Bordering Sweden, Norway, and Russia, Finland is one of the world’s most northern countries. Finland is one of the most popular and beautiful travel destinations. It has some of the most captivating views and amazing nightlife. When it comes to must-visit places in Finland, the list could probably go on and on.
Be it hiking, hunting, relaxing in a sauna, camping, or losing your breath to some of the most surreal views, Finland has it all. The culture here is rich, and heritage is well preserved. The people are shy yet amiable. The cafes are cozy, and the coffee is to die for.
The ins and arounds of the whole area have things that could be once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The capital city, Helsinki, stands true to its position with its beauty. This city is the main entry point to Finland for tourists. Turn towards the Baltic port if you are a fan of museums and architecture. And turn to your west if you wish to see the beautiful northern lights and enjoy some of the best winter sports of Finland.
These are just a few of the things that could be done in Finland. Here is a list of a lot of other things that you can do to make your trip to Finland a memorable one.
Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, is a must-visit for a number of reasons. To begin with, the overall architecture and beauty of the city are mesmerizing. This beautiful city connects with inlets, bays, and islands on almost all sides. There is a vivid presence of history and culture at every other stop here.
Helsinki has the beautiful Design District devoted entirely to studios, galleries, and even antique shops dedicated to Finish designers and their work. You can just browse through the lanes or even shop here. Another stop-worthy site of Helsinki are the three churches, two of which are cathedrals, and the third is the Temppeliaukio Church, which is like a tribute to modern architecture.
Helsinki is also known for its mouth-watering food that can be enjoyed while watching some of the most beautiful views around you.
Relax at the Sauna
A trip to Finland without visiting a sauna is a trip wasted. With around 1,88,000 lakes and over three million saunas, you just cannot miss this experience. If you are in Finland, you are most likely to find a sauna at every little distance that you cover.
In summers, people often take a jump in the lake after relaxing a little in the saunas. But mind you, even if you are visiting Finland in winter, the fun shouldn’t stop. You could still jump into the lake and experience ice swimming. Take inspiration from native Finn’s who know how to make the most of their saunas. These Saunas are one way to live life the Finland way and sit back and relax.
Visit Turku and revisit history
The oldest city of Finland, Turku, knows how to carry that charm for all those years. 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. Rich in history and culture, Turku is a must-visit.
To begin with, there is the ancient Turku Castle, the largest surviving medieval building in Finland. There are multiple other museums within the castle as well. Age-old bars are made like prisons and pharmacies that make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. There is a river that can be the highlight of this city with almost ancient boats, some of which have also been converted into mini restaurants.
Apart from this, Turku also has the Kauppatori, which is the market square. There is the Mediaeval Cathedral, Orthodox Church, and the Old Great Square. The city also hosts an annual festival called the Mediaeval Festival. So, in short, once you enter Turku, there is snow falling short of places to visit and things to do.
Experience Reindeer or Dog-sled Riding
Want to experience snow in its best form? Visit the vast snowy lands of Lapland and ride with the reindeers or the husky dogs. This place has a plethora of activities for its tourists. You can ride across frozen lakes and visit Sami villages on a dogsled safari, learn to drive your own reindeer sled, snowshoe, or ski for miles, and or can also get to watch the spectacular northern lights.
Reindeer rides are usually shorter and, therefore, more suitable for small children and families. Both Husky and Reindeer rides are usually available from late October till late spring, even early summer. This Arctic region could be your one-stop to all your snow fantasies.
Explore the National Parks
Finland and National Parks have a long history. There are 40 national parks in Finland, scattered around the country’s archipelago, lakes, forests, and falls. It’s a quick and fun getaway to a day closer to nature. And since Finland has plenty of them in and around the hair chase, there is no need for a lot of traveling.
And if you’re a sports enthusiast and a nature lover, then you could visit the remote Oulanka National Park. This park has a hiking trail of around 80 kms. While hiking is a good option if you are visiting the sparks in summers, snowshoeing and skiing should be considered in winters.
The largest park in Finland and one of the most extensive chunks of wildlands in all of Europe, the Lemmenjoki National Park covers more than 2,589 square kilometers. This park has a river with the same name that flows down from the falls into a scintillating valley of the towering pines. The trekking trail of this park is an abode for trek lovers.
Needless to say, you could also get to see some rare and some common animals. So, natural parks in Finland are a total yes.
Make a stay at the Surreal Kemi Ice Hotel
What is an Ice Hotel? Well, it is exactly what it sounds like, a hotel made totally of ice and snow. The Kemi Hotel is totally worth making a stop at. The average temperature inside the hotel is -5°C. While just paying a visit is sure to give you all the chills, staying overnight will make the experience all the more exciting.
There are even weekly programs allowing different activities and experiences for guests to enjoy. The facilities include heated bathrooms, beds made with lambskin, and sleeping bags with fleece interiors. The rooms have beautiful ice carvings.
The hotel has a little snow restaurant. It has ice tables and seats covered with reindeer fur along with ice sculptures. The hotel also hosts adventure land for children, theater and ice art exhibitions with lights and sound effects, etc.
Camp at Lapland and watch the beautiful Northern Lights
When in Finland, you can’t miss the breathtaking Northern Lights. Although the lights can sometimes be seen even in the southernmost regions of the nation, the best place to see them is in the region close to or north of the Arctic Circle.
An exotic region in Northern Finland located above the Arctic circle, Lapland is heaven for nature lovers. Guess what Lapland has? The official hometown of Santa Claus; Santa Claus Village and Rovaniemi. The extensive pine forests of this place make way for your camp. And guess what? You could also get a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
You could also rent a glass igloo or book Lapland log cabins to enjoy the breathtaking northern lights. You could even ski through the long days of May when the sun decides to stay up all night when your surroundings are still covered in snow. The Northern Lights are visible on roughly 200 nights a year or every other clear night in Finnish Lapland.
One of the best parts of this place is the innumerable campsites. There are innumerable campsite options for you to choose from at Lapland. The complete area of Lapland is naturally very rich. And if you happen to be lucky enough, you could also get a glimpse of the Reindeer.
Finland could easily be called the tourist’s paradise. The options of exploring and places to visit are just endless. Make sure that you have enough time if you are planning a trip to Finland. And make sure that you make the most of this time by visiting as many places and doing as many things as you can.
Be a responsible traveler though, try to understand the local culture before trying to enact any rituals. It is better to learn about the history and culture of any foregin place you are planning to visit. While camping in the snow, please don’t litter your waste around; clean the camping area before you leave.
Even if you have little time, try to experience something of everything. Visit museums, go to churches, relax at Saunas, explore the national parks, shop, explore the culture and eat good food. If you manage to do all of the above-mentioned things and a little of everything, it will surely make your trip to Finland the most memorable one.