General Information about Finland
Finland is a northern European nation that covers 303, 8152 km in Europe, its neighboring countries are Russia, Sweden, and Norway, it is also considered as the eight largest countries in the continent of Europe. “Suomi” is the Finnish term of Finland and it is a country that has thousands of lakes and it has more forests and waters compared to any other country in Europe. Some tourists may consider the country as the best place for winter and probably the best place for skiing. People travel to Finland to spot the Northern Lights since they are really visible in the northernmost part of the country which is Lapland. The Finnish culture has mixed influences from other European countries and tourists can see it through their festivals and other celebrations.
What is Finland well-known for?
Finland is known for having the best winter activities and it is the best place for spotting the Northern Lights which is the Aurora Borealis. The country is also known for having too many saunas that each person in the country can stay in one, and since the country has thousands of lakes there are also hundreds of lakeside cottages in the country where tourists can relax and enjoy the fresh air that Finland has. Coffee is also famous in the country since it has a long cold season every year, coffee is the best way to surpass the cold and there are amazing coffee shops located in the country.
Capital city – Helsinki
Official Language(s) – Finnish and Swedish
Local currency – Euros (€)
Visa Requirement – Schengen Visa
When is the best time to visit? Learn about the weather in Finland by season.
The best time to visit Finland may depend on the activities or type of tours that tourists would want to do in the country. Many tourists visit the country during winter since the country of Finland is popular for numerous activities during this season. The Northern Lights are also visible and light is one of the most phenomenal attributes of Finland. Tourists who are longing to see the Aurora Borealis should visit the Lapland which is the country’s northernmost region and considered as the winter wonderland.
Winter in Finland is between December to March and it is the best time to admire the Northern Lights. It is the most awaited season for some tourists who want to enjoy the activities that the country of Finland offers, skiing and snowboarding are the most famous activities during the winter season, some tourists are also hunting for the Northern Lights. This is also perfect to visit the famous saunas of the country and some people say that there are more saunas than cars in Finland.
Spring season in Finland is during the months of April and May, this season gives a warmer temperature to people in Finland but it depends on which parts of the country people are staying, for the northern part people can still do some winter activities like skiing while in southern part the temperature goes warmer and warmer. Bird watching is a great activity to do since a lot of birds are migrating back to the north during this season.
Since the cold weather in Finland is long, people in the country enjoy the summer season by going outside and enjoying the sunlight, tourists who visit Finland can explore the different tourist sites in the country while enjoying the warmth of the weather. This season is the best time go swimming and try the cottage life in Finland and stay near the freshwater lakes and beaches that the country has. Summer season in Finland lasts from June to August.
Autumn season in Finland is where people can see color explosions in the forest landscapes of the country. Autumn is during the months of September to November, this season is perfect for cycling and hiking. Tourists also admire the stunning explosions of colors during this season while traveling.
Best ways to travel to Finland
Traveling by plane
The main gateway in Finland is the Helsinki to Vantaa international airport, tourists can avail cheap flights from some websites where they have to book in advance for a sure availability. Traveling from the USA to Finland is approximately 11.5 hours. This is a long travel and tourists are advised to take care of their belongings since they are traveling for a long distance trip.
Traveling by rail
Traveling by rail in Finland is a convenient way of traveling, trains going towards the country are comfortable and clean. Some trains have mini carriage for children to play to lessen weariness. Tourists can travel from Russia to Helsinki through St. Petersburg, this may be an expensive way of traveling towards Finland but the first train in the morning does offer cheaper prices.
Traveling by boat or ferries
Traveling by ferries is one of the best ways to travel Finland. In this way of traveling, you can have a nice view of the landscapes of the country since the country of Finland is surrounded by lakes and by the sea, traveling by sea is cheaper than traveling by rail for some cases.
Traveling by car
If you happening to be traveling by car around Europe and intended to visit Finland, it is absolutely possible doing it by land passing through the Russian boarded. However, the effective and less time-consuming way is via boats from Tallinn in Estonia. The boat ride will take about 2.5 hours and the fares are rather cheap.
Best ways to travel around
Getting around Finland by bus may be a slower way of exploring the country but it is also a cheaper way for tourists who are on a budget. Buses are safe and comfortable and tickets can be sold online. Different buses are available in the country and tourists’ choices may vary depending on the destination that they may want to visit. Buses can reach more destinations compared to trains.
Finland is well connected by train and you can get around easily and faster. The only downside about taking the train is the cost as it can get expensive to go this way. However, VR, Finland’s train operator often have discounts depending on the occasion and the season so keep an eye on that one before you travel! You can find the discounts from VR web page or if you sign up to their newsletter.
Travel cost breakdown: How expensive is Finland?
Accommodations in Finland are really comfortable and with numerous amenities that tourists will enjoy. There are numbers of accommodations in the country from hotels to hostels, tourists can choose depending on the services that they want to receive, if they want more luxurious experience they can visit high rated hotels but for tourists who are just longing for a budget friendly vacation in the country they could just stay in hostels where they can still experience quality service with basic amenities and cheaper rates.
Hotels in the province would cost about 80 USD to 140 USD per night while hotels in the city range about 100 USD and above per night these rooms are twin couple rooms. Room rates may depend on the type of hotel that tourists would want to stay, there are numerous hotels in Finland and tourists can look for a cheaper one if they are on a budget.
There are not many hostels in the country of Finland compared to other European countries but there are still some for group tourists who are on a budget. The average price for an overnight stay in a hostel is 30 USD to 50 USD for dorm type rooms.
Meals for one day in Finland would cost 30 USD, this may be a little bit expensive compared to other countries but the cuisine in Finland is not something that tourists would regret trying, another thing is a bottled water for a one whole day can cost about 7.50 USD in the country. Dining in cafes restaurants can also cost too much but it depends on the food that tourists would want to consume while in the country.
Transportations cost in Finland depends on the destinations that tourists are visiting, a single short trip in the country would cost 4 USD for public transportation, it increases depending on the distance of a destination that tourists are visiting. Some transportation packages range up to 100 USD which includes a car and a driver.
Tours in Finland
Walking tours in Finland would just range about 15 USD to 20 USD depending on the number of hours, while tours with activities can be really expensive. A tour package in the country ranges about 40 USD to 1000 USD depending on the activities that are included within the package and how long the tour will last.
Activities you can do in Finland
Finland is known for having thousands of lakes and kayaking is the best way to experience the country while under the warmth of the sun. It is a great activity to bond with friends or families.
Thousands of birds are migrating towards the north for especially during spring, Finland is a place for bird watchers and great opportunities for tourists to admire different species of birds.
Hiking tours in the country are also popular especially during autumn where the forests are in color explosions, tourist would be stunned with lake views and beautiful national parks that Finland has.
Skiing is the most popular way to enjoy the country, cold weathers are longer than warm weathers in the country and skiing is a great way to enjoy the mountains in the country surrounded by a thick blanket of snow.
Fishing tours are one of the spectacular ways to enjoy the lakes of Finland. Tourists can go fishing almost anywhere in the country since it is surrounded by waters.
Finland points of interest: What to see and where to go
Helsinki is the capital and the largest city in Finland, it is mostly the main entry when visiting the country. Travelers can find a variety of tourists’ sites to visit especially in different Helsinki neighborhoods where you’ll see several sorts of museums, restaurants, and historical spots – depending on the districts you visit.
For a once in a life time experience, tourists should have a glance of the Northern Lights. The best place to see the Northern Lights is in Lapland where it is clearly visible although it may be seen in the southern part sometimes.
Poorvo is the second oldest town in the country it is known for its heritage sites and wooden homes.
Kemi is a location of iconic castles, tourists can even stay here overnight and they can do some nightlife activities.
Levi is a place for tourists who love nature, it is located in Lapland and there are ranges of activities available especially during winter season.
Visiting the Finnish Lakeland is probably one of the most relaxing things to do while in Finland, it is great families and friends where they bond together through fishing, canoeing or swimming and stay in the cottages near the lakes.
Overview: Things to do in Finland
See the Northern Lights in Lapland
The Northern Lights are the best experience that tourists could have in the country of Finland. Northern Lights are stunning and visible almost throughout the year in the country.
Skate in the Frozen Lakes
During winter, some lakes in Finland become frozen, skating and skiing are one of the popular ways to enjoy the country.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country
Just like other European countries, Finland has its own historical sites. Visiting these sites can give tourists an overview of the culture of the country.
Experience the Finnish Cuisine
Finnish cuisine is known for including meat and fish with their traditional dishes for the western part while eastern part dishes are more on different vegetables and mushrooms. Berries also play a prominent role in the country especially during autumn or summer where pies are in demand.
Experience the Dog Sledding in Lapland
Tourists can enjoy their visit in Finland through dog sledding where Huskies play a big role. This is a fun and a great way to surpass the cold weather.
Experience the Saunas
Finland is popular having numbers of saunas, tourists can find saunas almost everywhere in the country. It is a great way to relax in the country especially during cold seasons and saunas are a big part of Finnish culture.
Foods you must try when you visit Finland
“Leipäjuusto” or bread cheese
It is one of the most popular Finnish cheese which is served with cloudberry jam or other jams. It is usually made from cow’s milk but can also be made with other milk like goat’s milk.
“Mustikkapiirakka” or blueberry pie
A delicious pie that any tourists will love, Finnish people, is known to enjoy berries during summer months and make them into a pie.
“Kaalikääryleet” or cabbage rolls
It is often a beef, lamb or pork that is wrapped with cabbage and seasoned with spices. This dish is not only popular in Finland but also in other European country.
“Kalakukko” or fish pie
A bread that is usually filled with fish which is “muikku” a small herring fish. This meal is considered as a whole meal already because it already has everything you need for a meal.
“Perunarieska” potato flatbread
A bread that is made with mashed potatoes, it can be eaten with butter on top. It is a very delicious meal that tourists should try.
“Karjalanpiirakka” or rice pies
Basically, made with pies from flours and filled with potatoes, rice and sometimes carrots and considered as a delicious pie with an egg butter spread on top.