Finland Travel Tips and Insider GuidesClick a city or region to browse our insider travel tips and guides about Finland.
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Finland is a highly developed nation with a tiny population and some of the most pristine landscape in Europe. Some of the best things to do here are hike through the national parks, jump into a spa or sauna or watch the northern lights dance in Lapland. The capital, Helsinki, is one of the safest and most convenient cities in the world and the small towns and cities outside... [Read the full story]
Our Insider's Articles about Finland
I like hiking, though I’m not a Survivor-level flint and tinder type of hiker. Instead, I enjoy the walk-through-the-woods-and-admire-the-scenery... [Read the full story]
Tiny Oulu, in northern Finland, might never have come to your attention, unless you happen to be an avid hiker and kayaker heading... [Read the full story]
The magic of Finland doesn’t easily translate to the page. The experience of seeing the northern lights on a cold winter night is larger than life. Finland is two-thirds forest and one-tenth water, and the crisp environment is even more enhanced by the friendliness of the locals. Wooden cottages, lakes, mountains, reindeer, and husky-drawn sleds really do compose much of the country’s profile.
Here are tips to help guide you on your trip to Finland. Most people enter the country in the capital city of Helsinki, either by ferry or by plane. Helsinki is a bustling modern city filled with Art Nouveau buildings, those on the bay offer a dramatic contrast to the icy water. Popular sites and activities in Helsinki include the Suomenlinna Fortress (located on a collection of islands in the bay), the Rock Church, and walking tours.
Coastal Finland is a mix of lush meadows and rocky shores in the summer. The winter brings massive ice flows, and a popular activity is taking a trip on an icebreaker, which often comes with snowmobiling and an arctic swim; don’t worry, you’re provided with survival suits that reportedly keep you nice and toasty. Coastal towns feature hearty local cuisine, wooden churches, and you can book husky and reindeer sled rides.
The interior is a mix of mountains, meadows, and forest, and cross-country skiing, hiking, and log-cabin Finnish spas are popular activities. If you like to stay up all night, you should check out the northern-most region of Finland, which receives 10 weeks of unbroken sunlight each summer, called the White Nights.
As of May 2011, U.S. travelers do not need a visa for visits of 90 days or less. Finland is part of the EU and the official currency is euros. Finnish is the official language, and English is spoken prevalently, though you may find it scarce in the smallest and most remote towns. Finland can be cold almost year round, so dress warmly. Train, bus, and rental car are the best ways to get around inside the country.