Finland is often ranked number one for being the happiest country in the world, as the Finns have high incomes, health care for all, and a top education system. Finland is famous for it`s spectacular Lapland, the northern lights, Saunas, majestic forests, quirky food and for being the home of Santa Claus.
One of the most appealing things about Finland is its beautiful nature. Breathtaking expanses of forest, picturesque lakes, and stunning skies attract visitors from all over. The land is supremely unspoiled, making the landscape here stand out from other, more populated countries. There are plenty of outdoor things to do in Finland, from canoeing and kayaking to hiking and skiing.
But it’s not just the wilderness that makes Finland so appealing; its cities are fantastic as well. A famously liberal and innovative country, cities like Helsinki, Tampere, and Turku are lively and forward-thinking rich in design, delicious cuisine, and trendy bars. And you can`t miss the official home of Santa in Rovaniemi, situated near the Arctic Circle, you`ll also discover a lively nightlife and world-class museums here.
The Finnish Lapland Region lies in Finland`s far north country above the Artic Circle, making winters in this area cold and long, and dark. The region is home to Santa Claus, his elves, herds of reindeer, and the indigenous Same people, who have inhabited the region for thousands of years. The lively towns and ski resorts is just minutes away from the peace and quiet of the wild wilderness. Some towns that can be found in this region: Rovaniemi, Kuusamo and Akaslompolo.
The Finnish Lakeland region, situated on the eastern and central parts of Finland, boasts a blue labyrinth of lakes, islands, rivers and canals. The region is interspersed with forests and ridges stretching for hundreds of miles in a peaceful and spectacularly landscape just waiting to be explored. Some towns that can be found in this region: Jyvaskyla, Tampere, and Kuopio.
The Western Finland Coast offers visitors with an authentic experience of Finnish culture and history. Stretching for over 300 miles, Finland`s west coast is home to an assortment of historic towns such as Oulu, Vaasa, Pori and the Unesco-protected Rauma, founded at the height of the Swedish empire. From the scattered islands of the archipelago in the south, over the cultivated plains of Ostrobothnia, to the rolling hills with their unique aapa bogs, this region offers a range of Finnish landscapes with plenty of outdoor adventure to be had. Some towns that can be found in this region: Oulu, Vaasa, and Pori.
The Southern Finland Coast lies by the Gulf of Finland, stretching into the Lakeland of interior Finland. It is a destination on the rise with a lot to offer, especially in terms of untouched arctic and subartic nature. It is also the most populous part of the country, including the urban sprawl around Helsinki. Discover the fantastic ensemble of islands and islets scattered over a fascinating archipelago, colorful Scandinavian wooden houses, and thousands of lakes and dense forests. Some towns that can be found in this region: Kotka and Kouvola.
Contrary to what many travelers believe, Finland`s climate is quite diverse and varied throughout the year. Not surprisingly, July is the country's warmest month and February is the coldest. While temperatures in the winter months rarely climb over 30 degrees Fahrenheit, the chance to see the Northern Lights also makes this a great time to visit Finland. However, the fairly warm summers provide great opportunities to explore the culture and wilderness of the country, and late spring, especially May and June, are the most pleasant months in Finland. Finns take their summer vacations in July, which means higher prices, some business closures, and the need for advance reservations.
We recommend 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in larger cities.
Finland`s a large country and traveling can be expensive. Public transportation is well organized, comfortable and often new, and advance bookings are rarely necessary outside the biggest holiday periods.
By Train: Trains are operated by Finnish State Railways. Comfortable Express and InterCity trains, plus faster, tilting Pendolino trains, serve the principal cities several times a day. If you`re travelling by night train, we recommend to go for the more expensive sleeper cars if you plan on getting any rest, as no provision is made for sleeping in the ordinary seated carriages. Elsewhere, especially on east–west hauls through sparsely populated regions, trains are often tiny or replaced by buses on which rail passes are still valid. InterRail passes are valid on all trains. The best timetable is the Rail Pocket Guide published by VR and available from all train stations and tourist offices.
Bu Bus: Buses cover the whole country, but are most useful in the north. Tickets can be purchased at bus stations and most travel agents; only ordinary one-way tickets can be bought on board. Visit www.matkahuolto.fi, which lists all bus routes or ask for the timetable, available at all main bus stations.
By Bicycle: Cycling can be an enjoyable way to see the country at close quarters and the only considerable hills are in the far north. You can take your bike along with you on an InterCity train for about a €10 fee (reservations rarely necessary), and most youth hostels, campsites and some hotels and tourist offices offer bike rental from around €15 per day; there may also be a deposit of around €30.
The currency of Finland is the Euro.
Finnish and Swedish are the two official languages of Finland. English is quite widely spoken in Finland, though not quite as prevalent as the other Scandinavian countries. Just under three quarters of Finns report being able to speak English, many of them fluently, which is a very high proportion in itself and compares favorably to most other countries outside of Scandinavia. We suggest you get a good English-Finnish guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.