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Finland Travel Guide

Tucked away in northern Europe, you will find a land filled with verdant forests, reindeer and bears, picturesque lakeside cabins and stunning natural beauty. Of course, we’re talking about Finland. Home to celebrated landscapes and vibrant cities, the Baltic Sea and highlights like Archipelago National Park, it’s time to create everlasting memories. 

The Highlights

  • Åland Archipelago

    Finland’s beauty extends beyond the mainland out to the Åland Archipelago, covering more than 6,500 islands. Located on the west coast of Finland, the Åland Islands can be found in the heart of the Baltic Sea. Although only 60 or so are inhabited, you won’t be short of experiences to enjoy including exploring the many hiking trails, visiting historic museums or embarking on a kayaking adventure. 

  • Turku Archipelago

    Picture this: fresh air, an abundance of birdlife to watch and plenty of cycling routes that you can take at your own pace makes the Turku Archipelago on the south-west coast an obvious choice for nature lovers. Boasting an impressive number of islands (an odd 20,000 or so) means there are plenty of natural wonders to marvel at. 

  • Helsinki

    Like any bustling capital, Helsinki is the starting point for most adventures in Finland however it’d be a shame to treat it as just a stopover. Take time to explore the Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church), the Sibelius Monument, the Uspensky Russian Orthodox Cathedral then enjoy the atmosphere of the Market Square on the harbour. 

  • Lakeland

    If you haven’t heard of the Lakeland area, we guarantee you’ll want to add it to your Finland itinerary. Lakeland is where you will find sparkling waters as far as the eye can see along with luscious forests that cover the majority of central Finland. Cruise on a traditional steamboat, kayak through the waters, spend time in a quintessential cottage or don a pair of ice skates in winter. 

  • Lapland

    Lapland might conjure images of the northern lights, husky-led sled rides, icy forests and traditional cabins blanketed in snow, but there is more to this winter wonderland than you might expect. During summer, Lapland is where you can spend time along the Hetta-Pallas Trail, learn more about Sami culture and explore Lake Inari or Rovaniemi. 

  • Porvoo

    Take a step back in time and visit the medieval town of Porvoo, famous for its historic Old Town that dates back to the Middle Ages. Make sure you carve out time to visit the most recognizable landmark; a row of crooked orange and red houses that sit along the river before making your way to the Porvoo Cathedral that was constructed during the 11th century. 

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. June to August

    Summer Season

    During the summer months of June through August is when Finland is at its busiest. This is also when the country truly sparkles and offers long, sunshine-filled days with surprisingly warm temperatures for a country located so far north in Europe. Visitors should keep in mind that June and July are when locals are most likely to take their vacation and it is worth noting that accommodation and transport arrangements should be booked well in advance. 

  2. October to March

    Winter Season

    Across the months of October through March is when the days are dark and cold, however, this is also when winter-based activities and sports are in full swing and aurora-spotting chances are at their highest. Technically these months might be seen to be the ‘low season’ in southern Finland however do not be deterred by a drop in temperature as it is actually high season in Lapland as there are plenty of attractions and experiences to fulfil the interests of all travellers. 

Finland Tours

  • Visit Responsibly

    Travelling responsibly means respecting the communities, culture and environment of the places you visit. Keep these tips in mind when travelling to Finland:
    • Go green. Be environmentally conscious on the road by taking short showers; turning off the lights in your hotel room when you leave; and resisting the urge to collect any plants, seashells, or other natural flora.
    • Respect cultural differences. Before travelling, read about the local culture and customs – even just knowing the dress code and a few basic phrases in the local language will go a long way.
    • Support local businesses. Enjoy a more authentic experience and directly support the local economy by travelling with a local guide, eating in local restaurants, buying from local artisans, and staying in locally-owned and operated accommodations.
    • Wherever possible, avoid single-use plastics. Pack reusable items such as your own shopping bags, utensils, a water bottle, and a straw. These items are typically lightweight and compact, and will greatly reduce your consumption of plastics.
    • Be conscious of overtourism. Opt to visit the lesser-known regions of Finland or travel outside the peak season – you'll likely even get a better deal and won't have all the crowds!
  • Sustainable Tourism in Finland

    Finland encourages all travellers to use the words "respect, treasure, enjoy, love" as their mantra when visiting the country. Nature in Finland is at the core of Finnish life and they make it a priority to protect it.

    Take the Sustainable Finland Pledge
    Visit Finland, the national tourism board, has published a pledge on their website that all visitors are encouraged to make. The pledge is a promise to respect and treasure Finnish nature, its inhabitants, and the culture during your visit. Though you likely would do this anyway, by making it official through a pledge, you become mindful of your impact and are likely to hold yourself accountable for seeing your promise through.

    Green Transporation Options
    There are green options for getting to and around your destination easily, such as rail or bike. Did you know that Helsinki's bike rental system is one of the most used by citizens in all of Europe? Whether you're in the city or exploring the outdoors in Lapland or Lakeland, cycling is one of the best ways to experience Finland's nature while also minimizing your carbon footprint.

    There are a variety of eco-labels that can be found in a variety of places that make it easy to find products and services that are ethical, energy-efficient, or are produced/grown locally. As a visitor, you can look for these on any products or services you purchase, most notably within your hotel or on your food.

FAQs about Finland

  • Do you tip in Finland?

    There isn’t much of a formal tipping culture in Finland, but it is recommended to leave a tip of 10% in a restaurant though it  is not expected. It’s also polite to round up your bill and leave the change but this is optional. 
  • What is the internet access like?

    Internet connection can range in quality, but you should have no problem with day-to-day tasks like emailing or surfing the web in Finland. WiFi is available in many cafes, hostels and hotels for free, but outside urban areas, this is not as common.
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    Tap water in Finland is most certainly drinkable, however, if you do not enjoy the taste, you can boil it or buy bottled water. 
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Yes, credit cards are widely accepted throughout Finland. Please check with your bank about any foreign transaction charges.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Along with common public holidays such as New Year’s Day, Christmas and Good Friday, some of the public holidays include Epiphany on January 6, May Day on May 1, Midsummer’s Eve & Day at the end of June, All Saints Day in November and Independence Day on December 6. 
  • Is Finland expensive to visit?

    Similar to other Scandinavian countries, you won’t be surprised to learn that Finland might not be as ‘budget-friendly’ as other parts of Europe, however you might want to consider joining a tour as this helps to make budgeting easy as all costs are upfront.