Five fantastic sights to see in Finland

Five fantastic sights to see in Finland

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Whether you visit for the frozen tundra in the winter or for a chance to get closer to nature in the summer, Finland is a fantastic place to spend your time. The wilderness is a great place to hike, bike, fish or even find some new furry friends at a zoo. Don’t forget to pay Santa Claus a visit while you are there, as he’s likely to get lonely in the off-season months. Check out these five sights in Finland that you simply can’t miss during your next visit. 

  1. SantaPark 

The “official” home of Santa Claus is said to be located in Rovaniemi. After being almost completely destroyed during World War II, this delightful city has been meticulously rebuilt. Rovaniemi is now a modern city and the capital of Lapland. Since 1985, Santa has had an office here. Legend has it that his real home is in Korvatunturi, which is a secret location, and thus he needs an extra office where he can meet his customers. Santa is available Nov. 28, 2020 - Jan. 9, 2021 at Santa Claus Village and happy to listen to what all the children want for Christmas. 

  1. Suomenlinna Fortress

On the coast of Helsinki lies a sea fortress so large it spans over a cluster of seven rocky islands. Enjoy peacefully walking through the ancient fortifications without the interruption of cars zooming around. The ever-changing owners of the fortress combined with the various styles of architecture make this UNESCO World Heritage Site the perfect place to spend the day while traveling in Finland. 

Begin your adventure at the main quay in front of the Jelly Barracks and end at the King’s Gate. Your journey will last about a mile and is clearly marked with blue signs. Read signs along the way that document the history of the area. The signs will give insight into the Russian merchant’s quarters, the Church Park, the fortifications of Kustaanmiekka and more.

  1. Korkeasaari Zoo

It seems like Finland has more islands than anything. Why not visit a zoo on an island while you are there? Just a short drive from the Helsinki city center is a zoo with 150 animal species and nearly 1,000 plant species. Get up close to tigers, pygmy marmosets, snow leopards, elk, bear, wolverine and even reindeer! The zoo is open all year, so there’s no wrong time to visit.

  1. Northern Lights

 Finland is the perfect place to see the stunning Aurora Borealis. The lights are visible around 200 nights each year from approximately August to April and are truly magical as they dance across the sky. If you have the pleasure of visiting in the winter, consider a snowshoeing excursion, snowmobiling trip or a dog sled tour at night to enhance your experience. You could also stay in an Arctic treehouse, glass villa, snow hotel or a glass igloo to get the perfect views of the lights. Stay a few nights to increase your chances of visibility! 

  1. Söderskär Lighthouse

With islands come lighthouses! There are some beautiful ones all over Finland, and this particular lighthouse is just a half an hour boat ride from Helsinki. The inside of the lighthouse has an exhibition that tells the tales of how lighthouse keepers lived once upon a time. Enjoy views of the open sea up to about 17 miles and learn about how the lighthouse was built under the Russian Empire. Spend the day on Mattlandet Island imagining you hear the ringing of boat horns and see the flashing of the spinning light! 

There are many more incredible sights in Finland beyond these five. However, you should certainly give some thought to checking out these attractions when you are planning your next trip! Visit zoo animals, an old fortress or just gaze in awe at the Northern Lights. Finland is an incredible destination just waiting to entertain your wildest dreams! 

 

 

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