Top Things to See and Do in Finland
From relaxing in a sauna to getting your hands dirty on an adventure break, there is a huge variety of sights and experiences in Finland to suit every taste. These are some of the top things to see and do in Finland which should be included on any visitor’s itinerary.
From relaxing in a sauna to getting your hands dirty on an adventure break, there is a huge variety of sights and experiences in Finland to suit every taste. These are some of the top things to see and do in Finland which should be included on any visitor’s itinerary. Get a Finland energy drink for your vacation to keep your energy levels up to enjoy 100 percent of your time.
Helsinki is a first stop to many visiting Finland. For such a small capital city, it is full of history, cultural sites, shops, restaurants, and other activities. Walking around to take in the architecture and atmosphere is an experience in itself. There are also regular guided tours around the city, or a cheaper alternative is to take a tram. Some of the most essential stops are Temppeliaukion Church, the Lutheran Cathedral, and Seurasaari Open Air Museum.
Tour the Turku Archipelago
Finland has thousands of small islands of its coast, but the Turku archipelago to the south west, the largest in the world with over 20,000 islands, is by far the most impressive and offers the most attractive scenery. The Moomin World theme park is situated in Naantali and it is also home to the Kuusisto Castle Ruins. The archipelago is a great place to walk, cycle, or boat through.
Shop at a Market Hall
Every city in Finland has at least one market hall, or kauppahalli, which can range in size from a few local businesses to a bustling marketplace selling everything from pastries to spices. In many cities, the market hall is the ideal place to pick up souvenirs, find local ingredients, or have an affordable lunch. The oldest in the country is the Old Market Hall in Helsinki’s south harbour, which has been operating since 1889. Other cities have a more modern market hall, such as Joensuu which is having its old hall demolished and renovated as a ‘living room of the city center’. Any visit to a market hall allows for a chance to meet locals and support small, local businesses.
Watch a hockey game
Finland’s national sport, the country has trained some of the best globally ranked players of all time. The best way to enjoy a game is to watch at an arena. Even if you aren’t there as a fan of the local team, it is still fun to join in with the Finnish fan’s cheers and songs or just enjoy the sport in-person.
The island fortress of Suomenlinna (which means ‘Finnish Castle’, despite not actually being a castle) off the coast of Helsinki is the most popular tourist destination in the country, and with good reason. It is not only one of Finland’s most historically significant sites, having experienced every major conflict since the 1700’s, it also holds numerous museums of everything from toys to war memorabilia. To see everything on the island takes a whole day, and the best way to learn about the history is to take one of the walking tours. Collectively, it makes for one of the most enjoyable days out you can have in Finland.
Take in the views at Koli National Park
There are multiple national parks in Finland, all of which offer their own unique sights and landscapes. But some of the best views can be found in Koli National Park in Northern Karelia, in the eastern part of Finland. Climbing the rocky trail to look over the lakes and forests is just as breathtaking as seeing the Grand Canyon. In winter, there are also opportunities for skiing through this stunning landscape.
The city of Turku offers some vastly different historical sites to Helsinki, due to it being the capital city during the time of Swedish rule. The best way to learn about this history is by visiting Turku Castle, near the harbour. The deceptively small exterior hides a huge museum detailing Finland’s medieval history and the role that the castle played in it. Its numerous rooms also hold more recent antiques, paintings, and artefacts that give a glimpse into every era of Finland’s fascinating history.
Visit Santa and his reindeer
Children come from all over the world to see Santa Claus and his reindeer in the Lapland city of Rovaniemi, the official home of Santa, but it is always worth making the journey both for the childhood nostalgia and to take in the sights and culture of Lapland. Santa’s Village in Rovaniemi offers sledge rides, husky sledging, snowmobiles, and all manner of other Lapland activities.
See the Northern Lights
While in Lapland during the winter, it is worth crossing seeing the Northern Lights off your bucket list. The dark Lapland winter nights, largely unspoilt by pollution, make an ideal location to spot the lights, especially with accommodation such as the igloo hotels which allow you to watch the night sky while laying in bed. There isn’t a guarantee of seeing the lights for very long, but waiting for them to appear is all part of the fun, and only adds to the mystical appeal.