Finland, a country with a rich and intricate culture, is located in the northeast corner of Europe. Inhabited for nearly 10,000 years, the area that is now Finland has its roots in the European Stone Age. Throughout the ages, the land has been ruled by two of its neighboring countries, Sweden and Russia, before finally becoming independent in the early 19th century. Despite its history of outside influence, Finland has proudly maintained a unique culture that stands apart from the rest of Scandinavia. Additionally, there are thousands of lakes and islands scattered across the country, forming a gorgeous landscape.
Start in the capital, Helsinki, and make your first stop at the Rock Church. This gorgeous, modern church is only one of many gems in a city renowned for its architectural splendor. Rock Church is carved into stone and capped with a bronze dome. As you walk through the church, the natural light and wonderful acoustics make this building a modern, yet natural wonder. If you’re visiting in the summer, walk the Esplande to get to the central market area. The Esplande is perfect during the warmer months for picnics. From the market square, take a quick ferry to the Fortress of Suomenlinna, a world heritage site and a critical piece of Finland’s history. The fortress was a key part of the city’s defenses and there are still cannons there for you to view.
With Helsinki at the south of Finland, head north to see the rest of the country. Turku is the closest major city. Turku Castle and Turku Cathedral are well worth a stop before continuing your journey to Tampere. View the city of Tampere from the Pyynikki Park and Observation Tower and walk through the Hatanpaa Arboretum to see the beauty at ground level. If you can make it as far north as Rovaniemi, absolutely make a stop at the Santa Claus Village! Once you’ve seen the sites of Finland, explore the rest of northern Europe or stay at one of our Swedish resorts.
- Rock Church
- Fortress of Suomenlinna
- Santa Claus Village
- Turku Castle