Finland Tourism And Travel Guide
8° C / 46.5° F
November to August
5 to 7 Days
Helsinki International Airport
Helsinki Railway Station
Finland is one of Europe’s northernmost countries, intruding into the Arctic Circle and kissed by the Baltic Sea. The country is home to museums and fashion districts, lakes and forests, ski resorts and nationals parks, as well as northern lights and midnight suns. Hence it is no surprise that the tourism in Finland thrives and flourishes with every passing day. Summers as well as winters make for coveted holiday seasons. To understand what activities prevail at what time and how to make a fulfilled holiday to Finland, we have this travel guide for you.
How to Reach
The easiest way to travel to Finland is by air, however, trains are also great if moving from anywhere in Europe.
Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai operate regular flights to Finland’s capital city Helsinki, and some rare ones to Ivalo and Turku as well. You can also fly to Finland from anywhere in Europe on budget airlines. Finnair is the national carrier of the country and has many routes to many destinations.
Road trips are very coveted in Finland and you can drive in from Russia, Sweden or even Denmark. Buses are another cheaper option for road travel.
Helsinki and Turku are significant ports of Finland and you can catch a boat/ catamaran to Stockholm in Sweden. Ferries also ply to other islands in the archipelago of the Baltic, as well as country like Russia, Germany, Poland etc.
The best transport method for tourists in the country is hiring cars for city travel and taking the train for cross country travel. Flights are also a good idea, especially for the young lot below 25 years of age as they get special discounts.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summers and winters are both great to visit Finland, depending on what activities you want to indulge in.
Spring (March to May):
With mild temperature of 7-15°C, spring season ushers the opening into summer’s delights. Although you can’t see the midnight sun yet, there’s plenty of lakeside activities, adventure, hiking, fishing, national park tours and city explorations.
Summer (June to September):
Summers are the peak tourist time in Finland, with temperatures touching 30°C mark during July and warm sunshine hanging over the country almost all day long. The midnight sun is a delight and everyone is out and about enjoying idle treks, lakeside picnics, fishing, skiing and sunbathing.
Autumn (October to November):
This season brings some rain and blizzard with a stark drop in temperatures, while the forests bloom with wild berries and mushrooms. Locals participate in collecting this bounty and by mid-November, Northern Lights are a glory in the sky.
Winter (December to February):
Finnish winters mean Christmas at the Santa Village in Rovaniemi, sledding under the Northern Lights, escaping to ski resorts and enjoying the sub zero temperatures with the warmth of alcohol, sauna and bonfires.
Things to Do
Go Wild on a Sleigh:
Sleighs are one of the most fun ways of travel as well as recreation in Finland, especially the Lapland region of the Arctic Circle where huskies or reindeer pull your sleigh. Winters are the best time to enjoy this activity and special tours also arrange for the same.
Meet Santa Claus:
The city of Rovaniemi in northern Finland crosses into the Arctic Circle and is the home to Santa Claus. Here in this city you will find the Santa Village, Santa Post Office and many more theme parks that come alive in the myth of Claus. Christmas is a magical time here.
Ski under Northern Lights:
Skiing is a coveted summer as well as winter sport in the snowy mountains of Lapland. But a better bet is to go skiing during midnight sun months at the peak of summer and under the northern lights of winter.
Do the Sauna-Lake Routine:
Sauna is a Finnish word; the relaxing routine was invented by the Finns to remain warm and keep the skin clean during winters. You can go for saunas and then act like locals by plunging into an ice cold lake after a hot sauna. Special sausages are also eaten as part of the routine. It is a legit Finnish thing to do, and very memorable.
Enjoy Life inside a Glass Igloo:
Many resorts and hotels offer glass igloos for visitors to give you a 360° experience of the country’s natural phenomena. Like the midnight sun in summer and northern lights during winter. Lapland has many glass igloos available for rent all year round.
What to Eat
Finnish cuisine is made from freshly sourced products and the locals love their fish, waffles, pasties and salt candies. The Karelian pasty is a favourite pastry made from potato and rice with butter brushed over its steaming surface. Rye breads are eaten here like in most other Nordic countries; cheese, jam butter and flax seeds to flavour it. Another Finnish favourite is Hernekeitto or the split-pea soup. During summers, cloudberries are ripe and made into jams, tarts, cocktails and desserts. So make sure you try these dishes at least once on your trip to Finland.
What to Shop
Finland cannot be termed as a shopper’s paradise, and yet you will find a hoard of souvenirs to take back home from here. Like the traditional wall hangings called Takana or the Iittala glass artefacts and mementoes, Kalevala Jewellery or kuksa drinking cups. The other things you may find interesting and take back are Salmiakki or salty liquorice chocolates, sauna birch branches (to thrash against your skin after sauna) and the famous Fazer sweets.