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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Finland is located in northern Europe and shares borders with Sweden, Norway and Russia to the east. From New York, a non-stop flight is 8h 10m, and from London, it is roughly 2h 15m direct.
Helsinki is the capital of Finland and is located in the southern part of the country just on the peninsula in the Gulf of Finland.
Helsinki Airport is the main hub for domestic and international travellers. It is located just 17 kilometres from central Helsinki.
- Closest City
The official language of Finland is Finnish and Swedish. A large majority of the population speak English.
Finland uses the Euro. The currency code is EUR. ATMs are everywhere, and you should have no issues withdrawing cash while you’re there.
As part of the Schengen zone, most travellers can enter for up to 90 days without a visa. Some nationalities need a Schengen visa. EU citizens can travel freely to Finland. We recommend checking your country's travel advisories before you travel.
Electrical current is 220V/50hz using two round prongs. The standard voltage in the US is 110 volts, so to avoid frying your electronics, you may need a surge adaptor.
You do not need any vaccinations to travel to Finland, however, it would be advised to consult your doctor 6 to 8 weeks before you depart.
The phone numbers to call in case of emergency are 112 for the police, ambulance and for fire.
When to Visit
The Turku Archipelago
- Explore the centre of Turku
- Travel by bike to Kustavi
- Reach the remote island of Inio
- Visit quaint handicraft shops
- Our Saving
- US $ 1,526
Family Finland Summer Adventure
- Our Saving
- US $ 1,776
Cycle Finland - Turku Archipelago
- Discover Helsinki by bike
- Cycle the highlights of Hame
- Explore Finland's oldest city
- Ride to the summer town of Hanko
- Our Saving
- US $ 1,603
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 tape 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.