Top reasons to visit Norway
Get to know why you should visit Norway
Not just a wintry haven for wildlife spotting or a fantastic destination for winter pursuits, Norway has so much to offer visitors all year round.
Finland may be a small country but take the time to visit and you’ll discover hundreds of undiscovered delights packed into this little location. It is a wonderful place to visit.
Below are just some of the top reasons to plan your trip to fabulous Finland:
Touring Finland’s cities is a great way to get a better understanding of its fascinating history. Turku is on the southwest coast and is a prime example of a city rich in history. Finland’s capital during Swedish rule – which lasted from the Middle Ages up to 1809 – Turku has a castle full of ancient architecture and relics from a bygone era and is home to the intriguing Aboa Vetus Museum.
Remaining the capital of Finland after control of the country was gained by Russia, Helsinki is home to many sites of historical interest such as the Suomenlinna Fortress, the National Museum, and the Helsinki Cathedral.
Finland literally has thousands of lakes, many of which offer fantastic opportunities for water-based activities, such as fishing and boating. Also, far out in the depths of the countryside, there are picture-perfect rustic lakeside cottages that you can stay in. It’s the perfect opportunity to truly connect with nature and escape all the trappings of the modern world. You can also reach popular ski resorts from many of these locations.
When Finland’s ice begins to melt in the summer months, the country’s vast network of lakes becomes accessible for relaxing cruises, fishing and wild swimming in some of the cleanest and purest waters in the world.
Finland has a total of 39 national parks, all of which enable visitors to pursue a number of fun and exhilarating outdoor pursuits, from cycling and hiking to rambling and camping. With breathtaking vistas, many chances to spot some amazing wildlife, and plenty of adventure holiday packages to enjoy, no trip to Finland is complete without visiting at least a few of its many national parks.
While not every visitor to Finland will be lucky enough to see the majestic Northern Lights in all their natural glory, making the trip to at least try and see them has become so much easier. A spectacle that has been attracting people since the beginning of time, it is possible to book a stay at a resort that offers cabins or rooms with clear roofs for observing the night sky and marveling at the Northern Lights.
Ranging from wooden structures of the Swedish era to modern designs like Kiasma’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Finland’s architecture is diverse and intriguing. See art from the Art Nouveau period, Nordic classicism, gothic revival and minimalism, and learn more about the country’s architectural history at the Architecture Museum in Helsinki.
Relying on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Nordic cuisine has faced harsh criticism in the past due to the lack of spices found in the region. But with so much delicious fresh fish coming straight out of Finland’s abundant lakes, specialty meats and delicious varieties of wild mushrooms and berries, local Nordic cuisine has plenty to offer foodies. In recent years, the country has also begun to embrace foods and dishes from all over the world and makes them unique by using locally sourced fresh produce.
Visit any one of Finland’s international restaurants in its larger cities and you’ll be impressed by the variety of dishes and the standard of culinary skills on display.
While being the 17th-safest country (according to World Atlas) might not sound very impressive, when you consider that there are 195 countries in the world, it puts things in perspective. What is undoubtedly impressive, however, is that Helsinki is statistically the second-safest city in the entire world! Female travelers can feel especially safe in Finland because of its exceptionally low violent crime rate. Thanks to the long daylight hours during the summer months, traveling alone at night isn’t riddled with the usual risks associated with other countries.
Although Finns do have something of a reputation for being a little cold and aloof, they are still very welcoming to travelers. The older generation in particular likes to start conversations with strangers. English is very widely spoken in Finland. Anyone struggling to translate something will always find a friendly local to help them.
Wildlife tourism in Finland is becoming increasingly popular. The country is home to some of Europe’s rarest wildlife, so it’s easy to see why. Bears, moose, elk, wolverines and wolves can all be seen from specially converted shelters, where you wait patiently for animals to appear. You can watch them safely from this vantage point.
Artists and composers have been finding inspiration in Finland’s landscapes for centuries now. From the flat countryside in the south to the mountains and snow-covered tundra, there are a wealth of stunning vistas to delight even the most seasoned of travelers. To get the most out of the country’s many incredible and beautiful spots, rent a car or campervan and go on a spectacular sightseeing tour at your leisure.
With the most heavy metal bands per capita in the world, heavy metal is the genre of choice for many Finnish music lovers. National and international bands often tour the country year-round and play at events such as the Ilosaarirock Festival in Joensuu.
With its inspiration in simplicity and the beauty of nature, Scandinavian design is renowned all around the world. In Finland, the brands Marimekko and Arabia are highly sought after.
If you’re a family with young children, then an opportunity to see the one and only Santa Claus in his home village of Rovaniemi is too hard to pass up. It is one of the main draws for tourists from all over the world. Post a letter to the elves at the post office, ride on a real reindeer sleigh, or simply marvel at the big man himself. Santa Claus Village receives nearly half a million visitors each year. If you’re holidaying in Finland with kids, it would be cruel not to take them!
Who needs the world’s top shopping destinations when you’ve got Finland’s Christmas markets? With almost every town playing host to a market every Christmas, you can get your hands on amazing handcrafted items made by local artisans or chefs. Ticking everything off your Christmas list in one fell swoop is a cinch! Shop, indulge in the wonderfully festive atmosphere, delight in the wintry surroundings and warm yourself with a cup of gloggi (Finnish mulled wine) afterward.
High snowfall has made Finland a top destination for winter sports. You can ski, dog sled, skate, or even ice swim if you dare!
Moomins are native to Finland and a visit to Moomin World is the perfect destination for fans of the immensely popular children’s animated series. If you can’t get there, buy some Moomin merchandise, visit the Moomin museum, meet a costumed character or have a hot chocolate in a Moomin café.
There’s so much to see and do in Finland, you’re only problem will be fitting it all in!
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