Magical country with white and green nature, with dark days and bright nights, make people wonder what
else it keep inside and It is everybody’s advantage to come to realize these by themselves. Finland is the country where you have the opportunity to experience something unique like the refreshing ice sauna, a snow castle in the summer or enjoying the spectacular northern lights in a glass igloo. Experience this young and beautiful country and its people, the Finns, by dancing at its many summer festivals, immersing yourself in its versatile snow activities, enjoying local dishes and cuisine across the country, and learn a bit of local lingo. The Finnish language is completely different from the other Nordic languages and its uniqueness can make it challenging to learn it. Luckily English is widely spoken in Finland. Tervetuloa-Welcome, Kiitos-Thank you.
Finland’s nature is very unique and enchanting; the air is the third freshest and purest in the whole world,there are over a hundred thousand lakes in Finland, and over 70% of its land is covered in green forests with rich wildlife. Finland has lush and green summers, colourful and fresh autumns, crisp white winters, and the nature awakens again in beautiful spring time. Every season has its own spark, charm, and activities.
There is much more to Finland than its beautiful and versatile nature and exciting activities. Finland is also
the home of the world famous Santa Claus, who lives and receives a lot of visitors in his Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. You have probably also heard of the popular video game franchise Angry Birds, which was created by Finns. Finland is also well-known worldwide for its excellent education system and its social welfare. Another thing that is strongly connected to the Finnish culture is its sauna culture. Did you know that Sauna is actually a Finnish word? Sauna is the place where people of all ages can relax and detox both body and mind all year round. There are over two million saunas in Finland and almost every house and summer cottage has one.
Finland is also big on sports. The national sport of Finland is Pesäpallo (Finnish baseball) and other popular
sports include Ice Hockey, Formula One, and Rally, to mention a few. But have you ever heard of our crazy
summer sports such as Wife Carrying, Swamp Soccer, or Mobile Throwing? Finland actually hosts the
World Championships in these sports every summer, which can provide an unforgettable and fun
experience on your visit.
Language: Official languages are Finnish and Swedish. English is widely spoken.
Population: The population of the country is 5.5 million. The population of the capital city of Helsinki is around 630,000 and the metropolitan population (including Espoo and Vantaa) of around 1.4 million. The Helsinki international airport is located in Vantaa. Finland is a parliamentary republic and became a member of the European Union in 1995.
A bit of history:
About 10,000 years ago, people started moving to Finland. Finland was part of Sweden since the turn of the century.
In 1809 Finland belong to Russia, during this time Finland had self-government even though the Finnish ruler was the Russian emperor. Finnish language, Finnish culture and economy developed a lot during Finland’s membership in Russia. Finland resigned from Russia and got Independency 6th of December (1917), Finland just celebrate its 100 years in 2017.
The Nordic countries are Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. The Scandinavian peninsula includes Sweden and Norway, and the northwestern part of Finland. Some also call Finland as Scandinavian country because it has historically been under the Swedish administration, giving rise to Scandinavian roots. Finland is about 338 448,72 squre meters and it is over 1000 kilometers long, so differences with temperatures might reach up to 20 degrees between south and north especially at winter. Lapland Is the northes´t region in Finland. It is the snowiest part at winter and sunniest at summer, meaning when the sun
does not go down at all at midsummer.
How to get around?
It is easy to get around with public transport, especially in the Helsinki metropolitan area, where public transport is very comprehensive, even late at night. Helsinki is also the only city in Finland that has tram and metro as a means of public transport. Tram route in Tampere is under construction. In other cities in Finland rely heavily on public buses, which are not running as often as those in the capital. Long-distance buses are available from almost every city.
Train metropolitan area and from city to another is also very popular in the country. Trains are modern and long distance trains have restaurants and sleeping cabins. By train, you can enjoy past awe-inspiring landscapes when it goes all the way to the north from the south and you can take this at night time also. Train to St. Petersburg, Russia from Helsinki has made the transport easier between these two cities and countries.
In many countries, you will get the taxi easily from the street, but in Finland, the best way to get the taxi is ordered by call or from the taxi post. Many locals use the taxi mainly only for night time, or day for business or their mobility is the limited purpose.
Car rental is no recommend at winter if you don’t have any experience drive at winter weather. When the temperature is near 0 degrees, the roads start to get ice; the black ice is not easy to see. At winter people literally, drive on the ice and snow. In Finland, it is necessity past the driving test at driving school in ice remain route. May to September routes is nice to drive and we can recommend renting a car to drive out of the cities and
enjoy the countryside sights and discover the smaller towns.
For local´s and for tourists is popular to take a Cruise to the neighbor country and enjoy the time at the board in restaurants, doing shopping or join to other alternative programs. The busiest cruise lines are to cities Tallinn, Stockholm and St. Petersburg.
In the summer is high to recommend to jump to the smaller boat to go sailing or boating along archipelago In the eastern Gulf of Finland and Saimaa. The coast voyages between Turku and Natalie and Helsinki and Porvoo.
The domestic flights are the fastest way of getting from south to north.
Wonders of winter
December to February lakes turns to the ice and there is usually lots of snow especially in the northern part of Finland called Lapland. That is also the place where Santa Claus lives in Arctic Circle. In winter time you have a good chance of spotting the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis. This is the time when you should do some winter activities with snow. Fun and exotic winter activities can be skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing. Finland has various ski resorts with good quality. Enjoy the speed of snowmobile safaris and Husky safaris. Go for reindeer sledding or kick sledding by yourself. Try ice fishing or sail on an icebreaker boat immediately after sauna cools you with ice hole swimming. Go to see a local ice hockey game or another kind of winter sport. Count stars from the sky before sleep in the glass igloo.
In spring March to May, the snow starts to melt away and nature starts to turn bright green again so it is popular time to do winter activities. People dig out sunglasses and spring clothes, the smile on their faces. Animals that sleep in the winter haze will wake up and the birds begin to sing. In this period south part of Finland might have almost summer at the door when still in north part snow is (hardly) started to melt.
In summer June to August, you can experience the white nights and the Midnight Sun as the sun stays above the horizon in the night-time. It is extremely green everywhere because Finland is ordinary it mellow nature. Because summer is the bit too short, local people are busy to do outdoor activities. Join with them to some of the many beaches by the lake, river or sea for the swim. The excellent choice is to go to the festivals to socialize, dance or moshaamaan (waving head in the air) with them. At summer the motorbikes take over at the streets, like walking and running too. There is a huge number of walking and cycling roads in Finland compared to the population. In the country of cycling is a good option to go cycling around the city, countryside or for mountain-biking.It is also a fabulous time to do horseback riding, golf or mini golf.From several water activities here are mentioned few: water parks, canoeing, coastal inland cruises or boating, more spectacle activities are fishing or gold panning. Have a real sauna experience by beating yourself with Vista (called also “vast”), made from birch leads. Barbeques are very hot in many backyard and camps.
In Autumn September to November, nature shows its beautiful colors as it turns into all shades of reds, yellows, and browns. This season is called “Ruska” and it is common for people to go to walk or hiking and enjoys these mystical colors of the trees. Late summer and early autumn are usually the best times for picking berries (bilberry, lingo berry, and cloudberry) and edible mushrooms from the wild nature. Already this time is possible to see the northern light in the very north part of the country. Many love this season when they can enjoy the candlelight in dim light, for some dark seasons may be heavier. This season can be an exotic or different experience for the traveler.
Finland’s nature is very unique and enchanting; the air is the third freshest and purest in the whole world. It is also the most forested land in the world, over 70% of the area is the forest. You can do hiking on it´s one of the 40 national parks, one of them is Lemmenjoki (Love River) which is up to the north, and Archipelago National Park is very south at the coast of Turku. Saimaa Nature Centre is located in Riihisaari. The Archipelago Sea in the Baltic Sea between the Eland Islands and continental Finland is Europe’s largest and one of the world’s largest archipelagos. This is one of the reasons to travel to witness its beauty by you.
Finland is also often called “The Land of a Thousand Lakes” and no wonder because it has over 187 000 lakes. Countryside travel does relax people’s minds and one of the finish cultures is to travel to the cottage to have peace from nature, the cottage is usually located next to the lake and nature. In every city there is a running track that people are using all around the year for skiing, running or walking.If you are lucky, you can spot wildlife such as reindeer, elks, seals, owls, and white swans. Even wolverines, wolves, bears and lynx though they are very rare to spot in nature as they try to avoid people.
The monument to Jean Sibelius is one of the most famous sights. Alvar Aalto is Finland’s leading figure in architecture, Finland House in Helsinki is his design like many types of furniture also. To discover more old architecture is recommended to visit at least one of Finland’s old castles to have a historical atmosphere,some of them are from 1200 century. Word linna means castle by English. Biggest castles in Finland are Olavinlinna in Savonlinna, Turun Linna, and Hämeenlinna. Island in front of the city of Helsinki has Suomenlinna which is fortress world heritage site, more remarkable historical buildings are in Seurasaari.
A short trip from Helsinki to the small city of Porvoo to see old wooden houses from 1700th century is worth. Same kind old wooden houses are still in some other towns around Finland. The perfect catch to see different architecture is to take the tour in central of the Helsinki.
Finland also has internationally renowned and successful design brands such as Arabia and Iittala from glass design, Marimekko from fabric and Kalevala Koru from jewels. Some home decor design products have gained fame in the world. Bigger valuable Finnish design has also been ordered abroad.
Modern art you can be admired or wonder in many different museums in Helsinki.The National Gallery is a collection of three art museums in Helsinki, including the Ateneum Art Museum, Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, and Sinebrychoff Art Museum. In addition, art museums such as Serlachius Museum in Mänttä and Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere.
These days Helsinki is very international and colorful from it peoples and on the air has more international vibes. Take a seat in some of the cosy cafe to see around local lifestyle, as the locals are huge coffee lovers. For dining, there are different restaurants like Mexican, Italian, Asian and Mediterranean. From some restaurants, you might find from menu some traditional Finnish food but the best way to get the taste of traditional Finnish food is to join some our packages or take a tour with a local tour guide.
At supermarkets has the huge selection of Finland own made products what the country factories precede it. Every larger town has the big shopping mall or few which include also world famous brand stores beside local stores. Finland is an ideal destination to buy unique products and souvenirs.
Nightlife is busiest on Friday and Saturday nights as the weekend is Saturday and Sunday. Bars are more Finnish culture but nightclubs also attract with commercial, old school or with Latin beats, at bars you can hear more karaoke, rock, and heavy sounds. Weekends before Christmas is the busy season at nightlife from the traditional adult´s little Christmas parties.
At summer the terraces are full of people who enjoy the outdoor from day to till late at night, some celebrate even till morning or to the next day. Summer is short so locals enjoy every moment of it, you will see it.
Taste some famous finish drinks with locals like lonkero, salmiakkikossu or choose some of the Finnish beer
brands. From entertainment the theatre and Opera festival are popular. For music lovers, there are several big festivals in Finland especially at summer with world-famous artist and bands and these are the reasons that make people also travel to Finland from other countries. Relax, dance and enjoy at festivals atmosphere.
Finland is the one best country in the world for children to grow up and study. Bring your child to have a play with these Finnish children. Outdoor theme parks are usually open only at summer like Särkänniemi Park at Tampere and Linnanmäki in the city of Helsinki, these are the only couple mentioned from many.
Finland has several waterparks; in the metropolitan area has Serena and Flamingo.The famous Moominland, written by Tove Jansson, is located in Naantali. Next to it is the city of Turku with Flow park, Zoolandia and an outdoor water park called Juku Park. Fun and activity for children offer Hop Lop all around the year in Finland’s biggest cities like Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa Turku, Tampere, Oulu and Rovaniemi.
All around Finland have several outdoor parks for children with swing, slide, sandbox and climbing stand.
To see animals, visit zoo in Ranua, Korkeasaari or Ähtäri. Or try to solve the puzzle in science centers Heureka in Vantaa or Tietomaa in Oulu.
December in the city of Helsinki has more than one Christmas market to create the atmosphere for coming event; it is mystic time not only for children as for adults also. Try some traditional Christmas dishes or cakes. There will be dancing around Christmas tree while listening to some Christmas songs.
The main day in Finland is 24th December when Santa Claus will be visiting in every home where children are living. Santa travels with a reindeer sleigh and one of the reindeer is called Petteri Punakuono (Red Nosed). Christmas gifts have been made in Pajakylä, located at Santa Claus’s Korvatunturi Estate in the Arctic Circle, there is also located Santa´s home. The elves also help Santa to observe who children have been kind. The tradition of many families is that children write letters to Santa Claus with a list of gift wishes. Write the letter to Santa Claus and bring it straight to him in the polar circle. If you don’t have time before Christmas, don´t worry, you can visit in his village all year around and have adventures.
-Sleep in glass igloo Lapland
-Meet the Santa Claus Rovaniemi
-Visit in Snow or ice castle Kemi, Rovaniemi, and Levi
-Go to the Sauna whole Finland
-Walk or hike in the national park whole Finland
-Eat the Finnish traditional food whole Finland
-Visit it any kind of museums Main museums in Helsinki, whole Finland
-Have a day trip to Tallinn Helsinki
-Visit in Suomenlinna Helsinki
-Admire of the old wooden houses Porvoo, Rauma,
Some Top at summer
-Stay awake, to see the sun shining late at night
-Go to the summer festival
-Take a boat ride at the archipelago
-Eat fresh berries and vegetables at the market
-Swim at the lake
Some Top at winter
-Have a ride with husky or reindeer sleigh
-Catch the northern lights, aurora borealis
-To wear winter shoe for snowshoeing, Skiing or downhill skiing
-Take an adventure with snowmobile
-Make snowball, snow angel, or snowman
HELSINKI, VANTAA, ESPOO
Helsinki is the Capital of Finland, and together with the city of Vantaa and Espoo, they are a metropolitan area. There are many alternatives to do shopping in big shopping centres or smaller shops, eat in restaurants or enjoy the pubs and clubs. Here are mentioned only a few from many attractions, Suomenlinna, Seurasaari, museums, monuments, historical buildings, and architecture. Front of Helsinki Archipelago is attractive.
Boats to St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Stockholm leave from various harbours. The city has various events and festivals. Famous festivals are Flow with different art and music concept, Electric and Weekend festivals with electric music and many more. Helsinki has various high-quality beauty spas. Relax or have activity time in Flamingo Spa in Vantaa or Serena in Espoo. Alas Sea Pool is an outdoor pool open all year around the middle of Helsinki central.
Families can enjoy and spend time in Fun park Linnanmäki & delfinario, Zoo Korkeasaari and in several indoor action parks.
An international airport is a side of Vantaa city but the train reaches to Helsinki city centre in 35 min, alternative can be bus or car.
One of the top historical attractions in Finland is located in this nice small city called Porvoo. It is famous it wooden houses next to the Porvoo river. Haikon kartano is the exclusive hotel in the countryside. Perfect day trip to do from the big city and it is easy to reach from Helsinki because of the short distance, 50 km by car or bus.
Town Savonlinna is 333 km from Helsinki to east and Russian borderline is around 70 km away. Savonlinna has been built on the islands and one of its islands has castle called Olavin Linna which is known from the Opera festival in summer. Saimaa is the largest lake in Finland and fourth largest in Europe. It is famous from it beautiful archipelago, people travel to here to admire the nature, by boat, car or hike in the national park. The National Landscapes of Punkaharju, the rocky shores of Kolovesi National Park. See the lakes and islands of Linnansaari National Park. Lappeenranta, Imatra and Joensuu are bigger cities around Saimaa. Take a train, bus or car to reach here from Helsinki.
Is the small town and southernmost municipality in Finland, 125 km from Helsinki to the south-west. The town will wake up every summer for summer events like Hang on Regatta, Hanko Poker Run and Sea Horse Week, these are famous events and people take a part of these events from another country´s. Very fabulous sandy beach, it has coast totally over 30 km. Get there by train, bus or car.
TURKU and NAANTALI
Front of these cities has one of the most beautiful archipelagos in Finland. Muumiland, fabulous story written by Tove Jansson, is located in the small city called Naantali and it is only 15 km from Turku. The Aura river flows through the Turku city and in the center there are several boats and entertainment. Historical attractions are Turun Linna and cathedral, Archangel Michael’s church, Aboa versus& Ars Nova. Famous festivals here are Ruisrock and Down by the Laituri. Fun parks for children are Flowpark, Zoolandia and an outdoor water park called Juku park. Turku is located 170 km to the west from Helsinki by car, bus and train.
PORI and RAUMA
Pori is famous summer town because of the huge Yyteri beach and summer festival, called Pori jazz where will performed world-famous artists. Other attractions are church´s, museums and Kirjurinluoto. Pori has located 140 km to the north from Turku and 240 km from Helsinki. Rauma city is famous it old colorful historical wooden houses in part of old Rauma, museums, and churches. Famous midsummer festival RMJ Rauman men juhannus are here. Rauma is located at the coast between Turku and Pori, from Turku 90 km and to Pori 50 km.
Is the third biggest city in Finland and it is also the largest inland city in Scandinavia. The city contains several lakes as well as around it. The city offers several theaters for lovers of performance. For fun, there is theme park Särkänniemi. You can admire the whole City from the top when you reach the top of Sokos Hotel Torni or Näsilinna. Famous museums in the area are Sara Hilden museum in Tampere and Serlachius museum in Mänttä, which is 120 km from Tampere.
Tampere is located 175 km to the north from Helsinki by train, bus or car.
It is the fifth biggest city in Finland, it is famous it large beach called Nallikari, next to it is spa of Eden where you can relax or let your children play. Another fabulous activity place for children is Tietomaa, to do research. From the Nallikari beach is leading road for walking or bicycling through small islands old wooden houses to famous marketplace next to the sea, theater and library. Marketplace collects a lot of people at summer to enjoy for coffee, ice cream, sweet or salt in it many cafeterias. It is the place to buy also fresh fish, food, vegetables, and berries.
The city of Oulu is located in north Finland, 600 km from Helsinki by car and train so the journey will take hours. One hour fly from Helsinki,By driving 200 km to the north to reach the city of Rovaniemi.
ROVANIEMI and KEMI
Rovaniemi is the town where the Santa Claus lives with his reindeers in his village, so this town is full of magic. Here you can literally cross the border of the Arctic Circle, by the finish, it is called Napapiiri. You can also visit in Santapark and Ice castle. The city itself has also different attractions things to offer as it is a second biggest city in north Finland.All roads lead to Santa Claus but the fastest way is to take a fly from Helsinki by airplane, not with the reindeer sleigh like Santa Claus would do. By train or car from Oulu around 200 km.
In the smaller city called Kemi, you are able to visit in the huge icebreaker, and in the Snow castle, which will be open all around year starting from 2019. To Kemi is 120 km from Oulu or 127 km from Rovaniemi.
AURORA VILLAGE, IVALO
Millions of stars illuminate the night sky, no noise, no traffic, only the wilderness. Sleep in glass iqloo and perhaps enjoy the view of Aurora borealis straight from your bed. This is the place where has a lot of snow for all winter, to do many kinds of snow activities. Enjoy the safari ride of husky, reindeer or snowmobile.Or go for downhill skiing in Saariselkä ski resort. Aurora glass iqloo village is in the town of Ivalo and it is located in the very northeast of Finland, 290 km to the north from Rovaniemi by car or train. Flight from Helsinki
LEVI VILLAGE, KITTILÄ
Travelers are coming to the Levi from all over the world, to discover it´s 45 days midnight sun, or aurora borealis which can start here already in August. Levi is the second biggest ski resort in Finland and with sales, it is biggest. The area has over 800 hundred chalets and around 25 000 bed space but winter time it is not enough because it´s famous peak season. You can choose to sleep in glass iqluu, ice hotel, northern light suite, aurora huts,and some cottage in chalet village or center of Levi ski resort village. There will be a lot of different activities to do in different seasons. Levi has grown to be a small ski resort in the town of Kittilä in the very north-west of Finland, 150 km to the north from Rovaniemi by car. From Helsinki it is recommended to fly, to save time on travels