Best Places to Visit in Finland
Best Places to Visit in Finland

If you’re looking for travel destinations that offer stunning natural landscapes, unique cultural experiences, and must-see attractions, then Finland should definitely be on your list. With so many top tourist spots in Finland, it can be challenging to decide where to go first. That’s why we’ve put together a Finland travel guide for exploring Finland – highlighting the 15 best places to visit in Finland, from hidden gems to tourist hotspots.

Whether you’re looking for Finnish landmarks, exploring Finland’s cities, or planning a Finland vacation packed with activities, our guide has got you covered. So, pack your bags, and get ready to uncover the northern charm of Finland. Let’s dive into the top 15 best places to visit in Finland!

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Helsinki – The Capital City

Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, is a fascinating blend of modern architecture and historic charm.

Helsinki is home to many iconic landmarks that showcase the city’s rich history and culture. The Helsinki Cathedral is a stunning neoclassical building that dominates the skyline and is a must-visit attraction. Another landmark worth visiting is the Suomenlinna Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the 18th century and played a significant role in the city’s history.

If you’re interested in exploring the city’s cultural offerings, Helsinki has a lot to offer. The city is home to many museums, including the Ateneum Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. You can also enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife, which includes numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants offering Finnish cuisine.

Helsinki is the perfect starting point for exploring the rest of Finland. The city has excellent transportation links, including an international airport, bus and train stations, and a ferry terminal. From Helsinki, you can easily travel to other cities and tourist hotspots in Finland.

Finnish landmarks in HelsinkiExploring Helsinki
Helsinki CathedralVisit the many museums
Suomenlinna FortressEnjoy the vibrant nightlife
Ateneum Art MuseumTry Finnish cuisine in local restaurants
Museum of Contemporary Art KiasmaUse excellent transportation links to explore other cities

Helsinki is a must-see destination on any Finland travel guide. Whether you’re interested in Finnish landmarks, exploring the city’s vibrant culture, or using it as a base to explore the rest of Finland, Helsinki has something for everyone.

Helsinki

Rovaniemi – The Official Hometown of Santa Claus

Experience the magic of Christmas year-round in Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus. Located on the Arctic Circle, this charming city is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Finland.

One of the top Finnish landmarks, Santa Claus Village is the main attraction in Rovaniemi. Here, you can meet Santa himself, cross the Arctic Circle, and send postcards from the Santa Claus Post Office. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights, which can be seen from Rovaniemi between September and April.

There are plenty of winter activities to enjoy in Rovaniemi, including reindeer sleigh rides, husky safaris, and snowmobile tours. For something more unique, try ice fishing, snowshoeing, or even spending a night in an ice hotel.

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Rovaniemi Northern Lights

“Rovaniemi was absolutely breathtaking! The Santa Claus Village was a dream come true, and the Northern Lights were the icing on the cake. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never forget.” – Sarah, New York

Make sure to explore the city of Rovaniemi as well. Visit the Arktikum Museum and Science Centre to learn about the unique Arctic environment and the culture of the Sami people. The Korundi House of Culture is another must-visit attraction, featuring contemporary art exhibitions, concerts, and events.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or with friends, Rovaniemi is a destination you won’t want to miss on your Finland travel guide. It’s a hidden gem that offers a truly unforgettable experience of exploring Finland.

Turku – The Historic Capital

Step back in time and discover the former capital of Finland – Turku. Located on the southwest coast of the country, Turku is a charming city with a rich history and impressive landmarks.

The Turku Castle

Turku Castle

One of the most iconic landmarks in Turku, the Turku Castle was built in the 13th century and has served many purposes over the years – from a military fortress to a prison. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction, offering guided tours and medieval-themed events. Explore the castle’s many rooms and halls, and admire the impressive defensive walls and towers.

The Turku Cathedral

The Turku Cathedral is another must-see attraction in the city. Built in the 13th century, the cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Finland and an impressive example of medieval architecture. With its towering spires and richly decorated interior, the Turku Cathedral is a true masterpiece.

The Old Town

The Old Town of Turku is a charming district with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and cozy cafes. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets and admire the historic architecture, including the iconic red wooden houses. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Turku Market Square, where you can sample local delicacies and shop for souvenirs.

Riverfront Culture

Turku is also known for its vibrant riverfront culture. Take a boat tour along the Aura River, visit the Turku Art Museum, or attend a concert or festival at the Logomo Cultural Center. There are plenty of activities to choose from, catering to all ages and interests.

Local Cuisine

No trip to Turku is complete without trying some of the local cuisine. Finnish cuisine is known for its hearty and flavorful dishes, featuring a range of fresh ingredients and traditional flavors. Head to one of the many restaurants in the city and indulge in a delicious meal, from grilled salmon to Karelian pies.

With its impressive landmarks, charming streets, and vibrant atmosphere, Turku is a must-visit destination in Finland. Consult your Finland travel guide and plan your trip to this historic capital now!

Lapland – Winter Wonderland

As one of the most popular destinations in Finland, Lapland offers an enchanting winter wonderland experience that you will never forget. This magical destination has something for everyone, from travelers seeking adventure to those looking for a relaxing escape.

There are numerous Finnish landmarks that you can explore in Lapland, including the Santa Claus Village, which boasts an array of fun winter activities, such as reindeer sleigh rides and ice fishing. The Northern Lights are also visible here, providing a breathtaking natural display that is sure to leave you in awe.

When exploring Finland, Lapland is a must-visit destination. It offers a wide range of Finland vacation ideas, including dog sledding, snowmobiling, and staying in cozy wooden cottages.

Exploring Lapland’s National Parks

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Lapland is by visiting its national parks. Some of the most popular ones include:

National ParkLocationNotable Features
Urho Kekkonen National ParkEastern LaplandScenic trails, lakes, and rivers
Pallas-Yllästunturi National ParkWestern LaplandFells, forests, and breathtaking views
Riisitunturi National ParkCentral LaplandFrozen landscapes and snow-covered trees

Exploring Lapland’s national parks is a popular Finland travel guide, recommended by many travelers who have visited the stunning region.

Lapland Winter

Staying in Lapland’s Wooden Cottages

Staying in a cozy wooden cottage is a quintessential Lapland experience. Here are some of the best options for your Finland vacation:

  • Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – featuring glass igloos for the ultimate Northern Lights experience
  • Levin Iglut – offering luxury igloos with panoramic views of the starry sky
  • Harriniva Holiday Center – a family-friendly resort with traditional log cabins and easy access to outdoor activities

Staying in a wooden cabin is a great way to immerse yourself in Lapland’s peaceful atmosphere and unique culture.

Åland Islands – Archipelago Paradise

Escape to the peaceful Åland Islands, a beautiful archipelago located between Finland and Sweden. With over 6,500 islands and islets, this region boasts stunning natural landscapes and a unique cultural heritage.

Explore iconic landmarks, such as the Maritime Quarter and the Aland Art Museum, and enjoy the island’s cultural offerings, including traditional crafts and local cuisine. The Åland Islands also offer a range of outdoor activities, including kayaking, biking, and fishing.

For a truly unique experience, stay in a traditional red cottage by the sea and enjoy the tranquility of island life. With its beautiful beaches, picturesque villages, and friendly locals, the Åland Islands are the perfect destination for those seeking a relaxing and authentic Finnish experience.

Åland Islands

“The Åland Islands are a true hidden gem in Finland, offering visitors stunning natural beauty and a unique cultural experience. From exploring historic landmarks to enjoying outdoor activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy on these beautiful islands.”

Tampere – The Culture Hub

When exploring Finland, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and entertainment scene of Tampere. With a wide range of museums, galleries, and theaters, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this cultural hub.

Start your visit with a trip to the Tampere Art Museum, showcasing an impressive collection of Finnish art from the 19th century to the present day. Next, head to the Lenin Museum, located in the Tampere Workers’ Hall, for a unique look at the life and legacy of Vladimir Lenin.

No visit to Tampere is complete without a stop at the Moomin Museum, dedicated to the beloved characters of Finnish author Tove Jansson. Explore the magical world of the Moomins through interactive exhibits and displays.

For a taste of Tampere’s natural beauty, take a stroll along the beautiful lake scenery at Pyynikki Observation Tower. End your day with a visit to the lively Tammelantori Market Square, where you can sample local delicacies and immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of Finnish culture.

Tampere

“Tampere is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Finnish culture and arts. The city’s museums, galleries, and theaters offer a unique glimpse into the country’s rich history and artistic heritage.”

Savonlinna – The Castle Town

Located in the heart of the Finnish lakeland, Savonlinna is a picturesque town famous for its stunning castle – Olavinlinna. Dating back to the 15th century, this medieval fortress is one of the most popular Finnish landmarks and a must-see for visitors exploring Finland.

The castle offers guided tours that take you through the fascinating history of the region and the castle itself. You will have the opportunity to see the medieval torture chamber, learn about the castle’s role in Finnish history and explore the beautiful inner courtyard.

Aside from the castle, Savonlinna is also a hub for music and culture, home to the annual Savonlinna Opera Festival. During this festival, visitors can enjoy world-class opera performances within the stunning castle walls, making it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you’re interested in exploring the town’s local culture, head to the market square and sample some traditional Finnish cuisine, or take a boat ride out to the nearby Linnansaari National Park to explore the stunning natural beauty of the lakeland region.

Top Attractions in Savonlinna

AttractionDescription
Olavinlinna CastleA medieval fortress and one of the most famous Finnish landmarks.
Savonlinna Opera FestivalAn annual music festival that takes place within the castle walls.
Market SquareA hub for local culture and traditional Finnish cuisine.
Linnansaari National ParkA nearby national park with stunning natural beauty.
Savonlinna Castle

Discover the history and beauty of one of Finland’s most iconic landmarks – Olavinlinna Castle in Savonlinna. Its stunning medieval architecture and rich history make it a must-see destination for anyone interested in exploring Finland.

Porvoo – A Taste of History

As one of Finland’s oldest cities, Porvoo is a must-visit destination for history buffs. The charming cobblestone streets of the Old Town are lined with iconic red wooden houses, giving the city a unique atmosphere that’s perfect for exploring on foot.

Porvoo Cathedral

One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Porvoo Cathedral, which dates back to the 15th century. With its distinctive green spires and beautiful frescoes, the cathedral is a stunning example of medieval architecture.

Old Porvoo

The Old Town of Porvoo is a living museum that transports you back in time. Wander through the narrow streets, admire the well-preserved buildings, and discover hidden gems like antique shops and cafes.

Porvoo

The Porvoo Museum

The Porvoo Museum is a great place to learn about the city’s rich history. Housed in an old granary, the museum showcases exhibitions on local folklore, maritime history, and the famous Porvoo Agreement.

Porvoo Market Square

The Market Square of Porvoo is another must-see attraction. The square is surrounded by colorful buildings and is home to a lively market where you can buy fresh produce, local crafts, and souvenirs.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a unique destination to explore, Porvoo is a city that’s sure to capture your heart. Add it to your Finland travel guide and experience the city’s charm for yourself.

Lakeland – Nature’s Playground

Finland’s Lakeland region is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers looking for a peaceful retreat in nature. The region is home to over 55,000 lakes and vast forests, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Lakeland is dotted with charming small towns and villages, each offering a unique glimpse into Finnish culture and history. Explore the town of Mikkeli, home to the oldest church in the region, or visit the town of Savonlinna, famous for its picturesque castle – Olavinlinna.

One of the best ways to explore Lakeland is by boat. Rent a traditional Finnish rowboat or a motorboat and cruise along the tranquil lakes, enjoying the peaceful scenery and fresh air. If you prefer more adventurous activities, kayaking or stand-up paddling is a great way to explore the hidden bays and inlets of the region.

Lakeland Finland

Lakeland also offers a range of hiking and biking trails, perfect for those who want to explore the region on foot or by bike. Visit the Kolovesi National Park, known for its rugged landscapes and lush forests, or hike along the trails of Leivonmäki National Park, famous for its crystal-clear lakes.

Top Attractions in Lakeland, Finland

AttractionDescription
Kolovesi National ParkKnown for its rugged landscapes and lush forests, Kolovesi National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Explore the park by boat or hike along the scenic trails.
Leivonmäki National ParkWith its crystal-clear lakes and beautiful forests, Leivonmäki National Park is a great destination for hiking, biking, and fishing.
Olavinlinna CastleSituated in the town of Savonlinna, Olavinlinna Castle is a picturesque fortress and a popular tourist attraction in Lakeland.
Mikkeli CathedralVisit the oldest church in the Lakeland region and explore the beautiful architecture and historic atmosphere of Mikkeli Cathedral.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat in nature or an active adventure, Lakeland is a must-visit destination in Finland. Plan your trip now and experience the beauty and tranquility of this hidden gem for yourself!

Oulu – Urban Oasis

As you continue exploring Finland, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Oulu, a city that merges modern architecture with a lively arts scene. Located on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia, this hidden gem offers a unique atmosphere that will enchant you.

The centerpiece of Oulu’s cultural offerings is the Tietomaa Science Center, where you can learn about science in a fun and interactive way. Another must-visit site is the Nallikari Beach, where you can take a stroll on the long sandy beach or enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea. You can also explore the Ainola Park, which features a beautiful Japanese garden that will transport you to another world.

If you’re looking to experience the local culture of Oulu, one of the best times to visit is during the summer markets. These bustling events offer a wide range of local foods and crafts, making them the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Finnish traditions.

When planning your trip to Oulu, make sure to include these landmarks:

LandmarkDescription
Oulu CathedralOne of the most iconic landmarks in Oulu, the Cathedral dates back to the 18th century and features stunning architecture and beautiful frescoes.
Tietomaa Science CenterA great place to learn about science, technology, and the world around us. Perfect for families and science enthusiasts.
Nallikari BeachA long sandy beach located just outside the city, providing a relaxing escape from the bustle of urban life.
Ainola ParkA peaceful oasis within the city limits, featuring a Japanese garden and a beautiful pond.

As you can see, Oulu has plenty to offer for those looking to explore Finland’s hidden gems. Include it in your Finland travel guide and enjoy the unique atmosphere this city has to offer.

Oulu urban cityscape

Kemi – Icebreaker Adventures

Looking for an exciting winter adventure? Look no further than Kemi, a hidden gem in Finland that offers a unique range of icebreaker experiences.

Take a cruise on an icebreaker ship and marvel at the stunning icy landscapes of the Gulf of Bothnia. The majestic ships break through the frozen sea, creating a one-of-a-kind experience that you won’t forget.

Visit the SnowCastle, a stunning hotel and event venue that is made entirely out of snow and ice. The SnowCastle is rebuilt every year with a different theme, showcasing the incredible talent of local ice artists.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at ice fishing or snowshoeing. Kemi is the perfect place to explore the winter wonderland of Finland.

Kemi Icebreaker

“The experience of cruising on an icebreaker in the frozen sea is nothing short of magical. Kemi is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable winter adventure.”

Conclusion

In conclusion, you now have a better understanding of the 15 best places to visit in Finland. From the vibrant capital city of Helsinki to the peaceful archipelago of Åland Islands, Finland offers a diverse range of cultural and natural attractions for you to explore.

Plan your trip to Finland

Whether you’re interested in witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights in Lapland or tasting the history of Porvoo, Finland has something for everyone. To make the most of your trip, plan ahead and consider visiting multiple destinations.

Discover hidden gems in Finland

While the destinations mentioned in this guide are some of the most popular tourist spots in Finland, there are many more hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten track and explore the lesser-known regions of this beautiful country.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Finland and uncover the northern charm for yourself!

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