Finland is a country that combines the beauty of wildlife, fabulous landscapes, and the modern design of cities and resorts. Suomi (as locals call Finland) seems to be painted on canvas, and the bright, saturated colors of local landscapes are fascinating. Dense green forests, picturesque lakes, numerous national parks are wonderful places for walks, kayaking, rafting, and canoeing.
In Finland, the winters are just magical, and the fact that the residence of Santa Claus is located here is a clear proof of this. In winter, you can go skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, as well as dog and deer sledding. After all the activities, it is great to warm up in the traditional Finnish saunas, which are available in the majority of hotels. Finland is also famous for the high level of service provided by its resorts.
The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), which can be seen every second cloudless night between September and March, leave the most striking impression of a trip to Finland. So if you want to see the captivating beauty of "fire foxes" (as the Finns call the Northern Lights), go to the Kilpisjärvi region in Lapland.
|Helsinki||5 521 158||Finnish, Swedish||Euro||338 400 km²|
What to see and where?
Finland attracts travelers from all over the world. Each city in the country has its own character, reflecting the nature and traits of the locals — strong, hardworking, motivated, and infinitely-loving their land.
In the south of Suomi, on the Gulf of Finland, Helsinki stands. It the capital, largest port, the intellectual, the financial, and the cultural center of the country. It includes 315 islands, and parks occupy one-third of its territory. The city center — the Senate Square — is framed by a majestic Empire-style architectural ensemble. There you will find the hallmark of Helsinki — St. Nicholas' Church (Helsinki Cathedral). The soul of the city, its most atmospheric and colorful place is the Market Square (Kauppatori), located on the Baltic coast. Climbing up to the observation deck of the Uspenski Cathedral, you can see the panorama of the city from a height. Esplanade Street, Helsinki's busiest place, is home to many modern shops, boutiques, restaurants, and stylish and trendy bars.
Turku is the oldest city in Finland, founded at the beginning of the XIII century, its first capital and an important port on the Baltic Sea and the Aura River. It suffered significant losses during the Second World War, was restored over time, and today appears to us as a beautiful, modern, industrial city. The Cathedral (the oldest building in Turku) and the Medieval Castle, functioning as a museum, have been preserved here. But the most outstanding attraction of Turku is the largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea, located near the city. It is a cluster of twenty thousand small islands. Here you can truly relax away from civilization: fishing, swimming on ferries, yachts, and boats, cycling, and in winter — enjoy skating and skiing.
Tampere is the third-largest city in Finland, founded at the end of the XVIII century, but has managed to keep the coziness and charm of a small town. Its central part is located on a narrow isthmus between lakes, which will be interesting to ride on an old wheeled ship. In addition to the delightful nature, Tampere has many attractions and museums: the Lutheran Cathedral, the temple in the modern style in the Kaleva area, the Orthodox Church of Saint Alexander Nevsky and Saint Nicholas, the Sara Hilden Art Museum, the Spy Museum, the Museum of Dolls and the Moomin Museum. The Tampere Jazz Happening International Music Festival is held here annually in autumn, and the Tampere Biennale is held every two years in spring, bringing together contemporary musicians and performers from around the world.
The Åland Islands are an autonomous region of Finland, with its capital in Mariehamn. They are an archipelago in the Baltic Sea at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia, consisting of 60 inhabited islands and over 6000 deserted islands. The unusual nature of this place attracts travelers from all over the world. This wonderful corner of Finland is perfect for cycling and hiking, camping, fishing in the open sea and bays of the archipelago, sailing. The islands are famous not only for their marvelous nature but also for their outstanding sights: the four-masted sailing ship Pommern, the only surviving vessel of this type in the world; Kastelholm Castle, a medieval castle from the XIV century, with many spiral staircases and passages, with preserved loopholes and knight's armor; Vita Björn Prison, which is a mysterious and exciting museum; the Åland Maritime Museum, as well as the village of Geta, with rocks of pink granite. The islands have a variety of bars, restaurants, cafes, where you can relax and warm up with a cup of hot coffee, which Finns love so much.
Ski tourism in Finland
Finland is an ideal place for skiing holidays, with more than 140 high-class winter resorts, professionally equipped slopes, and developed infrastructure. Finns recognize only high quality, and this is especially evident in the organization of skiing holidays. Every resort has schools with well-trained instructors.
In Eastern Finland, on the shore of Lake Kallavesi, there is a center of winter tourism — Kuopio, which has its own airport and where planes from Helsinki arrive every day. The climate of this place creates comfortable conditions for winter holidays, there is always a lot of snow, and the temperature does not rise above -4 °C. Kuopio has over 400 km of well-equipped tracks, some of which have evening lighting. In addition to skiing, snowboarding, and motorcycling, here you can try such leisure activities as snowshoe safari and Finnish sledding. This place offers excellent service, wonderful hotels, and delicious local cuisine. There are many restaurants, cafes, bars and night clubs in the city center.
In the north of the country, there are the popular Vuokatti with a snowboard tunnel; Levi with a gondola cableway; Kuusamo / Ruka with the oldest slalom school; Paljakka with an incredibly clear snow cover; and Pyhä, where there are many extreme slopes.
The center of the country can boast of the Koli resort with its luxurious views of Lake Pielinen and Tahko, the venue for European championships in alpine skiing, and snowboarding.
Ellivuori represents the south of Finland. This is a resort with a magnificent amusement park. The neighborhood of ski slopes with amusement parks is a distinctive feature of holidays in Finland. All the best water parks in the country are at ski resorts. Here you can ride water slides, take a sauna and return with renewed strength to conquer the slopes.
National peculiarities of the Finns
Finland is an extraordinary country that has undergone a long, thorny path of development. Climate, customs, and a complicated history have left their mark on the character and habits of local people.
- Finns value personal space; do not approach strangers too close, so try not to get very close to them in line, at a stop, or in transport.
- Speaking out loud and active gesticulation is considered to be rude.
- Finns tend to speak slowly, draw out vowels, and are also quite laconic. It is believed that a good upbringing manifests itself in the ability to stick to the point. In general, Finns are calm and restrained people.
Cities in Finland
Finland is a fabulous country with beautiful nature, thousands of islands and lakes, archipelagos, rivers, and the Baltic Sea. All this makes it unique and forms a special character. Local attractions draw tourists from all over the planet who are fond of history, love the sea and adventures.