Finland is a country of vast green forests, beautiful Baltic Sea islands, windswept arctic fells and thousands of blue lakes. These untouched and beautiful landscapes provide habitat for thousands of wild animals and birds — may of which can be seen on arranged wildlife excursions and bird watching sanctuaries.
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The same lake where people come to swim and sail in summer forms a perfect skating rink in the winter.Learn More »
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Finland offers plenty of activities, summer time is perfect for cycling, hiking, canoeing, boating, horse- back riding, fishing, gold panning, golf and wildlife watching and winter offers various safaris of husky dog, reindeer and snowmobile to skating, skiing and ice fishing.
Finns have long had an inherent appreciation and understanding of the cultural importance of art and design. This appreciation is obvious to any visitor to almost any town in Finland, where numerous installations, statues, and monuments abound, and where galleries are almost as plentiful as the stores offering locally fashioned hand-crafted goods. There are many other indications of the large part that art plays in the everyday lives of the Finn. For example, in Finland there are some 2,500 art associations, which is surely one of the highest per capita in Europe. Alongside Nature, Art is vital to the Finns, and with art playing such a diverse role in Finnish life, it is hardly surprising that Finland is a world leader in matters of design. The history of Finnish design can be traced to 1875 when the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design was founded, and the School of Arts and Crafts was set up. Almost 100 years later this school became the University of Art and Design Helsinki, and was identified by the influential publication Business Week as one of the best universities for design in the world in 2007.
The best known is the Hietaniemi beach in Helsinki with lots of sand and beach amenities.
The beaches near Helsinki in a fortress island of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World heritage Site, boasts s several beach areas. This location is great to spend a day bathing, eating, and sightseeing.
Suomenlinna (which means "Castle of Finland") is a UNESCO World Heritage site with an interesting history. It was built in 1748 as a fortress to protect Sweden against Russia. You can hop to the island using a 15-minute ferry and walk around until you've found your favorite spot for hanging out.
Yyteri Beach in West Finland is a beautiful beach on Finland's west coast. It’s possible to enjoy the sand, sun, surfing, golfing and volleyball. Part of this beach is one of the nude beaches in Finland. The entire beach is located just outside the town of Pori and there's a direct bus connection to the city center of Pori.
Nallikari Beach in Oulu- This beach is clean and simple, with plenty of amenities, such as food and snack kiosks, restaurants, water sports rentals, a hotel and even little cottages for camping. Walk out on the pier and take in the beautiful view.
The Kalevala established Finnish as a literary language and inspired a flourishing of Finnish art and music. It also played a crucial role in the Finns' struggle for independence, providing a heroic history and a focus for national pride.
A packed nationwide calendar of cultural events and festivals, many staged in imaginative settings, adds to the attraction of exploring Finland’s smaller towns and cities.
Cultural festivals of every conceivable kind, held right across the country, are the perfect creative supplement to Finland’s prime asset – its expansive, unspoiled natural environment. Many festivals use the lakes, forests and seasonal extremes as an exciting backdrop. The Savonlinna Opera Festival, for example, is held in the atmospheric courtyard of the medieval Olavinlinna castle overlooking Finland’s biggest lake, the Saimaa. The Hamina Tattoo is a celebration of military music staged in the town of Hamina and drawing on its military heritage and architecture.
Finland offers a wide range of outdoor activities for all tastes. Being a country of opposites and contrasts you can truly enjoy your stay with each of your senses. Finland is a clean and quiet country where the feeling of space, the calm of the wilderness and the bustle of the lake districts is present throughout the year.
Unique national parks are gate to the Finnish nature and each of them showcases the natural characteristics of the area. They present archipelago dotted by islands and islets, virgin forests reaching quietly to the sky, lakes glimmering in a thousand shades of blue, and the wilderness of the Lapland fells. There is something for everybody – from walks in the wilderness along age old tracks, a short nature trip with the family to just wondering around picking berries.
From meeting the one and only Santa Claus in Rovaniemi to staying at a lakeside cottage over the white summer months, Finland offers some unforgettable experiences to the whole family.
Finns themselves love the nature. Hiking, skiing, fishing or berry picking in the forest – they are some of the activities Finnish families enjoy in their free time. To truly understand our country and its people, head outdoors and into the wild. If you need a little guidance, go to a wildlife park such as Ranua in Lapland or Haltia Nature Centre in Helsinki. Your holiday will be one even the littlest of family members will never forget.
Finns are passionate about their food and they know how to celebrate it. Finns are also fiercely loyal to their culinary roots.
Although you can buy just about anything your heart desires in Finland these days, go native when you are here and you will be in for a treat.
In Finland, market stalls everywhere overflow with seasonal produce and local delicacies. Festivals mark the arrival of favorite foods throughout the year.
Finns even name pastries after their poets! Finland was a nomadic place for a long time where fishing, hunting and foraging was a natural part of the lifestyle that still exists and forms the very basics of the modern Finnish food culture.
Finland’s cities are an architectural joy to explore, packed as they are with buildings designed by such international luminaries are Carl Ludwig Engel, Alvar Aalto, Eliel & Eero Saarinen, and many others. In addition, there are 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites located in Finland, each one with its own unique charm and history. The Sibelius Monument in Helsinki is one of the capital’s most visited and adored attractions. It is located in the Sibelius Park, in the district of Töölö, just a stone throw away from the sea. The abstract – and at the time controversial – monument was unveiled in 1967.
Finland’s contemporary art scene embraces everything from experimental artist-run initiatives and commercial galleries to flagship art institutions. There are over 3,000 professional visual artists, more than 55 art museums, and numerous art galleries packed into this northern country.
There are a total of 39 national parks in Finland National Parks with Unique Natural Sights.
Nature protection is the primary function of national parks. The national parks are protected areas exemplifying the more valuable and characteristic habitats and land forms in the country, such as archipelago, lakes, forests, peatlands and fells. The national parks include many unique natural sights, such as rapids, rift valleys and eskers. Localities with outstanding picturesque scenery or panoramic views have also been selected for preservation. In yet other places the aim has been to preserve landscapes affected by human habitation and bygone ways of life.
Official Outdoors Finland outdoors portal guides to the best hiking, cycling and canoeing trails in Finland. Cycle through beautiful nature and cultural landscapes, take a walk in the pristine nature of the 39 national parks or experience the vast canoeing possibilities in Finland.
The portal provides tips for exploring the Finnish nature safe on well-marked routes with good quality services along the routes. It’s easy to pland an individual self-guided tour with the help of tour proposals, route descriptions, printable and downloadable maps, gps-tracks, topographic maps and accommodation, restaurant and café suggestions or choose a package tour for your needs.
The most popular places/sights in Finland are Suomenlinna fortress island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Helsinki, Sibelius Monument, Senate Square, The Cathedral and Market Square, Ateneum Art Museum, all in Helsinki, the picturesque wooden town of Porvoo, Turku Castle in the City of Turku (former capital of Finland), many of the pristine National Parks (Nuuksio, Oulanka, Koli, Lemmenjoki.)
Restaurants have no general requirements as to dress, although some up-market establishments may prefer men to wear jacket and tie.
Restaurant closing hours vary from 10pm to 3 am.
Service charges are included in hotel room rates and also in restaurant prices, but although it is not expected, there’s nothing to stop customers giving an extra tip if they think service warrants it.
Value added tax is added to invoices and normally included in the displayed total price for goods and products in Finnish shops and restaurants. The standard rate for VAT, the initials for which are ALV in Finnish, is 22 per cent, with a rate of 17 per cent for food and animal feed and 8 per cent for transport.
Pets are not generally welcomed in Finnish restaurants.
Finland is recognized around the world for its playful and practical designs and talented designers. Numerous Finnish products such as handicrafts, knits, ceramics, dinnerware, delicacies, leather, fur, yarns, fabrics, footwear, furniture are available for purchase throughout Finland. The capital city of Helsinki is a shopper’s paradise with its dedicated Design District.
Shops are open on weekdays: from 7– 9am to 8pm-9pm and Saturdays: from 9am to 3pm. Sundays (some shops): 12noon to 9pm throughout the year
Shops are closed on public holidays, on Christmas Eve and Midsummer Eve closing time at 1pm
Anyone permanently resident outside the EU and Norway can shop tax free in Finland, thus saving about 12 (max. 16) per cent on purchases of over 40 e. Only stores with TAX FREE SHOPPING signs will provide customers with a cheque covering the VAT refund; this can be cashed on leaving the last EU country visited. The cheque, together with the goods purchased, should be presented at the point of departure. The refund will be paid in cash. Tax-free purchases must be taken out of Finland or the EU in unused condition.
If the goods are carried out of the EU from any country other than Finland, Sweden, Norway or Denmark, the voucher must be stamped by the customs upon departure from the last EU country. The voucher can also be cashed at Global Refund offices at all main airports.
Export service: Goods can be sent direct to an address abroad or to a traveller’s plane or ship.
Finland has achieved international recognition in cross-country skiing, ice hockey, ski jumping, rally driving, athletics, swimming and orienteering – many sports that could be described as traditional. . Finland has not missed out on the rise of newer, urban sports – on the contrary. Many cities and towns have responded to young people’s requests by providing a place for them to practice new sports, and so many skate parks, climbing walls and other recreation sites have sprung up.