Finland is a beautiful country with plenty of exciting activities and attractions to offer tourists. From admiring the northern lights to exploring the vibrant cities and experiencing the Finnish sauna culture, there is something for everyone in this Nordic nation. Here are some of the most important and fun things to do in Finland as a tourist:
Admire the Northern Lights
One of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world, the northern lights are a must-see for any visitor to Finland. Head to Lapland, the northernmost region of the country, for the best chance of seeing this stunning display of colors.
To increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Finland, consider taking a guided tour. Many tour operators offer Northern Lights safaris that take you to the best viewing spots, and some even provide cozy accommodations like igloos or cabins to keep you warm while you wait for the lights to appear.
Finland’s capital city, Helsinki, is a vibrant and exciting place to explore. From the beautiful architecture of the Helsinki Cathedral to the bustling Market Square, there is plenty to see and do in this city.
For a unique and local experience in Helsinki, check out the city’s numerous public saunas. Many of these saunas are located near the water, providing a beautiful view while you relax in the steam.
Experience the Finnish Sauna Culture
Sauna is an integral part of Finnish culture, and experiencing it is a must for any tourist. Head to a traditional Finnish sauna to relax and unwind, or try the unique smoke sauna experience for something a little different. If you want to take your sauna experience to the next level, try a Finnish ice sauna. These saunas are built directly into the ice and provide an invigorating experience for those brave enough to try it.
Explore Finnish National Parks
Finland is home to a stunning array of national parks, with breathtaking landscapes and plenty of opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. Some of the most popular parks include Nuuksio, Koli, and Oulanka. In addition to hiking and skiing, Finnish national parks offer a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Take a guided snowshoeing tour, go wildlife watching, or even try your hand at ice climbing.
Visit Santa Claus Village
Located in Lapland, Santa Claus Village is a fun and magical destination for visitors of all ages. Meet Santa, cross the Arctic Circle, and enjoy a range of winter activities, including dog sledding and snowmobiling. For an unforgettable winter experience, book a stay in one of the igloos or glass-roofed cabins at Santa Claus Village. You can even take a reindeer sleigh ride to see the Northern Lights.
Go on a Reindeer Safari
Another unique experience to enjoy in Lapland is a reindeer safari. Get up close and personal with these beautiful animals and learn about their role in Finnish culture and history. Another way to get up close and personal with reindeer is to try reindeer sledding. Many tour operators offer reindeer safaris that take you through Finland’s beautiful winter landscapes.
Try Finnish Cuisine
Finnish cuisine is a delicious blend of traditional Nordic flavors and modern techniques. Some must-try dishes include reindeer stew, salmon soup, and Karelian pies. Don’t leave Finland without trying some traditional Finnish pastries like pulla and korvapuusti. These cinnamon buns are a staple of Finnish cuisine and can be found in many cafes and bakeries.
Visit the Sibelius Monument
Located in Helsinki, the Sibelius Monument is a stunning tribute to one of Finland’s most famous composers. The monument consists of over 600 hollow steel pipes that create a beautiful sound when the wind blows through them. For a unique and memorable experience, head to the Sibelius Monument at sunset. The beautiful steel pipes of the monument create a stunning silhouette against the colorful sky.
Go Ice Fishing
Ice fishing is a popular pastime in Finland, and it’s easy to see why. Head out onto one of the country’s frozen lakes or rivers and try your hand at catching some of the local fish. If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at ice swimming. Many Finnish saunas have a hole cut into the ice outside, allowing you to take a dip in the freezing water before warming up again in the sauna.
Experience Finnish Midsummer
Midsummer is a big celebration in Finland, with bonfires, music, and traditional food and drink. Join in the festivities and experience this unique and lively event for yourself. Midsummer is a great time to experience Finnish culture and traditions. Head to the countryside for bonfires, traditional food, and a chance to see the sun never fully set.
Finland is a truly special country with plenty of exciting activities and experiences to offer visitors. Whether you’re interested in exploring the great outdoors or immersing yourself in Finnish culture, there is something for everyone in this Nordic nation.
Traveling to and within Finland by Train
Traveling by train in Finland is a convenient and comfortable way to explore the country. The national train operator VR offers efficient and reliable services that connect the major cities and towns. The trains are modern and well-equipped, with comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi on most routes. Travelers can choose from several ticket options, including one-way tickets, round trips, and multi-day passes. Additionally, the trains are environmentally friendly, making train travel a sustainable choice.
Traveling to Finland by train is also an option for tourists. There are direct train connections from several European cities, such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Stockholm. The train journey can be an exciting way to see the scenery of the countries en route, such as the Finnish and Swedish countryside. For those who enjoy the slower pace of travel, the journey can be an adventure in itself. Moreover, train travel is often more affordable and less stressful than air travel, especially for those traveling with bulky luggage or a group.