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Finland - information for tourists and travelers

Why do we love travel? Travel is a change of scenery, a change of environment, new emotions and impressions. If you live in a big and noisy city, if you live in a hot and sunny country, if you are tired of the hustle and bustle and a lot of people around you, then we recommend spending a vacation in Finland.

The most famous sculpture in Helsinki More than 8 million foreign tourists visit Finland every year. It is quite difficult to find accurate information because many tourists come only for one day, or spend the night on a cruise ship or ferry. (In 2019, 8.9 million foreign tourists visited Finland.) 8 million foreign tourists may not seem like a lot, but it is more than the entire population of the country. There are no crowds of tourists around you!

In 2023, the largest number of nights in hotels in Finland were spent by citizens of Germany (680 thousand nights), Great Britain (567 thousand nights), Sweden (503 thousand nights), the USA (383) and France (377). Regular ferry service allows residents of Estonia and Sweden to come to Finland for just one day and not stay in a hotel. Cruise ships also call at the ports of Helsinki, Mariehamn and Turku in the summer. These tourists may not be counted in statistics.

A little about Finland

Cathedral in Kotka
Finland is a relatively small country. The length of the country from north to south is approximately 1,150 kilometers, from west to east approximately 530 kilometers. Finland is located in northern Europe. A significant part of its territory (25%) lies beyond the Arctic Circle.

Finland is the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. The population of Finland is approximately 5.6 million (2023). There are no cities too big in Finland and you can certainly find quite secluded places for a relaxing holiday.

Finland borders Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east and Estonia to the south (across the Gulf of Finland). In the south and southwest, Finland is bordered by the Baltic Sea (Gulf of Finland).

Helsinki is the capital and most visited city of Finland. The cities of Turku, Tampere, and Pori are also popular among tourists. Residents of Finland call their country “Suomi”.

Finland has often been called the happiest country, the country where the happiest people live! Why? Go on a journey and find out for yourself.

Regions of Finland, as tourists see it

There are several regions of Finland that are of greatest interest to tourists.

Helsinki. Helsinki, together with the cities of Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen and the capital region (Uusimaa region). Helsinki is the capital of Finland. Helsinki is home to Finland's busiest airport. Cruise ships often visit the port of Helsinki in the summer.

The Baltic Sea coast and sea islands. The Baltic Sea coast can be divided into two parts. One part of the coast stretches from Helsinki to the east, to the city of Kotka and further to the border with Russia. The other part of the coast stretches from Helsinki north to the cities of Turku and Oulu. (Almost all the coastal islands of Finland belong to the archipelagos: the Kotka archipelago, the Helsinki archipelago, the Turku archipelago, the Åland archipelago.)

Finnish Lakeland. There are about 190 thousand lakes in Finland. The largest number of lakes are in the central and eastern parts of the country and this region is called the Finnish Lake District (Järvi-Suomi). The nature of these places is charming, but the beauty of the Lakeland is most impressive only in summer. In winter, the lakes are covered with ice and snow. Finns' favorite summer holiday destinations are in the Lakes region. The cities of Savonlinna, Mikkeli, Lappeenranta, and Imatra are located there. If you really want to enjoy the beauty of Finland nature, rent a house on the lake, like the Finns do.

Lapland. The northern part of Finland attracts tourists with its unique, northern nature. Santa Claus Village and ski resorts are tourist attractions in Lapland. Located in Lapland, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is Finland's most popular national park.

  • The capital region (Helsinki) and Lapland are the most popular among foreign tourists, followed by the Baltic Sea coast and the Lakes region.
  • Residents of Finland have slightly different preferences. In first place in popularity among residents of Finland are the Lakes region and the coast of the Gulf of Finland with islands (Baltic Sea), while the capital region and Lapland are in third and fourth place in popularity.

What makes Finland attractive to tourists?

Sea, lakes, islands, coast

The length of the Baltic Sea coast in Finland is approximately 1,100 kilometers, but this does not take into account all the bends of the coastline, without taking into account the numerous bays and islands.

In reality, the length of of Finland's coastline consists of:

  • 6,300 kilometers of continental coastline.
  • 39,000 kilometers of coastline of sea islands.
  • Almost 100 kilometers of lake shores that exist on the islands of the sea.
  • Almost 130 kilometers of shores of islands that are located on lakes that are located on sea islands.
  • 215 thousand kilometers of lake coastline.
  • 53 thousand kilometers of river coastline.

Thus, the total length of of Finland's coastline is 315 thousand kilometers!

Do you like relaxing by the water, on the beach, swimming in the lake, or boating? Unfortunately, this type of holiday is only available in summer. (You can swim in the water park in winter.)

Nature is what attracts tourists to Finland!

Castle in Savonlinna
What is your dream vacation spot? Do you want to be in a place where the air is clean, and you can drink water from the tap or from the river, and eat wild berries straight from the bush in the forest?

The most valuable thing that Finland offers tourists is its unique nature, almost unspoiled by man. Finland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe and the nature here has not been greatly damaged by humans.

There are not many people on the beaches and not many cars on the roads. You can enjoy peace and quiet and have a truly relaxing holiday. Focus your attention on the sounds of nature: the sound of the wind, the rustling of leaves on the trees, the singing of birds, the murmur of water in a stream.

Summer in Finland is not as hot as in southern countries. Here you can enjoy comfortable temperatures and get a respite from the sweltering heat.

Winter in Finland lasts from approximately December to March, and in Lapland even longer. Tourists from southern countries can enjoy a truly snowy and frosty winter. Do you still remember how the snow creaks under your feet? Perhaps you will be lucky and see the northern lights!

Finns know how to enjoy winter. Try winter sports too. In winter you can go skiing or ride a reindeer sled (dog sled). In December, Santa Claus Village, which is located near the city of Rovaniemi, is especially popular among foreign tourists.

In Finland there are many places where you can practice winter sports, many ski resorts (Salla, Ruka, Levi, Ylläs).

What time of year is the best to travel to Finland? In our opinion, you need to come at least twice.

June and July are the best months to travel to Finland. This is the warmest time of the year. June nights are very light (White nights), and this is unusual for residents of southern countries. (The sun rises around 4 am and sets around 10 pm in June in Helsinki.)

Finnish winter. If you are more interested in snow and frost, then you will probably like December, January, February. March can be a very good month to travel to Lapland.

What not to do in Finland? Don't rush anywhere. You can do this at home. Look at your smartphone less, the surrounding reality is more interesting. Don’t try to get pleasure from the Finnish Sauna - only Finns know this secret of how to get pleasure from staying in the sauna.

Residents of Finland also like to travel. Finns travel a lot within their own country. Many people like to spend their summer vacation in a rented house on the lake. The largest number of foreign trips is made to neighboring countries: Estonia, Sweden.
Spain, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Italy are the most popular countries for summer holidays.

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