|Finland has a lot to offer, from its cosmopolitan yet very attractive cities to Lapland above the Arctic Circle, and a bundle of wonderful scenery in between, there is something here for all tastes!
Helsinki is by far Finland’s largest city, and it is also the capital. Situated in the far south on the Gulf of Finland, Helsinki has numerous attractions and things to see and do. There are a number of ways for tourists to get around the city. Cycling is popular and there are extensive bike lanes plus the tram is also a good choice.
Amongst the highlights of Helsinki are the Lutheran Cathedral, the National Museum of Finland, the Helsinki City Museum, the Olympic Stadium and Tower, the Sibelius Monument and Parliament House.
Finland has a number of other cities too, although many of these are industrial and are quite a let down compared to the magnificent scenery surrounding them. However, Rovaniemi stands out above the crowd as the business centre of Finland though also as the gateway to Finnish Lapland.
For many people, Lapland conjures images of Santa Claus, and the Finnish Lapland does not disappoint! If you’re heading up beyond the Arctic Circle you have to visit Santa Claus Village. Yes it’s tacky but you can send a letter or a postcard back home with an authentic Santa postage mark on it, and of course you can get to meet Santa too!
North of here and you go above the Arctic Circle where you can experience the Midnight Sun between the beginning of June and the beginning of July. During this time the sun never completely sets, meaning the days are very long. In the winter this goes to the other extreme and the days are very short and for a time the sun doesn’t rise at all, but opportunities for seeing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are excellent.
National Parks of Finland
Finland has an amazing number of national parks which of course benefits the natural environment as access can be controlled.
These range from the small Nuuksio National Park not far from Helsinki to the larger Koli National Park in Eastern Finland where you can enjoy fantastic scenery both in the summer and winter, as well as skiing in the winter too.