Europe, Finland

8 Beautiful Places in Finland to Put on Your Bucket List

Finland is the most beautiful, but most underrated Nordic country and deserves a lot more love and attention than it currently gets. It is the land of a thousand lakes (or 188.000 actually), it is the land of the midnight sun, but it is also so much more. It is a country deeply in touch with nature. And it is a country of modern design and bustling city life. Because we love Finland so much, we have compiled a list of 8 beautiful places in Finland to put on your bucket list!

 

Capital Region of Helsinki

The most natural starting point for your visit to Finland is the capital Helsinki. Helsinki has been the capital of Finland since 1812 as Russian Emperor Alexander I worked towards reducing the Swedish influence in the country. Today, it is by far the most vibrant city in Finland and worth a visit year round. From the iconic Senate Square to the imposing Suomenlinna Fortress, there is plenty to see for history and architecture lover. A hub for Nordic Design, Helsinki is also the perfect place to give your credit cards a good workout!

 

Further Reading

Most Beautiful Places in Finland, Capital Region, Helsinki

 

Historic Finland: Turku & Rauma

Turku was the capital of Finland for several hundred years before it lost its status to Helsinki. Turku has had a tumultuous history and actually burned to the ground several times, most notably in the Great Fire of Turku in 1827. Nonetheless, as the oldest city in Finland, it brims with history and charm. But more importantly, it is your gateway to the beautiful Finnish archipelago. Not far from Turku lies the picturesque town of Rauma which is famous for its iconic wooden houses.

 

Further Reading

Most Beautiful Places in Finland, Turku

 

The Finnish Archipelago

The Finnish archipelago is the largest archipelago in the world (although some of the islands are admittedly tiny) and one of the most unique places to visit in Finland. The largest island group is the autonomous region of the Åland Islands, with their capital Mariehamn. It is absolutely beautiful in the summer and easily accessible by cruise ship from either Helsinki or Turku. You can also try and cycle your way from Turku to Mariehamn by catching a series of commuter ferries between the island!

 

Most Beautiful Places in Finland, Åland Islands, Mariehamn

 

Finnish Lakeland

Finnish Lakeland is located in central and eastern Finland and occupies a large area within the country. After all, it consists of thousands and thousands of lakes! The Finnish lake district is a remnant of the last ice age and shapes Finland until today, geographically as well as culturally. It is home to much of Finnish wildlife and the perfect destination for nature lovers. For example, head into Koli National Park, one of the most popular and most beautiful national parks in Finland. If you are looking for a city break close to a lake in Finland, book yourself into an accommodation in Tampere or Jyväskylä.

 

Further Reading

Most Beautiful Places in Finland, Finnish Lakeland, Tampere

 

Finnish Karelia

Karelia is a region lying in the far East of Finland and, in fact, is a region shared with Russia. Russian influences can be observed almost everywhere. For example, the Russian language has had a strong impact on the east Finnish dialect. Karelia is best known for its pies, and that’s because they are truly delicious and perfect for long and hard Finnish winters. Some of the cities to visit in the area are Lappeenranta, Joensuu, and Savonlinna. Savonlinna is well known for its imposing castle and the annually held Savonlinna Opera Festival. Lappeenranta is ideal for those wanting to take a visa-free cruise to Russia as Vyborg is easily accessible via the Saimaa Canal.

 

Further Reading

Want to know more about Karelian pies? Read all about them and other Finnish pastries here!

Most Beautiful Places in Finland, Karelia, Savonlinna

 

Ostrobothnia

Ostrobothnia is a small region in Western Finland, located on the Gulf of Bothnia. Fun fact, although it lies in Western Finland it is called Ostrobothnia (Eastern Bothnia) as Finland was once part of the Swedish empire which lay to the west! In fact, much of the Swedish influence lingers today as Swedish-speakers make up more than half of the population in the region. Ostrobothnia’s dominating city is Vaasa. Further to the South lies Pori, which, although not technically in Ostrobothnia, also has a lot of coastal charm.

 

Further Reading

Why not attend one of the oldest and best-known jazz festivals in Europe? Read all about our experience at Pori Jazz!

Most Beautiful Places in Finland, Ostrobothnia, Vaasa

 

Northern Finland

Two frosty spots to mark down on your Finland Bucket List are the towns of Oulu and Kemi. Both lie on the Finnish west coast, yet they are not known for their beaches. They are known for fantastic winter landscapes! After all, Kemi is home to the biggest snow fort in the world, Kemi Snow Castle! It has been built every year since 1996 with a new design and houses a hotel, a chapel, and a restaurant. Forget the ice bars you have been to… this is the real deal! Find out more about Kemi Snow Castle on the official website.

 

Most Beautiful Places in Finland, Kemi, Snow Castle

 

Finnish Lapland

Even further North, beyond the Arctic Circle in Finland, lies Finnish Lapland. Lapland sports a frosty sub-arctic climate and little vegetation. It is a very popular winter destination and home to dozens of ski resorts. The perfect base for visiting Finnish Lapland is Rovaniemi. Rovaniemi is located on the Arctic Circle, at exactly 66°33′45.9″, and, perhaps most importantly, the home of Santa Claus. The city hosts an entire tourist center in the shape of a tiny village dedicated to Father Christmas. Moreover, it is home to the Arktikum, a fantastic museum on Sami culture and history. Rovaniemi is also the perfect base for exploring Lapland as it is easily accessible by plane from Helsinki.

Read an in-depth guide to Rovaniemi by local travel bloggers Our Life, Our Travel.

 

Most Beautiful Places in Finland, Lapland, Rovaniemi


Now, what do you think? What are the most beautiful places in Finland in your opinion? Did we miss anything on the list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! Let’s stay in touch!

 

9 thoughts on “8 Beautiful Places in Finland to Put on Your Bucket List

  1. I’d love to go to Finland – the only nordic country I haven’t been to yet (unless you count Greenland)… My dream is to spend some time by the lakes, just walking, camping, maybe some canoeing. But then also to see Lapland in the winter – will have to do two trips!

  2. I absolutely loved this post, it is clear how much these places mean to you! I want to eat pie and see the beautiful lakes and breath the fresh air. I’d absolutely love to visit.

  3. Finnish Lapland is easily the most amazing place we’ve ever been and snowboarding there was a big high. We’ve also spent a bit of time in Helsinki but now I feel a strong need to visit some of these amazing places in between… and to find some of those 188,000 lakes! Great summary 🙂

  4. I hear such great things about Finland, and it looks like there are some amazing places to see! I am definitely putting it on my list. Would love to see the archipelago and the Lapland!

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