How to Travel in Finland?

How to Travel in Finland?

Travel in Finland can be one of the best experiences of your life. Finland is a country with a high standard of living and stunning landscapes that make exploring this country incredibly rewarding. You’ll want to visit Finland over and over again due to its unique attractions.

Why Travel to Finland?

In Finland, you’ll find the people to be very friendly, and the incredible landscapes will captivate you. Finland is a land of forests and lakes, bright summer nights, and snowy winter regions, a combination you won’t find in many countries. The country covers an area of approximately 338,145 square kilometers with a population of nearly 5.4 million. Cultural diversity, art, and music are celebrated in numerous festivals. In these festivals, you can savor top-notch Finnish cuisine.

The capital of Finland, Helsinki, is home to 635,181 people. Besides the capital, there are other cities such as Oulu, Rovaniemi, and countless smaller villages that you should visit during your trip in Finland. Finland is generally characterized by its 187,888 lakes and is famously known as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes.” Each of the Finnish cities has its unique attractions, and we’ll mention some of the most popular ones below.

In Finland, you’ll encounter incredible historical sites, which are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage, such as the wooden churches, the old historic city of Rauma, or the coastal fortress of Suomenlinna, all of which can create wonderful memories during your visit. Finland has a temperate cold climate. You’ll experience temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius in the summer and around -40 degrees Celsius in the north and -25 degrees Celsius in the south during the winter. ATMs are widely available throughout the country for cash withdrawal.

Speaking with native Finns can be a bit challenging as the Finnish language, a member of the Finno-Ugric language family, can be difficult to learn. However, most Finns have a good command of the English language, making it easy to communicate, even in rural areas. The country’s culinary scene is incredibly diverse. In addition to international fast-food chains and renowned kebab stands, you’ll find food stalls offering local delicacies all over the place.

Travel in Finland
Travel in Finland

Finnish Culture

There’s no need to fear traveling to Finland. Apart from traditional customs common to any country, Finnish culture is quite European. Finns are generally known for their politeness and will have acceptable interactions with tourists. However, words are important in Finland, and the language is treated with precision and care. Finns are somewhat reserved and prefer to avoid small talk, so it’s important to communicate carefully during conversations.

Finns place great importance on their authenticity, a heritage stemming from the country’s history. They take pride in their sports achievements, champions, and advanced technological accomplishments. Nevertheless, they do not expect tourists to be knowledgeable about the country’s personalities and history during their travels.

Equality is highly valued in Finland. Gender equality is a prominent aspect of Finnish society. Notably, there are many women in high-ranking positions in politics and other sectors. This reflects Finland’s view that women should not be restricted and that they should not be discriminated against.

In social greetings, it’s customary to shake hands and maintain eye contact. Hugging, like kissing for greetings, is not common in Finland. Sauna, an ancient tradition, is central to Finnish social life. Most Finns even have saunas in their apartments and small houses.

In terms of cost, Finland is relatively expensive, and to experience quality travel, you need a significant budget. This is especially true during the peak travel season when prices are higher compared to other months. On average, you should budget between 50 to 80 euros per day for transportation and sightseeing. Finland offers a wide range of cultural and adventure activities that allow you to travel by walking, cycling, bus, and train. Lush forests, unique lakes, wetlands, hilly landscapes, and beautiful cities in Finland make cycling and hiking much more enjoyable.

Train Travel in Finland

When traveling by train, you can choose between various options, including the metro, high-speed trains, overnight trains, and the high-speed Finnish Pendolino train, which travels at 200 kilometers per hour and only stops at a few stations, making it more expensive compared to other trains. For budget travelers, you can take other train options. The simplest way to book train tickets is online through the VR Finnish Railways website. After paying for the ticket, a PDF file will be sent to you via email, and you just need to print it out.

Cycling in Finland

Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in larger cities in Finland and is also very affordable. When touring Finland, cycling can be an enjoyable activity as the country is flat and offers numerous cycling routes. These cycling routes take you away from the hustle and bustle of the streets in some areas, leading you past incredible natural landscapes. The daily rental for a bicycle costs 10 euros, and for a week, it’s just 40 euros. Compared to buses, which cost around 3 euros, cycling will significantly reduce your expenses.

Daily Itinerary for Tourism in Finland

If you have no time constraints for exploring Finland and don’t plan to return to your country within just two days, this itinerary will help you form a general mindset about your trip to different regions of this country.

  • 4 days for discovering Helsinki, the capital.
  • 3 days for exploring Turku, the cultural capital, and visiting museums and the old castle.
  • 2 days in Kuopio for swimming, boating, fishing, and relaxation.
  • Spend 3 days in the student city of Oulu and see the Jätkänkynttilä Bridge.
  • Visit Rovaniemi for 2 days and explore the Arktikum Museum.
  • Get enchanted by Lapland’s nature for 2 days.
  • Devote 3 days to exploring the Koli landscapes, hiking on the hills.
  • Roam for 3 days in Koli, Finland’s most pristine region.
  • Spend 1 day visiting the Valamo Monastery in Heinävesi.
  • Visit historical castles for 1 day.
  • Explore Mikkeli for 2 days.
Travel in Finland
Travel in Finland

Travel Time in Finland

Finland has a cold temperate climate. Occasionally, temperatures can drop as low as -40 degrees in the north, which might be uncomfortable for some travelers. Most of Finland experiences the highest rainfall from June to October. In southern Finland, it reaches 600 to 700 milliliters per square meter, while the north and northeast receive less precipitation. Considering Finland’s diverse weather, you should choose a time when the climate is not harsh for your visit. The best time to travel to Finland is from June to August. For winter sports enthusiasts, January to March offers a better experience. Be sure to have waterproof and warm clothing in your luggage to be prepared for any weather.

Eating and Drinking in Finland

To put it simply, dining out in Finland is relatively expensive. During your travels, it is challenging to find a hot meal in a restaurant for less than 12 euros. To save on expenses, you can enjoy local foods or shop at discount stores.

If you decide to dine in a restaurant, non-alcoholic drinks such as water always come with your meal. You don’t need to worry about tipping either, as it’s already included in the price. Finns have a great appreciation for good food, and they are experts in this field. They have remained loyal to their culinary traditions, and many local dishes, like fish freshly caught from the sea, various homemade berries, and seasonal produce, make up a significant part of Finnish cuisine. Freshly caught fish, homemade berries, and seasonal produce complement local dishes.

There are many Finnish foods that you must try. Karjalanpiirakka or Karelian pies are a delicacy from the Karelia region in eastern Finland. They are traditionally made from rye flour and filled with potatoes, carrots, or rice. Their taste is particularly delicious when topped with egg butter.

Summer in Finland is not complete without Grillimakkara, which are large sausages grilled and enjoyed with mustard. One of the most prominent Finnish dishes is the “small chubs,” prepared in a special way, and they can be quite a tasty meal.

Top 4 Beautiful Places in Finland

Finland is one of those countries you’ll never get tired of, a place where winter is magical and summer is serene, and its enchanting nature will captivate you. The abundance of dreamy locations in Finland allows you to discover new corners of the country time and time again. Below, we introduce you to 4 of the most beautiful places in Finland that you can visit both in the warm and cold months.

  • City of Helsinki

When we talk about the most beautiful places in Finland, we must begin with the capital of the country. Helsinki, voted the happiest city in the world, combines untouched nature with a bustling urban life, making it an ideal tourist destination. Helsinki is one of the most popular destinations for city breaks, especially in the summer, but you shouldn’t overlook it in the winter. Especially in the colder months, the beautiful capital offers countless activities for tourists.

In addition to winter sports like skiing and ice skating, you must try pulkka riding in Helsinki (pulkka is a Finnish sled). On sunny days, you can even go beyond that; as soon as the sea and lakes freeze over, Helsinki residents walk or snowshoe on the ice.

But it’s not just the city itself that’s worth seeing – you’ll find countless other sightseeing spots nearby. With a short boat ride from Helsinki, you’ll see the impressive sea fortress of Suomenlinna. Suomenlinna is one of the most famous sights in Finland and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991.

  • Naantali

One of the most popular summer destinations in Finland, even for its own people, is Naantali. As the sunniest city in Finland, Naantali has many enthusiasts. The small town of Naantali, with around 19,000 inhabitants, offers stunning natural beauty. Take a stroll through the picturesque old town’s narrow streets and let yourself get lost in the beauty of this town. Naantali is also worth a visit in winter. Enjoy the view of the snow-covered idyllic village with a warm cup of coffee in one of the cafés.

  • Traveling in Finland: Rovaniemi

Visiting Rovaniemi is like stepping into history. The old town with colorful wooden houses evokes a long-forgotten era, and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991. Everything is calm in Rovaniemi, especially in winter; this city is perfect for a serene trip. Walk on the old cobblestone streets and experience the unique atmosphere of the town. Take a walk through small shops, see the local handicrafts, and relax in a beautiful café nestled among the streets.

  • Koli National Park

One of the most stunning places in Finland, which you must include in your daily plans during your trip to Finland, is Koli National Park. Besides enjoying nature, have a delicious meal and rest at this peaceful location. No other place will give you such serenity. In Koli National Park, you have a tranquil, nature-enclosed setting. Koli National Park is the hub for winter sports in Finland. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, amazing adventures like horseback riding in the snow or walking with special shoes await you there. After an exciting winter day, you can relax with a sauna in Koli National Park or sit around the campfire with your family and friends and taste the famous Finnish free-roaming fish.

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