Finland Travel Guide
- Everything you need to know for your trip to Finland-
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a beautiful Nordic country in Northern Europe, with the borders shared with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, and Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of Bothnia to the west and the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea across Estonia to the south. Finland is not a very first European destination, but it must be visited for travelers who want to enjoy their holiday in a very different country.
Why Visiting Finland?
Finland is a country full of history and culture. You need to visit its historical cities at least once in your lifetime. Turku, the capital city during Swedish rule that lasted from the Middle Ages until 1809. Turku Castle and Aboa Vetus Museum are mus-visits of the city. Helsinki, the capital city, is also full of historic sites, like Suomenlinna Fortress, the National Museum, and the Helsinki Cathedral.
When it comes to nature, Finland is the home to numerous lakes, offering travelers to enjoy fishing and boating. If you like to experience an ultimate destination for isolation, relaxation, as well as easy access to ski resorts, Finland can be a fantastic destination for you.
There are 39 national parks in Finland, which is a notable number. It’s great for cyclists, hikers, ramblers, dog walkers, campers, or anyone looking to get back to nature. The stunning views of the country will help you have an amazing destination for all travelers.
Are you a metalhead? Finland is the best destination for you. Why? Finland has the most heavy metal bands per capita around the world. They are famous for their monster movie-inspired outfits, like Lordi, the only to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Other famous brands are Nightwish, The Rasmus, and Children of Bodom.
Northern lights are the most famous attractions for travelers to Finland. They are visible on 200 nights of the year, which is a huge number. Visiting this phenomenon requires a clean and dark sky, not affected by light pollution.
Reasons for visiting Finland are unlimited. Many other reasons like mouth-watering food, Finnish design, sauna culture, winter activities, silence and peace,clean air, wildlife, etc., should convince you to visit this lovely country at least once in your lifetime.
Finland Top Destinations
Best Time to Visit Finland
The weather in Finland is different from north to south. As a result, the time of the beginning and ending the seasons is not exact and similar in all parts of the country. The same issue comes up with the temperature range.
Spring is the shortest season in Finland when the snow starts melting away and nature wakes up. People and animals come out of winter hibernation, and you can hear birds chirping. The weather is still rainy and cold, but people are happy because summer is closed to them.
People in summer come out of their homes until dawn since the sun never sets, and schools are on break. The sky never gets completely dark, and the sun is down only for a couple of hours a day. Summer is full of festivals, such as Ruisrock, Flow festival, and Blockfest. Nature, saunas, swimming in the lake, and barbecuing are other activities during this time.
Autumn is an explosion of colors when leaves turn red, brown, and yellow. It’s a lovely time for visiting the country, also known as ‘Ruska. It’s the best time for having a fantastic time in the forests and parks. However, you need to know that the weather in autumn is highly rainy and only stops when the snow starts!
Winter is challenging for travelers and foreign students since the days get shorter and darker, and the darkest time is during December. The weather is cold, but the season is beautiful. You can enjoy ice swimming and a hot sauna, which is very relaxing.
Things to Do in Finland
Sleep in a Glass Igloo
Finland is known as “the land of the midnight sun” since the sun does not set at all in the summer months and in the northern parts of the country. In the winter, in contrast, the sun disappears for months, called “kaamos.” It is not completely dark during this time, and the bright snow, the moon, the stars, and the Northern Lights make a magical atmosphere. Make sure to sleep in a glass igloo or cottage to experience it better and better.
Visit a Lighthouse
The largest archipelago in the world is located on Finnish coasts, and the existence of the island is equal to the existence of lighthouses, mostly possible to visit during a day trip. Some of them are also available for a night’s stay. Bengtskär is the tallest lighthouse in the Nordic countries, located on the west coast of Finland. The beautiful island on which the lighthouse exists can be reached by boat from June to August. You can also stay at night because the island has six lighthouse keeper’s rooms to stay in, which you need to book early. If you are staying in Helsinki, then you must have a boat trip and visit Söderskär as well.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are seven World Heritage Sites in Finland six of which are cultural and one is natural. The most popular one is the fortress island Suomenlinna in Helsinki, a unique military architecture in Suomenlinna. It’s only 15 minutes ferry ride from the central market square Kauppatori. Other Heritage Sites are Old Rauma, Petäjävesi Old Church, Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki, Struve Geodetic Arc, and High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago.
40 national parks are in Finland. Interestingly, Finland’s “Everyman’s rights” means that you can go and enjoy anywhere as long as you respect nature. Among these national parks, Urho Kekkonen National Park, Koli National Park, Oulanka National Park, Pyha-Luosto National Park, Riisitunturi National Park, Archipelago National Park, Hossa National Park, Repovesi National Park, Nuuksio National Park, and Nuuksio National Park are notable.
Santa comes from Finland originally! Interestingly, it’s possible to meet him in person since his office is on the mysterious Arctic Circle, in the city of Rovaniemi, available each of the days. Therefore, no matter you are young or old, you can enjoy a private talk with him in a lovely atmosphere.
Pick Berries and Mushrooms
Bilberries, cloudberries, and lingonberries are known as superfoods, the best of which can be found in Finland. These fruits are tasty filled with high levels of vitamins and flavonoids. The best season for picking these foods is July until September. Everyman’s right in Finland guarantees that you can easily pick berries. If you are in Helsinki, the best place for picking these foods is in Nuuksio national park.
Northern Light & Midnight Sun
In the northern sides of the county, in winters, almost every night offers the Northern Lights. On the other side, summers are the opposite in which you can enjoy Midnight Sun. Such phenomenon, especially in Kilpisjärvi, because you can enjoy skiing in the middle of the night but with the sun shining, or in the middle of the darkest day ever, with the northern guide.
Enjoy Saunas and Lakes
The shocking fact is that there are over 3 million saunas in Finland, and Finns go to saunas every week, and some of them, every day! Besides the saunas, there are 188000 lakes in Finland. Interestingly, the cold weather does not prevent people from swimming. In other words, Finns love ice swimming. They make a hole in the ice and enjoy the cold weather.
Local Transportation in Finland
Most cities in Finland, including Helsinki, are compact, and you can explore them on foot. It also can be a fantastic experience to visit the beautiful areas by walking.
Cycling is a very easy, fast, and convenient way of getting around in the cities of Finland. For example, the Baana pedestrian and cycling corridor is a very popular route for cyclists in Helsinki.
Tram is a very convenient and traditional way of getting around in Helsinki. Make sure to check the routes map to avoid any trouble.
Metro Helsinki offers a metro network from the city center to Espoo (M1 Matinkylä/M2 Tapiola) and East Helsinki (M1 Vuosaari/M2 Mellunmäki). It’s a great way to easily access nature from the city center.
Most cities of the country offer a great bus network inside the cities, covering almost all parts of the cities. They are cheap and easy to access.
You can easily take taxis in the cities of Finland. For example, in Helsinki, you can order a taxi by phone or take a taxi on the streets.
Intercity Transportation in Finland
Finnair, the national airline of Finland, offers great domestic flights if you want to explore more cities. However, the prices are high, but sometimes they have special offers. If you take multi-trip flights, it will be a great help for your expenses.
The railways’ system in Finland is very convenient and safe, covering most cities around the country. VR, the Finnish Railway Operator, offers different services, from fast and express trains to the ordinary ones depending on the budget and needs.
Bus is the most popular means of transportation for long-distance journeys, with a significantly comprehensive network. There are two types of long-distance buses in Finland, including vakiovuoro (regular), frequently stopping at towns and villages, and slightly expensive pikavuoro (express).
Since there are many waterways in Finland, cruises play a crucial role in summer transportation in the country. Popular routes are Tampere–Hämeenlinna, Tampere–Virrat, Savonlinna–Kuopio and Lahti–Jyväskylä. Besides, there are coastal routes such as Turku–Naantali, Helsinki–Porvoo, and ferries to the Åland Archipelago.
Flight Deals to Finland
Finland Travel Costs
|Accommodation (daily on average)|
|Budget||€25 – €50|
|Mid-Range||€59 – €117|
|Luxury||€124 – €248|
|Food (daily on average)|
|Transportation (daily on average)|
|Intercity Transportation (daily on average)|
|Entertainment (daily on average)|
|Alcohol (daily on average)|
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Best Hotels in Finland
Find the best hotels in Finland using our best price search engine, or go with one of our All-inclusive tours with 4 Star hotels included. You can book our guaranteed hotels for your extra accommodation; before or after your tour days.
Finland Travel Tips
Finnish and Swedish are the official languages in Finland. There are also some minority languages, including Sami, Romani, Finnish Sign Language and Karelian.
The standard voltage is 230 volts, 50 Hz. Most sockets need Continental or European plugs of the two-round pin variety. Having a universal adaptor is always recommended.
The weather can change in a very short time. Therefore, make sure to check the weather forecast. Also, be aware that the north and the south can have very different weather situations.
Tipping exists in Finland. However, there is no rule for where, when, and how much. It’s included in the bill in many restaurants, but you can add more personality.
Finland is a very safe country, and if you are a single woman traveler, you need to know that Finland is one of the leading countries in gender equality. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about. However, usual precautions are always recommended.
Tap water in Finland is very safe and pure. You can drink the water without any payments.
Wi-Fi is widely available in all hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, and shopping centers, with fast and reliable connections.
Interestingly, there is only one emergency number in Finland. If you have any emergency problem with police, paramedics, firefighters, social services, you need to call 112. If you are visiting Helsinki, you need to call 116117 for the medical helpline.
Currency & Money Tips
The official currency in Finland is the euro, with denominations of five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 for banknotes, and five, 10, 20, and 50 cents and €1 and €2 for coins.
ATMs & Credit Cards
Credit Cards are widely accepted in Finland. Also, ATMs are widely available across the country, even in most remote areas. Using ATMs by Credit Cards is the best way of getting cash in this country.
You can easily exchange your money in banks and independent exchange facilities such as Forex (www.forex.fi). Travelers’ cheques are not very popular, but they can be changed by the same method.
Food & Drink (Finnish Food)
Karjalanpiirakka (rice pies)
Originated in the region of Karelia, Karjalanpiirakka is a very popular pastry in Finland, made up of a rye crust filled with rice porridge and topped with egg butter. You can enjoy this pastry as a breakfast or snack. Interestingly, it serves in the weddings as well.
Ruisleipa (rye bread)
You have definitely heard of rye bread. However, you may not have experienced the very original yet. The 100% rye bread is made from a special Finnish yeast, making a tasty dark and dense bread. It’s a very cultural and traditional food in Finnish culture.
Leipajuusto (bread cheese)
In the United States, people call Leipajuusto (bread cheese) a squeaky Finnish cheese. This cheese is made up of cow’s beestings, which are very rich milk from the cow. Finnish people usually serve this cheese alongside coffee or with cloudberry jam.
Kalakukko (fish pie)
Finnish fish pie is originated in the region of Savonia, traditionally prepared with rye flour, seasoned with salt, and filled with fish, pork and bacon. The bones of the fish are softened, and then the meat and the fish juice will be cooked throughout the bread for hours. The result is moist filling!
Korvapuusti (cinnamon buns)
Korvapuusti, translated as “Slapped Ears” in English, is a type of “Pulla,” which is a Finnish sweet bread. It’s actually a cinnamon roll, usually served with a coffee. The dough is amazing fresh yeast made into milk with lots of ground cardamom.
Lihapullat (Finnish meatballs)
If you are familiar with Swedish meatballs, find them similar. However, the difference is that the Finnish one has fewer spices and herbs. Also, a curd cream called kermaviili is used in Finland’s recipe. The meatball is usually served with cooked or mashed potatoes, gravy, lingonberry jam, and cucumber pickles.
Graavilohi (cured salmon)
Finland is one of the best places in the world for fishing. This feature has made the country one of the main hubs of various fishes, especially salmon. For cooking Graavilohi, we need raw salmon fish cured in salt, sugar, and dill. This dish is served as an appetizer alongside a dill or mustard sauce on bread or with boiled potatoes.
Mustikkapiirakka (blueberry pie)
Finland’s national parks and forests are filled with a healthier and Nordic kind of blueberry, called bilberry. Other kinds of berries are also used to make pies, but Mustikkapiirakka has a unique taste, is filled with yogurt, and is served with fresh milk.
Salmiakki (salty licorice)
Black licorice is very popular in Finland. Salmiakki is a type of licorice-flavored with ammonium chloride for an astringent, salty taste. It’s usually served as candy, but you can use it to flavor ice cream, alcoholic beverages, and even meat.
Poronkaristys (sauteed reindeer)
Poronkaristys is a kind of steak that is thinly sliced, fried in fat, and spiced with salt and pepper. It’s usually cooked in water, cream, or beer until tender, served with sugared lingonberries, mashed potatoes, and cucumber pickles.
Mobile & Internet
If you are going to visit Helsinki only, you don’t need to buy SIM cards to be connected since Wi-Fi is widely available. However, for other cities, buying a SIM card is highly recommended.
The best company
The best company for travelers is DNA. However, if you are going to visit remote areas, then you need to consider Elisa. Generally, there are three major SIM card providers in the country, Sonera, Elisa, and DNA, all of which offer LTE.
How to buy?
You can easily buy DNA SIM cards, even in a convenience store, and you don’t need to provide your ID to buy them. The SIM card is presented to you with mini, micro, and nano cutouts when you buy the package. And that’s it!
- · €4 or €5 for buying a SIM card
- · Loaded with €5 of credit
If you want an unlimited LTE plan, you need to pay €24.90, valid for a month.
Holidays & Festivals
|Name||Date 2021||Date 2022|
|New Year’s Day||1-Jan||1-Jan|
|All Saints’ Day||6-Nov||5-Nov|
Shopping in Finland
Salmiakki is the most popular sweet in Finland, which is a kind of salty licorice. The taste seems strange, but Finns love it. Make sure to buy a few Salmiakkis in the supermarkets
Glassware is one of the most popular items in Finland. Littala is a very famous brand in this industry since 1881, and you can find its products in almost every Finnish house. The interesting point is that they don’t get old, and they last so long.
Kantele is a very traditional wooden stringed musical instrument in Finland. Making this musical instrument is a common thing to do for people participating in craft classes. Also, it’s a very important instrument for folk music students.
Finland is home to saunas, and almost every Finnish home has a traditional sauna. You can buy sauna items to make one at your home, such as buckets, ladles, and cloths for sitting on can be found at many Finnish stores.
Puukko is a traditional Finnish hunting knife, usually sold in a handmade sheath. The strange point is that these knives are usually found in the street markets of Finland. These days, they are used for common aims like preparing fish, leatherworking, and wood carving.
Fazer Sweets are very popular among locals. It’s a very old company since 1891, offering various kinds of pastries, confections, and other food items. Make sure to purchase its products and bring some home.
Sima is an alcoholic beverage with low alcohol, served on labor day with funnel cake. It can also include honey, lemon rind, or raisins.