Finland is not just a beautiful European destination; it is literally a magical paradise on earth that gives life to the human imagination. Starting from the stunning sightseeing location to the magical wonderland of snow and unique natural phenomena, Finland is something hard to be described in words.
It is a destination suitable for all kinds of visitors, from history buffs, foodies, art lovers, nature admirers to adventure enthusiasts. If you are thinking of the best time to visit Finland, summer and winter season is the perfect time to explore the magical wonderland.
Therefore, to help you with things to do in Finland, the following list gives you a glance at what to see in Finland and what to do in Finland.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 BEST Things to do in Finland
- 1.1 Visit Helsinki, the capital city of Finland
- 1.2 Visit Porvoo on a day trip from Finland
- 1.3 Skii and enjoy winter in Lapland
- 1.4 Play with huskies
- 1.5 Say hello to Santa in Rovaniemi
- 1.6 Try Finnish food
- 1.7 Sleep in an igloo or ice hotel
- 1.8 Experience the midnight sun
- 1.9 Hike in one of the many national parks in Finland
- 1.10 Experience the Northern Lights
- 2 Check out these activities in Finland
Top 10 BEST Things to do in Finland
Visit Helsinki, the capital city of Finland
Helsinki being the beautiful capital city of Finland, should be your first destination while traveling in Finland. Finland’s holidays are incomplete if you do not kick-start it with the historical and coastal area of Helsinki on the Gulf of Finland shore. The city has a contemporary culture and a unique blend of modernity with traditions.
Visitors traveling to Helsinki must explore its major tourist attractions like Helsinki Cathedral, Suomenlinna fortress on seven islands, Vibrant green natural beauty Esplanadi, Helsinki Rock Church, Upenski Cathedral, Parliament House, Senate Square, Sibelius Monument, Hietnami Cemetery, Urban Finnish Sauna for a traditional Finnish rejuvenating experience, and Helsinki Old Market Hall for an amazing shopping experience.
Apart from these, the city is a hub of museums to be enjoyed by the history buffs and art lovers. The famous ones are- National Museum of Finland, Finnish Museum of Photography, Suomenlinna Museum, Ateneum Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Arts, and numerous in the row.
You can also visit the lovely beaches of the city Hietaniemi Beach, Aurinkolahti Beach, Kivinokka Beach, and many other coastal islands. The city is a package of entertainment, starting from lovely sightseeing attractions, beaches, parks, forests to exotic nightlife accompanied by music and drinks.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Helsinki, Finland
Best Tours for this attraction: Helsinki: 5-hour City and Nuuksio Reindeer Park Tour
Visit Porvoo on a day trip from Finland
While you are in Helsinki, do not forget to visit the charming 800 years old town of Porvoo, which can be covered easily in a day trip. It takes only 55 minutes to reach Porvoo from Helsinki, while from the other parts of Finland, Porvoo can be reached easily maximum within two and a half hours.
The town looks extremely beautiful, featuring candy-colored houses forming a colorful village amidst the painted beauty of nature. The 19th-century wooden houses, cobblestone squares lined up with restaurants, cafes, and the beautiful Pink City Hall are extremely eye arresting to make every visitor fall in love with the town.
One of the famous attractions of the city that serves a visual treat for the visitors are the Red Shore houses on Porvoonjoki riverbank. Another famous attraction is the Porvoo Cathedral, which was constructed in the 15th century carrying high historical significance.
The town is a small and cozy destination, and hence the best way to explore it is by walking. The artistic town features some beautiful tourist attractions like Iso Linnamaki Fortress, Sikosaari, located at 20 minutes from Porvoo, Majic Rocks, Porvoo Doll, and Toy Museum, Old Town Hall, Holm House and House of Johan Ludvig Runeberg.
Food lovers can explore the restaurants and cafes of the town. One of the famous among them is Zum Beispiel for some amazing prawns, pasta, burgers, and many other delicacies.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Porvoo, Finland
Best Tours for this attraction: Porvoo Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
Skii and enjoy winter in Lapland
If you are planning to visit Finland in winter, make Lapland your ultimate winter destination. The snow wrapped destination above the Arctic Circle looks straight out of heaven buried under snow. It offers some memorable experiences that you can’t even think of existing in real life.
Lapland is a hub of ski resorts for a perfect winter vacation. The most famous skii resorts of Lapland are the Levi, Pyha Luosto, Ruka, and Yllas. All of them stand at a towering altitude of approximately 500 to 700 meters, accompanied by 3km skiing slopes.
Visitors from all age groups starting from kids to adults can enjoy the best of Lapland’s winter activities from October to February. Not only skiing is located on the Arctic Circle region; you can easily spot huskies, play and cuddle with them, watch the sleigh driven by the reindeers and feel the serenity of winters at the breathtaking frozen lakes.
The ski resorts of Lapland not only conducts skiing but also entertainment for visitors like drinks, delicious barbeque cuisines, bars, living accommodations, horse riding, snowmobile safari tours, ice fishing, and many other adventure activities. Lapland has some of the best Finland sightseeing tours in winter packed with adventure and fun.
Play with huskies
Huskies are a kind of dog, which is mainly seen in packs wandering in the snow or pulling the sleigh rides. Huskies are one of the cutest animal creatures who love to be pampered and loved. There are dedicated farms of breeding and training huskies in Lapland, which are a major tourist attraction.
Some of the famous husky farms of Lapland are Hetta Huskies, Arctic Husky Farm, Kamisak Husky Farm, etc. There are special tours for Husky farm visit from Rovaniemi in Lapland where you are taken for a special visit to the farm, learn from the instructors how to train huskies, cuddle and play with your newly made friends in the snow, ride the sleigh drawn by the Huskies and even feed them.
The farms are the best place for visitors to develop their interaction with huskies. Once you get friendly with them, you cannot get enough of these cute creatures and feel like loving and cuddling with them, spending an entire day.
Say hello to Santa in Rovaniemi
Everyone loves Christmas and feels like meeting Santa Claus for once in a lifetime to celebrate the joy of Christmas. Rovaniemi in Lapland makes your dream come true with the wonderful Santa Village.
The village is just like a painted picture where the Christmas trees are brightly lit up in lights with bells and other decorative items, reindeers pulling the sleigh across the thick snow, elves gracing the Christmas celebrations, and celebrating the beautiful day with Santa Claus.
There are conducted tours that take visitors to Santa’s Village where they can not only meet and interact with Santa personally but also enjoy the nearby Christmas stalls, shops selling Christmas items, pay a visit to Santa’s house, dance all around with the mythical elves and even visit Rudolph- Santa’s ninth reindeer in the reindeer farm located nearby.
You can also send Christmas warm wishes and greetings to your loved ones from Santa’s official post office and take a ride in the magical sleigh drawn by the reindeers. It is one of the amazing things to do in Finland during winter vacations.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Rovaniemi, Finland
Best Tours for this attraction: Enjoy a full day of arctic experiences in Rovaniemi includes Reindeer, Huskies & Santa Claus Village
Try Finnish food
Among the popular things to do in Finland in summer, winter, or any other season trying traditional Finnish cuisine should a must activity for every visitor. Finnish cuisines are a combination of traditional and haute cuisine where the main ingredients are meat, pork, fish, or reindeer.
Starting with the quick bites, you must go for Fazer Blue Chocolates, Jenkki Chewing Gum, Queen Ice Cream Cone, Rye Bread, Karelian Pie, and Finnish Squeaky Cheese. These are necessary to try while you are in Helsinki Old market Area or any other popular food joints in Finland.
For breakfast, you can go for the lip-smacking food items like Riispurro, which is rice porridge, Traditional Finnish soups with Pancakes, Salmon Soup, Sausage Soup, Smoked Salmon, Smoked Arctic char, Lapland bread cheese, Mustamakkara, and many other items.
For lunch or dinner, you can go for the traditional meals like Meatballs with Lingonberry Jam and mashed potato, baked Macaroni with Meat, Meat Stew, Stuffed Cabbage, Meat Pie, Marinated Herring, and many other items. Finally, do not miss the alcoholic beverages of Finland like Sima, Finlandia Vodka, Koskenkorva Viina, Cider, Glogg, Akvavit, etc. and the Finnish beers.
Sleep in an igloo or ice hotel
While having your winter vacation in Lapland, make your holiday more fascinating with the night stay at glass igloos and ice hotels. The first snow hotel to open in Lapland was in Kemi, which is popularly known as the Kemi Snow Hotel situated in the gorgeous settings of LumiLinna Snow Castle.
The hotel is among the most luxurious accommodations in Lapland featuring ice beds covered with reindeer skins, ice restaurants, ice bars with intricate decorative architecture, and enough warmth to have a good night’s sleep in the freezing temperatures of below -5 degrees to -30 degrees even.
The glass igloos are mostly found in the igloo villages, which offer a similar luxurious experience featuring warm, soft beds, hot sleep time berry drinks, comfortable sleeping bags, and beautifully decorated interiors. Another special experience, which you get to enjoy staying in these ice hotels or igloos, is the Finnish Snow Sauna for a warmer rejuvenating experience. The experience is extremely fascinating and out of the world.
Experience the midnight sun
Finland is famous for its unique natural phenomena of the midnight sun, which should not be missed at any cost. It is one of the million-dollar things to see in Finland during the summer season.
Summer in Finland is extremely special as the sunlight stays for 24hours in regions that lie above the Arctic Circle like Rovaniemi in Lapland, where during June, the midnight sun is a popular vision.
The nights during this time are equally bright as if the days while the color of the sun is midnight changes in the reddish yellow shade, which is normally visible in the sunset time.
It is the most active time offering tourists to watch the breathtaking natural phenomena and even enjoy activities like horse riding, jet-skiing, floating, hiking, taking a tour to the husky and reindeer farms, and many other daytime activities.
To observe this phenomenon, you have to stay in Rovaniemi and visit the places like Jatkankynttila Bridge or Ounaskoski Garden or Arctic Garden to feel the magical beauty of midnight sun. The adventure lovers can trek up to the highest point of Ounasvaara to gasp at the golden phenomena of midnight sun from close proximity.
It is one of those experiences that you can cherish for a lifetime. So if you are thinking of what to do in Finland in summer, mark midnight sun as your first priority.
Hike in one of the many national parks in Finland
Finland is also famous for its vibrant green national parks, which are necessary to visit in your Finland vacation. All over Finland has 40 national parks covering a vast expanse of forests, lands, lakes, and fells. Nuuksio National park is one of the best national parks in Finland, offering an amazing experience of hiking the Finnish forests.
The park features various hiking trails where you can spot the wildlife enjoy the scenic beauty and serenity of the forest area. The routes are marked for the convenience of both beginners and experienced hikers, which lets them feel and explore the forest from close proximity.
The hikers can enjoy picking mushrooms wandering through several slopes and streams passing across the rivers to the open fields leading to the beautiful ice ponds.
From the ice ponds, visitors can take the wooden stairways up to the slopes of the mountain. The national park must be explored by all adventure enthusiasts to explore the forest from various easy and hard hiking trails.
Experience the Northern Lights
Northern Lights are something, which is craved to be seen by millions of visitors across the world. The dancing phenomenon of the lights is like a grand eye-feasting treat in Finland. It is mainly seen during the months of April to August and especially when the sky is dark.
There are conducted tours that take visitors from Rovaniemi in Finland to the region of Northern lights near the frozen lake. During this phenomenon, the sky sparkles with dazzling lights, blue, purple, green, yellow, violet, and even gold.
The beauty of these lights reflecting above the frozen lake is straight out of a magical world. Many visitors take professional aurora photographers with them to capture beautiful moments with the northern lights and even go for Ice Floating on Frozen Lake to feel the phenomenon intensely up above the sky. It is something that makes Finland a magical destination, and no visitor should miss it at any cost.