The Most Magical Castles Worth a Visit in Finland

Olaninlinna Castle / Miraceti / WikiCommons
Olaninlinna Castle / Miraceti / WikiCommons
Jessica Wood

When you picture Finland, you probably think of evergreen forests, frozen tundra, and rustic log cabins. Would you imagine that there are many spectacular castles in Finland as well? Not only do they look like they came right out of fantasy stories but they also played integral roles in Finnish history. These are some of the best throughout Finland and the stories behind them.


One of Finland’s largest and best restored castles and also one of the best day trips on offer in Finland. Olavinlinna is named for St. Olaf and stands on an island on Lake Saimaa. It was initially constructed close to the Russian border to defend Finland from Russian attacks. This resulted in several fascinating and even creepy stories becoming associated with the castle, most famously a Romeo and Juliet style doomed romance between a Finnish maiden and a Russian soldier.

Turku Castle

The deceptively small exterior of this south western castle hides dozens of rooms detailing hundreds of years’ worth of Finnish history. Turku Castle was built around 1280, about the same time as the city of Turku was founded, and at the time stood on an island, although now it is on the mainland near the harbour. It served as a military fortress during the medieval period and later as a residence of the Swedish royal family, with many antiques from this era now on display to replicate what the rooms of the castle would have looked like at the time.

Häme Castle

Another of the great Finnish castles which has also been extraordinarily well preserved. What sets it apart from the rest of the castles in Finland is that it is constructed from brick rather than natural stone, giving it a distinct red-brown colouring. The current Häme Castle was built in the 17th century in the middle of the wilderness and soon had a town growing up around it. There is evidence of a fortress on the site since the 1290s which formed part of the Eastern defence line.


Raseborg dates from 1374 and now stands only as ruins. Its age is reflected in its name, still bearing the Swedish word for castle ‘borg’ rather than the Finnish ‘linna’. Raseborg served as an administration centre for south west Finland in what was then a key trading route. In the 1550s, King Gustavas declared that the medieval castle wasn’t fit to defend against attacks from contemporary firearms so the castle was left abandoned. The round corner tower still stands and you can see the foundations of where the other buildings once stood.


A spectacular white castle on the Åland Islands in the Baltic Archipelago, Kastelholm was built in 1384 as both a defence and administration fortress and to some extent a maritime outpost between Sweden and Finland. The islanders weren’t happy with having a bailiff ruling over them so closely and the islands were particularly difficult to defend, yet they were strategically important due to their proximity to Stockholm. Kastelholm also lost its importance around the 17th century as it wasn’t built to withstand firearms and is now in a state of partial ruin.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


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.


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!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


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.