Finland

Finland contains an array of fantastic options for those wishing to explore this captivating nation. From the grandiose capital city of Helsinki to the fresh air and stunning views of its lakes and forests, Finland has much to offer a holidaymaker. And when it comes to the sights, there’s simply loads to do; meaning it’s a challenge to select a list of just the top ten tourist attractions in Finland.

Savonlinna Castle

Olavinlinna is a three-tower castle located in Savonlinna in Eastern Finland it’s build over a little granite island, in the enormous network of lakes in the region of Saimaa. The fortress was founded by Erik Axelsson Tott in 1475 under the name Sankt Olofsborg. It is the northernmost medieval stone fortress still standing. Its also known as St. Olaf's Castle.

Savonlinna Castle or St. Olaf's Castle

The access to this castle-island is by foot, after crossing a wooden bridge which joins it to the rest of the village.  Various events for the public are organized in the castle throughout the year, and wedding receptions, among other functions, are held in its rentable premises. A museum shop, a catering restaurant and a cafeteria in the summer season serve visitors. 

Savonlinna Castle or St. Olaf's Castle Entry

Savonlinna Castle

Savonlinna Castle or St. Olaf's Castle inside

Savonlinna Castle inside

Turku Castle

Turku, Finland's oldest city, is located by the River Aurajoki in Southwest Finland. Turku is a city of art, history and culture believed to have been established in 1229. The city is made unique by the River Aurajoki flowing through the city centre, culture-historical surroundings and the beautiful and extensive Turku Archipelago. Historical attractions from the Turku Castle to the Turku Cathedral are among the city's most well-known sights. The city's year as the European Capital of Culture made culture a permanent part of Turku's cityscape.

Turku Castle

Turku Castle is a hugely significant historical monument and a must-see tourist destination. The Castle has played many roles, from defensive bastion, luxurious palace and the seat of government, to a prison, warehouse and a barracks. It was constructed in approximately 1280, Turku Castle was constructed at a time when Finland, then Eastland, was part of Sweden. The castle’s role was as a centre of administration and a way to defend this territory.

Turku Castle inside

Popular attractions in the Castle include the Stone, Bronze, Iron Age and Medieval Exhibitions, the scale models of “Duke John and Catherina Jagellonica” displaying Renaissance court life, the prison where King Eric XIV was kept, medieval wooden sculptures, and the collections of old toys and fire fighting equipment. For those interested in coins, medals and guns, there is also plenty to see.

Turku Castle inside

Turku Castle

Turku Castle inside

Turku Cathedral, situated on the hillock of Unikankare, is Finland’s National Sanctuary.

Dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Finland’s first bishop, St Henry, the church was consecrated in 1300. The Turku Cathedral is considered to be Finland’s most valuable historical monument.

 

Guests of Turku Cathedral will be dazzled by the Romantic murals of Robert Wilhelm Ekman, which adorn the walls and ceiling, and the scene of Christ's Transfiguration, painted on the altarpiece by Fredrik Weston. Carl Ludvig Engel, who designed the buildings of Helsinki's Senate Square, also had a hand in the interior restoration.

Turku Cathedral

Turku Cathedral

Turku Cathedral inside

Espoo Cathedral

The Espoo Cathedral is a medieval stone church built in the last half of 15th century. The church is thus the oldest preserved building in the city. The Espoo Cathedral is a medieval grey granite church at the shore of Espoo River. It has been been around for more than 500 years. The weapons room and certain other parts of the church, including the original sacristy, were taken apart when the building was converted into a more spacious cruciform church.

Espoo Cathedral

Espoo Cathedral

Inside Espoo Cathedral

Espoo Cathedral inside view

Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta offers attractive places to visit for tourists all year round. During the summer season, the marina and market square are well worth visiting. Trips to the Fortress and for little ones there are lot of activities in the Sandcastle.

Lappeenranta

This attraction has charmed and wowed visitors for over ten years since it swallows more than three million kilos of sand every year. The area with its amusement rides and activities will be open to the public from 11 June to 31 August. The theme for the summer 2016 is Knight Castle. The Sandcastle area will be full of princesses and knights with interesting adventures.

Lappeenranta Sand castle

Lappeenranta Sand castle

Lappeenranta Sand castle

Lappeenranta Fortress was built after the Great Northern War in order to secure the eastern border of Finland after Sweden had lost territories and the border fortresses in south-eastern Finland to Russia. Surrounded on three sides by a lake, the town was easy to defend. Following the Battle of Lappeenranta in 1741, Sweden had to surrender the Fortress of Lappeenranta to Russia. A monument was erected in front of the ramparts of the Fortress in memory of the thousands of soldiers who perished in the battle.

Lappeenranta Fortress

Lappeenranta Fortress

Inari lake

In Lake Inarijärvi there are few places where you can relax in as much peace as here. You can glide along the wide open mid lake areas for days on end, taking in the unspoilt nature, without meeting a soul. Except for a few villages and abandoned cabins, the shores are unspoilt by buildings. You can see the crystal clear and clean water in this lake as you can drink the cold water.

Inari lake

Mid lake areas are fantastic view if you can get there. Northern lights are a much watch here in clean sky.

Inari lake

Inari lake

Hamina fortress

Sweden established the town of Hamina in the place of Vehkalahti, which had been destroyed in the Great Northern War in 1721, and the fortification of the town commenced.

Hamina fortress

The fortress of Hamina is a rare circular fortress. It represents the idea of an ideal town devised in Mediterranean countries during Renaissance, and Palmanova in Northern Italy can be regarded as the model of the fortress of Hamina.

Hamina fortress

Hamina fortress

Helsinki

Helsinki (Swedish Helsingfors) is the capital of Finland and chief town of the province of Uusimaa (Nyland). The city offers a variety of cultural opportunities such as the National Museum of Finland; the Helsinki City Museum; the Finnish Art Gallery, featuring classical to modern art exhibits; and three major theatres. 

Helsinki

Around the city itself, various suburbs grew up from 1950 onwards, most of them outside the city limits in the province of Uusimaa. This gave rise to administrative problems, which were resolved in the early 1960s by the establishment of the towns of Espoo/Esbo to the west and Vantaa/Vanda to the northeast - independent administrative units without established centres, which at once joined the select group of Finland's five largest towns. The only relics of the past in these towns are a few old churches and pastors' houses in gray stone.

Helsinki  Lutheran Church

The beautiful and historically significant Helsinki Cathedral is an Evangelic Lutheran church, and for many it is the symbol of Helsinki. The church was designed by architect Carl Ludwig Engel in the 19th century as part of the Empire-style-downtown Helsinki area.

The Northern Lights

One of the great attractions of Finland is the chance to experience the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, and every year thousands of visitors come here to see them.

 

Although the best place to see them is the Kilpisjärvi region, in Lapland, the Aurora Borealis can also be seen as far south as Helsinki. In fact there are about 20 days in a year when the lights can be seen in Southern Finland, the main problem being the high levels of light pollution and the difficulty in finding dimly lit areas. As one would expect, this is not an issue in Lapland, where the lack of city lights ensures that there are some 200 nightly occurrences every year.

The Northern Lights Finland

The best times of the year for viewing this incredible spectacle are obviously during the dark winter months, and other peak seasons are September through October, and February through March. In the Kilpisjärvi region, on clear nights during the dark period of the year, the auroras can be seen 3 nights out of every 4 on average. 

Northern Lights Finland

The best time of the night to see the Northern Lights is usually between 9pm and 11.30pm when they peak. This is due to the magnetic midnight and the fact that the disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field are at a maximum. After midnight the incidence of the lights begins to diminish, and by 4am to 5am the probability of occurrence falls below 50%.

Northern Lights

Science has provided us with an explanation no less beautiful. The Northern Lights are largely caused by solar flares, which create the solar storms and solar winds that buffet our planet.

Karhusaari

Karhusaari offers a fantastic individual seaside setting for different meetings, seminars or client events in the archipelago of Kotka. Karhusaari is situated only half an hour's journey from the continent . The full service of Karhusaari Island meets the most demanding requests, the gorgeous surroundings ensure a memorable day, log buildings provide hotel-standard accommodation and unique dining experiences will keep you satisfied.

Karhusaari

Karhusaari

Karhusaari

Santa Claus Village

Everyone knows Santa – the one and only – comes from Finland. What some people don’t know, however, is that it is possible to meet him in person all year round. Santa’s official office, situated on the mysterious Arctic Circle, is open to each and everyone. 

Santa Claus Village

Open each day of the year in the city of Rovaniemi, children and adults can visit Santa’s office, enjoy a private chat with him and revel in the enchanted atmosphere. As we all know, Santa’s annual mission is to deliver happiness around the world with the help of his team of furry reindeer friends.

Santa Claus Village

Oulu-Kemi Snow Castle

Every year the Ice castle is built on the harbour in the City of Kemi in Northern Finland. It took only just over an hour to drive to Kemi from Oulu and it took us around two hours to check out the castle. The castle was first created in 1995 as a gift from UNICEF, and the tradition has been going strong in the community ever since.  

Oulu-Kemi Snow Castle

In total, it takes over five weeks to build the castle complex, due in large part to the amount of structures that comprise it.  Builders actually use seawater-converting snow machines to create the powerful material for their snowy castle.

Oulu-Kemi Snow Castle

Uspenski Cathedral

The Uspenski Cathedral is one of the most visited attractions in Finland and it is a Russian Orthodox Church that can be found at Helsinki’s Katajanokka peninsula, the sheer size is enough to impress anyone. What makes this cathedral so special is that it is Western Europe’s largest Orthodox Church. 

Uspenski Cathedral

The cathedral was constructed and finished from 1862 to1868 with the design done by Aleksei Gornostajev that was based on a Moscow 16th-century church. The bricksused for the cathedral came from Bomarsund fortress, which was destroyed in 1854 during the Crimean War. The church has 13 onion domes representing Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples.

Uspenski Cathedral

Uspenski Cathedral

Finlandia Hall

It is not always that a multipurpose venue gets on the list of top tourist attractions, but this one in Finland attracts too many visitors that is has become a landmark. The Finlandia Hall is a vibrant, multipurpose venue ideally located in the heart of Helsinki. What really makes Finlandia one of the top tourist attractions in Finland is that it’s designed so beautifully that it became one of the iconic structures in the city. 

Finlandia Hall

It was designed by Alvar Aalto, a world-renowned architect. Aside from providing his overall vision for designing the building, Aalto also designed several of its intricate and beautiful details like the door handles and the lights.

Finlandia Hall