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Finland: Where to Go, What to Do, the Weather & More

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Red cabin and autumn forest on rocky shore of Ruissalo island, Turku Archipelago, Finland

Ruissalo island, Finland

Celebrated for storybook winters and sparkling summers, untamed wilderness, and contemporary architecture, Finland may be the next destination for you.

With vast forests and twinkling lakes, promises of the Northern Lights, and hints of steam drifting from popular saunas, Finland offers something for every type of traveler. Find world-famous chefs producing unique dishes, lounge on an untouched beach, or linger outside a lakeside cabin while watching the midnight sun.

Explore nature, learn about fascinating culture, and embrace year-round beauty. Our short guide will give you what you need to know to get your vacation plans started.

  1. Weather in Finland
  2. Where to Go in Finland
  3. What to Do in Finland
  4. Plan Your Trip to Finland

Weather in Finland

Cross-country skiing in Lapland, Finland

Lapland, Finland

Average Temperature in Helsinki: 71°F High • 17°F Low

Each of Finland’s seasons has something to offer, but the summer and fall months between June and October are ideal for travel. The summer months from June to August are the high season and popular for the long sunny days, blossoming landscapes, and warmer weather. In September and October, the cold sets in and colors the scenery with bright fall foliage in the south and the early frost in Lapland above the Arctic Circle.

Travel between December and March is perfect for winter activities for those interested in snow sports. December erupts with seasonal festivities as families travel north to Lapland to visit the home of Father Christmas.

March is one of the snowiest months of the year in Finland, making it a wonderful time to visit a resort as the bright days lengthen before spring settles in. These months are also great times of year to search for the Northern Lights.

Where to Go in Finland

Porvoo, Finland

Porvoo, Finland

Helsinki • Best Place for History and Culture

Helsinki is an exciting combination of groundbreaking design and historic backstreets. Inlets, islands, and bays punctuate the city’s connection to the Baltic Sea while the rapids of the Vantaa River roar at the edge of Old Town, where Helsinki was founded in the 16th century.

The woodlands and grasses of Central Park cover nearly six square miles. 18th-century Sveaborg fortress crowns the Suomenlinna islands and the vibrant outdoor market in the paved Market Square hosts Finnish food stalls, flower stands, and anchored fishing boats selling seafood straight from their decks.

Rovaniemi • Best for Nature and the Arctic Circle

Rovaniemi has a reputation as the Gateway to the Arctic with a demarcating line running directly through the northern Finnish town. In the summer, that means access to the Midnight Sun, when the sunlight never dips below the horizon. Locals and tourists alike take advantage of “white nights” with outdoor adventures by canoeing or rafting along the gushing rivers or hiking or cycling the forest trails.

In winter darkness, visiting Rovaniemi means easy access to the Northern Lights. The town is also known as the home of Santa Claus, where visitors can meet reindeer or visit a Sami reindeer farm. From dog sledding to ice-floating, or staying in an ice hotel, Rovaniemi is the dream of the Arctic Circle in winter.

Porvoo • Picturesque Scenery

Reflective river waters, red wooden buildings, and a tangle of historic streets set beneath a hilltop medieval cathedral make Porvoo one of the most picturesque towns in Finland.

As the country’s second-oldest settlement, you can find ornate wall paintings in the historic church dating back to the 15th century or explore the town’s rich history in the museums inside Market Square.

The preserved history highlighted in the town’s center displays an exceptional dedication to crafts, art studios, and boutique shops while also supporting craft boutiques, antique shops, and iconic storehouses glowing in their traditional rusty red color.

What to Do in Finland

Amos Rex Museum in Helsinki, Finland

Amos Rex Museum in Helsinki, Finland

Cross the Arctic Circle in Search of the Northern Lights

When crossing into the Arctic Circle to visit Finnish Lapland, you have over 200 days in the year in which you may spot the Northern Lights. During the dark days and nights, the colors swoop, sway and dance across the sky for an otherworldly experience.

The sky looks electrified and sparks inspiration in the lights' image and the legends that explain its existence as the dancing spirits of Sami ancestors. The Northern Lights feel bright, ethereal, and magical, with cold and crisp air.

Experience Authentic Finnish Design

Finnish architecture has become famous worldwide for its Art Nouveau aesthetic, Nordic Classic leanings, and astute focus on Functionalism, demonstrating how civil design is art meets function.

Art lovers will find historical wooden churches to explore, iconic museums, and exciting new ideas in the ever-changing interplay of light and nature at sites like the Fyyri Library.

You can further discover how nature plays a significant role in the styles and aesthetics of Finnish architects and designers by exploring how the cities and towns around the country incorporate nature into their community spaces.

Learn to Forage along the Lakes, Rivers, and Marshes

Finland’s landscape emerges from a storybook, with sleek white winters and lush summers. Exploring the lakes, rivers, and marshes gives you the unique opportunity to forage with a trained guide in search of local specialties like lingonberries, cloudberries, and mushrooms.

Children spend countless hours in summer collecting and eating berries. Look for cloudberries amongst dewy forest leaves and glistening lake waters, and appreciate the appeal of the search. Anticipation builds before you find a tart cross between raspberries and redcurrants.

Discover Unique Winter Activities

The long dark days and snowy landscapes of winter can give way to exciting opportunities for exploring Finland.

Beyond the possibility of visiting Santa in his snowy village during the season, you can rush across the landscape in a traditional dog sled or relax with a line in the water during an ice fishing excursion. Snowmobile on marked trails or experience the diversity of skiing in Finland.

Rush down the slopes at popular resorts or travel a few minutes on cross-country skis to find yourself in a serene wonderland surrounded by nature. From smoke saunas to spending the night in a seasonal igloo, winter in Finland is an entirely new and exciting experience.

Plan Your Trip to Finland

Northern lights over Jeris Arctic Sauna World in Lapland, Finland

Jeris Arctic Sauna World in Lapland, Finland. Photo courtesy Antti Pietikäinen / Visit Finland

Finland offers many exciting discoveries. Be immersed in a remote getaway, set off on an Arctic Circle adventure, or enjoy an urban exploration along the water’s edge for a colorful introduction to the north. Rich with history and culturally vibrant, you can find the best time to travel based on your preferred experiences and interests.

No matter when you plan to visit, enjoy a trip personalized to your goals and preferences by taking inspiration from our Finland vacations and tours.

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