alvar Aalto, who is known for his iconic furniture designs, and Marimekko, a textile and clothing company known for its bold prints and colors.

Finnish architecture also reflects the country’s natural surroundings. Many Finnish buildings are designed to blend in with the landscape and make use of sustainable materials. Famous Finnish architects include Eliel Saarinen, who designed Helsinki Central Station, and Juha Leiviskä, known for his modernist designs.

To see Finnish design and architecture in person, visitors can explore Helsinki, which is home to numerous examples of Finnish design. The Design District in Helsinki is a must-visit for design enthusiasts, with its boutiques, galleries, and design studios. The city is also home to several architectural landmarks, such as the Finlandia Hall and the Kamppi Chapel of Silence.

Finnish Festivals and Traditions: Celebrating the Seasons and Folklore

Finnish culture is rich in traditions and festivals that celebrate the changing seasons and folklore. These festivals offer visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Finnish culture and experience traditional customs.

One of the most famous Finnish festivals is Midsummer, also known as Juhannus. Celebrated on the weekend closest to the summer solstice, Midsummer is a time when Finns gather with family and friends to celebrate the arrival of summer. Bonfires are lit, saunas are enjoyed, and traditional dances are performed around a maypole.

Another popular festival in Finland is Vappu, which celebrates the arrival of spring on May 1st. Vappu is a lively celebration that includes picnics in parks, parades, and students wearing white caps as a symbol of graduation.

Christmas is also an important holiday in Finland, with many traditions associated with the season. One of the most beloved traditions is the visit of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Children eagerly await his arrival and leave out a plate of porridge for him.

In addition to these festivals, Finland also celebrates its rich folklore and mythology. The Kalevala, a collection of epic poems, is an important part of Finnish culture and has inspired numerous works of art and literature. Visitors can learn more about Finnish folklore by visiting museums and cultural centers, such as the Kalevala Village in Kuhmo.

Sustainable Tourism in Finland: Preserving the Environment and Local Communities

Finland is committed to sustainable tourism and preserving its natural environment and local communities. The country has implemented various initiatives to minimize the impact of tourism on the environment and promote responsible travel.

One of the key principles of sustainable tourism in Finland is the concept of “everyman’s rights,” which allows everyone to enjoy nature and access public lands, regardless of who owns the land. This principle encourages visitors to respect nature and leave no trace behind.

Finland also has a strong focus on eco-friendly accommodations and activities. Many hotels and lodges in Finland have implemented sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy sources, minimizing waste, and promoting local products. Visitors can also choose to stay in eco-lodges or wilderness cabins that are designed to have minimal impact on the environment.

To support local communities, visitors are encouraged to engage with local businesses and artisans. This includes purchasing locally made products, dining at local restaurants, and participating in cultural activities organized by local communities.

Practical Tips for Your Visit to Finland: From Transportation to Accommodation

When planning your trip to Finland, there are several practical tips to keep in mind:

1. Transportation: Finland has a well-developed transportation system, with options including trains, buses, and domestic flights. The train network is extensive and connects major cities, while buses are a convenient option for traveling between smaller towns and villages. Domestic flights are available for longer distances or when visiting remote areas such as Lapland.

2. Best time to visit: The best time to visit Finland depends on your interests. If you want to experience winter activities and see the Northern Lights, the winter months from December to March are ideal. For hiking and outdoor activities, the summer months from June to August offer long daylight hours and milder temperatures.

3. Accommodation: Finland offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget hostels and wilderness cabins. In cities like Helsinki, there are numerous hotels to choose from, while in more remote areas, wilderness cabins or eco-lodges may be the best option.

4. Currency: The currency in Finland is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it is always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller purchases or when visiting more remote areas.

5. Weather: Finland has a temperate climate with distinct seasons. Winters are cold and snowy, while summers are mild and sunny. It is important to pack appropriate clothing for the season you are visiting, including warm layers for winter and lightweight clothing for summer.

Conclusion: Recap of why Finland is a must-visit destination and how to plan your trip.

Finland is a country that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and sustainable tourism practices. From the vibrant city of Helsinki to the magical landscapes of Lapland, there is something for everyone in Finland.

Whether you’re interested in witnessing the Northern Lights, experiencing a traditional Finnish sauna, or exploring the country’s rich history and culture, Finland has it all. The country’s commitment to sustainable tourism ensures that visitors can enjoy its natural wonders while minimizing their impact on the environment. Finland’s vast wilderness areas, such as the stunning national parks and pristine lakes, are carefully preserved and protected. Visitors can engage in various eco-friendly activities like hiking, wildlife spotting, and canoeing, all while being mindful of their surroundings. Additionally, Finland’s eco-lodges and accommodations prioritize sustainability, offering guests a chance to stay in environmentally friendly establishments that use renewable energy sources and promote responsible practices. By choosing Finland as a travel destination, visitors can immerse themselves in the country’s beauty and culture while contributing to its long-term preservation.

If you’re planning a trip to Finland, it’s important to prioritize your health and well-being. One article that can provide valuable insights is “Recognizing the Warning Signs: Common Heart Failure Symptoms You Should Know.” This informative piece from EU Wellbeing discusses the importance of understanding heart failure symptoms and recognizing warning signs. By being aware of these signs, you can take proactive steps to ensure your health and enjoy your time in Finland to the fullest. To learn more about this topic, visit the article here.


What is Visit Finland?

Visit Finland is the official tourism website of Finland, which provides information about the country’s attractions, events, accommodations, and activities.

What are the popular tourist attractions in Finland?

Finland is known for its natural beauty, including the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun, and the country’s numerous lakes and forests. Other popular attractions include Helsinki, the capital city, Lapland, Santa Claus Village, and the Finnish sauna experience.

What is the best time to visit Finland?

The best time to visit Finland depends on the traveler’s interests. Summer is ideal for outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking, while winter is perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and seeing the Northern Lights. The Midnight Sun can be seen from June to July, while the Northern Lights can be seen from September to March.

What is the currency used in Finland?

The currency used in Finland is the Euro (EUR).

What is the official language of Finland?

The official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. English is widely spoken and understood in tourist areas.

What is the climate like in Finland?

Finland has a temperate climate, with warm summers and cold winters. The temperature can vary greatly depending on the region and the time of year. The average temperature in Helsinki in July is around 20°C (68°F), while in January it is around -5°C (23°F).

What are the transportation options in Finland?

Finland has a well-developed transportation system, including buses, trains, and domestic flights. Helsinki also has a metro system and a tram network. Taxis and rental cars are also available.


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