Vaasan kaupunki, or the City of Vaasa, is one of the historical and beautiful cities situated on the west coast of Finland. The city is one of the remarkable centers of art, culture, history, education and travel and tourism.
The 400 years old town has a complete colorful and lively ambiance perfect for the history buffs, art lovers, as well as the nature admirers. Apart from the gorgeous sightseeing locations, Vaasa Festival is also an integral part of the entertainment that features events. Like Night of the Arts, Rock and pop festivals, International film festival, Korsholm Music festival and many more events.
Vaasa can be reached easily from Helsinki, the capital of Finland by Helsinki to Vaasa train. Vaasa to Helsinki and vice versa is a short journey and can be easily covered in the duration of three and half-hours.
Therefore, to help you, the following list gives you a guide of the things to do in Vaasa and lists out why you need to visit and what to do in Vaasa.
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick information and Vaasa travel tips
- 2 Experiences and top things to do in Vaasa
- 2.1 Check out the old ruins of Vaasa
- 2.2 Visit the Replot Bridge
- 2.3 Check out the view at Hietasaari
- 2.4 Visit Strömsö
- 2.5 Visit Vaasa church
- 2.6 Enjoy a nice lunch at Seglis in summer
- 2.7 Check out Bragen’s outdoor museum
- 2.8 Visit Kuntsi
- 2.9 Dine-in at Gustav Wasa and experience their Ostrobotnian seven-course menu!
- 2.10 If you are visiting in summer, make sure to enjoy a beautiful view and a beer at Strampen!
- 3 → Check out these activities in Finland
- 4 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Quick information and Vaasa travel tips
- Currency? Euro (€)
- Languages(s)? Finnish, Swedish, and English
- Where is this country located? It is located on the west coast of Finland, Northern Europe
- What is Vaasa famous for? Museums, art galleries, seaside view, history, skiing
- Best time to visit Vaasa and seasons? Best time to visit Vaasa is from June to September around the summer season. If you would like to explore or see the snowfall you can visit between the end of December and March during the winter season. When you do visit Vaasa in winter, please be adviced to bring proper winter jackets, shoes, and pack well for the cold!
- Transportation in Vaasa? There are buses you can ride if you would like to get around the city, car rentals and taxis and train and to explore the archipelago you there are boats and ferries you can take
- Which side of the road do they drive? They drive on the right side of the road
- Which electric plug do they use? Type C and Type E/F 220V.For more information, check our travel adapter reviews!
- Other famous places in Finland? Helsinki, Tampere, Espoo, Vaasa, Turku, Pori, Mariehamn, Savonlinna, Rovaniemi, Salla, Jyväskylä, Kemi, Kuhmo, Kajaani, Oulu, Joensuu, and Lappeenranta – read more here.
- Famous neighboring countries? Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, and Russia.
Do you need a visa for Finland?
In order to enter Finland, you need to have a valid Schengen visa. If you’re a citizen of the EU group of countries, you can enter Finland without a visa. However, if you’re a citizen of Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia– you can stay in Schengen areas for 90 days.
Check out our detailed guide on how to apply for a Schengen visa – read it here.
Where to book your flights to Finland?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need travel insurance for Finland?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read ourtake on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Experiences and top things to do in Vaasa
Check out the old ruins of Vaasa
Among the various things to do in Vaasa, the first, and the most important sightseeing attraction is the Old Vaasa town also popularly known as Vanhan Vaasa. This is an ancient part of the Vaasa city of Finland that is being destroyed due to the devastating fire incident of 1852. The town is entirely in ruins, and that is where it serves as a visual treat to the visitors. The city of Old Vaasa is believed to be emerged from the middle of the sea around 1000 years ago and was discovered by King Karl IX in 1606.
The massive fire incident bitterly destroyed every part of the historical city, leaving only a few structures to survive and the most famous attraction among them is the St. Mary’s Stone Church.
The Church belongs to the 17th and 18th century and is the prime attraction as the entire city evolved around this Holy Church. The Church features ruined rocky stonewalls with large windows. It had been restored quite several times throughout history.
Above the stonewalls of the Church, a giant rope can be seen up to the hill where an old building is located with a locked wooden door being extremely mysterious. Moving on next is the giant Clocktower, which is also in ruins and next to that; the base of the Old Trivial School is located featuring its memorial stone.
You can also take a stroll around the ruined town, and if accompanied by a local guide, you can feel every part of the ancient history in the ruined structures.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Vaasa.
Visit the Replot Bridge
Replot Bridge is a majestic beauty stretching about 1,045 meters long and is the largest bridge in Finland. This is one of the fantastic Vaasa sightseeing attractions and also one of the best things to do in Vaasa the bridge can be reached within 15 minutes from Vaasa. The bridge serves as a connection between Raippaluoto and Mustasaari Municipality.
The bridge is an excellent destination for a car drive or just exploring it with a bicycle. You can even go for a casual foot walk and explore its breathtaking scenic beauty. The bridge was constructed from 1995 to 1997 having the highest point at 82.5 meters above sea level.
The long beauty is a marvelous masterpiece to spend some quality time gasping at the beautiful surroundings and the beautiful Replot Island, which is connected to the mainland of Korsholm via the bridge. The open-air cruising bridge is an architectural wonder in Finland and an amazing place for relaxation accompanied by Berny’s cafeteria close to the bridge.
If you’re visiting Helsinki from Vaasa: Top 10 Day Trips from Helsinki (Finland)
Check out the view at Hietasaari
Hietasaari is a beautiful coastal island situated in the city of Oulu and is a neighborhood. It takes approximately 4 hours to reach Hietasaari from Vaasa. It is an important destination of the Vaasa Finland tourist attractions that every traveler needs to explore. Hietasaari can be explored by walking as well as riding a car.
The most beautiful attraction of this island is the Nallikari beach for enjoying lovely summers, water sports activities and even swimming. The island also consists of two bird watching towers- One is the Loistokari tower on the northern side, and another is the Rantakurvi tower on the southwestern side of the island. Both of these towers give an awe-inspiring sea view from the top and also lets you gaze at the unique bird species.
The scenic beauty of the island can be felt deeply on the western shores giving mesmerizing views of the sea like an eternity while the eastern shore provides a picturesque view of the delta of the Oulu River.
The destination is beyond beautiful, having unique scenic views from each part of the island and serves as an amazing recreational center for the kids due to its lovely beaches, ponds, and greeneries.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Vaasa.
Read also: Top 10 Beautiful Islands in Finland to Visit
Strömsö is a Finnish TV show featuring different household topics and which Cooking and Gardening are the main ones. The show is top-rated in Finland and is named after the destination of Strömsö, which is a beautiful Summer Villa in Vaasa.
This Villa has a lot of popularity in Vaasa, as this is the shooting destination of various famous Finnish shows often conducted by YLE, which is the Finland public broadcasting company. Visiting the Villa is an integral part of Vaasa Travel and Vaasa Tourism, especially for the Finnish people.
The interiors of the Villa are extremely organized and decorative like a living residence accompanied by a beautiful Yard and every other thing that can be found in a cozy, comfortable accommodation. There is also a beach close to the Villa known as Strömsö beach with a beautiful landscape to enjoy the summer sun. It is a perfect family destination for a day out in Vaasa.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Vaasa.
More things to do in the capital: Which is the Best Public Sauna in Helsinki to Relax?
Visit Vaasa church
Vasa Church also popularly known as Vaasan Kirkko is one of the unique churches in Finland. The Church was constructed in 1862 and followed a typical Neo-gothic architecture. The Church expands of a large area covering three lanes and features three beautiful altars done by three famous Finnish artists- The baptism of the Edentel by Albert Edelfelt, The Holy Communion by RW Ekman, and The burial by Louis Sparre.
The Church also features a gallery with accommodation of 900 people and a vault at the downstairs. The surroundings of the Church are stunning and feature a hanging dew tree on a dove dedicated to the baptized infants.
The tree symbolizes the religious value of the Church where the Dove stands for Baptism and Holy Spirit, the wood of the tree stands for the Church, and the White color of Dove showcases purity and innocence. Besides, the Church also consists of an excellent music system, electric pianos, induction loop, and AV equipment. The ambiance of this Church is entirely different for other religious places, and that is why it is a major attraction in Vaasa.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Vaasa.
Enjoy a nice lunch at Seglis in summer
Seglis is an amazing family restaurant in Vaasa situated adjacent to Vaskiluoto Harbour. If you are looking for a luxurious summer lunch, visit Vaasa to satisfy your hunger at Seglis. The restaurant features a sea view open terrace, which is an excellent destination to try out the delicious buffets.
The buffet consists of mainly meat, fish and even includes vegetables. The items are cooked in the terrace in large frying pans and served fresh and hot to the customers instantly. The buffet starts with different types of salads, in the beginning, then the main course item having lip-smacking fish and meat meals.
The restaurant has a perfect friendly ambiance to be enjoyed with friends as well as family members. Apart from being a restaurant, Seglis is also a brewery offering unique varieties of traditional and international beers to be relished with lunch.
While the interiors have a cozy luxurious feeling, the outdoor terrace gives amazing yacht views perfect for a summer afternoon.
Address: Niemeläntie 14, 65100 Vaasa
Opening hours: 11am to 2pm (Monday), 11am to 9pm (Tueday to Friday), 1pm to 9pm (Saturday), and 1pm to 6pm (Sunday) – Seglis is a seasonal restaurant and is only open during the summer season
Book a table: https://www.seglis.fi/
Check out Bragen’s outdoor museum
Bragen’s outdoor museum is a unique open-air museum in the city of Vaasa that is a must-visit destination for every traveler. The museum features a 19th-century farmhouse serving as the main entrance, which highlights the gorgeous farmhouse between Naarpio and Vaasa. What makes the scenic beauty of the farmhouse amazing, is the Harf farms planted serially in a row, windmill, lampola, and mullet and even a features a pig.
The museum also features the model of the famous Skansen Museum of Stockholm and the Seurasaari Museum of Helsinki. The museum aims to display the scenario of Pohjalainen Farm and hence the Pohjalainen hatuupa models serves as the prime attraction whose interiors are decorated with mirrors, scones, and paper flowers.
The museum displays various materials from the period of 1890 and even features a coastal area with a fishing cabin, smoke sauna, and whirlpool. The exhibits display the fact of how fishing once used to be an important earning method to sustain a livelihood.
The entire museum comprises 24 buildings in total, beach bars, boathouse, and even a seal-hunting museum. The destination is full of interesting stuff belonging to the 19th-century era of Brage Culture and an attractive location to be enjoyed very much by the kids.
Address: Hietalahti, 65350 Vaasa
Opening hours: Open only in summers. 11am to 4pm (Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday) 1pm to 6pm (Wednesday)
Entrace fee: Visit their website for the updated cost
This is an excellent destination for art lovers featuring an exotic collection of contemporary art in Finland covering various topics like Pop art, kinetic art, surrealism, postmodernism, informalism, etc.
The museum is named after Consul Simo Kunts who is known to have a major contribution in discovering contemporary art in Finland. The Kuntsi museum was prepared for public access in the year 2007 and is continuously growing with the passing years. The museum features more than 900 artworks from artists across the world from the era of 1950 until date.
The museum is also a part of Vaasa Festival and events organizing various events and exhibitions with public groups. The museum is a center of collaboration from different artistic backgrounds like dance, theater, workshops, literature, and music and features a shop called Café Simo for visitor’s recreation.
Address: Sisäsatama, 65100 Vaasa
Opening hours: 11am to 5pm
Entrance fee: Check website for the latest fee
Gustav Wasa is one of the most prominent restaurants of the city widely known for its Scandinavian menu.
The menu features various seasonal dishes, creative food items, and delicious flavors of wines to complete a sumptuous dinner. It is an excellent dine luxurious restaurant featuring a courtyard sauna for the customer’s relaxation from the freezing nights.
The restaurant features different themes like land, fire, air, water at different seasons and introduces creative menus as per that. The GW7 testing Menu is the main attraction of the restaurant, which features seven different creative dishes prepared by inducing several raw materials. The 7-course menu includes not only mouthwatering food items but also a long list of drinks purely made from the brewery featuring wines and beers.
The restaurant provides you choices to select items for the 7 course menu like-smoked whitefish-sillimousse, warmly cooked salmon and Vasterbottens Cheesecake, Air-dried ham with white peppercorn, bacon korv, and cornichons, etc. while for the starters you can go for- shrimps with smoked creams, farmers cheese with cloudberries, wedge potatoes with arioli and many other unique items. Gustav Wasa, with its luxurious 7-course menu, is like a food paradise for all foodies and a vital part of Vasa nightlife.
Address: Raastuvankatu 24, 65100 Vaasa
Opening hours: From 6pm to 11pm Tuesdays to Saturdays
Book a table: https://www.gustavwasa.com/
If you are visiting in summer, make sure to enjoy a beautiful view and a beer at Strampen!
Strampen is a fantastic summer destination in Vaasa situated in the intrinsic scenic beauty of Vaasa harbor and amongst the 150 years old pavilion of Finland. Strampen is a grand open-air restaurant featuring 220 seats, and in the summertime, an extra 400 summer beds are accommodated for the visitors in the terrace.
The restaurant offers a fantastic seaside view and includes an ala carte system for selecting dishes as per user’s choice. Strampen is also famous for the Scandinavian cuisine, and the most prominent among them are salmon, cooked pork and mouthwatering soups.
Not only food the restaurant is also amazing in terms of serving desserts like chocolate cake, ice creams, pavlova, and most importantly some delicious pure wines and beers which you will hardly get anywhere else.
So if you are visiting Vaasa in summer, this restaurant is necessary to visit due to its gorgeous open-air seaside settings and mouthwatering food.
Address: Rantakatu 6, 65100 Vaasa
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm (Monday to Friday), 12pm to 2am (Saturdays), and 12pm to 10pm (Sundays) – Strampen is a seasonal restaurant and is open from May to September
Book a table: https://www.strampen.com/