From artisanal villages and skiing resorts, to city breaks and beaches, here are the top 10 destinations where Finns travel to in Finland.
Being the eighth biggest country in Europe, Finland offers limitless possibilities for explorers. The southern and western coasts are dotted with picturesque harbour towns and artisanal villages, whereas north Finland boasts reindeer, while huskies can be found inside the Arctic Circle.
Shop, Park, Natural Feature, Market, Building
Porvoo is an easy choice for anyone wanting to step outside of the beaten tracks of Helsinki. Located only a 30-minute bus ride from the capital, Porvoo is a cute Finnish city of 50,000 inhabitants. Porvoo is famous for its old, wooden-house district lining the river Porvoonjoki. Inhabited since the Stone Age, Porvoo used to be a prosperous trading site largely because of its river. Nowadays, Porvoo is a popular city to visit because of its breathtaking aesthetic, convenient location near Helsinki, and the fact that it’s one of Finland’s best foodie destinations! With its boutique shops, artisanal chocolatiers, cafés and restaurants, Porvoo is great for a weekend visit.
Hanko is a historic seaside holiday destination for Finns. It is located 130 kilometres west of Helsinki, and almost half of its 8,500 inhabitants belong to Finland’s Swedish-speaking minority. In the late 19th century, Hanko was a famous spa town among the Russian nobility – Finland being under Russian rule at the time. Nowadays, Hanko is a relaxing seaside town with cute hotels, shops and cafés, as well as activities such as yoga, kayaking, and golf.
Distillery, Shop, Store
Fiskars is a unique artisanal village in Southern Finland. You might recognise the word ‘Fiskars’ from the orange-handle scissors that were originally manufactured in the area, and have now spread worldwide. The craft-making heritage is still celebrated in Fiskars Village, making it a perfect spot for anyone wanting to explore Finnish artisanal produce, including gin, art, homeware, and clothes.
Market, Shopping Mall, Natural Feature
Kuopio is the capital of the Savonia region and its inhabitants are renowned for their easy-going (or “lupsakka”) lifestyle. Kuopio’s heart is its Market Square: in the summertime, the square is occupied by tents selling local produce such as berries, vegetables, and fish, as well as wooden cutlery. Around the square, there are a few shopping malls, cafés and restaurants. Kuopio also has a little harbour where you can jump on-board of an old-fashioned boat and sail the waters of Lake Kallavesi.
Naantali is a little harbour town on the West Coast of Finland. Naantali is famous for being the home of Moomins, as well as the summer residence of the President of Finland. Naantali’s old wooden-house area is beautiful in any season, but it is during the summer months that the town really bursts into life. In the summer, Naantali’s harbour is filled with small yachts and boats, and people enjoying the sunniest place in Finland by sipping coffee or wine at one of the harbour’s many restaurants.
Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
The Archipelago Trail, starting from Turku, is one of if not the most famous road trip destinations in Finland. Circulating for 250 kilometres along the Western Archipelago, the trail is popular among cyclists too. During Finnish holiday season, in June and July, the queues for the ferries connecting the islands can be long.
Natural Feature, Opera House
Surrounded by the magnificent Lake Saimaa and featuring the medieval castle Olavinlinna (Olaf’s Castle), Savonlinna is a popular spot to visit for Finns. Known as a summer destination, Finns often flock to the area to relax in Savonlinna City, visit the Opera Festival at Olavinlinna, or explore the beautiful nature around. Rent a car and head to Punkaharju, which is a spectacular ridge winding through lakes and lined by tall pine trees. The scenery doesn’t get much more Finnish than this!
Forest, Hiking Trail, Natural Feature, Ski Resort
Lapland, or “Lappi” for Finns, is a dream destination for many, including foreigners. Often when Finns visit a specific place in Lapland, they simply report to their neighbours that they “went to Lapland” – forgetting that Lapland is bigger than, say, Ireland! Bearing in mind Lapland’s vastness, there are plenty of activities to enjoy – from snow-ledge expeditions with huskies to fishing, skiing, hiking, spotting the Northern Lights, or just relaxing and taking in the magnificent views.
Let’s start with the basics: Yyterin Hiekkasärkät means The Sand Dunes of Yyteri. Although Finland may not be a famous beach destination, there are a few great beaches Finns like to visit regularly. One of them is Yyteri, located on the west coast of Finland, near Pori. The sand dunes of Yyteri stretch out for over six kilometres and lure thousands of Finns each summer. Apart from sunbathing, people also come here for golf and spa.
Art Gallery, Theatre, Shop, Museum
Helsinki is an easy access point to Finland for many foreigners, but it is a popular travel destination in itself too. As a capital city, Helsinki has a vast variety of museums, galleries, theatres, restaurants and shops that attract Finns as well. The architecture is a beautiful mixture of European and Slavic, and there is even an old, wooden-house district in the city centre. Main attractions in Helsinki include Ateneum Art Museum, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, and Helsinki Cathedral, but visitors can also visit designer boutiques and chic wine bars, on top of multiple Instagrammable spots.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.