Exploring the Enchanting Wonders of Finland: A Traveler's Guide

Written by: Better Ask Me



Time to read 9 min

Finland, known as the land of a thousand lakes and the magical land of the midnight sun, offers a unique and enchanting experience for travelers. From the captivating Northern Lights to pristine national parks, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage, Finland has something to offer every visitor. In this article, we will take you on a journey through the must-visit destinations and provide valuable tips to make the most of your trip to Finland.

"Finland's beauty lies in its breathtaking landscapes of pristine lakes, vast forests, and Northern Lights, offering a serene and enchanting experience for visitors.”


Visiting Finland

Embrace the Northern Magic:

One of the top reasons to visit Finland is the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights. Head to Finnish Lapland, such as Rovaniemi or Inari, during the winter months to catch a glimpse of this natural phenomenon. Consider joining a guided tour or staying in a cozy glass igloo to enhance your chances of seeing the dancing lights in the sky.

Explore the Finnish Archipelago:

With over 180,000 islands, the Finnish Archipelago is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Take a ferry ride or rent a boat to navigate through the stunning coastal landscapes, visit charming island villages, and enjoy activities like fishing, kayaking, and hiking. Don't miss the Åland Islands, a Swedish-speaking autonomous region known for its picturesque landscapes and historic sites.


Immerse in Finnish Sauna Culture:

The Finnish sauna is an integral part of Finnish culture and a must-experience activity. Enjoy the unique ritual of steaming in a traditional wooden sauna, followed by a refreshing dip in a lake or a roll in the snow. Many hotels and resorts offer saunas, and some even have floating saunas for a truly unforgettable experience.

Discover Helsinki's Charms:

The vibrant capital city of Helsinki showcases a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. Explore the stunning architecture, visit iconic landmarks like the Helsinki Cathedral and Suomenlinna Fortress, stroll through the bustling market square, and indulge in Finnish cuisine at local restaurants and cafes. Don't forget to visit the famous Design District and experience the city's vibrant arts and culture scene.

Experience Finnish Nature:

Finland is renowned for its pristine natural beauty, and national parks are abundant throughout the country. Nuuksio National Park near Helsinki, Urho Kekkonen National Park in Lapland, and Oulanka National Park in northern Finland are just a few examples of the stunning natural landscapes waiting to be explored. Enjoy hiking, wildlife spotting, and camping in these picturesque settings.

Finland offers a captivating blend of natural wonders, cultural treasures, and unique experiences that will leave a lasting impression on any traveler. From the mystical Northern Lights to the tranquility of the Finnish Archipelago and the vibrant city life in Helsinki, there is something for everyone in this Scandinavian gem. Embrace the magic of Finland and create unforgettable memories that will stay with you forever.


Tips for Tourists

1. Dress for the Weather:

Finland experiences varying weather conditions throughout the year. Pack appropriate clothing and layers to stay warm in the cold winters and be prepared for unpredictable weather changes during other seasons.

2. Enjoy Outdoor Activities:

Take advantage of Finland's natural beauty by engaging in outdoor activities. Try cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, hiking, or cycling, depending on the season. The country's national parks and lakes offer stunning landscapes for exploration.

3. Respect Nature and Wildlife:

Finland takes pride in its pristine environment. Follow the "Everyman's Right" principle, which allows access to nature, but ensure you leave no trace behind. Respect wildlife and maintain a safe distance when encountering animals in their natural habitats.

4. Experience Sauna Etiquette:

Saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture. Familiarize yourself with sauna etiquette, such as sitting on a towel, respecting others' privacy, and understanding the temperature preferences of the locals. Don't be shy to try this relaxing and rejuvenating tradition.

5. Try Finnish Cuisine:

Explore the unique flavors of Finnish cuisine during your visit. Sample traditional dishes like reindeer meat, salmon soup, Karelian pastries, and various fish delicacies. Don't forget to taste Finnish berries, such as lingonberries and cloudberries, and indulge in local desserts like pulla (sweet cardamom bread) and korvapuusti (cinnamon rolls).

6. Learn Some Finnish Phrases:

While many Finns speak English, learning a few basic Finnish phrases can enhance your experience and show appreciation for the local culture. Phrases like "kiitos" (thank you), "moi" (hello), and "hyvää päivää" (good day) can go a long way in connecting with locals.

7. Embrace the Midnight Sun or Polar Night:

Depending on the time of year, you may experience the midnight sun or polar night phenomenon in Finland. Embrace these unique natural occurrences and plan activities accordingly, such as midnight sun hikes or witnessing the mesmerizing twilight colors.

8. Visit Local Markets and Festivals:

Immerse yourself in Finnish culture by exploring local markets and festivals. Visit the Helsinki Market Square, Rovaniemi's Christmas markets, or the Savonlinna Opera Festival to experience the vibrant atmosphere and traditional Finnish crafts, food, and music.

9. Take Advantage of Public Transportation:

Finland has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, trains, and trams. Utilize these options to explore different regions of the country conveniently and cost-effectively.

10. Respect Cultural Customs:

Familiarize yourself with Finnish customs and traditions to show respect to the locals. For example, remove your shoes when entering someone's home, be punctual for appointments, and avoid excessive small talk.

Remember, the key to a fulfilling trip to Finland is to embrace the unique culture, connect with nature, and be open to new experiences. Enjoy your journey through this enchanting Scandinavian country.


What NOT to do?

1. Don't Underestimate the Weather:

Finland's weather can be harsh and unpredictable, especially during the winter months. Don't underestimate the cold and come prepared with appropriate clothing and gear to stay warm and comfortable.

2. Avoid Offending Sauna Etiquette:

Saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture, so be mindful of sauna etiquette. Avoid excessive talking or loud behavior, as saunas are meant to be a peaceful and relaxing experience. Also, remember to sit on a towel and maintain personal hygiene.

3. Don't Disturb Wildlife:

Finland is home to diverse wildlife, including bears, reindeer, and birds. Avoid feeding or approaching wild animals and respect their natural habitats. Keep a safe distance and observe them from afar to ensure their well-being and your safety.

4. Avoid Excessive Drinking:

Finns enjoy their alcoholic beverages, but it's important to drink responsibly. Excessive drinking can lead to unpleasant situations and may be seen as disrespectful. Pace yourself and be aware of your alcohol consumption, especially in public places.

5. Don't Forget Cash:

While Finland is a technologically advanced country, some smaller establishments may still prefer cash payments. It's a good idea to carry some cash with you for situations where cards may not be accepted.

6. Avoid Being Loud in Public Places:

Finns value peace and quiet in public spaces. Avoid speaking loudly or causing disruptions in public transportation, restaurants, or other public areas. Respect the peaceful atmosphere and maintain a considerate behavior.

7. Don't Ignore Safer Travel Practices:

While Finland is generally a safe country, it's important to take basic safety precautions. Keep your belongings secure, be aware of your surroundings, and follow any safety guidelines or warnings provided by authorities.

8. Avoid Excessive Small Talk:

Finns value personal space and privacy. While they are friendly and helpful, they may not engage in extensive small talk with strangers. Respect their personal boundaries and avoid intrusive conversations unless given an invitation to do so.

9. Don't Ignore Cultural Norms:

Familiarize yourself with Finnish cultural norms and customs to avoid unintentionally offending locals. For example, remove your shoes when entering someone's home, respect personal space, and adhere to local customs during festivals or events.

10. Don't Rush Through the Experience:

Finland has a lot to offer, from its stunning landscapes to its rich culture. Avoid rushing through your visit and take the time to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the country. Slow down, savor the moments, and embrace the Finnish way of life.

By being mindful of these "not to do" tips, you can ensure a respectful, enjoyable, and memorable experience during your visit to Finland.


Websites assisting tourists in the country:

1. Visit Finland (www.visitfinland.com): The official tourism website of Finland provides comprehensive information on various destinations, activities, accommodations, and travel tips.

2. Visit Helsinki (www.visithelsinki.fi): Specifically focusing on the capital city of Helsinki, this website offers details on attractions, events, dining, accommodations, and transportation options.

3. Visit Rovaniemi (www.visitrovaniemi.fi): Rovaniemi, known as the official hometown of Santa Claus, has its dedicated tourism website that provides information on Arctic adventures, winter activities, accommodations, and local attractions.

4. Visit Turku (www.visitturku.fi): For those planning to explore the historical city of Turku, this website offers insights into museums, events, outdoor activities, restaurants, and accommodations.

5. Visit Åland (www.visitaland.com): Åland Islands, an autonomous region of Finland, has a unique cultural and natural landscape. The official tourism website offers details on accommodations, attractions, outdoor activities, and local events.

6. Visit Lakeland (www.visitlakeland.fi): If you're interested in exploring Finland's picturesque lakeland region, this website provides information on lakeside activities, accommodations, hiking trails, and cultural experiences.

7. Visit Archipelago (www.visitarchipelago.fi): Finland's stunning Archipelago region, consisting of thousands of islands, has its dedicated tourism website offering insights into island hopping, boating, fishing, accommodations, and local attractions.

8. Visit Lapland (www.lapland.fi): Lapland is a popular destination in Finland, especially during winter. This website provides information on winter activities, Santa Claus village, accommodations, and the enchanting northern lights.

These websites serve as valuable resources for planning your trip to Finland, providing details on attractions, activities, accommodations, transportation, and local insights to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.


Cost of travel:

The cost of travel to Finland can vary depending on various factors such as the time of year, mode of transportation, accommodations, activities, and personal preferences. Here's a general overview of the cost of travel in Finland:

1. Flights:

The cost of flights to Finland can vary depending on your departure location, time of booking, and airline. It's advisable to compare prices and book in advance to secure the best deals.

2. Accommodations:

The cost of accommodations in Finland varies depending on the type and location. Major cities like Helsinki and Turku tend to have higher accommodation costs compared to smaller towns. Options range from budget hostels and guesthouses to mid-range hotels and luxury resorts. Consider booking accommodations in advance and explore different options to find the best fit for your budget.

3. Transportation:

Public transportation in Finland is efficient and well-connected, with options including buses, trains, and domestic flights. The cost of transportation depends on the distance and mode of travel. It's recommended to research transportation options and consider purchasing travel passes or cards for discounted fares.

4. Food and Dining:

Eating out in Finland can be moderately expensive, especially in touristy areas. However, there are also more affordable options like casual eateries, street food, and supermarkets for self-catering. Exploring local markets and trying traditional Finnish cuisine can be a great way to experience the culture without breaking the bank.

5. Activities and Attractions:

The cost of activities and attractions in Finland varies depending on the nature of the experience. Entrance fees to museums, national parks, and landmarks may apply, while outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and wildlife safaris might have additional costs. Research and compare prices for the activities you're interested in and consider budgeting accordingly.

6. Souvenirs and Shopping:

The cost of souvenirs and shopping in Finland can vary depending on the items and their quality. Traditional Finnish products like handicrafts, reindeer leather, and design items may come with higher price tags. It's always a good idea to set a budget for shopping and prioritize items that are meaningful to you.

It's important to note that the above information provides a general overview, and actual costs may vary based on personal choices and preferences. It's advisable to research and plan your trip in advance, set a budget, and consider any additional expenses such as travel insurance and visa fees if applicable.


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