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Things to do in Finland

Things to do in  Finland

Welcome to Finland

The most sparsely populated country in the European Union, Finland attracts travelers in search of wide-open spaces and unspoiled swathes of beautiful nature. But city-dwellers will find plenty to love as well—in fact, the bulk of the country's population is concentrated in the capital, Helsinki, located on the southern coast. Known for its cutting-edge design and tech scene, it's a truly cosmopolitan city that's home to top-notch museums; stately historic buildings; and cool restaurants, bars, and markets (be sure try local delicacies like squeaky "bread" cheese with cloudberry jam). With its extra-long words, the Finnish language can be tricky to master, so a local guide can be helpful for navigating the city. A typical Helsinki tour includes stops at the Rock Church (Temppeliaukio), Senate Square, the Parliament Building, and the Sibelius Monument. Day trips from the city include the Suomenlinna sea fortress, the medieval city of Porvoo, Nuuksio National Park, or picturesque Tallinn, just a quick boat trip across the Baltic Sea in Estonia. Up north in Lapland, where the nights are long, you'll find an amazing vantage point from which to photograph the northern lights and engage in unforgettable wintertime activities. Hop aboard a dog sled for a tour of the tundra, explore an amethyst mine, go snowmobiling, do some ice fishing, or visit a reindeer farm.

Top 10 attractions in Finland

#1
Arktikum

Arktikum

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With its beautifully designed glass tunnel stretching out to the Ounasjoki, Arktikum is one of Finland's best museums, albeit with a hefty admission fee. Exhibition spaces include superb static and interactive displays focusing on Arctic flora and fauna, as well as on the peoples of Arctic Europe, Asia and North America. It tells the story of the people of the North.The level of information is very impressive; this is really a place to learn about the unique northern environments, and there is an excellent research library. There are also good displays of canoes, dwellings, fishing materials, and costumes of various northern peoples (including a good exhibition on the Sámi), as well as a room devoted to the history of Rovaniemi itself. A scale model shows the destruction wrought by the Axis retreat in 1944. There's also a multi-vision theater and a good restaurant. You should allow yourself at least a couple of hours to get around it all.More
#2
Santa Claus Village

Santa Claus Village

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The city of Rovaniemi, in Lapland, is home to Santa Claus Village, a unique theme park located right on the Arctic Circle. The ultimate destination for kids looking for a private word with Father Christmas, the park includes Santa’s workshops, a reindeer petting area, gift shops, and Santa’s official post office.More
#3
Helsinki Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko)

Helsinki Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko)

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The Helsinki Cathedral is also known as Tuomiokirkko. Built from 1830 to 1852, it replaced a smaller 18th-century church and was originally called St. Nicholas' Church in homage to Russian Czar. After Finland gained independence from Russia, the church was renamed, and in 1959 it became an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral.More
#4
Suomenlinna Fortress

Suomenlinna Fortress

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Spread over six islands in the Helsinki archipelago, Suomenlinna Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular destination for picnicking and leisure activities. The fortress is an important historic site with multiple on-site museums, as well as a living community with roughly 900 permanent residents.More
#5
Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Kirkko)

Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Kirkko)

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Hewn into solid rock in the middle of a residential square, Helsinki’s Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Kirkko) features a circular ceiling covered entirely with copper stripping. Natural light streams in through 180 window panes, while an ice age crevice in the natural rock serves as the altar.More
#6
Parliament House of Finland (Eduskuntatalo)

Parliament House of Finland (Eduskuntatalo)

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An impressive architectural landmark, Finland’s Parliament House (Eduskuntatalo) is home to the nation’s governing body. The imposing building looms over Helsinki on Arcadia Hill, making it both the political and geographical heart of the Finnish capital.More
#7
Sibelius Monument

Sibelius Monument

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Nestled among the trees of Sibelius Park, the contemporary Sibelius Monument commemorates the life of acclaimed Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. 600 hollow, silver-steel pipes hover above the ground and evoke a range of creative interpretations. Initially, the abstract sculpture caused controversy with its modern design, so a bronze Sibelius bust was installed nearby to appease critics.More
#8
SantaPark Arctic World

SantaPark Arctic World

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Finland’s SantaPark Arctic World may be as close as you can get to actually visiting Santa at the North Pole. Located near the town of Rovaniemi in northern Finland, it offers the quintessential Christmas experience. Children and adults alike can attend Elf School to learn elf secrets and decorate gingerbread made with Mrs. Claus’ secret recipe in the Gingerbread Kitchen. Visit Santa Claus in his office and hand him your Christmas wish list or drop by Calligraphy School to practice old-fashioned elf writing and write your own Christmas card. Then, drop it off at Santa’s Post Office and watch the elves hard at work sorting out all of Santa’s mail. Your card will be stamped with a special stamp and you can even get a head start on next year’s Christmas mail.Don’t miss the opportunity to cross the Arctic Circle through a tunnel 50 meters underground and get your own Arctic Circle Undercrossing Certificate. Finally, ride a sleigh through the winter landscape around Rovaniemi and through the Elves’ Toy Factory before stopping at the Elves’ Workshop to make your own Christmas decorations.More
#9
Helsinki Senate Square (Senaatintori)

Helsinki Senate Square (Senaatintori)

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Senate Square (Senaatintori) symbolizes the cultural heart of Helsinki. Among the many landmarks surrounding the square are the Government Palace, National Library, Lutheran Cathedral, City Museum, and Helsinki’s oldest building, which make Senate Square an essential stop on any first-time visitor’s itinerary.More
#10
Helsinki Central Station

Helsinki Central Station

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For thousands of commuters, Helsinki’s Central Railway Station is the main traffic hub from which buses, the metro and numerous local and long distance trains arrive and depart. In fact, with roughly 200,000 daily visitors, it is Finland’s most visited structure. The building also happens to be one of the landmarks of the city and looks back on over 100 years of history. Designed in 1909 by Eliel Saarinen and opened in 1919, the Railway Station’s most distinctive features are the big clock tower and the two towering figures of two heavily muscled, half-naked men holding big globes of light.Another notable feature is the red Finnish granite that was used to clad the façades of the Central Railway Station. The granite originated in Hanko, the southernmost region of Finland and is believed to be over 400 million years old. A more curious addition to the station, which is also unique in the world, is the presidential lounge. It was originally supposed to be reserved for the private use of the Emperor of Russia, but since Finland’s independence, the waiting area has been dedicated to the sole use of the Finnish President and his guests.More

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