Tourists and backpackers visit Europe every year with the same enthusiasm. Finland is popular among tourists as the ‘happiest country‘ on Earth. This place is one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists. A vacation in Finland is both a blissful and enjoyable experience.
Known for its natural beauty, stunning landscapes, unique cultural experiences, and marvelous lifestyle, Finland is a dream destination for travelers! If you are someone who wishes to spend some time amidst a tranquil environment & at the same time experience adventure, consider visiting Finland.
Places to visit in Finland are abundant & every single place leaves you awestruck. Are you a nature lover? Finland has a lot to entertain you! Do you enjoy amidst cultural richness? Finland will let you smile border! Is your circle a thrill-seeker? Well, the Nordic gem Finland awaits your visit!
Right from vibrant cities to pristine wilderness, Finland has something to offer everyone. A trip to this country will surely leave you pleased. In this guide, we shall learn about the top 20 places to visit in Finland. Explore the top places from the list to make your holidays memorable.
Why is Finland Called the Happiest Country?
As per the U.N. World Happiness Data, Finland is the ‘world’s happiest country.’ 2023 marks the 6th year of this record held by this country. Tourists, travelers, and adventure enthusiasts find Finland the best European country to visit. Why? From the sea to the snow, from spellbound natural beauty to brilliant cities, the place has everything to fascinate your heart and enrich your life with incredible memories!
Best Places to Visit in Finland
Sandwiched between Sweden on its West and Russia on its East, Finland is indeed a gem. The vast stretch of greenery and 1,88,000 picture-perfect lakes make it a beautiful holiday destination. Tourists can enjoy nature, wildlife, hiking, skiing, fishing, sightseeing sauna, ice fishing, shopping, and many more things during a vacation in Finland.
Let’s look closer at the 20 places in Finland that form the center of attraction for voyagers.
Tampere is among the most attractive places to visit in Finland city. It’s the 3rd largest & Finn’s favorite city. What attracts tourists to this place is its museums, theatres, and galleries. You will feel blessed to see the stunning views, public saunas, & quirky museums when here. You can click pictures of the city blended between Nasijarvi Lake and Pyhajarvi Lake. The city is known for its original artwork, Amuri open-air park, and Moomin Valley Museum.
Tampere is unique, offering a unique vacation feel to tourists. Being a cultural hub, you can get fascinating cultural experiences upon touring the city. The pristine lakeside views, spacious parks, and theatres/museums make Tampere a must-visit spot.
Time: 1-2 days trip to Tampere is perfect.
The capital city of Finland – Helsinki, houses a total of 330 islands. The tranquil and immersive nature attracts innumerable tourists to this place. Hiking at Nuuksio National Park, witnessing Porvoo, tasting scrumptious cuisine, and experiencing its laid-back and chill lifestyle are some things to do when on vacation to Helsinki.
Helsinki is among the top-rated places to visit in Finland. One must keep an eye on the serene atmosphere and concealed destinations here. The city’s long history, Suomenlinna Sea Fortress (a UNESCO world heritage), and extravagant sauna all add up to the vividity of the place, making it unique from its European cousins.
Time: A 3-day trip will be enough.
Get ready to capture the beauty and essence of northern Finland on a trip to Rovaniemi. This place is Lapland’s official capital and Santa Claus’s hometown. Enjoy Husky Rides at Bearhill Husky, see the reindeer, enjoy a cozy stay in the Aurora Cabin, and visit the ice hotel. Seen geographically, this town is the largest in Europe. Tourists can enjoy strolling snow-clad landscapes, Santa Village, & experience the Christmas opening ceremony.
Time: Take five days to make the most out of this city.
Espoo is Finland’s 2nd most populated city, with a calm sea within. This place has to offer you a blend of modern city life and tranquil nature. A total of 165 islands in Espoo will make your tour of the place worthwhile. Since the city is moored with water, you can fish and boat! Kayaking and canoeing are also offered for tourists.
The significant attractions of Espoo include vast natural landscapes, islands, lake-filled destinations, and seashores. Plan a vacation in Finland and visit Nuuksion National Park, a virgin wilderness of forests and lakes. Traditionally, this city is an important place for Europeans, so it’s worth including it in the tour itinerary.
Time: Coast at least 7 days to visit tourist attractions in Espoo.
Porvoo, which is popularly known as the ‘Crowded Planet.’ The place is a pretty and picture-perfect tourist destination. One of the primary reasons why tourists explore Porvoo is that it is Finland’s oldest city. Make sure you capture pictures of pastel-colored wooden houses as old as the 19th century.
Iso Linnamäki Fortress, Urbcult Sauna, Sikosaari, Magic Rocks, etc., are some places to explore when on a tour of Porvoo. You can stay at the cozy cafes and shop at shops here. The charming & attractive town, cobbled streets, and beautiful river views will make your trip memorable.
Time: a 1-day trip allows you to explore the incredible places in Porvoo.
Blended with natural wonders and artificial paragons, Vaasa is among the best places to visit in Finland. Some of the top attractions in the place include 20 museums, art galleries, historical monuments, and a city orchestra. Tourists from all over the country flock here to feel the cultural vastness.
When you are in Vaasa, explore the old ruins, stroll Replot Bridge, check out Hietasaari, & take a tour of Strömsö. The best time to tour this city is during the Vaasa Choir Festival or the Korsholm Music Festival. Also, enjoy delicious lunch at Seglis in summer.
Time: To complete an exciting trip in Vaasa, you’ll need at least 3 days.
Turku, the Lonely Planet, must be one of the places in your travel itinerary. The place boasts 20,000 islands, a Swedish Theatre, and a shopping center. Summers is the perfect time to hop at Turku. One can enjoy sightseeing in the town on the ferry. The place has innumerable tourist activities, such as – biking, hiking, kayaking & fishing.
The primary attraction in Turku is Turku Castle which is as old as 16 to 17 C. Some islands include Ruissalo (biking and picnicking), Ukkopekka (romantic gateway), and Loistokari Island. Apart from these islands, you can indulge in dining and lodging options in plenty of small villages along the trail.
Time: 2 days per town works as ideal for the Turku tour.
A vacation in Finland is complete with exploring the city of Lapland. Popularly known as the ‘winter wonderland, Lapland offers you everything for a lifetime experience. Right from impressive nighttime sky views to widespread landscapes, the place has them all! Plan a trip here between December to February to get the most out of your vacation.
Lapland is home to Santa Claus Village. Tourists get innumerable adventurous activities to be done when here. These counts in skiing, snowboarding, hitting the sauna, paddling through the water, etc. Mae sure to plan a stay at Arctic TreeHouse Hotel to feel nature at its best!
Time: Take 2 full days in your hand, and only then can you experience the magic beheld by Lapland.
Located in the middle of Finland’s largest Lake, Saimaa, Savonlinna attracts thousands of backpackers annually. You will feel mesmerized to glance at this city on the islands. Some of the reasons why Savonlinna is a tourist hotspot include – Olavinlinna Castle, the world’s largest wooden church, Linnansaari and Kolovesi (National Parks), and the Punkaharju national landscape.
You can’t miss sightseeing in the city, pampering yourself in a spa, learning culture and history, or trying adventurous activities like cycling, hiking, swimming, kayaking, etc. The best time to visit Savonlinna is when it hosts ballet and opera festivals.
Time: Since there are many things to do in Savonlinna, a 4-day trip is required.
Levi is a paradise on earth – yes, such is the vastness of its beauty. The snow-covered city has to offer you unlimited skiing opportunities. Get ready to embark on a journey to the ski resort, enjoy walking through the forests, take a husky tour, or even try a snowmobile tour.
European city Levi is situated at a distance of 170 km north of the Arctic Circle. Every year, tourists come here to partake in winter sports. Levi also has some well-known bars and restaurants serving delicious delicacies for romantic evenings!
Time: The best length for a trip to Levi is 6 nights and 7 days.
Aland attracts nature lovers to it every vacation & summer vacation. This is an island situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea. Aland houses more than 6700 islands which are all equally marvelous! Tourists can feel the uniqueness of the Swedish lifestyle on these islands. Being one of the top places to visit in Finland, Aland will leave you happy.
Those who love peace and serenity must plan a tour of the Aland islands. Here, the scenery is refreshingly beautiful. The fascinating islands are hidden so that you can take complete advantage of the quietness of the place. It’s also known as the shopping paradise. Visit the maritime museum and the open-air museum when here.
Time: 2 days are more than enough to tour in and around Aland.
Pori is the 2nd largest city in Finland and has a unique coastline. Go and explore the vibrant culture of the place with family and friends. The Satakunta Museum, Pori Art Museum, and the Juselius Mausoleum are some of the top sights to explore when on a tour of Pori.
Every nature lover makes a stroll in and around Pori. Yyteri Beach is one of the best beaches in all of Scandinavia. Watch the sunset here. Remember exploring the Natural Heritage Centre Arkii and pristine islands like Reposaari and Kirjurinluoto. Every year, the place hosts a jazz festival which is a must to visit by tourists!
Time: You only require 3-4 daytime to cover all major attractions in Pori.
A vacation in Finland will be exciting when you go and visit Salla. Salla has innumerable opportunities for fun and thrill. Tourists can partake in hiking, mountain biking, trailing in cross-country when in Salla. Tourists often get close to nature in Salla, Finland.
The cozy and authentic environment in this city is what makes it one of the best tourist spots in Europe. Since it’s located above the Arctic Circle, thrill & adventures await you. Get away from the daily life hustle-bustle & treat yourself to a holiday in Salla.
Time: A weekend tour is optimum for exploring the entire Salla.
Kemi is located on the northern side of the Gulf of Bothnia. It’s a highly explored tourist destination with the most significant snow castle in the world. Tourists can reach here from the south of the Arctic Circle. Kemi forms a part of the wilderness of Europe.
The town is attractive in terms of history as well as adventure. Make sure to witness the historic wooden buildings. Kemi is also known as the industrial port city. Visiting it in winter will let you enjoy several activities like snowmobiling, dog sledding, etc.
Time: 6-day time is enough to make the most of the Kemi trip.
Located in the southeastern part of the Kainuu region, Kuhmo is must visit when on vacation in Finland. The vibrant culture and natural life in this place are worth exploring. What attracts tourists to Kuhmo is the Music Festival held every year. There are 600 lakes in Kumho; every lake is serene and pristine! Make sure to capture the beautiful ambiance of Kumho with your cameras.
Time: in 8 days-time, you can cover all highlights of Kuhmo.
Oulu is among the largest northern cities in the world. It is known among tourists as a trading center. The city is now a modern one with innumerable museums and galleries. The lighthouse in the place is a significant attraction for backpackers. You can attend cultural and music festivals, like, Oulu Music Video Festival and the International Children’s Film Festival. There are many spas for pampering tourists on a trip to Oulu.
Time: Aim at staying 7 days in Oulu, Finland. You will get enough time to experience all that the place offers.
Joensuu means ‘the mouth of the river.’ This is the place that offers a real winter experience to every tourist. You can indulge in adventurous activities like ice swimming in Pyhäselkä. Here, you will also get an opportunity to learn about the history of Finland when visiting the Carelicum Museum.
Every year, the place hosts the Ilosaarirock Festival. Apart from historical importance, the place has several natural attractions like the beautiful Kuhasalo and the Pyhäselkä lake landscape.
Time: 2 days are apt for Joensuu trip.
Being the 13th-largest city in Finland, Lappeenranta is one of Finland’s best places to visit. There are several attractions here which are all within walking distance. Some beautiful places to explore when on a trip to Lappeenranta are the Harbour of Lappeenranta, the Fortress, etc. The attractive Harbour area hosts several events for tourists’ enjoyment.
Time: 2-3 days in Lappeenranta is enough to sightsee enchanting destinations here, like; Lake Saimaa & Vuoksi River.
Rauma is the 3rd oldest town in Finland, and it features everything that will make a trip to Europe memorable. It’s among the top places to visit in Finland. Some of the major attractions in this city include remnants of the Stone, Bronze, and Viking Ages, Rauma Museum, etc. Tourists visit the Potter’s Workshop, which houses things as old as the 20th century. The town also hosts festivals like Klustermus and the Rauma Blues Festival. Make sure to participate in these festivals.
Time: 2 days.
Santa Claus Village
A vacation in Finland is complete if you visit Santa Claus Village. This is an appealing amusement park located amidst the snowy mountains of Lapland. The Disneyland of Europe – Santa Claus Village attracts many tourists every year. Some top attractions here include ice restaurants, husky and reindeer sleigh rides, and an igloo hotel. You will get a feel of fairy tales while shopping in souvenir shops in the village.
Time: 2-3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions for Places to Visit in Finland
Q1. How to reach Finland?
Ans – There are several transportation options to reach Finland. Some of them are as mentioned:
The fastest and most convenient way is airways to explore Finland. Jyvaskyla (JYV) Airport is 94.6 km away from Finland. This airport serves as the primary entry point for most tourists.
The train is another transportation way to reach Finland. This applies to those who are already in Europe. You can take a train from Moscow to Helsinki to Finland, a scenic overnight journey.
You can also take the ferry from neighboring countries like Sweden or Estonia & reach Finland. Some of the ferry routes opted for by travelers include the following: Stockholm (Sweden) to Helsinki or Turku (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia) to Helsinki.
Q2. When is the best time or the perfect time to visit Finland?
Ans – Summertime is considered to be the best time to visit Finland. During the summer months, places to visit in Finland appear lively! June to August are the best months to explore this place. The warm temperatures hover between 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. The days are longer in summer, so you can get ample time to explore every tourist attraction in Finland.
Q3. What are the adventurous sports to do in Finland?
Ans – Some of the unique yet popular sports available for tourists in Finland include the following:
- Swamp football
- Milking-stool throwing
- Ant-nest sitting
- Snowshoe foot
Q4. What are the things to know before traveling to Finland?
Ans – The 3 most important things to know before planning a vacation in Finland includes the following:
Since Finland lies in the E.U. and Schengen areas, travelers need not carry a visa to enter Finland. However, you must carry your passport while entering or departing Finland.
Finland uses Euro as its currency. So, if you are a foreign traveler, keep the exchange currency ready before entering this country. Card payments, Visa & Mastercard, are acceptable in Finland.
- Where to Stay
In Finland, there are several hostels for tourist stay. Helsinki, Rovaniemi, and Turku all have cozy hotels and resorts. So, don’t worry about your stay.
Q5. Is it safe to visit Finland?
Ans – Yes, Finland is a safe country for tourists and travelers. The country holds a significantly less crime rate. Backpackers need not worry about their safety because staying here will be no trouble. You can pick up simple yet certified travel insurance for more safety.
Q6. Do you need a visa for Finland?
Ans – No, you don’t need a visa for Finland if you are a citizen of a country that is part of the European Union (E.U.) or the European Economic Area (EEA). Such tourists from non-EU/EEA countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc., also need not show a visa card. They can visit Finland for up to 90 days within 180 days.
You will need a visa for tourism in Finland if you are a family member of an E.U. citizen but don’t have an E.U. citizenship certification.
Q7. What are the best ways to travel in Finland?
Ans – Finland boasts of innumerable convenient ways to travel within the country. You can opt for domestic flights, trains, buses, car rentals, or any other form of Public Transportation to travel in Finland. Ferries are also a popular means of transportation. A ferry is an appropriate travel option since Finland has an extensive coastline with many islands.
Q8. Is Finland expensive?
Ans – Yes, a vacation in Finland is generally considered relatively expensive compared to many other European countries. It would help if you had a heavy pocket to bear the cost of living, accommodation, transportation, and dining when traveling to Finland.
Q9. What things must you experience in Finland?
Ans – Witness the mesmerizing Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), enjoy winter activities in Santa Claus Village, try indulging in a Finnish Sauna, experience the Midnight Sun in the summer months, & explore National Parks like Urho Kekkonen National Park and Oulanka National Park when in Finland.
Q10. How many days are sufficient for Finland?
Ans – A five-day trip to Finland is more than enough. However, the number of days you should spend in Finland is primarily determined by your travel preferences, the destinations you wish to visit, and the activities you want to try when on vacation to the happiest country.
Q11. Is it low-cost to go to Finland or New Zealand?
Ans – A vacation in Finland is more costly when compared to New Zealand.