Here Are the Finns' Favourite Places to Visit in Finland

Flag of Finland
Flag of Finland | © marselelia / Pixabay
Photo of Paula Hotti
16 April 2018

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
Map View
Porvoojoki River
Red riverside storage houses in Porvoo, Finland. | © Paula Hotti

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.


Natural Feature
Map View
Hanko is a popular seaside town with beautiful blue colours | Hanko is a popular seaside town with beautiful blue colours

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.


Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Deaf), Accessible (Blind), Dog Friendly, Family Friendly, Kid Friendly


Distillery, Shop, Store
Map View
Fiskars is an idyllic artisanal village in Southern Finland | © Fotofabriken / Courtesy of Fiskarsvillage

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.


Kid Friendly, Family Friendly, Dog Friendly, Accessible (Deaf), Accessible (Wheelchair)


Market, Shopping Mall, Natural Feature
Map View
Recently renovated Market Hall in Kuopio is one of the city's main attractions. | © Paula Hotti

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.


Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Blind), Accessible (Deaf), Dog Friendly, Family Friendly, Kid Friendly


Natural Feature
Map View
Naantali's buzzing harbour in the evening | © Esko Keski-Oja / Courtesy of Visit Naantali

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.


Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Blind), Accessible (Deaf), Dog Friendly, Kid Friendly, Family Friendly


Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Map View
IMG_20160714_131851 (1)
Scenic Turku Archipelago Trail offers plenty of photo opportunities | © Paula Hotti / Culture Trip

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
Map View
Olavinlinna is one of Finland's most visited tourist attractions. | © Paula Hotti

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
Map View
Pyhätunturi in Finnish Lapland. | Pyhätunturi in Finnish Lapland.

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.

Yyterin Hiekkasärkät

Natural Feature
Map View
Bikini Bar at Yyteri beach | Bikini Bar at Yyteri beach

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
Map View
Helsinki city centre in pastel colours. | © Paula Hotti / Culture Trip

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.

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