Finland receives far fewer tourists compared to many European countries, mainly because it is far from the mainstream tourist circuit. That is a pity as there are plenty of things to see and do here. This Nordic country is stunning in natural beauty. There are huge wild areas, lakes, rivers, ancient forests, modern cities, beautiful churches, and a thinly-inhabited archipelago.
Here are the 10 best places to visit in Finland:
The capital of Finland and the port of entry for most tourists. Helsinki looks a lot like Russia’s St. Petersburg, because the city was built to look like it. The Finnish capital has many beautiful churches, important museums, galleries, and interesting architecture. See the art deco architecture of the Parliament House. The railway station is a landmark of architecture. It was designed by the famous architect, Eliel Saarinen. The stadium, which hosted the 1952 Olympics is also worth a visit. See the National Museum of Finland learn about Finnish history. Also, see the beautiful open countryside just beyond the city.
Close to the Russian border, this is a small city in the Lakeland of Finland. It is a historic town that goes back to 1639. It is at the center of the Lake Saimma with small islands all around. The main reason to visit Savonlinna, though, is for the 15th century St. Olaf’s Castle or the Olavinlinna. The castle has been politically and militarily important for a long time. It remains mostly intact to this day. Also, see the Savonlinna Provincial Museum and the Orthodox Museum. Lusto – The Forest Museum, is also worth a visit. Explore the lake and enjoy the beauty of the islands.
This is the northernmost region of Finland. This sparsely populated region is fascinating in natural beauty. Lapland, inside the Arctic Circle, is full of snow-clad forests, icy lakes, and rivers, untrodden wilderness. Stay at the ski resort of Levi to enjoy its beauty. Enjoy reindeer safaris, dog sledding, ice fishing, horseback riding, moonlight trekking, see igloos, and visit the village of Santa Claus and his own post office, from where you can send a postcard back home. You can also see the fantastic Northern Lights. Levi Holidays will be a trip of a lifetime. Visit this site for more information on Levi Finland.
Read also: Top 15 Coldest Countries In The World 2020
4. Åland Archipelago
A series of small islands between Finland and Sweden. There are about 6,700 islands in the archipelago, but just a few of them are inhabited. You will have miles of serene coastline here, fresh seafood, and secluded lodgings. The archipelago offers white-sandy beaches, barren coastal cliffs, fertile farmlands, and forests. Mariehamn is the capital of this autonomous region. Cable ferries and bridges link the central islands. There are kayak-friendly waterways, hiking trails, and many cycling routes.
Turku, Finland’s oldest town, is also the gateway to the Åland Archipelago. Turku was also the country’s capital until 1812. Successors of the Swedish Vikings landed here in the 12th century and subsequently conquered modern-day Finland. You will find 8 centuries of history in the region. See the stunning Turku castle and the Turku cathedral. Close to the cathedral, you will find old sailing ships moored. The city also has many medieval buildings. In the Aurajoki River, many historic boats have been converted into restaurants. Visit the market square or Kaupatori. Also, visit the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum.
6. Finnish Lakeland
A vast area comprising of 55,000 lakes close to the Russian border. Also called the Lake District, it is bound by the stunning Salpausselkä Ridges. Lake Saimaa is the largest one in the district. Many islands have forests. You can hike, boat, and swim here. Explore the region on a kayak or hop on a historic steamboat to cruise through the lakes and canals. See the medieval St. Olaf’s Castle and visit the university town of Jyväskylä.
Kemi is close to Finland’s border with Sweden. This is an industrial city with many pulp mills. Many tourists still visit the city for its iconic snow castle. This three-storied castle made entirely of snow and saltwater ice is built every year. It hosts many musical performances and weddings. You can also stay overnight at the snow hotel. Also, see the Gothic revival structure of the Kemi Lutheran Church. The city also has a vibrant nightlife scene.
8. Lemmenjoki National Park
Finland’s largest park is an Arctic wilderness area. At 2,589 square kilometers, it is huge, one of the biggest wilderness areas in Europe. There are hundreds of kilometers of trails you can explore. Experience the true northern wilderness here. For accommodation, choose from the many rental huts, cottages, cabins, and campfire sites. The beautiful Lemmenjoki River flows through stunning valleys with towering pine trees. You can boat on the river. For wildlife, you have the chance to see the reindeer, moose, golden eagles, wolves, and brown bears. This is also the home of the Sami people, the natives of Lapland.
Close to the city of Kemi on the Gulf of Bothnia. Oulu is a charming town with many prosperous neighborhoods. This university town also has many islets and bridges. It is the fourth largest city in Finland. Oulu has many beautiful parks and ski tracks. The city turns green every summer. There is a ferry service in the summer connecting Oulu with the Hailuoto dune island. You can cross the channel of the foot in the summer as it turns into ice. There are many cycle tracks, but this small city can easily be covered on foot. The city has many boutiques, department stores, restaurants, and cafes.
10. Archipelago National Park
A protected archipelago with many cays, islets, wooded and rocky islands, and sandbanks. It covers 500 square kilometers. Some of the islands here are very small, while others, like the Oro Fortress Island, are larger. There are forest trails and agricultural landscapes. Many flowers and birds to see. The archipelago is only 60 kilometers from Turku. Take the ferry service to visit villages.
Finland is a beautiful country with many attractions and activities. You will easily need more than 2-3 weeks to see most of what the country has to offer.