Best Places to Visit in Finland | Happiest Country in the World

Finland marches to the beat of its own Nordic drum. This is a land of possibility despite its geographical and climatic extremes. A land of endless fascination, whether you’re flying across the frozen tundra in Lapland behind a team of yapping huskies or diving headfirst into Helsinki’s offbeat design scene.

There’s so much nature, so much culture, so much otherness here that you could keep returning forever more and still be surprised.

It is difficult to choose only a few locations to visit in Finland because there is an endless list. Here’s a rundown of the best places to visit in Finland when you tour Europe.

5 Best Places in Finland

Welcome to the captivating realm of Finland, a country that seamlessly weaves together modern elegance and natural wonder. Finland has many remarkable cities, from Helsinki to Rovaniemi and Tampere, as well as Kuopio and Savonlinna.

Each destination unveils a tapestry of unique experiences, from urban sophistication to arctic adventures and cultural treasures to serene lakeside beauty. Prepare to delve into the enchanting allure of these cities, each offering its own charm and treasures waiting to be explored.


Image of city tram in Helsinki

Helsinki has a generous pinch of everything that makes Finland so special. It has elegant nouveau villas, galleries brimming with contemporary art, market halls, and restaurants riffing modern on foraged flavors.

Few capital cities can swing so smoothly between the urban and the natural, and Helsinki is one of them. This city has beautiful forests, islands, and beaches, only a short walk or boat trip away.

If the people appear unusually tranquil, it’s because of saunas like Löyly Sauna, where you can steam before jumping into the sea. Unmissable sites include the Unesco World Heritage Suomenlinna, the boutique and workshop-filled Design District, and the picnic-perfect Esplanadi Park.

Visit a Helsinki Market

In Finnish, Market Square is called Kauppatori. It is Helsinki’s worldwide and most famous market, and it is located near the city center, making it easily accessible to tourists.

Traditional Finnish sweets and souvenirs are available in the shops, while musicians perform in the Market Square on instruments like the hydrophone and classic guitar.

It’s also one of the world’s best Christmas markets, with traditional and festive meals, mulled wine, and hot chocolate available for purchase. There is also a lovely Christmas tree and decorations on display.


Rovaniemi will throw you into the Arctic deep end. Granted, you won’t have it all to yourself – at Christmas time, the city is packed with Santa Claus fans. However, a visit during the shoulder season (around November) as it is cheaper and less crowded.

Visiting the glitzy Santa Claus Village, atop the Arctic Circle, and Santapark is likely to be at the top of your wish list, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Outside, the panorama is out of a snow globe, and there are a million ways to explore it: by reindeer-drawn sleigh, snowmobile, dogsled, or snowshoes.

Husky Rides in Rovaniemi

A husky tour ride is one of the nicest things to do in Rovaniemi. When you board your wooden sleigh in the snow to the sound of joyful dogs, you have no idea what to anticipate, but it exceeds all expectations!

As you enter the husky farm, you’ll be greeted by cheerful smiles and wagging tails eager to meet and delight you. If you’ll take a tour, be sure to bring sorel snow boots, mittens, and a parka jacket to keep yourself warm.

Also, depending on the weather and the quality of the snow, the husky ride can take anywhere between 40 to 60 minutes.


Image of rapids in Tampere

Tampere is situated between two lakes and pulsates with life and creative energy. Tammerkoski rapids flow through the city along the repurposed red brick mills turned museums, as well as stores and eateries.

Hiking trails and summer cottages, with lake cruises and Finland’s oldest public bathhouse, it’s never a choice between culture and nature. You should see Amurin Työläismuseokortteli, where wooden cottages depict workers’ lives from 1882 to 1973.

It also shows the glass-and-steel Vapriikki, an eclectic exhibition space in the reconstructed Tampella textile mill. Tuomiokirkko, Tampere’s cathedral, is a fanciful vision of National Romantic art nouveau architecture.

Visit Museum Vapriikki

Vapriikki is a collection of museums housed in the huge former engineering works of Tampella, a 20th-century heavy industrial firm. Everyone here discovers something that piques their interest, whether it’s the Media Museum or Postal Museum.

The complex is massive, covering approximately 150694 square feet. So there is plenty of space for temporary exhibitions at Vapriikki.


Kuopio, dreamily hugging the beaches of Lake Kallavesi, provides a touch of urban buzz before dropping an oar into the waters of Finnish Lakeland. The vistas out over turquoise lakes, forested islands, and skerries set the tone for this cultured small city.

You can start with a morning coffee in the revolving restaurant at the top of Puijon Torni. From there, visit the bank-turned-gallery Kuopion Taidemuseo and the Kuopion Museo, which is housed in a castle-like art nouveau mansion.

One glimpse at the sun burnishing the lakes will have you yearning to get outside and stroll through spruce forests.

Go on a Cruise

Kuopio Port is a nice area to walk around and taste some local fish, and the city’s central location in Lakeland means there are more than 20 excursions available throughout the summer months.

The longest and greatest cruise departs from the harbor and travels through South Karelia to Savonlinna and the stunning Olavinlinna Castle. It’s a nice approach to exploring and appreciating Eastern Finland’s natural beauty.


In beautiful Savolinna, everything is green and blue. Olavinlinna (the town) is surrounded by islands and crowned by a turreted 15th-century beauty of a castle. It’s also one of Finland’s cultural heavyweights, hosting the country’s most prestigious festival-the Savonlinna Opera Festival in July. Tickets to see the town in its aria-singing, life-loving best must be purchased well in advance.

The benefit of staying here is that you’re only a short boat ride away from two of Finland’s most quiet and picturesque lake escapes: Linnansaari and Kolovesi national parks.

A Day Trip to Savonlinna

Start your day with a delicious breakfast at one of Savonlinna’s local breakfast places in the charming Old Town, a typical Finnish historical town setting by the waterfront. Then, wander the gorgeous cobblestone alleyways dotted with colorful wooden buildings after a tasty Finnish breakfast.

This is the ideal location for a peaceful stroll while admiring the ancient city charm. The next stop on your voyage will be to look for the Saimaa ringed seal, which is only found in the Saimaa lakes region and is the rarest in the world —with just about 360 seals left in the wild.

The greatest site to see the Saimaa Ringed Seal is in its natural habitat, Linnansaari National Park.

FAQs About the Best Places to Visit in Finland

So now that you know just how charming Finland is, you might just decide that it will be your next vacation destination. Here are a few questions and concerns that are frequently asked.

What Is Finland Famous for?

Finland is frequently recognized as the happiest country in the world, owing to high earnings, universal health care, and a world-class education system. Finland is well-known for its magnificent Lapland, the northern lights, saunas, unusual food, and the birthplace of Santa Claus.

Is Finland Expensive for Tourism?

Yes, Finland is quite expensive. Due to the high costs in Finland, it may appear that visiting the beautiful Nordic country without a large sum of money is nearly impossible.

But, with careful preparation of your time and money, you can visit Finland on a budget while still having an incredible vacation.

What Is the Best Time to Visit Finland?

The summer months of June, July, and August are considered the finest times to visit Finland. During this season,  the climate is hottest, the days are the longest, and the blossoming landscape is at its most beautiful. It is also when tourist attractions and transportation services are at their peak.

How Many Days in Finland Is Enough?

A week in Finland is enough as long as you base yourself in a major city such as Helsinki or Rovaniemi. The latter is an excellent starting point for exploring the area at any time of year.

However, it is especially appealing in the winter because it is the setting for Santa Claus’ Village. Alternatively, avoid the far north and spend a few days in Helsinki before heading to the tranquil surroundings of Lakeland, spending your time between Tampere and Joensuu.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Visit in Finland

Finland offers a tapestry of experiences, from Helsinki’s urban artistry to Rovaniemi’s Arctic magic, Tampere’s creative fusion, and Kuopio’s lakeside serenity. Discover saunas, Santa, modern design, and historic castles in this diverse land.

Whether your heart seeks culture, nature, or both, Finland’s cities deliver. Enhance your European tour by including a sighting of the Northern Lights. Its unique blend of experiences guarantees lasting memories, a true gem awaiting your exploration.


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