As Europe’s eighth largest country, Finland has a lot to offer both urban explorers and lovers of remote places alike. From foodie walks and husky tours to hunting the Northern Lights, here are the best tours to take in Finland!
Touring Finland by a train
The train is an easy and relatively cheap way to tour around Finland, especially if you have an Interrail or Eurail card in your pocket. The Finnish railway company’s (called VR) railroad network covers most of Finland from Helsinki to the Arctic Circle – just remember that Finland is not only one of Europe’s largest countries but also the continent’s most sparsely populated country, which means you will see a lot of forest scenery passing by!
Apart from seeing (a lot of) countryside, the rails do reach major cities such as Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Jyväskylä and Rovaniemi in the north. This eco-friendly way to tour around Finland allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy. Hop on the train from Helsinki and in two hours you are either along the medieval streets of Turku on the west coast, enjoying a day trip to the foodie town of Porvoo, or heading to Lapland on a romantic overnight train.
Best Arctic tours in Finland
Wintry Lapland is a land of magic and one of the most memorable ways to experience the vast white scenery is by sitting on a sledge pulled by beautifully blue-eyed husky dogs. There are many husky tours to choose from in Finland, such as Hetta Huskies or Hey Husky. A more traditional way to embrace Lapland is the reindeer sledges. Wrapped up warmly and tucked under blankets, let the snow hit your face and enjoy the magical beauty of Lapland.
But Finland is not all cosy and Christmas rides with furry animals. For a bit of an adrenaline rush, you can also book a snowmobile tour – the magic of Lapland is still there!
Serenity on a slow boat
Slow boats are one of the most unique and charming ways to explore Finland, especially in the Lakeland area of Lake Saimaa. The Finnish Lakeland is Europe’s largest Lake district and many of Central Finland’s cities are dotted on the shores of the interconnected lakes. You can hop on board a slow boat tour, for example, in the historic city of Savonlinna, or at the charming harbour of Kuopio. Or be your own tour captain and rent a slow boat of your own then sail right into the charming pulsing heart of Finland. Starting from Savonlinna, there are almost 4,000 kilometres of marked waterways to explore, with over a hundred marinas with services and plenty of rural foodie finds, as well as dozens of picturesque coves to enjoy in your own privacy.
Best chances to spot the Northern Lights
If you are lucky, you will spot the Northern Lights even without trying, especially during spring and autumn in Finland. On a clear and starry Lapland sky, the Northern Lights are visible almost every other night. But to enhance your chances of spotting the magical phenomenon, download the Auroras!now app on your phone, or book a tour for a hunt of the Northern Lights. In Lapland, there are also many hotels designed to optimise the chances of spotting the Northern Lights, such as glass igloos and eagle view suites.
Tour of the Finnish culinary culture
To familiarise yourself with Finland’s foodie traditions and modern trends, try a foodie tour in Helsinki or any other bigger city in Finland. The tours will include visits to local market halls, where an abundance of typically Finnish flavours can be found. The local guides will also help you understand the Finns’ fascination with salty sweets, such as ‘salmiakki‘. In the coastal city of Turku, you can also do your own Food Walk with Visit Turku’s special card designed to help travellers to get the most of foodie Finland in Turku. The card costs 44 euros and allows you a visit in five of the 10 restaurants included in the card. Try the Brewery Restaurant Koulu, Finnish fine dining at Smör, or, sit down at the riverside Café Art for the best coffees and cinnamon buns in Turku.
Icy tours in Finland
Finland has four seasons, of which winter offers a slew of different, even exotic, experiences for visitors. To impress your friends back home, why not try ice fishing or ice hole swimming, or even better, try booking an ice floating tour. Imagine: a frozen lake with a hole in it where you float on the icy water wearing a bright orange costume that resembles that of the Michelin Man. Finland doesn’t get much cooler than this!
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.