Snow lined canvas of Scandinavia with the dramatic play of aurora. It encloses the art-filled cities of Helsinki and Turku to the thinly inhabited archipelago, but most tourists who visit Europe tend to miss this beauty as it pares away from the mainstream routes. The land is filled with culture and history laid on an untouched scenic beauty. 

The architecture of Eliel Saarinen is a cherry on the cake. Finland offers you varying experiences when visited during the summer and the winter. 

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Here are the top 15 places you can’t miss if you visit Finland: 

1. Tapere

The areas are glorified by the colossal rivers of Pyanjari and Nasijarvi, which provides endless tourist opportunities for boat cruising, hiking and other water-related activities by winter. The Amuri open-air park and Moomin Valley Museum help you get knowledge of the rich culture and history of Finland. 

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2. Helsinki

The cultural, economic and political capital of Finland is the hottest tourist spot. The two-century-old gold gilded and whitewashed architecture in the background of Petersburg is a sight to behold. A ferry ride across the modern building, lush green landscapes with mouth-watering traditional Finnish fare at Heliniski’s Market Square is something you can’t miss out on.

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3. Santa Claus Village

The Fantasy Disneyland of Finland is smeared by snow where you could get husky and reindeer sleigh rides, an igloo hotel, safaris and excursions. Rovaniemi is the official hometown of Santa Claus and holds the Santa’s House of Snowmobiles and Santa Claus Office. 

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The major attractions are the Arctic Circle that cuts through the Santa Claus Village; the white line denoting the Arctic Circle, shouts out the official entrance to the arctic region. Aurora Borealis or the North Lights in the region gives a mesmerising and magical feel to the sky around. 

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4. Porvoo

The pretty topography of the Baltic Coast found at the east of Helsinki has a history of more than 600 years. The middle-age constructions under the guidance of Swedish Masters. Not many know the fact that town squares are clad in cobble. The timber houses are painted in red and orange, and the gorgeous Porvoo Cathedral wraps in them the tales of Russian and Danish invasions.

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5. Savonlinna

This place holds the rugged and elegant Olavinlinna Castle, a major tourist spot of Finland and now a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. The ballet and opera festivals are conducted now and then, which has caused an exponential increase in visit rates. 

The place also has many open-air theatres, museums, underground caves and galleries that can advance both the curiosity, zeal and exploratory inquisitiveness in visitors.

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6. Sibelius Monument

The monument was built out of more than 600 hollow steel pipes to take up the form of an organ. This magnificent monument was built in memory of the nations most recognised music composer Jean Sibelius. The culture and history of Finnish folk are brought about in this spectacular structure.  

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7. Turku

The rugged and rocky Turku Castle built in the 16th and 17th century, along with the square-cut tower of the Turku Cathedral, is the centre of attraction here. A vibrant spot with old town harbours, market, Swedish theatre and quirky riverside restaurants for all beer and vodka lovers. The rejuvenating edges of Archipelago National Parks and the golf courses of Ruissalo are the leisure places you should not miss.

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8. Levi

The ski lovers spot is located 170 km north of the Arctic Circle. The consistent subzero temperature makes it Finland’s top winter resort. The terrain offers open trails and lifts that could host skiing and boarding for both beginners and professionals, making it a spot enjoyable for all.

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9. Aland Islands

The old and quaint archipelago act as the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia. The islands are commonly known as nature lover’s refuge as one of the most peaceful destinations in Finland. The islands are duty free and have tax free rights that the locals are heard proudly speaking off. The Maritime Museum and the open-air museum gives you a deep dive into the Finnish culture, and the ruins left over by the Swedish kings.

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10. Lemmenjoki National Park

The National Park covers a large area of about 2850 square kilometres of the north of Finland. The looming pines draw the attention of thousands of trekking enthusiasts each year. The shimmering lakes turn to ice as the winter approaches, giving a glassy look to the forest ground.

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11. Koli National Park

Spread across south-central Finland to North Karelia, the national park has a mixture of sports and culture. The place holds two ski resorts and is popular for hiking and winter sports. The locals practise the age-old agriculture method of slash and burn to farm. The Lake Pielinen, surrounded by hilly banks and the source forest with the waterside fir groves, has made this place the muse for painters and romantic poets.

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12. Kuopio

Engulfed by the crystal clear waters of Kallavesi, the place is a real favourite for adventure tourists. A never-miss spot in the Finnish lake district of North Savonia. Laivonsaari Island, the bulbous city hall, and the countryside windmills with the pretty farms is the best cross country route in Finland. 

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13. Oulu

Land of prestigious universities lying on the banks of the brackish River, Oulujoki is a charming town of islets and bridges. The neo-Renaissance architecture is visible on the facades of the city hall.  

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14. Vassa

The proud relic of a Swedish excursion, it is a town with a university scene. The downtown holds the National Monuments, alongside the mill houses that presently hold talks for technology and innovations. The buildings show the revival of gothic architecture with mirror-like waterfront walkways.

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15. Seurasaari

Located to the west of Helsinki, surrounded by the Baltic waters, the island holds the most acclaimed open-air museum in Europe. Seurasaari is known for its heritage parks with rich culture along with the secluded beaches, the best spot for bonfires in midsummer.

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References

https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-places-visit-finland/

https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/finland-sf.htm

https://traveltriangle.com/blog/places-to-visit-in-finland/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finland

Author

Sal S S is a native of Kerala, India. He is presently pursuing his Bachelors in Architecture and Planning from Visvesvaraya National Institute Of Technology,Nagpur. He is also a graphic designer and a blogger with keen interest in Bamboo architecture and Heritage Conservation. He believes architecture as an art of space making modelled out of elements of nature.

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