WHY TO VISIT FINLAND
If a dive into nature seduces you then you should go to Finland! Frozen landscapes, sleigh rides, dense forests, lakes and marshlands, this country will take you into a wild and peaceful dimension.
The capital, Helsinki, remains a city with a very human dimension: The market square, parks, canals, museums, the Rock Church and the lively cafes make it a very pleasant destination.
Turku is the oldest city of Finland: The medieval district of Luostarinmäki will seduce you with its wooden houses where craftsmen use their skills to make handicrafts in front of you, and you will be charmed by its unique castle.
The province of Aland is a great stopover in your trip: It boasts 6,400 islands and has a very original identity, you can explore this place by bicycle to enjoy its beautiful landscapes.
Rauma city has been declared as a Unesco World Heritage site: It is built of wood and has several museums, many active trades can be found here with craftsmen using their ancient skills in old workshops. Feel free to stroll along the narrow streets of the old city.
Finally go to Lapland to go trekking on the bear trails in the Oulanka National Park, or extreme sports fans may enjoy a rafting expedition in the Kitkajoki, the culturally minded may prefer to explore the cave paintings in the Hossa area.
WHAT TO SEE IN FINLAND
Top destinations in Finland are:
WHEN TO GO TO FINLAND
Weather in Finland
Best period to visit Finland is from May to August.
In the south, spring usually begins around mid-April, though it can remain chilly in a number of places until May, especially in Lapland, where it’s not unheard of to find snow hanging around nearly until the beginning of summer.
Definitively the best time to visit Finland is during the summer months of June, July and August, when the climate is warmest, the days are longest and the blossoming landscape at its prettiest, and when tourist facilities and transport services operate at full steam. Bear in mind though that August is vacation month for Finns, who tend to head en masse to the countryside or the coast just after midsummer – though even then, only the most popular areas are uncomfortably crowded. Summer is almost always sunny and clear, with temperatures rarely stifling: the warmest month is July, which averages 17°C (62°F), though highs of 26°C (32°F) are not unheard of, especially in the interior. The best times to visit Helsinki are May, early June and September – though you’ll find plenty going on throughout the year.
Visually speaking, autumn is a superb time to visit the country, especially in Lapland during ruska-aika (russeting): the lower fells become bathed in golds and oranges, bracken and beech glow bronze, poplars cloak the hills in yellow and the higher hills turn a deep crimson. Bear in mind though that the coastal waters can be fairly nippy as early as September, and that most sights and attractions have reduced hours outside of high season, from mid-September onwards.
Long, dark and cold, Finnish winters are nevertheless far from inordinately severe or intolerable. Although temperatures can drop as low as minus 7°C (19°F) – and at times colder – things generally tend to hover just below freezing. The best part about the chillier months is the amazing variety of outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice diving, jumping off an ice breaker into freezing cold waters and – of course – that most quintessentially Finnish of pastimes: broiling in a rural sauna before cooling off in the frigid waters of a nearby lake. During the darkest months, when daylight is in short supply, pints of beer and slugs of national drinks such as salmari and fisu – admittedly extremely acquired tastes – help to keep the cold at bay, and Finns muster up no small amount of charm and hospitality, especially if it involves passing on their quirky traditions and wry humour to the unsuspecting visitor.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Finland
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH FINLAND
To travel within the country, airplanes, trains and buses are both frequent and efficient. The bus is the most comfortable method to reach the more inaccessible places. Riding a bicycle is also very practical. Ferries enable you to cross rivers and lakes almost everywhere.
by plane, main airports are:
GENERAL INFORMATION ON FINLAND
country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa
health tips & vaccination: none
local currency: European euro
local time zone: GMT+2 (+3)
electricity: type C and F (230 V - 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN FINLAND
typical food in Finland
- Kalakukko: A thick rye loaf filled with lake fish.
- Karjalanpiirakka: A savoury pastry stuffed with rice pudding and eaten with egg butter.
- Lihapullat: Beef and egg meatballs, traditionally served with lingonberries and gherkins.
- Poronkäristys: Sautéed reindeer eaten by the Sámi.
- Pullat: Sweet cardamom-flavoured buns – a traditional accompaniment to coffee.
- Leipäjuusto: Cow’s milk cheese oven-baked or fried leaving it brown on the outside with a squeaky interior.
- Vispipuuro: A cold whipped semolina porridge flavoured with berries.
- Silakat: Breaded pickled herring seasoned with salt and fried.
- Perunarieska: A flatbread made from potato, often served with gravlax.
- Kirelian Piirakkas: traditional sweet and tasty pasties.
- Lakkakakku: A cloudberry (a tart Arctic berry) cake.
- Koskenkorva: A clear, distilled grain spirit usually served ice-cold and straight up.
- Berry liqueurs: Try mesimarja (arctic bramble), lakka (cloudberry) and polar karpalo (Arctic cranberry).
souvenirs from Finland
- Takana and Marimekko wall hangings
- Iittala glassware
- Arabia ceramics
- Lapp hat
- Ryija rugs
- Wooden sauna bucket and ladle
- Kuksa wooden drinking cups
- Kantele, a traditional string instrument native to Finland
- Moomin Trolls
- Christmas ornaments
- Puukko, the Finnish hunting knife
- Fazer candies, salty liquirice candies or Salmiakki chocolate candies with salty taste
- Finnish Vodka and liqueurs
How are you?: Kuinka voit?
Thank you: Kiitos
What is your name?: Mikä sinun nimesi on?
How much is it?: Paljonko se on?