Finland

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Additional Information
Capital Helsinki
Currency EUR
Timezone Europe/Helsinki
Total States 19 regions
Airport City Enontekiö Airport, Helsinki‑Malmi Airport, Joensuu Airport, Helsinki Airport, Jyväskylä Airport
Ruling Type Government
Offical Languages Finnish, Swedish, English, German,
National Animal Brown bear
Food Karjalanpiirakka, Ruisleipa, Leipajuusto
Seasons Autumn  : Sep - Nov
Summer : Jun - Aug
Winter     : Dec - Feb
Sprint      : Mar - May


Destination



1 ) Helsinki
Popular - Museum & Galleries     Location - Helsinki, -Uusimaa, -Finland

Helsinki, Finland’s southern capital, sits on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland. Its central avenue, Mannerheimintie, is flanked by institutions including the National Museum, tracing Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present. Also on Mannerheimintie are the imposing Parliament House and Kiasma, a contemporary art museum. Ornate red-brick Uspenski Cathedral overlooks a harbor.


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2 ) Rovaniemi
Popular - Northern Lights     Location - Rovaniemi, -Lapland, -Finland

Rovaniemi is a city and municipality of Finland. It is the administrative capital and commercial centre of Finland's northernmost province, Lapland. It is situated about 6 kilometres  south of the Arctic Circle and is between the hills of Ounasvaara and Korkalovaara, at the confluence of the river Kemijoki and its tributary, the Ounasjoki. The city and the surrounding Rovaniemen maalaiskunta (Rural municipality of Rovaniemi) were consolidated into a single entity on 1 January 2006. Rovaniemi has an approximate population of 63,000. Rovaniemi is a unilingual Finnish-speaking municipality and uncommonly for larger Finnish towns, it is also known by its Finnish name and spelling in the Swedish language.

 

 


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3 ) Tampere
Popular - Arts and Cultural     Location - Tampere, -Pirkanmaa, -Finland

ampere is a city in southern Finland. It sits between Näsijärvi Lake and Pyhäjärvi Lake, with the Tammerkoski rapids in between. The Vapriikki Museum Center houses several museums, including the Natural History Museum and an exhibition about the 1918 civil war. Tampere Cathedral is known for its macabre frescoes. Kaleva Church, with its striking concrete architecture, is designed to look like a fish from above.

With two enormous lakes bordering it, Tampere is a laid back city that has a rich art and cultural scene for visitors to enjoy. A picturesque place, rapids run through the middle of town and its leafy streets lead on to various parks – as well as the pristine lakes themselves. Once an industrial powerhouse, the old buildings have been repurposed, and museums, cinemas and galleries have now replaced the manufacturing businesses that used to be here. With sculptures dotted about town, some lovely art on show, and a packed cultural events schedule, Tampere is a popular city to visit. There are lots of bars, restaurants and shops on offer and some great nightlife for locals and tourists alike to enjoy.


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4 ) Turku
Popular - High Tech City     Location - Turku, -Southwest Finland, -Finland

Turku, a city on the southwest coast of Finland, straddles the Aura River. Dating from the 13th century, it's known for Turku Castle, a medieval fortress with a history museum, perched at the river mouth. Restaurants line the cobbled riverside streets. On the eastern bank lies the Old Great Square, a former trade hub, surrounded by grand buildings. The nearby Turku Cathedral houses a royal tomb and a museum.

The former capital of Finland is lovely to spend time in. As the second-largest city in Finland, there are so many things to see and do here. Dating all the way back to the 13th Century, its stunning castle and old cathedral are just two of the highlights on offer. The ancient history contrasts beautifully with the youthful vibe. With a sizeable student population, there are lots of restaurants, bars and clubs, and a happening arts and music scene. In addition to the bustling streets, the Aurajoki River trundles beautifully through the city center. From here, you can easily explore the nearby Turku Archipelago. Many people arrive to Finland through Turku’s busy port.


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5 ) Jyvaeskylae
Popular - Architecture     Location - Jyvaeskylae, -Central Finland, -Finland

Jyväskylä is a city and municipality in Finland in the western part of the Finnish Lakeland, some 130 km north-east from Tampere. It is the largest city in the region of Central Finland and on the Finnish Lakeland.

Lying between two lakes, Jyvaskyla is beautifully located and is the largest city in Finland’s Lakeland region. A vibrant place, there are some stunning architectural designs on show – its delightful setting next to the lakes only adds to the city’s scenic appearance. The youthful population breathes energy and life into the streets, and there is some resulting great nightlife on offer, as well as some lovely arts venues to visit. In contrast to its peaceful appearance, Jyvaskyla hosts the World Rally Championships – visitors descend en-masse on the city when this event is in action. In the summer, it is a fantastic place to visit – there are loads of lovely beaches and swimming spots dotted along the lakesides.


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6 ) Oulu
Popular - Architecture     Location - Oulu, -Northern Ostrobothnia, -Finland

Oulu is a city in central Finland, where the Oulujoki River meets the Bay of Bothnia. Its waterfront square, Kauppatori, is home to food stalls and the Toripolliisi, a squat policeman statue. The Tietomaa Science Centre offers interactive exhibits and a large cinema screen for 3D films. Nearby, the Oulu Museum Of Art showcases regional works. The Northern Ostrobothnia Museum chronicles the city's cultural history.

A wealthy city, Oulu is delightfully located on several islands which are connected by small bridges that cross the waterways. The Oulujoki River also runs through town on the way to the Gulf of Bothnia. There is a lovely waterfront square full of shops, restaurants and food stalls for visitors to enjoy. In summer, it is packed, as Finns try and make the most of the sun. Its university specializes in technology, and the student population adds to the energetic feel, which manifests itself in a lively music and culture scene.

 


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7 ) Rauma
Popular - Architecture     Location - Rauma, -Satakunta, -Finland

Rauma is a town and municipality of ca. 39,400 inhabitants on the west coast of Finland, 92 kilometres north of Turku, and 50 kilometres south of Pori.

Granted town privileges on 17 April 1442 (then under the rule of Sweden), Rauma is known for its paper and maritime industry, high quality lace (since the 18th century) and the old wooden architecture of its centre (Old Rauma, Vanha Rauma), which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Rauma’s sprawling Old Town emanates forth from the delightful market square, and its old wooden center is remarkably the largest in all the Nordic countries. A former trading center, it is lovely to wander around the old streets and soak in the fantastic architecture on offer. Rauma is still an important port, thanks to its great location on the Gulf of Bothnia. Renowned for its lacemaking, Rauma celebrates this rich heritage each year with a lively festival. At times, you can hear Rauman gial, a local dialect that yet again highlights the city’s rich cultural heritage. With lots of little islands just off the coast, exploring them in summer is lovely, while in winter, there are lots of winter sports to have a go at.

 


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8 ) Savonlinna
Popular - Lake     Location - Savonlinna, -Southern Savonia, -Finland

Savonlinna is a town and a municipality of 33,580 inhabitants in the southeast of Finland, in the heart of the Saimaa lake region.

Lying at the heart of the Saimaa lake region, Savonlinna borders Russia and is beautifully set on a number of small islands. An attractive and picturesque place, two large lakes border it. In summer, it is a delight to visit, as the sun glints off the waters all around Savonlinna. The undoubted highlight is the spectacular 15th Century Olavinlinna Castle, which hosts a fantastic Opera festival each year. Relaxing by the harbor or at one of the cafes lining the market square is heavenly, and there are numerous forests and waterways for visitors to explore.


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9 ) Vaasa
Popular - Arts and Cultural     Location - Vaasa, -Ostrobothnia, -Finland

Vaasa is a city on the west coast of Finland. It received its charter in 1606, during the reign of Charles IX of Sweden and is named after the Royal House of Vasa. Vaasa has a population of 67,588, and is the regional capital of Ostrobothnia.

Lying just across the Gulf of Bothnia from Sweden, Vaasa has a large Swedish population – it was in fact named after Swedish royalty. Once ruled by the Russians, the Old Town burnt down in a fire, so most of the city is relatively modern. As there are three universities in Vaasa, there are lots of bars and restaurants to cater to thirsty students. There are some great museums on offer, as well as a lively arts and culture scene. A popular family destination, there many great outdoor activities for people to enjoy, and the nearby Kvarken Archipelago is marvelous to explore.


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10 ) Porvoo
Popular - Historical     Location - Porvoo, -Uusimaa, -Finland

Porvoo is a city and a municipality situated on the southern coast of Finland approximately 50 kilometres east of Helsinki. It is one of the six medieval towns in Finland, first mentioned as a city in texts from the 14th century.

Porvoo is the seat of the Swedish-speaking Diocese of Borgå of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The Porvoo Old Town is a popular tourist destination, known for its well-preserved 18th and 19th century buildings and 15th century cathedral, the Porvoo Cathedral.

The second-oldest town in the country, Porvoo’s historic center is beautiful to behold, with old warehouses lining the Porvoo River and delightful cobbled streets snaking away from its banks. Dating back to Medieval times, its proximity to Helsinki makes it a popular day trip and its colorful wooden houses make it a scenic place to stop by. With a great culinary scene and lots to offer in the way of arts and culture, Porvoo is well worth a visit.


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11 ) Joensuu
Popular - Culture     Location - Joensuu, -North Karelia, -Finland

Joensuu is a city and municipality in North Karelia. It was founded in 1848. The population of Joensuu is 76,543, and the economic region of Joensuu has a population of 115,000. As is typical of cities in Eastern Finland, Joensuu is monolingually Finnish.

Lying next to the Pielis River, Joensuu is a lively university town – its youthful population makes it a fun and friendly place to stop by. Founded by Tsar Nikolai I, the city ironically has an interesting museum documenting Finland’s Winter War against the Soviets in the Second World War – there are a few other cultural attractions for visitors to enjoy too. Due to heavy bombing, most of Joensuu was destroyed, so there is now a modern appearance to the city. From here, you can easily head off into the wilderness of nearby Karelia.


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12 ) Lappeenranta
Popular - Lake     Location - Lappeenranta, -South Karelia, -Finland

Lappeenranta is a city and municipality situated on the shore of the lake Saimaa in southeastern Finland, about 30 kilometres from the Russian border. It belongs to the region of South Karelia. With approximately 73,000 inhabitants Lappeenranta is the 13th largest city in Finland.

Lying on the shore of the largest lake in the country, Lappeenranta’s long and varied history saw it change from a garrison city to a spa town. Once part of the Swedish empire, the Russians also ruled at one point, before destroying much of it during the Winter War. Nowadays, the huge fortress and spa still make Lappeenranta worth visiting, as does the magnificent Lake Saimaa, with its lovely harbor side cafes and terraces. As it lies so close to Russia, there is a delightful mix of cultures, and it is a popular tourist destination.

 


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13 ) Kuopio
Popular - Museum & Galleries     Location - Kuopio, -Northern Savo, -Finland

Kuopio is a Finnish city and municipality located in the region of Northern Savonia. It has a population of 118,667, which makes it the ninth-most populous city in Finland. Kuopio has a total area of 4,326.35 square kilometres, of which 719.85 km² is water and half is forest.

Lying on the shores of Lake Kallavesi, the sprawling forests and waterways that border Kuopio make it a delight to visit, and it really comes alive during the summer. There are several great museums and restaurants in town and it has the largest smoke sauna in the world! A great time to visit is in June, when a fantastic dance festival takes place. There are lots of lovely outdoor activities on offer, you can take a cruise on the lake’s waters, hike in the forests or just simply laze around by the lakeside.

 


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14 ) Espoo
Popular - Museum & Galleries     Location - Espoo, -Uusimaa, -Finland

Espoo is the second largest city and municipality in Finland. It is part of the Finnish Capital Region, along with the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, and Kauniainen, and most of its population lives in the inner urban core of the Helsinki metropolitan area.

The home of Nokia, Espoo is a commuter city that lies not far from Helsinki. As such, it is a great option for a day trip if you are looking to get out of the capital for a bit. With some great shopping centers, lovely flea markets and atmospheric cafes and bars, Espoo’s main attraction is the brilliant Museum of Modern Art. Here, you can find a massive collection of artworks from the 20th Century onwards. The sizeable student population breathes life into Espoo’s streets and from here, you can visit the delightful Nuuksio National Park nearby.


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15 ) Vantaa
Popular - Historical     Location - Vantaa, -Uusimaa, -Finland

Vantaa is a city and municipality in Finland. It is part of the inner core of the Finnish Capital Region along with Helsinki, Espoo, and Kauniainen. With a population of 228,678, Vantaa is the fourth most populated city of Finland.

Dating all the way back to the Stone Age, Vantaa is strangely devoid of historical sights – it is mainly an industrial area with a few large shopping centers scattered throughout. Thankfully, the peaceful Keravanjoki River bordering it helps give Vantaa some much-needed greenery. While it is short on attractions, lots of people pass through – it is home to the Helsinki-Vantaa National Airport. More a gateway to the country than a destination itself, the fantastic Heureka science center with its interactive exhibitions is the other reason people visit.


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Activity



1 ) Suomenlinna Fortress
Activity Category - Attraction

There are thousands of fortresses across the world, but Suomenlinna, in Finland, is different than most in several ways. For one thing, it has defended not one but three different sovereign states since its construction in 1748: the Kingdom of Sweden, the Russian Empire, and most recently, the Republic of Finland.

The fascinating history of the Fortress of Suomenlinna, also known as Sveaborg, begins in the mid 18th century. Spread across six different islands, this unusually shaped naval fort was initially built by the Swedish on the Susiluodot islands near the Helsinki harbor, following a period of war between Sweden and Russia.


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2 ) Helsinki Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko)
Activity Category - Temple / Mosque / Church

The Cathedral, by Carl Ludvig Engel, rising on the northern side of the Senate Square is the stage of national and academic festive services and one of the most popular tourist sights. The church is part of Helsinki's Empire era centre and a landmark for those arriving by sea. It has become the symbol of the whole of Helsinki. Earlier called St. Nicholas Church and Great Cathedral, the current main church of the Helsinki Diocese was completed in 1852. Sculptures of the twelve apostles guard the city from the roof of the church. Exhibitions at the Crypt (Kirkkokatu 18), in summer also a souvenir shop Cathedral Shop.Its impressive neoclassical exterior coexists with a more sober interior with little decoration, only with an organ and golden lamps. The temple is open to visitors daily from 9am to 6pm and until midnight in summer.

 


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3 ) Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Kirkko)
Activity Category - Temple / Mosque / Church

Excavated directly into solid rock, the Temppeliaukio church is situated in the heart of Helsinki, at the end of Fredrikinkatu. Because of its special architecture, the church, completed in 1969, is one of the main attractions in Helsinki. The church hall is covered with a dome, lined with copper and supported on the rock walls by reinforced concrete beams. The interior walls are of rugged rock and rubble wall. Before noon, the light spreads from the row of windows surrounding the roof periphery to the altar wall, where an ice-age crevice serves as the altarpiece. Due to its excellent acoustics the church is a popular venue for concerts.


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4 ) Ateneum Art Museum (Konstmuseet Ateneum)
Activity Duration - open 10am to 6pm Tuesday and Friday, 10am to 8pm Wednesday and Thursday, and 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.     Activity Category - Museum

Ateneum Art Museum houses the largest collections of art in Finland with more than 20,000 works of art. It has paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings from the 1750s to the work of artists who began their career in the 1950s. Ateneum Art Museum is part of the Finnish National Gallery. The collections are on public display on the first and the second floor of the museum. Temporary exhibitions are on display in the exhibition halls on the third floor. Ateneum also organizes various workshops, guided tours, lectures, dance, theatre and music performances as well as an interdisciplinary art programme.

The Ateneum building was designed by the architect Theodor Höijer and it was completed in 1887. It has housed the collections and Drawing School (now the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts) of the Finnish Art Society as well as the School of Applied Art (now the Aalto University School of Art and Design) and the collections of the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design. The art collections were opened to the public on 13 October 1888. This date is still celebrated as Ateneum’s birthday.


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5 ) National Museum of Finland (Suomen Kansallismuseo)
Activity Duration - Hours: Tue-Sun 11am - 6pm. Closed Mondays.     Activity Category - Museum

National Museum of Finland illustrates Finnish history from prehistoric times to the present.
Embark on a time-trip through the history of Finland. The museum's unique exhibits tell of the life from a period of over 10,000 years.
The National Museum building was designed by the Finnish architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen. They won the architectural competition for the project in 1902, and the building work was conducted mainly between 1905 and 1910. The museum was opened to the public in 1916.
The museum had been founded in 1893 as the State Historical Museum by combining several older collections and placing them in the care of the state.

The building represents the prevailing museum architecture of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, according to which the various parts of the building reflect the nature of the collections and the different periods of architectural history in Finland. With its granite façade and steatite decoration, the building is one of Finland's most significant national-romantic works of architecture. The characteristics of the new architecture of the early 20th century architecture are visible in the interior.  


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6 ) Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
Activity Duration - The museum is closed on Mondays.     Activity Category - Museum

Kiasma is a museum of contemporary art under the umbrella of the Finnish National Gallery. The basic functions of the museum are organising changing exhibitions and augmenting its collection, along with research and presentation of the works. The primary focus in the museum collection is on Finnish contemporary art. The collection is also supplemented by commissioning new work. The collection is presented to the public in annually changing thematic exhibitions. Kiasma was designed by the American architect Steven Holl and opened to the public in 1998. At Kiasma there's also a museum shop and café.


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7 ) Port of Helsinki
Activity Category - Port

Helsinki is one of the busiest passenger ports in Europe, and the Port of Helsinki Ltd creates a seamless framework for sea traffic to destinations such as Tallinn and Stockholm. In 2018, a total of 12.1 million passengers travelled through the Port of Helsinki.

The Port of Helsinki is also Finland’s leading general port for foreign trade. In 2018, a total of 14.7 million tonnes of goods were transported via the Port of Helsinki. The main export commodities are products for the forest industry, machinery and equipment, whereas in imports the most prominent product group are daily consumer goods.

The Port of Helsinki serves the business world and well-being of the Helsinki region and the whole country and has significant positive effects related to the economy and employment. Among the strengths of the port are frequent liner traffic, efficient infrastructure, good road and rail connections, and excellent services provided in cooperation with the port’s business partners. In 2018, the turnover of Port of Helsinki Ltd was 97 million euros.


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8 ) Arktikum
Activity Duration - Hours: Tues-Sun; Mondays only in summer     Activity Category - Museum

Arktikum in Rovaniemi is a museum, science centre, attraction, popular culture destination as well as a memorable venue for meetings and conferences. Arktikum exhibitions lead guests on an adventure to Finnish Lapland and the Arctic region.

The review of the history of Finnish Lapland spans from Rovaniemi to Upper Lapland and from prehistory to about the 1970s. The Arctic region is examined in light of the Arctic research of today and the future. The exhibitions provide a comprehensive section of the history and culture of Lapland as well as of Arctic knowledge. Also, the temporary exhibitions of Arktikum display Northern and Arctic life.


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9 ) SantaPark Arctic World
Activity Duration - second half of November, daily 10am-5pm; December to early January, daily 10am-6pm     Activity Category - Attraction

SantaPark Arctic World offers the best of Lapland with variety of Christmas themed experiences as well as nature experiences in the heart of the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Finland. Founded in 1997 and located in the official hometown of Santa Claus, it is only fitting that their vision is to be the world leading Christmas theme park! With Spectacular views over the treetops, the resort offers a truly unique combination of local tradition, Lappish heritage and modern Nordic design. Most importantly, this multi-award-winning resort is open all year round; forget the 12 days of Christmas.


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Festival

1 ) Midsummer Festival

Festival Month - June

Midsummer festival also known as Juhannus is a traditional Finnish festival that takes place on a Saturday between June 20th and 26th, on this day bonfires are lit at lakesides and by the sea, branches of birch trees are placed on both sides of the front door, a maypole is erected and unmarried women who seek husbands bend over and look into a well naked to see their future husband’s reflection or collect seven different flowers to place under their pillow so they can dream about their future husbands. A lot of drinking and celebrating takes place during this time along with Music festivals, Finnish flag day etc and since Finland is close to the Arctic circle the nights are very short or almost or non-existent.


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2 ) Christmas and New year

Festival Month - December

Just like in many countries Christmas and New Years in Finland is celebrated with great enthusiasm though the traditions may vary, Christmas season starts from Christmas eve and ends 13 days after Christmas during which there is plenty of merrymaking, shopping, Sweets and gingerbreads, holiday drinks, winter activities and so on and during the New Year celebrations people experience the Northern Lights along with fireworks and plenty of celebrating.


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3 ) Flow Festival in Finland

Festival Month - August

This is an urban music and arts festival held in Helsinki where artists from different genres and nationals come to perform. The flow festival also holds exhibitions of visual arts, urban spaces, films and film screening and so on. This festival has seen famous artists such as The Black Keys, Kanye West, Bon Iver, The National, Kendrick Lamar, Iron & Wine and so on.


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