Fly into Helsinki and enjoy the splendours this compact city has to offer. Helsinki is a great mix of historical buildings and stunning sleek modern buildings created by urban designers. You’ll hear, over and over again, that “it is the Finnish lifestyle” to incorporate the old and the new so artistically. Contemporary spaces will include eco-friendly designs matched with either local resources or only the best quality imports. Everything from boutique shops, to vibrant cafes, to fine dining, and even outdoor forest museums. Seurasaari Open-Air Museum features historical wooden buildings brought in from around the country!
Places to Visit in Finland
- Aland Islands
Unique Things to See and Do in Finland
- Relax in a warm sauna – Finnish style
- Visit the Olavinlinna Fortress in Suomenlinna
- Stay at the Kakslauttanen Igloo Village (Ice Hotel)
- Take a ride with a local Sami on a reindeer pulled sleigh
- Eat amazing fish or try leipäjuusto (Finnish cheese) at the Market Square in Oulu
Head south west to the coastal region of the Aland Islands. This grouping of over 500 islands is actually closer to Sweden to than it is Finland and is home to 100% autonomous Swedish speaking people. They have their own currency, governance, and are demilitarized even though they fall under the sovereignty of Finland. The Aland Islands rely heavily on tourism and offer some great hospitality and some good ol’ rest and relaxation.
Scandinavia vs Nordic.
One of the common misconceptions is that Finland is part of the “Scandinavian” countries, but according to the Finnish it is actually part of the “Nordic” countries that include Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. The term “Scandinavia” refers to the cultural-linguistic region with an ethnocultural Germanic heritage. Finland neighbours Russia to the east and Sweden to west.
Getting Around Finland
Finland is a fairly large country so many people opt to fly rather than drive, particularly if you’re visiting for only a short period time. Flights with SAS offer some discounted rates, especially if your flying in from overseas, which is great way to bring some costs down. Of course, during the summer months the best way to get to all the rural lakes is by car. Book your car rentals and flights in advance to save on costs – and fly into the nearest town if you need to save time. Road conditions are rough in the winter and require winter tires. Gas is expensive and be sure to have a chip based credit card and cash for the more rural areas.
Travelling by public transport is the most common way to get around. Finland has an extensive railway system, and when the schedules don’t align you can always catch a bus. Within the cities, most of the public service ends at midnight and late nighters will need to take taxis. If you call a taxi the fare starts at the time the call was received and not when they pick you up. To avoid this additional cost you can queue up for taxis on the street.
Did you know…?
There are literally millions of saunas in Finland. Not a luxury but rather a necessity according to Finnish customs. Be sure to try the birch leaves!
Did you ALSO know…?
The amount you are fined for a speeding ticket depends on how much you earn! According to Finbay, the highest ticket served was 170,000 euros!
Best Time of Year to Travel to Finland
Finland has a temperate climate but can be cold. July is the warmest month of summer and the most popular time to visit. The temperatures average around 21-23C, but can occasionally reach highs of 30C. If you’re a skier, then the spring months in the northern regions are popular. March and April are when the days start to warm up and the snow begins to melt in the cities.
Of course, the most notable time to visit, in terms of weather, is during the midnight sun in the summer months – when the sun never sets during the night and it’s bright out all day long. And contrasting that there is the arctic night in the winter – when the sun never appears at all. In the south, there is a bit of sun during winter but there is never any darkness during the midnight sun days.
Ready to plan your visit to Finland? Check out these popular guides and trips.