What Are 10 Best Places to Visit in Finland?
Finland, often called the “Land of a Thousand Lakes,” is a Nordic country renowned for its landscapes, vibrant cities, and unique culture. From the mesmerizing Northern Lights to the serene beauty of its lakes and forests, Finland offers travelers a diverse range of attractions. Our article explores the 10 Best Places to Visit in Finland, providing interesting facts about each destination.
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1. Helsinki: The Vibrant Capital
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a bustling metropolis renowned for its contemporary architecture, rich history, and maritime charm. A beautiful archipelago surrounds this vibrant city on Finland’s southern coast. The iconic landmarks are the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, Helsinki Cathedral, and the unique Temppeliaukio Church, hewn from solid rock.
Facts about Helsinki:
- Helsinki is one of the northernmost capitals in the world.
- The city is home to over 300 islands in its archipelago.
- King Gustav I of Sweden founded Helsinki in 1550.
2. Rovaniemi: Gateway to the Arctic
Rovaniemi, situated in Finnish Lapland, is renowned as the official hometown of Santa Claus. This city offers a magical winter experience, including meeting Santa, witnessing the Northern Lights, and engaging in various snow activities. The Arctic Circle runs through Rovaniemi, providing an opportunity to cross into the Arctic.
Facts about Rovaniemi:
- Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland, the northernmost province of Finland.
- It’s known as the “Official Hometown of Santa Claus,” and thousands of tourists see it yearly.
- Reconstruction of the city after World War II has been meticulous.
3. Turku: A Glimpse into Finnish History
Turku, the former capital, is among the best places to visit in Finland, boasting a fascinating blend of history and contemporary charm. Turku, the oldest city in Finland, is a captivating blend of history and modernity.
It is located on the southwest coast and has a beautiful archipelago and a rich cultural heritage. Turku Castle is a prominent landmark and a window into Finland’s medieval past. The city also houses museums, galleries, and a vibrant food scene.
Facts about Turku:
- Turku was the capital of Finland until 1812 when Helsinki replaced it.
- The Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum in Turku is an archaeological site and museum showcasing the city’s history.
- The Turku Archipelago is one of the largest archipelagos in the world by the number of islands.
4. Tampere: The Manchester of Finland
Tampere, a vibrant city located between two large lakes, is an attractive choice among the best places to visit in Finland, offering a mix of urban and natural experiences.
Tampere, often referred to as the “Manchester of Finland,” is a lively industrial city located between two large lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi. It is known for its industrial history, charming red brick factories, and vibrant cultural scene. Visitors can enjoy the picturesque Tammerkoski rapids and explore attractions like the Moomin Museum and Tampere Cathedral.
Facts about Tampere:
- It was a significant hub for the Finnish industrial revolution during the 19th century.
- Tampere is the birthplace of the Moomins, popular Finnish cartoon characters.
5. Savonlinna: Castle by the Lake
Savonlinna, with its picturesque lakeside setting and Olavinlinna Castle, is a gem among the best places to visit in Finland. Savonlinna, situated in the heart of the Saimaa Lake region, is known for its medieval Olavinlinna Castle.
This charming town is surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Saimaa, making it a haven for water-based activities, including boat tours and fishing. The annual Savonlinna Opera Festival in the castle is a major cultural event.
Facts about Savonlinna:
- Olavinlinna Castle is one of Finland’s most well-preserved medieval castles and dates back to the 15th century.
- Savonlinna is known as the “Pearl of the Saimaa.”
6. Porvoo: A Glimpse of Old Finland
Porvoo, Finland’s second oldest town, boasts charming cobblestone streets and well-preserved wooden houses, making it one of the best places to visit in the country.
Porvoo is a charming town with cobbled streets, colorful wooden houses, and a rich history. It is one of the six medieval towns in Finland and offers a glimpse into the country’s past. Visitors can explore the Porvoo Cathedral and stroll along the picturesque riverfront.
Facts about Porvoo:
- Porvoo originated in the 13th century.
- The Old Town of Porvoo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg was born and lived in Porvoo.
7. Hanko: The Sunny Pearl of the Baltic Sea
Hanko, a charming coastal town situated at the southernmost tip of Finland, is known for its beautiful beaches and sunny climate. It’s a popular summer destination, attracting visitors with its sandy shores, historic villas, and vibrant harbor. The Hanko Peninsula Nature Reserve offers opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and birdwatching.
Facts about Hanko:
- Hanko is known for having the highest annual average of sunshine hours
- in Finland.
- The town is a favorite destination for yachting and sailing enthusiasts.
8. Vaasa: A Coastal Gem
On the west coast of Finland, Vaasa is a dynamic city known for its beautiful archipelago, cultural events, and outdoor activities. It’s a hub for history enthusiasts, with attractions like the Terranova, an old maritime fortress, and the Ostrobothnian Museum showcasing the region’s heritage.
Facts about Vaasa:
- Vaasa is a bilingual city with Finnish and Swedish official languages.
- The city was devastated by a severe fire in 1852, after which careful reconstruction occurred.
9. Oulu: A Fusion of Nature and Urban Life
Oulu, a vibrant city in Northern Finland, offers a unique blend of technology and nature, earning its spot among the best places to visit in finland.
Oulu, located on the west coast of Finland, is a vibrant city renowned for its unique combination of modern urban living and the beauty of Northern Finland. It’s a hub for technology and innovation, strongly emphasizing sustainability. Oulu is also known for its festivals, parks, and cycling paths.
Facts about Oulu:
- Oulu is one of the fastest-growing urban centers in Finland.
- The city is often called the “Silicon Valley of the North” due to its technological advancements and numerous tech companies.
10. Kemi: A Frozen Wonderland
Kemi, located in northern Finland, is renowned for its stunning icebreaker experiences. Visitors can partake in icebreaker cruises and even stay overnight in a unique ice castle. The SnowCastle of Kemi is a significant attraction, boasting beautifully sculpted ice rooms and an ice restaurant.
Facts about Kemi:
- Keeping Kemi’s Snow Castle unique is its constant reconstruction.
- Located on the Gulf of Bothnia, Kemi offers maritime experiences and winter adventures.
Finland is a land of diverse beauty, offering an array of experiences from the bustling city life of Helsinki to the tranquil retreats in Lakeland and the Arctic wonders of Rovaniemi.
Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor adventures, or simply immersing yourself in the splendors of nature, Finland has something to offer. Plan your visit to these 10 Best Places to Visit in Finland and uncover the magic this Nordic gem has to share with the world.