Finland Attractions

Finland Tourist Attractions

Finland, as they say, is “a land of thousand lakes”, with over 70% of land taken over by stunning forests. The country operates on “freedom to roam” policy what Finnish call as ‘everyman’s rights’ that allow people to freely roam anywhere amidst nature without any charge. Across the world, out of the top tourist destinations, Finland is considered as the prettiest countries in the world. The reason is its contrasting landscape that one can witness across the country. Here, the sun rises only for few hours in winter making it the coldest country to midnight sunshine for a month in summer.

From northern lights to numerous churches, gothic architecture, and Santa Claus village, there are plenty of Attractions in Finland that will make you feel like a fairy-tale destination. This exotic destination can be spotted on the world map as the northernmost country in the world and easternmost in Europe, situated between Russia and Sweden. It is an ideal destination for nature admirers who yearn for breathing fresh air, exploring the wilderness, hiking through the sights, and celebrating nature like anything. Finland attracts tourists from all over the world for its famous Northern lights in Lapland and to meet real Santa Claus at any time of the year. The country was ruled by Swedes and Russians and was granted freedom in 1917. The hallmark of their past can be seen scattered across the country in the form of enticing ruins, long & curving cobblestone streets and massive fortresses with gothic architecture. Major cities and towns have evolved with time making capital of Finland, Helsinki the best place in the world for design studios, boutiques, and cafés. Now, let’s talk about Top Finland and Helsinki Attractions.

Best Places to Visit in Finland & Helsinki:

1. Northern Lights

Northern Lights can be best spotted in Finnish Lapland, especially during winters. Widely known as Aurora Borealis, this natural light show can only be spotted in the clear sky. Unlike other countries, Finland has ample open spaces and national parks with enough darkness for viewing northern lights. Since the Finnish northern lights are supposed to be the best, the country offers plenty of resorts and hotels for accommodation and tour operators who specialize in spotting Aurorae. However, Northern Finland is just not about northern lights but there are many tempting activities to do like snowmobile tour, reindeer safari, churches, museums and much more.

 

Northern Lights

2. Suomenlinna Fortress

Suomenlinna Fortress of Finland or Sea Fortress is a world heritage site listed by UNESCO as a unique monument of military architecture. It is one of its kind in the history of Finland as it has served three realms in its past: Sweden, Russia, and Finland. The inception of the fortress started back in the mid 18th century when Finland was still part of Sweden. Today, the fortress is amongst the most popular sights in Finland and home to 800 residents. It can be reached by taking a short ferry ride from Helsinki. With numerous cafes, restaurants, and museums, this place is perfect for a quick escape from bustling city life to a peaceful park-like environment.

 

Suomenlinna Fortress

3. Helsinki Churches

In Finland, traditions have lived strong for centuries. Sami, the oldest civilization of the country believed that there’s a soul in everything. For many years, people from the pagan reindeer herds worshipped god by chanting and drumming. With the invasion of Sweden and later by Russia, Finland traditions have evolved drastically. The Four Famous Churches of Helsinki depicts the evolution of Finland from Swedish territory to Russian outpost, to an independent nation. Starting with Lutheran Cathedral that was commissioned by Russian Czar. It appears as a neoclassical cathedral with green domes. The churchgoers here pay homage to Finland's first overlords, the Swedes. Just a few blocks away is Uspenski Cathedral that stands tall in the city with gold onion domes and red brick walls. Inside the church, the walls depict biblical stories from last supper and ascension. Next is Temppeliaukio Church which is carved from a massive slab of granite with a pile of boulders holding up the ceiling made of 22 Km of copper stripping. It is a popular acoustic hall.

Being the capital, Helsinki has become a bustling city with malls, restaurants, and tourists pouring in. To get some peace in between there is Kamppi Chapel of Silence which was created in 2012. This spot is created strictly for self-actualization and reflection.

 

Helsinki Churches

4. Turku Castle

A granite stone building that has survived for more than 700 years is what is known as Turku Castle. Located near the banks of Aura river, this medieval building is one of the oldest building still in use in Finland. During its history till today, Turku Castle has served as a defensive bastion, an administrative court, a prison, a storehouse, and a barracks. The walls of the castle have witnessed major events in history. The periodic furniture, costumes, and treasures in the museum reflects the time from the past. With a cathedral inside the castle, the building has been standing still since the 1280s.

Turku Castle

5. Santa Claus Village

All your childhood fantasies about Christmas are going to come true when you will meet the real Santa Claus in a village called Rovaniemi. This place in Lapland is the only place in the world where one can meet real Santa Claus at any time of the year. If one is unable to meet him then just drop a postcard at Santa’s office. Despite being the country with the highest standards of living, Finnish families have been following their traditions flawlessly. As compared to other Christian countries, Christmas in Finland is about following traditions that have been passed over generations. On the eve of Christmas, Santa Claus comes on his sleigh to visit all well-behaved Finnish children.

Santa Claus Village

6. Lake Saimaa and Savonlinna

Located in the eastern part of Finland, Lake Saimaa is the fourth largest freshwater lake in Europe spread in an area of 4,400 square kilometers. This lake was formed by glacial melting at the end of ice age. The lake is home for numerous islands. This beautiful Finnish district attracts a lot of tourist throughout the year.

Savonlinna is situated in the southeastern part of Europe in the lap of Lake Saimaa. This lively city is built on islands and possesses incredible natural beauty of Finland Lakeland. The place is a must-visit for tourists as the city offers many activities like snowshoeing, skiing, boating, kayak and much more. The Savonlinna Opera Festival is a worldwide cultural event and now with its stage as Olavinlinna Castle, it has become a historic attraction too.

Lake Saimaa and Savonlinna

7. Porvoo

With an easy reach from Helsinki there lies a small charming city called Porvoo. The city is more than 800 years old and considered as the second oldest city in Finland. The city has been a source of inspiration for many Finnish artists. A day trip from Helsinki or steamboat in summers is all you need to take to reach this serene city. Not exactly located in the coastal area, the city is still connected to the Gulf of Finland via the Porvoo river. The Porvoo river flows down across the city touching most popular the red shore houses. These houses were originally painted red in honor of the arrival of the king of Sweden. Over the years, the city has been an important center of trade.

 

Porvoo

8. Olavinlinna Castle

Located in northernmost Finland this castle is situated in Savonlinna. The building of the castle was started in 15th century by a Danish-born founder of the castle, knight Erik Axelsson Tott. He decided to build fortifying walls to protect the Savo region from Russians. Situated on a small island of lake Saimaa the castle has been part of Great Nordic War (1700-1721), Russo-Swedish War (1741-1743). However, the castle lost its importance after the Finnish War (1808-1809), when Finland became an autonomous part of Russia. Then after, the castle became a tourist attraction and is serving its purpose proudly.

 

Olavinlinna Castle

9. Aland Islands

Located between Sweden and Finland, Aland Islands are an autonomous archipelago with Swedish-speaking people. Aland Islands consist of few large islands and about 10,000 small ones. Aland Islands have an interesting history where Sweden surrenders it to Russia in 1809. Later, a British/French fleet took the island and destroying all the castles. The entire archipelago was demilitarized and it is still the same today. The main attractions of Aland Islands are - Maritime Museum, the Maritime Quarter in Mariehamn, Museum Ship Pommern and Jan Karlsgården open-air museum in Kastelholm. Also, what is worth watching in the Aland Islands is its unspoiled natural landscapes and seascapes.

 

Aland Islands

10. Rovaniemi and the Arctic

The town of Rovaniemi is popular among tourists as “the gateway to the Arctic” since the Arctic that runs through Finland, passes through the town of Rovaniemi. The city is best known as the home of Santa Claus and a place to meet Reindeers. Another attraction of the town is the famous Midnight Sun. Locals and tourists enjoy their attractions outdoors throughout these “white nights”. The town has many natural spots where canoeing, swimming, and fishing can be done, If you love to climb trails then hiking and cycling can be done. Arktikum Science Museum is a place where one can learn about Lapland culture and Arctic natural history, meteorology and geology. Also, meet Sami people here and hop on dogsled safari with them. The city hotels offer rooms with a glass ceiling for viewing northern lights from inside.

Rovaniemi and the Arctic

11. Vaasa

Vaasa was established in the 1300s and was an important town when Finland was ruled by Sweden. Unfortunately, the town burned down in 1852 and was re-established six kilometers away near a better harbor. The old burned town is now converted into a huge park. The town offers numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops for visitors. The main attraction is the peace and serenity that the city offers. People can walk along the waterfront that is extended miles along the coast. Other attractions of the city include Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, the Ostrobothnian Museum, the Terranova Kvarken Nature Center, the Tikanoja Art Museum, and the Vaasa Maritime Museum.

 

Vaasa

12. Tampere

With a population of 234,441, Tampere is a popular inland city located in Pirkanmaa among the Southern region of Finland. It is recorded as the ‘second largest urban area’ and ‘third densely populated isolated city’ which lies in Finland. It is situated between two beautiful lakes, Pyhajarvi and Nasijarvi. In the Finnish industry, Tampere is the erstwhile center with its magnate olden days and is labelled as the “Finland Manchester.” Among the list of tourist attractions in Tampere, some of the famous sites are Nasinneula tower, Sarkanniemi amusement park, Dolphinarium, Tampere city hall, cathedral, Kaleva church, Metso library, and the market hall. With the presence of Vladimir Lenin’s last museum, it is a famous city among visitors in Finland. In 1905, Lenin came to Tampere and met Joseph Stalin in the Bolshevik conference held in the Tampere Worker’s Hall.

 

Tampere

13. Oulu

Oulu is a borough with a community of 202,753 occupants as per the 2018 records. It lies in the North Ostrobothnia, Finland. In the regions of Northern Finland, it is regarded as a densely populated city. It is also titled as the “Europe’s living lab” for the community is involved in experimenting with the latest technologies on a large scale. The city has taken its name from a river Oulujoki. Along with this theory, many other possible reasons also contribute to its name. Each year, several concerts and some cultural occasion are celebrated in the city since it is a residence for many performers, authors, and other geniuses. The visitors can enjoy at Air Guitar World Championships, Oulu Music Video Festival, Musician Music Film Competition held in the month of August. Some of the exquisite museums placed in the city are Tietomaa science center, Northern Ostrobothnia museum, Turkansaari open-air museum, and Oulu Art Museum. The statue of The Bobby and Frans Michael Franzen makes it is a picturesque place to visit.

 

Oulu

14. Hameenlinna

The Burgh occupies a community of about 68,000 residents. It lies in the former territory of Hame, Southern Finland. Being the old central city in Finland, it comes out as a significant topical place in the country. Until the nineteenth century, it was a predominant city in the region of Finland. Jean Sibelius, the composer was born in the city of Hameenlinna. At present, it is a part of the Tavastia Proper. Before 2010, it was a residential place for the provincial governor of Southern Finland. With the presence of a Gothic Hame castle, it becomes a famous tourist attraction place. It is famed for its center of learning which gave education to some of the legendary Finns. Hameenlinna’s life is portrayed from the history in the schools and military presence in the city. It is a place where Finland’s first railway track was introduced between Helsinki and Hameenlinna in the early times of 1862. Next, to the city, a beautiful lake Vanajavesi captures the entire attention of the visitors.

 

Hameenlinna

15. Kauppatori (Market Square) and Esplanade

Helsinki, the capital of Finland is the busiest city in the country. Helsinki port is an important part of the city. This place has a historic market called Market square (Kauppatori) that has been there since 1889. This open-air market is a popular gathering point for farmers, craftsman, food producers, and fishermen. There are two reasons why this market is popular amongst tourists and one of the popular markets in northern Europe? Firstly, that the vendors sell through boats and secondly, the place offers a wide range of art and craft goods, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and baked goods. As the summer approaches, Esplanade becomes a popular place for summer evenings. Kappeli restaurant terrace is a famous point during summer evenings especially when there is a concert in the bandstand. Few more attractions in this place are Street museum and a fountain supporting a statue of Havis Amanda is another design by Eliel Saarinen (who designed Helsinki Railway Station, a landmark in early modern architecture).

 

Kauppatori and Esplanade

16. Lemmenjoki National Park

If you are a nature admirer and want to experience the wilderness then this is the place for you. The boreal forest is one of the largest national parks in Finland with extensive wild lands in the whole of Europe. Trekking can be done across hundreds of kilometers on marked trails and can stop by in free open wilderness huts or rental huts with facilities of sauna and campfire. Lemmenjoki River adds to the beauty of the park as it flows down the fells into the valley of pines. The forest is home for wolves, brown bears, wild golden eagles, moose, and reindeers.

Lemmenjoki National Park

17. Snow Castle of Kemi

Snow Castle of Kemi is the biggest snow fort in the world. The fort is built in every winter in various architectural designs and structures. It was first built in 1996 which drew around 300,000 visitors. The castle has tall buildings and walls, all made up of ice. Every year the configuration of the castle varies, however, few elements like a chapel, a restaurant, and a hotel remains the same. The place offers adventure for children, theatres and light and sound art exhibition for visitors.

Snow Castle of Kemi

18. Skiing in Levi

Levi has the best Skiing and Snowboarding Resort in Finland. The pistes of Levi are liked by families and alpine stars. To enjoy the pristine view of this place hop on to 6-seater chair lift with seat heating and wind-protecting bubble. There are 43 different slopes made according to the ability of an individual. With 124 miles of trails that include cross country ski sections, there are black runs for downhill skiers also. If you are not a skiing person, don’t worry, the place has other activities for you like snowboarding, husky sled rides, and reindeer parks. Levi is also famous for Alpine World Cup Race held every year.

Skiing in Levi

19. Sibelius Monument

Helsinki, the capital of Finland possesses a major landmark in the city called Sibelius Monument. This monument by Eila Hiltunen is dedicated to Finnish national symphonic composer Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957). The monument is situated in Sibelius park in the district of Töölö. The monument is made up of 600 hollow pipes welded together in the form of a wave to depict the essence of the music of Sibelius. Unveiled on September 7, 1967, the sculpture also won a competition organized by Sibelius society.

 

Sibelius Monument

20. Urho Kekkonen National Park

Urho Kekkonen National Park is the second largest protected area in Finland. It extends from the Resort of Saariselkä crossing the Finnish Lapland and goes all the way to the Russian border. The park is famous for its magnificent trek through the Arctic fell. One can trek either on foot or ski and can stop by in wilderness hut for a night. Korvatunturi is a remote fell in this national park, famous as the home of the father of Christmas. The park has marked trails for hiking and skiing. The place adorns wilderness sceneries, crystal clear water running through rivers and stream, mysterious Korvatunturi Fell, and local reindeer husbandry tradition.

Urho Kekkonen National Park

21. Nuuksio National Park

Established in 1994, Nuuksio National Park is one of the 40 National Parks in Finland. A day trip from Helsinki to Nuuksio National Park is a great way to relax in the lap of nature. The park has beautiful lakes, green forests and rugged rock lands. The best way to know the park is by hiking. Both marked and natural trails are available (1.5 - 17 Km). Bike trails and horse trails can also be considered as an option.

Nuuksio National Park

22. Archipelago National Park

Archipelago National Park is situated to the southwest of Finland and was established in 1983. It has a land area of 500 square kilometers. The “non-qualified area” in the park is part of UNESCO biosphere reserves. The purpose of the park is not only to preserve the natural flora and fauna but also to protect the Archipelago culture and traditional agriculture landscape. The park can be explored by boating except for some restricted areas. Building campfires and Camping is permitted in a few places.

 

Archipelago National Park

23. Imatrankoski Rapids

The formation of Imatrankoski Rapids goes back to 5000 years when land rose after Ice age and water of lake Saimaa tore the Salpauselkä Ridge apart. The Rapid has been a famous tourist spot for more than 300 years and was considered as Europe’s most known attractions in the 1800s. Kruununpuisto Park surrounds the area around Imatrankoski Rapids. One can admire the magnificent play of water here and can also go for sightseeing of various monuments. Imatra - one of the largest hydroelectric power plants of Finland can be seen here.

Imatrankoski Rapids

24. Pyhä-Luosto National Park

A National Park in Lapland, Pyhä-Luosto National Park has some of the magnificent landscapes, beautiful natural spots, and peace. The park was made by joining Pyhätunturi National Park (oldest park in Finland) and Luosto, in 2005 making it the oldest and the newest at the same time. The park covers an area of 142 square kilometers. The salient features of the park are geological specialties, old forests, and wetlands.

 

Pyha Luosto National Park

25. Hietaniemi

Hietaniemi is a popular sandy beach in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Located in Töölö district, a few kilometers from Hietaniemi, the place is a popular summer destination for locals and tourists. People come to relax and play volleyball on the sand beach. Also, the Hietsu Beach Volley tournament is conducted every year since 1995.

 

Hietaniemi

 



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