Finland is one of the Nordic countries that have a lot to offer to whoever decides to visit this amazing country. Unfortunately, not many people do, especially compared to their neighbours like Sweden and Norway, but that’s their loss.
That said, things are changing for the better as non-resident tourist overnight stays in Finland increased by 46% in 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. And, believe it or not, the vast majority of these tourists were people from the UK. Finland is often associated with a cold remote place, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Nordic countries may as well be the last bastion for escaping unbearable heat and unforgiving summers that are a direct result of global warming. But cold air and amazing landscapes aren’t the only things Finland has to offer to their visitors. This is why we shall delve deeper into some of the top reasons why you should visit Finland this year. So let’s get to it then.
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The main attractions
If you’re wondering what you should visit first when travelling to Finland, then cities are your best bet, for now, at least. Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is the meeting point between the East and the West so you can expect a mix of cultures and traditions that make Helsinki a truly one-of-a-kind capital in the whole of Europe.
What’s even more interesting about Helsinki is that it has something different to offer depending on which time of the year you visit. So for example, if you go there during summer, you can explore Helsinki’s landmarks via cruise ships and ferries that travel all over the Baltic Sea.
And if the weather is not favourable for cruises, there are a myriad of museums, theatres and shopping streets like Aleksanterinkatu, for instance, that will provide you with all the entertainment and unique experiences you need.
Moreover, if you have some downtime, don’t hesitate to browse some Finnish sports betting markets, provided you’re into wagering, to begin with. Gambling is legalized and state-owned in Finland so you have yet another source of entertainment to keep you occupied while in Finland.
The great outdoors
For those of you who aren’t in favour of busy city life, Finland has a plethora of outdoor activities and small towns to visit that are more than worth exploring. That said, it’s safe to say that Finland is pretty much a lake-side country. As a matter of fact, Finland has around 200,000 lakes scattered all over the country.
To complement the great outdoors, you’ll find deep lush, green forests that are home to cross-country skiing activities during winter months. If you prefer more quiet and secluded places to enjoy your holidays, places like Lappeenranta, for instance, are more than capable of catering to your needs.
Not only is the entire region located around lakes but it’s also the centre of Finnish tourism right after Helsinki, famous for tax-free shopping endeavors that are quite preferred by tourists.
Something for the winter enthusiasts
If you’re a winter person and enjoy snow-covered landscapes and fresh cool air, Finland is the place for you. If you head north to the town of Kemi, which is part of the Arctic Circle, you’ll come across a large snow castle that is actually an ice hotel. Staying in such a place is a unique experience to be sure.
Not only that but the city of Rovaniemi, also located in the Arctic Circle, is the very heart of winter sports and winter activities in Finland. You can sit back and watch the aurora borealis if you don’t feel like doing anything in particular but if you do, reindeer sled rides, snowmobile tours and ice fishing are all available to you in northern Finland.
And if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, some ski resorts in the north allow you to experience ice yachting or playing ice hockey, which Finns are very good at, probably the best in the world, for that matter. In other words, there’s no shortage of things to do or places to visit for winter enthusiasts who don’t mind the cold or the snow.
Let’s be completely honest here, people visit different countries not only for the landmarks or activities but mostly for the food. As mentioned before, Finland is the meeting point between the Eastern and Western worlds so you can expect some of the most unique cuisine in all of Europe there.
If there’s one thing you can say about Finnish cuisine is that Finns like fresh ingredients and won’t often settle for otherwise, which is what makes their dishes so great, to begin with. That being said, Finnish cuisine combines the traditional country style of cooking with the contemporary continental style, as well as haute cuisine for those with more delicate tastes.
Meat and fish are, therefore, common ingredients in Finnish dishes, among the most notable is reindeer meat. Hunting and fishing is very popular in Finland and Finns don’t shy from using their catches to make delicious meals. Finns also use a lot of wholemeal products, berries, mushrooms, dairy products and turnips that are the base of traditional dishes, although turnips are often replaced by potatoes.
Of course, you will find all sorts of dishes from other countries as well. Finnish cuisine incorporates recipes from all over the world but if you wish to try something unique to the Finnish culture, don’t be surprised to find moose meat in your dish. Everyone who ever tried it claims that it is quite exquisite.
Finland is truly an amazing country with plenty to offer to both its residents and visitors. Even the Finnish wilderness has a unique charm that can leave tourists in awe. So whether you prefer civilization or the great outdoors, Finland has your back no matter what you chose.
To top it all off, Finnish cuisine is one-of-a-kind and will sustain and replenish you so that you can continue with your travels, sightseeing and all the activities you decide to engage in while visiting this beautiful Nordic country.