From the vibrant city of Helsinki to the forests and islands, Finland provides visitors with a vast possibility of experiences. The cities and towns offer many unique cultural and historical attractions, while the natural surroundings serve as a playground for both winter and summer activities.
Helsinki is the main point of entry for most tourists coming to Finland. This is where visitors will find the country's finest museums, art galleries, restaurants, and shopping. It is easy to spend a day or two exploring the city and enjoying the cultural attractions. Some of the most important sights include Finlandia Hall, the architecture around Senate Square, and the underground Rock Church. Those with an interest in history or art will also want to allow some time to wander through the Finnish National Museum or the Finnish National Museum of Art. Nearby, the Open-Air Folk Museum on the island of Seurasaari, with old houses and timber buildings, reveals an interesting historical perspective.
From Helsinki there are a number of great day trips. Northeast of the city is the historic town of Provoo, which can be reached by road or by boat. During the summer the latter is a particularly lovely option. The nearby islands of Suomenlinna are also easy to reach by ferry. The islands are dominated by the old Sveaborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Those looking to venture further afield will find a countryside of forests and lakes. This becomes clear on a trip to Tampere, a lively industrial city with an active cultural scene. The most prominent attraction here is the Tampere Cathedral, but there are also numerous museums and parks, and depending on the time of year, various events. In the surrounding area is the old town of Hämeenlinna, with the 13th to 17th C Hämeenlinna Castle.
Other places of interest which visitors may want to include on their itinerary are Turku, located on the Gulf of Bothnia and home to a 13th C Castle and Cathedral of the same period. From Turku it's also possible to visit the Aland Islands, a large archipelago which can be reached by ferry. The main destination and only town is Mariehamn.
Republic of Finland