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Top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Finland

Best Places to Visit in Finland

From the vibrant artsy cities of Helsinki and Turku to the deep boreal forests and sparsely populated outer archipelago, Finland remains a relatively unknown corner of Europe. This may be because it is away from the main tourist routes, but the country’s many cultural and historical attractions add to the pristine natural environment, making it an ideal destination. Its lakes, hills, rivers, and vast countryside, combined with solid snow in winter, make it a Nordic playground for winter and summer activities.

Helsinki is the main entry point for most Finnish tourists. In the crowded Baltic port, you can find the most important museums as well as the buildings of some of the greatest Finnish architects, especially Eliel Saarinen, who designed the Helsinki train station, the hallmark of early modern architectural sexual architecture.

The charming little cities of Turku and Porvoo are easily accessible from Helsinki. But it would be a shame to just travel to the Baltic coast, where so much beautiful open countryside beckon you. To the west is Finland’s lakes, and to the north is the vast expanse beyond the Arctic Circle, home to the midnight sun, northern lights and some of Europe’s best winter sports.

Whether it’s winter or summer, Finland has a lot to do. Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Finland and make your trip enjoyable.

10 Best Places to Visit in Finland

Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Finland:

1. Suomenlinna Fortress

The 18th-century castle of Suomenlinna, one of the largest sea forts in the world, is a 15-minute ferry ride from Helsinki Market Square (it’s a city-scenic mini cruise, bonus attraction). You can easily fill your day with places to visit and activities by coming here. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the impressive fortification was built in 1847 by the Swedes (Finland was then a Swedish territory) to intimidate the Russians; they were not afraid and later occupied the fortress and Finland.

Start with an audio-visual experience at the visitor center (in English) and learn about the vibrant history, then explore its walls, tunnels and museums and wander around the beautiful island. Or sign up for a guided walk here to learn more about the castle and its various attractions. These are the Finnish Navy’s World War II from 1936. It included the 250-ton Vesikko submarine, which he used until the end of World War II.

The Ehrensvärd Museum displays the earliest periods in Sweden, while the Doll and Toy Museum displays dolls, dollhouses and toys in an old Russian villa. Various buildings contain studios and shops for glassblowers, potters and other craftsmen, and during the summer you can attend evening dances and musical performances at Suomenlinna’s Summer Theatre.

Official website:

2. Kauppatori and Esplanadi

Helsinki harbor is an integral part of the city and important landmarks miss it. It’s also a popular meeting place with open-air markets where local farmers, artisans, food producers and fishermen sell directly from their boats.

You can smell the salmon being cooked on the cedar planks next to the boat, and depending on the season, you’ll see a rainbow of sparkling ripe blackberries or a basket of picker mushrooms. The historic market place in 1889 is home to more food vendors, but the open-air market is a year-round tradition, protected by tarpaulins and tents during the winter.

Stretching from one side of the market square, Esplanadi’s open space seems to be where the entire city gathers on summer evenings. The tree-lined promenade is surrounded by elegant buildings, and the gazebo is home to the Kappeli restaurant on its terrace, which is popular especially on summer evenings with orchestral concerts.

In another work by Eliel Saarinen, the fountain supports a statue of Havis Amanda, the symbol of Helsinki. Helsinki’s most unusual museum, the Street Museum, climbs from Market Square to Senate Square and is only a block away from the early 1800s to the 1930s, with paved roads, streetlights, mailboxes and telephone booths changing for every era.

3. Rovaniemi and the Arctic

The Arctic Circle crosses northern Finland over the town of Rovaniemi and is known as the gateway to the Arctic. In the summer this means the famous midnight sun. While the sun in Rovaniemi stays above the horizon for only 24 hours at the summer solstice in late June, it’s never dark enough from late May to early August. During these “white nights”, locals enjoy the outdoors and tourists can join in.

Rovaniemi is located in the heart of a vast natural area with fast flowing rivers for canoeing, swimming or fishing, as well as trails suitable for hiking and cycling. The city is most famous as the home of Santa Claus, just across from the Arctic Circle in Santa Claus Village (ask any Finnish kid). You can meet the reindeer here or visit the Sami Reindeer Farm.

Visit the magnificent Arktikum Science Museum to learn more about Lapland culture and the natural history, meteorology and geology of the Arctic.

4. Helsinki Church

The three most valuable places to visit in Helsinki are churches, two are cathedrals, and the third is the symbol of modern architecture. Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral is located on the east side of the harbor with its 13 green domes ending in golden domes. The largest Orthodox church in Western Europe, its interior shines with gold, icons, crosses, altars and ornate arches. The cathedral serves Helsinki’s large Russian population and welcomes visitors.

On the hill just behind the harbour, an equally visible landmark for those approaching Helsinki by sea, the massive neoclassical Lutheran Cathedral is so close and so grand that it looks as if it stands in front of the harbor on the roof of the building. The tall green dome and broad steps of the early 19th-century cathedral form the majestic focal point of Senate Square.

The buildings facing the square create a harmonious environment, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It is often used as a starting point for celebrations and parades. In December, stalls selling delicious local crafts and festive dishes fill the square.

While both cathedrals strictly follow sectarian traditions, the Temppeliaukio church is an architectural experiment carved into solid rock in a relatively small area in the heart of the city. Architects Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen designed the church by covering it with a circular woven copper roof supported by concrete railings. The combination of copper and stone has outstanding acoustics, making it a popular venue for concerts of all styles.

5. Design District

The hub of modern Scandinavian design, Helsinki has a dedicated space of studios, galleries, and even antique shops dedicated to completing designers and their work. Whether shopping or sightseeing, spending a few hours in these neighborhoods is an opportunity to experience this vibrant side of Finnish art and culture.

The Helsinki Design District brings together creators from the central neighborhoods of Punavuori, Kaartinkaupunki, Kamppi and Ullanlinna, where you can find boutiques, galleries and studios dedicated to contemporary design in fashion, jewellery, furniture, flatware and everyday items.

In addition to the shops, you can visit some designer studios such as Raaka Rå (organic pottery) and Paja (artisanal jewellery) to see the artisans at work and contact them via the Design District website. You can also find shops specializing in design-oriented antiques and vintage Finnish designs, such as and Artek 2nd Cycle.

For an overview (and a great store), visit the Finnish Design Forum in Erottajankatu, which showcases the best Finnish design in everything from tableware to paper clips. Visit the Design Museum in the Kaartinkaupunki district to learn about the history of Finnish design and craftsmanship and some outstanding examples from the past.

Official website:

6. Åland Archipelago

The Åland Islands (or Åland) is an autonomous archipelago between Sweden and Finland. Åland is a predominantly Swedish-speaking province in Finland and consists of several large islands and about 10,000 smaller islands. Oran has a unique history. It was given to Russia by Sweden in 1809. In 1854 the combined British/French fleet invaded the islands and destroyed the fort. After that, the entire archipelago was demilitarized and remains so to this day.

About 27,500 people live in Oran, of which about 11,000 are in the main city of Mariehamn. The islands’ main industries have always been shipping and commerce, so the Maritime Museum, the Pomeranian Ship Museum, and the Mariehamn Maritime District are well worth a visit to learn about the islands’ fascinating maritime history.

Also worth seeing is the Jan Karlsgården Open Air Museum in Kastelholm, where you can see what a typical island farm looked like circa 1890. Today, however, Åland’s greatest appeal is its pristine nature and beautiful landscapes.

On a midsummer night, Åland hosts a grand and ancient celebration that celebrates the longest day of the year. The beautiful landscapes and seascapes make it a favorite among artists, and its studios and galleries are popular with tourists arriving by boat from Turku and Stockholm.

7. Turku

The country’s oldest city and capital until 1812, the southwestern Finnish town of Turku is located at the mouth of the Orajoki River in the Gulf of Bothnia. The successors of Turku’s Swedish Vikings landed in the 12th century and set out to conquer what is now Finland.

Eight centuries old, it is Finland’s most traditional medieval city today, but in addition to its outstanding medieval architecture, you can find examples of Art Nouveau and modern architecture such as the Sibelius Museum in Woldemar Boeckman. The river is the focal point of the city and is surrounded by historic ships, some of which have been converted into restaurants. In summer, locals gather by the river at night, and in winter it turns into a giant skating rink.

On the northeastern side of the river are the Kaupatori (market square) shopping center and a beautiful Orthodox church and commercial centre. On the opposite bank, the medieval cathedral, dedicated in 1290, towers above Old Grand Place. A large late Romanesque brick church with Gothic and Renaissance architecture and a massive 97-metre tower dominated the city. During the Midsummer Medieval Festival, the Old Square’s historic complex is brought back to its medieval flair with its craft stalls and food vendors.

Below the cathedral on the river, two old sailing ships are moored – “Suomen Joutsen”, now a training school for sailors, and “Sigyn”, the last wooden barges used for maritime trade. Both are open to the public in the summer.

Near the port is Turku Castle, built around 1300 as an island at the mouth of the river. It was expanded in the 16th and 17th centuries and now houses the Turku History Museum.

See what Turku was like in the early 1800s and wander the streets of the Luostarinmäki Crafts Museum, which consists of 40 houses, the only surviving building from the fire that destroyed Turku in 1827. Their houses and workshops, which have been preserved as a museum village, now host artisans displaying the handicrafts of the period.

8. Lake Saimaa and Savonlinna

The entire eastern part of Finland is more sea than land. With tens of thousands of lakes, rivers, swamps and ponds, Eastern Finland is an amazing water park. The main lake in the area is the huge Lake Saimaa, or “Lake of a Thousand Islands”. Lake Saimaa itself, excluding its many islands, is about 1,300 square kilometers in size.

The entire lake system is drained by the Waksey River, which separates from Lake Saimaa north of the town of Imatra and flows into Lake Ladoga in Russia. The lake’s rugged shores and most of the islands are almost entirely covered with coniferous forest, with some birch forests further north.

Savonlinna is the main city in the Finnish Lake District. A popular spa and resort town, Savonlinna grew up around Olavonlinna Castle, dating from 1475, the northernmost medieval stone castle in Europe.

This beautifully restored castle has many beautiful rooms, including the Hall of Kings or Knights, the Hall of Parliament and the Great Hall. Three large round towers have survived, one of the church towers is a chapel. Grand Fort is a summer cafe.

To the east of Savonlinna are Kerimäki and the largest wooden church in the world. A must do when there is a boat tour in the Lake District. From Savonlinna, you can take a boat to other towns on Lake Saimaa to Punkaharju, home to the largest Retretti Art Center in the Scandinavian countries and the Uusi Valamo and Lintula monasteries. Another day trip option is to sail along the Saimaa Canal to Vyborg, Russia, on the Baltic Sea.

9. Vaasa

Founded in the 1300s, Vaasa was an important town during the Swedish rule of Finland. The original town was burned down in 1852 and moved to a better port 6 km northwest. The ruins of the old city are now a huge park (Vanha Vaasa, Gamla Vasa).

About 34% of the town’s population speaks Swedish and has many connections with Sweden. The large market, surrounded by various cafes, restaurants and shops, is the center of city life. This peaceful town has many attractions. Visitors can hike along the quay that starts in front of the town and stretches for miles along the coast.

Other attractions include the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art in the port, the Ostrobothnian Museum, the Terranova Kvarken Nature Center, the Tikanoja Art Museum and the Vaasa Maritime Museum.

Just east of the city center, on an island, is Tropical Paradise and the Tropical Spa, a water park inside a heated dome with pools, slides and saunas. South of Vaasa is the famous Söderfjärden crater, created by meteor millions of years ago. To the north is Kvarken National Park, a wild archipelago with lots of hiking and excellent bird watching opportunities.

Vaasa also hosts many important cultural events such as the Art Night, the Korsholm Festival, one of the most famous chamber music festivals, and the Vaasa Choral Festival. Vaasa claims to be Finland’s sunniest city, so soak up the sun at one of the many beaches.

10. Tampere

Founded in 1779, Tampere is an industrial area and Finland’s third-largest city, but it doesn’t feel like a major urban centre. It lies between two lakes: Näsijärvi in ​​the north and Pyhäjärvi in ​​the south, a stream about one kilometer long, connected by Tammerkoski.

Besides industry, Tampere is also known for its active cultural life, open-air theaters and frequent festivals. These include the Tampere Jazz Happening in November, a tradition that’s more than 35 years old, where world-famous jazz personalities perform in small concert halls and clubs all over the city.

At the Vapriikki Museum, you will find the Natural History Museum and other exhibits. There are three churches of note: Tampere Cathedral is known for its unusual paintings and frescoes depicting skeletons in black hooded cloaks by Finnish symbolist painter Hugo Simberg in the early 1900s.

Kaleva Church is a tall concrete structure built in the 1960s with a fish-shaped floor plan, a symbol of ancient Christianity. st. Alexander Nevsky and St. Nicholas’ green-domed brick Orthodox Church has an ornate interior.


Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Finland. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Finland, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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