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Tips for travelers in Finland:

Best Time to Visit Finland:

Finland is a year-round destination. Winters are great for outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and ice swimming. Spring and autumn are the best times to see the Northern Lights in Lapland.

Late summer and fall are ideal for berry and mushroom picking and enjoying colorful autumn leaves. Early spring (before May) offers the best skiing opportunities in Lapland when the sun is already high up in the sky and there is plenty of daylight. In the south, the snow has already melted but you can enjoy the vivid terrace´s and Finnish people starting to prepare themselves for summertime.

The summer months throughout Finland are known for white nights, and in Lapland, the sun doesn’t set at all above the Arctic Circle.


Passport and Visa:

You’ll need a valid national passport or equivalent identification. If you’re not a citizen of Finland or another European Economic Area (EEA) country, you may also need a visa. Check with the local Finnish embassy; they’ll be happy to assist.


Spoken languages:

Finland has two official languages: Finnish and Swedish. English is widely spoken, and has been said to be the third official language. Additionally, there are several official minority languages: three Sami language variants, Romani, Finnish Sign Language, and Karelian. Currency: The euro is Finland’s official currency.¹


Time zone and currency:

Eastern European Time (EET) is UTC+02:00. Finland belongs to Euro area so currency is euro. Currency exchange offices can be found at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Helsinki City area, Ferry Terminals in Helsinki and also some bank branch offices may exchange foreign currencies.


Travel Safety:

Finland is one of the safest countries to live in and travel to. However, be aware of potential risks such as pick pockets.



Finland experiences a subarctic climate, characterized by distinct seasons with varying temperatures and precipitation.



Winter (December-February): The coldest months, with average temperatures ranging from -5°C to -10°C (23°F to 14°F). Snowfall is frequent, and the northern regions experience long periods of darkness due to the polar night.

Spring (March-May): Temperatures gradually rise, with snow melting and days becoming longer. However, spring can be unpredictable with occasional snowfalls.

Summer (June-August): The warmest months, with average temperatures between 15°C and 20°C (59°F to 68°F). Days are long, with up to 19 hours of sunlight in the north during the summer solstice. Rainfall is moderate.

Autumn (September-November): Temperatures decrease, and leaves change color, creating a vibrant autumn landscape. Rainfall increases, and the first snowfall can occur in late November.

Regional variations:

Southern Finland: Warmer and wetter than the north, with milder winters and shorter periods of snow cover.

Northern Finland: Colder and drier than the south, with longer winters and more snow. Lapland, the northernmost region, experiences the most extreme subarctic conditions, with temperatures dropping as low as -30°C (-22°F) in winter.


Sustainable Travel:

Recycling possibilities are good in major cities, and you can find bins for different waste. Finnis specialty is recycling of bottles and cans. When purchased a deposit is added to price and when you return them in a store to an automate, you will get a ticket which can be used for payment or even withdrawn as cash at the cashier. Remember not to crash to cans since they need to be in full shape.

Use of public transport such as buses and trains if great way of seeing Finland in a sustainable way. If you prefer hiring a car then consider electric one. The charging network is quite comprehensive.



All major cities have good public transport systems. Ticketing systems vary but mostly the payment is done by mobile apps. For instance Helsinki Metropolitan area you can use buses, trains, metro, trams and ferries. Check more here https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/meetings-and-travel-trade/public-transport-in-helsinki.


What are some cultural peculiarities of Finland?

Finnish culture boasts various peculiarities that might surprise visitors unfamiliar with its unique character. Here are some notable aspects:

Individualism and personal space: Finns value their individuality and personal space highly. Greetings are often reserved, and small talk can feel awkward. Personal boundaries are respected, and silence is comfortable.

Directness and honesty: Finns are known for their direct communication style. They tend to be honest and straightforward, which can sometimes seem blunt to outsiders. Don't expect sugarcoating or excessive politeness.

Sauna culture: The sauna is deeply ingrained in Finnish life, serving as a social space for relaxation, socializing, and even business meetings. It’s common to be naked in the sauna, even with strangers and opposite sex if in private surroundings.

Nature connection: Finns have a strong connection to nature and enjoy spending time outdoors. Activities like hiking, fishing, and camping are popular, and many Finns have second homes in the countryside.

Silence and introversion: Finns tend to be quieter and more reserved, especially in public. Don't mistake this for being unfriendly; they simply value peace and quiet.

Food and drink: Finnish cuisine is known for its simplicity and reliance on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Rye bread, fish, berries, and potatoes are staples. Coffee is the national beverage, consumed frequently throughout the day. Alcohol consumption is moderate, and public intoxication is frowned upon.

Punctuality and reliability: Finns are known for their punctuality and reliability. Arriving on time for meetings and appointments is expected.

Equality and modesty: Finnish society emphasizes equality and modesty. Showing off wealth or boasting about achievements is considered impolite.

Unique traditions: Finland has various unique traditions, like May Day celebrations with bonfires and dressing up as witches, Midsummer celebrations with bonfires and maypoles, and crayfish parties in August.

Modern and innovative: Despite their traditional aspects, Finns are also modern and innovative. Finland is a leader in technology and design, and its education system is highly regarded.


Popular places to visit in Finland: 

Suomenlinna: This massive sea fortress off the coast of Helsinki served as a military stronghold for centuries and now offers stunning views, museums, and historical exhibitions.

Linnanmäki: Helsinki's beloved amusement park, offering thrilling rides, family-friendly attractions, and beautiful scenery.

Helsinki Cathedral: This iconic Lutheran cathedral is a landmark of the Helsinki skyline. Situated by the Senate Square which predominantly showcases the Neoclassical style of architecture, also known as the Empire style. It was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, who adopted this specific approach to create a cohesive and majestic ensemble reflecting the city's aspirations and ideals.

Arktikum: This science center in Rovaniemi, Lapland, delves into the Arctic region's history, culture, and environment through interactive exhibits and a stunning glass-walled Arctic Experience tunnel.

Levi Ski Resort: A popular winter destination in Lapland, Levi offers world-class skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities, along with stunning scenery and Northern Lights viewing opportunities. Also consider visiting other resorts such as Ruka, Pyhä, Ylläs and Saariselkä.

Moominworld:  This theme park in Naantali brings the beloved Moomin troll characters to life with themed rides, shows, and attractions, perfect for families with young children.

Here's a list of some of the most notable medieval castles in Finland, along with their approximate construction dates. 

Turku Castle: 1280, one of the largest and most significant medieval castles in Finland, serving as a royal residence and administrative center.

Häme Castle: Hämeenlinna, 13th century, a strategic fortification controlling trade routes and known for its impressive walls and towers.

Olavinlinna Castle: 1475, a majestic island fortress on Lake Savonia, renowned for its dramatic setting and hosting the Savonlinna Opera Festival.


Accommodation and Staying Over

Finland offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit various budgets, from luxurious stays to cozy and budget-friendly choices. Here are some recommendations based on different budget levels:

Luxury and Boutique hotels: Immerse yourself in the heart of the city with stylish and personalized experiences offered by boutique hotels. Expect high-end amenities, impeccable service, and unique design elements. Budget: €200+ per night.

Design hotels: Finland is known for its innovative design, and design hotels showcase this perfectly. Expect modern architecture, sleek interiors, and cutting-edge technology. Budget: €300+ per night.

Glass igloos: Experience the magic of the Northern Lights in the comfort of a glass igloo, offering panoramic views of the night sky and luxurious amenities. Budget: €500+ per night.

Lakeside, seaside and resort cabins: Indulge in a secluded retreat with stunning lake views or cabins by the slopes often offering private saunas, fireplaces, and access to nature activities. Budget: €150+ per night.

Guest houses: Enjoy a more personalized stay with local charm and hospitality in guest houses. Expect comfortable rooms, delicious breakfasts, and sometimes even shared kitchens for a homier feel. Budget: €100-200 per night.

Apartment hotels: Combine the comfort of an apartment with hotel-like amenities like housekeeping and reception services. This option is ideal for longer stays or families. Budget: €150-250 per night.

Nature resorts: Immerse yourself in the Finnish wilderness with comfortable cabins or cottages at nature resorts, offering access to outdoor activities and stunning natural surroundings. Budget: €120-200 per night.

Historic hotels: Stay in charming historic hotels with unique architecture and a sense of Finnish history. Budget: €150-200 per night.

Hostels: Hostels offer a social and affordable option for solo travelers or budget-conscious groups. Expect shared dorm rooms, basic amenities, and a communal atmosphere. Budget: €50+ per night.

Camping: Finland has an extensive network of campsites catering to tents, campervans, and RVs. This option allows you to experience the outdoors directly and enjoy various amenities like showers, laundry facilities, and communal areas. Budget: €30+ per night.

Farm stays: Immerse yourself in rural Finnish life by staying on a working farm. Expect comfortable accommodations, delicious home-cooked meals, and the opportunity to experience farm activities. Budget: €50-100 per night.

Vacation rentals: Find unique and affordable options by renting apartments, cabins, or rooms directly from locals. This option can be a great way to experience local culture and save money. Budget: varies depending on location and type of accommodation.


Activities and Experiences

Finland, with its vast landscapes and diverse terrain, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. Each season offers unique experiences and activities, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of this Nordic country. Here's a glimpse into what awaits you:

Spring (March-May):

Hiking and trekking: As the snow melts and temperatures rise, Finland's numerous trails come alive, offering stunning hikes amidst blooming wildflowers and rejuvenated forests. Explore national parks like Nuuksio or Urho Kekkonen National Park for breathtaking scenery.

Cycling: Take advantage of the longer days and pleasant weather for scenic cycling routes throughout the country. Explore charming villages, coastal paths, or even dedicated cycling routes like the Archipelago Trail. 

Birdwatching: Spring is a prime time for birdwatching in Finland, as migratory birds arrive and fill the air with their songs. Head to wetlands, lakes, or national parks to witness this spectacle.

Fishing: With the ice melting on lakes and rivers, fishing season opens, offering opportunities to catch salmon, trout, and pike. Enjoy the tranquility of casting your line in a scenic setting.

Summer (June-August):

Kayaking, canoeing and Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP): Explore the numerous lakes, rivers, and archipelagos by paddling through calm waters and enjoying the serene landscapes. Finland offers countless routes for all skill levels. Gain a unique perspective on the water as you glide across lakes and enjoy the peacefulness of nature. SUP is a fun and accessible activity for all ages.

Swimming and sunbathing: Take a refreshing dip in the numerous lakes, beaches, or public pools scattered across Finland. Soak up the long summer days and bask in the sunshine.

Golfing: Finland boasts numerous golf courses offering stunning settings and challenging layouts. Enjoy a round of golf amidst picturesque landscapes.

Autumn (September-November):

Hiking and forest walks: Immerse yourself in the vibrant autumn colors as the leaves change into a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and yellows. Explore national parks and forests for breathtaking scenery.

Berry and mushroom picking: Finland is famous for its wild berries and mushrooms, including blueberries, lingonberries, and cranberries. Head to forests and meadows for a rewarding foraging experience and enjoy the Everyman´s right which enables free roaming in the forests.

Northern Lights: As the nights grow longer, the first glimpses of the Aurora Borealis might appear in the northern parts of Finland. Start your hunt for this mesmerizing natural phenomenon.

Winter (December-February):

Cross-country and downhill skiing: Glide through snow-covered forests and frozen lakes on Finland's extensive network of cross-country ski trails, experiencing the tranquility of winter landscapes. Or enjoy one of the many skiresorts from the small hills of the south to majestic fell in Lapland.

Snowshoeing: Explore the winter wonderland on foot with snowshoes, accessible for all ages and fitness levels. Enjoy the peaceful silence and stunning snowy scenery.

Ice skating: Embrace the quintessential Finnish winter activity by skating on frozen lakes, rinks, or even the Baltic Sea. Enjoy the exhilaration and scenic surroundings.

Ice fishing: Experience the thrill of ice fishing and try your luck catching fish through the ice on frozen lakes. It's a unique winter activity that combines tradition with outdoor adventure.

No matter the season, Finland offers something special for outdoor enthusiasts. So, pack your bags, choose your adventure, and get ready to experience the beauty of the Finnish wilderness!


Plenty more ideas and guides can be found here:

Visit Finland: This is the official website of the Finnish Tourist Board and is a great starting point for planning your trip to Finland. It has information on everything from where to go and what to see to how to get there and what to pack.

My HelsinkiThis website is a great resource for planning your trip to Helsinki, the capital of Finland. It has information on all the major sights and attractions, as well as tips on restaurants, bars, and hotels.

Ourlapland.fi & Lapland Visit: These websites are a good resource for information when looking for information of Lapland.

The Finnish Archipelago: Finland's maritime areas are home to over 180,000 islands and islets, making it one of the countries with the highest number of islands in the world. Most of these islands are in the Archipelago Sea along Finland's southern and western coasts, as well as in the Åland Islands. The size and nature of these islands vary greatly: some are inhabited and developed, while others are small, untouched paradises.

National Parks Finland: This website is a great resource for planning your trip to one of Finland's many national parks. It has information on each park, including things to do, where to stay, and how to get there.

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