Planning to visit the dream destination of Finland, but aren’t sure where to start? This guide will provide you with the most spectacular and famous landmarks in Finland to help you to plan a perfect trip around.
Finland, also known as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes,” is famous for its pristine natural beauty, which is characterized by expansive forests, crystal-clear lakes, and the magical Northern Lights. This Nordic country is also renowned for its eco-friendly cities, modernist architecture, and innovative technology. Additionally, Finland consistently ranks among the happiest countries in the world, boasting a high quality of life and a unique cultural blend of tradition and modernity.
Throughout this article, you will also find the most famous landmarks in Finland, the top Helsinki landmarks and some of the most beautiful natural landmarks in the country. Plus here you will find many insider tips for visiting these important places in Finland. So, without any further ado, let’s get ready to embark on an adventure in Finland that is nothing short of “finntastic”!
You will love these articles ❤️:
What is Finland Known for Overview
|What Finland Is Known For||What Makes Finland Special|
|Natural Beauty||National Parks | Thousand of Lakes | Enchanting Forests|
|Unique Modernist Design and Architecture||Iconic Alvar Aalto Buildings | Helsinki’s Design District|
|Famous Landmarks||Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi | Turku’s Medieval Castle | The Moomin World Theme Park | Historic Old Porvoo|
|Natural Wonders||Northern Lights | The Midnight Sun|
|Culture||Sauna Tradition | Finnish Love for Nature | Embrace of Sisu (Resilience)|
|Happiest Country in the World||High Quality of Life | Excellent Education System | Strong Sense of Community|
Famous Landmarks in Finland
1. Historic Old Porvoo
One of the most important landmarks in Finland, is the picturesque city of Porvoo. Known for its well-preserved medieval Old Town, Porvoo is famous for the vibrant wooden houses painted in traditional shades of red, yellow, and ochre. Porvoo is one of the six medieval towns and the country’s second oldest town.
One of Finland’s oldest cities, Porvoo is graced by landmarks like the iconic Porvoo Cathedral, a symbol of medieval architecture, and the cobblestone squares that resonate with tales of centuries past. You will love to just stroll through the narrow, winding streets, visit the artisan boutiques, stop at one of the quaint cafes, and galleries or grab a fresh delicious meal at one of the numerous award-winning restaurants.
Porvoo is a popular day trip destination, located only 50 km east of Helsinki. It is easily accessible by car or bus, with a travel time of approximately 1 hour. If you visit Porvoo during the summer months, visitors can even take the m/s J.L. Runeberg boat from Helsinki to Porvoo.
🌟 INSIDER TIP: You can book a guide for a city tour, walking tour or to present sights and museums. You also have the option to join a Helsinki and Porvoo VIP tour with your personal car and local guide. With this tour you will get to see the main landmarks in Helsinki, then visit the picturesque medieval Old Town Porvoo.
2. Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi
The Santa Claus Village is at top of the list of the best-known attractions in Lapland, and also, one of the best landmarks in Finland. Go Figure! Besides meeting Santa Claus in person, you will find many things to keep you entrained for hours, or if you have more time, for days. I found that the Santa Claus Village is not only kid-friendly but also, fun for adults!
There are plenty of things to do in Santa Claus Village such as shops, restaurants, cafes, and ice bars. Also, you can go visit the Siberian Huskies, go on a reindeer sledding, or take a snowmobiling tour. You can even bake gingerbread cookies at Mrs. Claus’s house.
Also, I just loved coming here for picture opportunities too. The lighting of the buildings, covered with white snow made me take so many magical pictures.
🌟 INSIDER TIP: Visiting Santa Claus is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rovaniemi in winter! Located only 7-minute drive from the city center, you can drive your own car, or you take this Santa Claus Village tour + Arctic animals adventure. Better yet, you can visit him every day of the year and entry is free.
3. Turku Castle
Turku Castle, located on the banks of the Aura River, is Finland’s most famous castle. This well-preserved medieval fortress is one of Finland’s oldest buildings. Its imposing towers and stone walls date back to the 13th century and are a testament to the nation’s rich history. The castle echoes with tales of royalty, intrigue, and architectural evolution, making it an enduring symbol of the country’s past.
Turku Castle is one of the oldest and the largest surviving medieval building in Finland. Initially contrived to be a military fortress, the castle also served as a citadel and administrative center in Eastland.
Considered one of the most important landmarks in Finland, Turku Castle offers a captivating journey through time with its well-preserved chambers and exhibitions. To make the most of your visit, explore the castle’s grand halls, visit the historical museum, and take a stroll through the picturesque surroundings.
🌟 INSIDER TIP: I would recommend taking a whole day to explore Turku, the oldest city in Finland, founded in 1229. The city is compact in size, making it perfect for discovering the exciting blend of old and new. In addition to the Castle, Turku offers a thriving urban scene with exquisite restaurants and cafes. The charming River Aura, which flows through the city center, adds to the city’s charm.
4. Olavinlinna Castle
A must-visit medieval landmark in Finland Olavinlinna Castle, located in the small island in Lake Saimaa in south-east Finland. Dating back to 1475, this iconic fortress stands proud as one of the country’s oldest and most well-preserved castles. As you approach, the sight of its robust stone walls and towers against the backdrop of the pristine lake is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Steeped in history, Olavinlinna has witnessed centuries of intrigue, wars, and cultural evolution. Named after Saint Olaf, the castle has served various purposes over the years, from military stronghold to a venue for cultural events. Its strategic location on the water, surrounded by Finnish landscapes, adds to the castle’s allure.
Today, Olavinlinna hosts the renowned Savonlinna Opera Festival, drawing music enthusiasts from around the world. Today, you can explore the castle’s well-preserved chambers, climb ancient staircases, and absorb the rich history within its walls.
🌟 INSIDER TIP: The castle is open for visitors all year round and houses artefacts found nearby in its museum. Guided tours of the grounds are also available throughout the year. The Olavinlinna castle is well-known for hosting the annual Savonlinna Opera Festival.
5. Tavastia Castle (or Häme Castle)
The Hame Castle is another medieval landmark in Finland. Situated proudly on the shores of Lake Vanajavesi, Häme Castle stands as a sentinel of medieval history in the heart of Hämeenlinna, Finland. Steeped in tales dating back to the 13th century, this castle shows a seamless blend of architectural grandeur and cultural significance.
As you approach Häme Castle, its red-brick walls and turrets create a captivating silhouette against the lake. The castle’s strategic location has witnessed centuries of transformations, from a military stronghold to a royal residence and, eventually, a symbol of Finnish heritage.
The castle’s well-preserved interiors house intriguing exhibitions that narrate the region’s history, including its role as a medieval trading hub. The castle grounds offer a peaceful escape, complete with gardens and scenic views of the surrounding landscape. Häme Castle is not just a historic monument; it’s a living testament to the resilience and cultural richness of the Finnish narrative.
6. Finish Sauna (Saunaravintola Kuuma)
The culture of the Finnish sauna is extremely important, so important in fact that it is designated as part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
However, just because Finnish sauna culture is traditional doesn’t mean that it’s static and never-changing — nope! Finns are innovative and creative, and you can see that in the concept of Saunaravintola Kuuma in Tampere, Finland.
Finland’s city of Tampere is known as the ‘Sauna Capital of the World’ as it is home to a massive number of public saunas — 55, to be exact!
This landmark in Tampere is an innovative fusion of a public sauna meets both a fine dining and nightlife destination — truly an all-in-one, day-to-night establishment! With both a smoke sauna and a stone-heated sauna and an outdoor dipping pool (cool in summer, icy in winter!), there are lots of ways to enjoy the sauna offerings here.
Afterwards, you can dine at this excellent on-site restaurant, which showcases Nordic cuisine with a creative Finnish twist, always focusing on what’s local and in season. This first-of-its-kind sauna-restaurant in Tampere is a uniquely Finnish landmark, showing the forward-thinking vision of Finns alongside their preservation of their culture.
🌟 INSIDER TIP: When I went, I had delicious marinated herring with egg and leeks, and a steak with nettle butter, a summer treat. For dessert, I had a rhubarb sorbet with crispy honeycomb — an absolute delight!
Famous Helsinki Landmarks
7. Helsinki Cathedral
Nestled in the heart of Helsinki, the Helsinki Cathedral stands as a majestic testament to Finland’s rich history and architectural prowess. As you approach this iconic Helsinki landmark, it’s easy to see how this cathedral became the heart of the city.
Visiting the cathedral is one of the best free things to do in Helsinki. Built in the mid-19th century, the Helsinki Cathedral is not just an architectural masterpiece but a symbol of Finnish national identity. Its impressive dome and pristine white exterior make it a standout feature in Senate Square. The square has other buildings worth exploring as well, including Government Palace and the National Library of Finland. We spent a few hours visiting the cathedral and walking around the square.
Once you step inside, the cathedral’s interior is a marvel of simplicity and elegance. The high ceilings, bathed in natural light filtering through large windows, create a peaceful ambiance. Intricate sculptures and religious artwork adorn the walls, telling stories of Finland’s cultural and religious heritage. I suggest having a guide with you to go into detail about the history of the cathedral.
You can also go to the top of the Helsinki Cathedral for panoramic views of the city. You can see the Cathedral in most places in the city, so it’s a nice way to get your bearings in a new city.
The cathedral serves as a focal point for cultural events and gatherings, making it a living part of Helsinki’s community. Even in the winter, we saw people meeting friends and joining tours on the stairs in front of the cathedral.
8. Uspensky Cathedral
Uspensky Cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks in Helsinki. Located on top of Helsinki’s Katajanokka peninsula, the Uspenski Cathedral is a striking symbol of the city’s cultural diversity and architectural.
The Eastern Orthodox cathedral, was completed in 1868, stands as one of the largest of its kind in Western Europe. Its iconic red-brick façade and dazzling golden cupolas draw visitors into a world of Byzantine-inspired grandeur.
Ascending the cathedral’s steps, one is greeted by intricate frescoes, golden mosaics, and ornate iconostases that narrate tales of Eastern Orthodoxy. The Uspenski Cathedral is a masterpiece of Russian Revival architecture, a testament to the historical ties between Finland and Russia.
9. Temppeliaukio Rock Church
One of the most important Helsinki landmarks is actually mostly below ground. The Temppeliaukio Rock Church looks from the outside like a large, rocky outcrop in the middle of a residential square, which is exactly what it is. But walk around the square and eventually you’ll come across a gap in the rock. Venture through the gap and you’ll be greeted with a (literally!) cavernous space, carved out from the rock and topped with a copper and glass dome.
The church opened in 1969 and is now one of the most popular places to visit in Helsinki. We only had one day in Helsinki but seeing Temppeliaukio was right at the top of our wish list. The church is an amazing mix of raw, rock walls and cool mid-century design, and during visiting hours you can wander around freely. There are guided tours available to book; although we didn’t take one, it would have been great to hear more about the incredible architecture and acoustics.
It’s best to plan your visit in advance as the church is still an active place of worship. It’s closed to visitors when there are services, weddings, funerals or baptisms taking place. Check the church website for the weekly schedule.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: Helsinki is very walkable, and we walked to the Temppeliaukio Rock Church from our AirBnB on the other side of Helsinki in less than 30 minutes. The Hanken tram stop is nearby and the church is a stop on hop on hop off bus services.
10. Suomenlinna Fortress
Suomenlinna is a sea fortress located a short distance from Helenski and on a group of islands, a and it is another famous Helsinki landmark. Suomenlinna is made up of six islands and it has a rich history. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site and has many historical museums. Along with Finland, you can also explore Scandinavia with the help of a Scandinavia itinerary 10 days.
Suomenlinna can only be accessed by a boat and you can take a ferry from the Market Square in Helsinki. The journey only took 15 minutes and I enjoyed some lovely scenery during the ride.
To explore this fortress you can take a guided tour as it is a hassle-free option. This will also give you a ton of insight into Suomenlinna’s history and culture. I preferred taking a walk along the fortress while following the Blue Route which lead you to all the famous attractions.
Visit the Suomenlinna Museum and discover the Submarine Vesikko which is the only surviving submarine from World War II in Finland. There were various viewpoints from where I took in stunning views of the Helsinki archipelago and the Baltic Sea. The old dry dock was the highlight of my visit. No matter how much I explored, I would keep finding something interesting in every corner. The architecture here is especially unique.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: I suggest visiting Suomenlinna during the summer months, between May and September. The weather is lovely, and the days are longer which will give you more time to explore.
11. National Museum of Finland
Included in the list of one of the most important landmarks in Helsinki, is the National Museum of Finland is a cultural treasure trove that unfolds the nation’s narrative through centuries. Housed in an awe-inspiring 19th-century building, the museum’s architecture alone is a testament to Finland’s historical charm.
Inside, the exhibits span from prehistoric artifacts to modern-day collections, offering an immersive journey through Finland’s social, cultural, and political evolution. Start in the basement with a prehistory guide to the country, how it developed post ice age, it’s original peoples. Progress over the next couple of floors to get an appreciation of religion, art, politics, wars and its people over the last century
The museum’s centerpiece, the Vintti rooftop space, provides panoramic views of the city, enhancing the visitor experience. Delve into the interactive displays, manuscripts, and archaeological finds that paint a vivid picture of Finland’s past.
12. National Library
One of the best Helsinki landmarks is the National Library.. Architecture buffs won’t want to skip this library, which offers some of the most unique features you’ll find in Finland. As an added incentive, you can explore this landmark for free; it’s one of the reasons that Helsinki is definitely worth visiting.
Established in 1640, the National Library of Finland is open to the public. On a basic level, the institution is responsible for storing Finland’s cultural heritage – it receives copies of all printed and audiovisual materials produced in the country (films excepted). The library is located just a few steps from the iconic Helsinki Cathedral.
In addition to its cultural significance, the building is beautiful, like a scene from a Wes Anderson film. The library features a stunning rotunda, which was completed in 1906. There’s also a museum below ground level that is dedicated to Finnish culture, and the stacks contain books in Finnish, English, French, and several other languages.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: When visiting, you can use the free lockers while you explore the building on your own, or guided tours are available for a fee some days of the week. The National Library opening hours is Mon-Fri 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and closed on the weekend.
13. Helsinki Central Library
Another very popular Helsinki landmark is the Helsinki Central Library, also known as “Oodi.” This architectural marvel not only serves as a communal hub but also represents Finland’s dedication to inclusivity and progressiveness.
It is also quite a modern architectural marvel. When I first saw the library, I couldn’t stop staring at its mesmerizing wavelike structure that features vast glass windows. And upon walking through, I quickly realized how its unique design ties back to the library’s commitment to education, culture, and innovation.
Speaking of walking through, be sure to explore the entire library. The first floor is where you’ll find food establishments serving everything from delicious local Finnish food to beverages and snacks to eat on the go. Meanwhile, the second floor is filled with different workshops, tools, printers, studios, and conference rooms. Finally, the top floor has an extensive library and a large balcony with sweeping views of the city.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: In terms of when to visit, anytime is a good time since the library offers endless entertainment options. But, if you want to soak up the sun while reading on the balcony, go during the summer months. You can reach Oodi via the tram or simply walk from the city center.
14. Sky Wheel Helsinki
Helsinki has a rich history and culture in Scandinavia yet it has modern architecture that dominates the waterfront’s skyline. The SkyWheel Helsinki was officially opened in 2014, serving as one of the city’s latest tourist attractions – it is quite unique among some of the best observation wheels in the world.
SkyWheel Helsinki is a landmark in Finland because together with Helsinki Cathedral, it is a striking structure at the city’s waterfront that dominates the city skyline. The wheel stands at 40 meters tall with 30 climate-controlled capsules. Operating all year round, the wheel offers unobstructed views from Senate Square, the Katajanokka Harbor, to the Baltic Sea.
SkyWheel is suitable to visit all year round, and it is even more special during winter. One unique feature of the wheel is the SkySauna, the world’s first on a ferris wheel. It is a wonderful experience to stay warm with a view when the temperature drops below zero in winter.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: If you plan to add SkyWheel Helsinki to your itinerary, take a walk in the Senate Square before hopping on the wheel. You may also consider visiting SkyWheel with Suomenlinna, a famous UNESCO Heritage Site in Helsinki. The ferry dock to Soumenlinna is right next to the SkyWheel, making the two a great combo for a day trip.
15. Sibelius monument
Found in Sibelius Park, this monument is one of the most popular Helsinki landmarks. It is a fun, interactive sculpture of steel tubes of different lengths. Hundreds of tubes are abstractly welded vertically in a curving wave pattern. Visitors can walk under and all around it, lending itself to creative photo opportunities and playful exploration. Kids and even adults may delight in the acoustics of the sculpture if you try yelling into the tubes.
The sculpture was created by Eila Hiltunen in 1967 and has since won several awards. It was dedicated to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, widely considered Finland’s greatest composer, and even credited with helping Finland form a national identity.
The park itself where you can find the monument is also dedicated to Sibelius. Although the sculpture resembles an organ, the composer was not known for organ music. This sparked some debate in Finland. The artist added a sculpture of the face of Sibelius next to the sculpture to appease critics.
It is easy to reach by foot or public transport to Sibelius Park on the northwest side of central Helsinki. Nearby you can visit the charming Regatta Cafe for a hot chocolate and bite of food.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: The monument can be visited year-round, but as it is outdoors in a park it may be best in the spring and summer. In the summer, you may find geese and ducks nearby. When I visited in July there were dozens of goslings squeaking and running about. Visiting the monument and park is totally free.
Landmarks in Finland: Natural Beauty
16. The Three-Country Cairn (Treriksrøysa)
I visited many different landmarks during the 1.5 years I spent travelling around Norway and its surrounding countries in a van, but one of the most unique places I encountered in Finland was the three-country cairn.
Also called “Treriksrøysa”, the Three-Country Cairn marks the border between Finland, Norway, and Sweden. At 69° north, it is also the northernmost three-country border in the world! Despite the actual border being in the middle of a lake, you can still walk freely through three different countries in a matter of seconds thanks to the boardwalk that has been extended to surround the cairn, making it one of the most unique landmarks in Finland.
Treriksrøysa is easily accessed throughout the summer by taking a boat from Kilpisjärvi followed by a gentle 20-minute walk along a marked path. The boat trip takes around 30 minutes and runs twice daily with a minimum of 5 passengers. You can pay with a card or cash onboard but check here for more details.
Alternatively, if you are visiting out of season or simply want a longer hike, you will need to park a little further along the E8 highway. The car park is clearly signposted and leads to a marked hiking trail through the Malla Strict Nature Reserve. Follow the path for around 11km (each way) to the cairn and keep your eyes peeled for reindeer that frequent the area!
17. Hailuoto Island
Whether as a day trip or a multi-night stay, visiting the forested Hailuoto island halfway between Finland’s north and south is a wonderful experience for nature lovers. Located not far from Finland’s 4th biggest city Oulu is the biggest island of the Gulf of Bothnia. The whole island counts as one of Finland’s National Landscapes.
Hailuoto is also home to two famous landmarks in Finland: Marjaniemi Lighthouse and Keskiniemi Beacon Tower. The first is a modern lighthouse and the second a wooden daymark, both help ships navigate the shallow waters in this part of the Baltic Sea. The wooden daymark is particularly beautiful and iconic.
In my experience, the best way to explore Hailuoto is on foot. There are many forested hiking trails that lead to secluded beaches on the coast or bogs where wildlife gathers. The island is rather flat, so hiking up the highest peak Hyypänmäki is not challenging at 31 meters. You can find one of the links in the Struve Geodetic Arc atop for a bit of history.
It’s possible to visit Hailuoto year-round either by ferry or by ice road. There’s a bus from Oulu that drives all the way to the end at Marjaniemi Lighthouse. You can find accommodation all along the main road if you’d like to explore the island in depth. The best time to visit is in spring or early summer when the snow has melted and the bugs aren’t in full force (yet).
18. Pyho-Luosto National Park
“This is the farthest North I have ever been in my life!!!” – This is precisely what I was saying while I stood in awe sank in snow up to my knees, and was surrounded by giant pine trees covered in a snow cap at the Pyhä-Luosto National Park!
Pyha-Luosto National Park is one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Finland. The park was established in 2005 after joining Finland’s oldest national park, Pyhätunturi National Park (established in 1938), with Luosto, making it one of Finland’s oldest and newest national parks.
Pyha-Luosto National Park is located in Eastern Lapland, and it can be done as a day trip from Rovaniemi – this is exactly what I did. The park boasting age-old forests, charming lakes, and rugged landscapes, this place has a lot to offer. Depending on when you visit, it’s also a great place for appreciating the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun. You will also find hiking trails, and wildlife such as brown bears, moose, otters, and reindeer.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: This day trip from Rovaniemi is a great option and lasts for 7 hours. You’ll head out on a guided hike of the park, visit an amethyst mine, and enjoy a BBQ lunch. If you decide to visit the park independently, I recommend to read this complete article: How to visit Phyha-Luosto National Park.
19. Urho Kekkonen National Park
Urho Kekkonen National Park is the second largest national park in Finland with an area of 2,550 km2 (980 sq mi). It is located in Lapland, winter wonderland of Finland, near the Russian border just a few steps from Saarisälka village.
The Urho Kekkonen National Park is one of the top natural landmarks in Finland, offering true peace and tranquility. Here you can go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, try out reindeer or husky sledding, and much more. If you prefer downhill skiing, you can find a few nice slopes in Saarisäka, the northernmost ski resort in the world.
The best way of getting to Urho Kekkomen National Park from Helsinki is by taking a flight or train to Rovaniemi, the largest town in Finnish Lapland, and then a bus to Saarlisälka village. The bus ride between Rovaniemi and Saarisälka is about 3 hours. There are regular buses scheduled daily on this route. Alternatively, you can book a tour and get around hassle-free.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: The best time to see the Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland is between November and March because it is dark most of the day and the sun never goes above the horizon. If you want to experience a large range of snow activities in the national park with more sun and daylight, then consider visiting the national park between the months of February and April.
20. Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park
Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is one of the best-known national parks in Finnish Lapland. The park is famous for its incredibly clean air, with scientists declaring it the cleanest in the world. While its clean air is one of its most impressive features, the nature in the park makes it a landmark in the country.
The park can be visited throughout the year, but it is in the winter when the destination is truly magical. There are 500 km (310.69 mi) of cross-country skiing trails that will take you through the park and deep into its snowy interior. At one end of the park is the Ylläs ski resort, which is the largest in Finland and boasts 62 ski runs.
However, the park is best known for being one of the places in Lapland to see pine trees weighed down with a crown of snow, which are often referred to as popcorn trees.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: I recommend heading out to the park at night with snowshoes on for the chance to photograph these spooky trees with the northern lights hanging above. The snow-encased trees are visible throughout January and February. Alternatively, visiting the park in the summer is great for those who love to hike, with plenty of epic hiking trails for all abilities available throughout the park.
21. Nuuksio National Park
Finland is known for breathtaking nature, and the Nuuksio National Park is a must-visit destination if you’re in Helsinki. This national park is easily accessible, just 35km from the city. If you don’t have a car, you can go by public transportation, taking the train to Espoo and then catching the bus to the park. This landmark in Finland is beloved as a break from the bustling city vibes within an hour’s distance!
I advise stopping at the Haltia Finnish Nature Center first, especially if you’re traveling with kids. This interactive museum showcases Finland’s astounding natural resources with interesting and informative exhibits.
Hiking is the main activity to do in the park, allowing you to enjoy the serene calm of the forest. Take your time as you walk the trails, breathing in the fresh air, admiring the clear lakes, and noticing the small things around you, like colorful mushrooms, flowers, and moss. Keep your eyes peeled for animals like deer, birds, or one of the numerous Siberian flying squirrels that inhabit the park.
The park is also perfect for picnicking and has areas where you can make a campfire if you want a warm meal or a cozy break. Nuuksio National Park can be enjoyed at any time of the year, with different atmospheres and levels of animal activity in any given season.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: Just make sure to dress appropriately for the day’s weather! If you have time for more than just a day trip, consider renting one of the cabins in the park for a nice getaway in nature!
22. Riisitunturi National Park
Riisitunturi National Park, located in Northern Finland, is a national monument with unique bogs, bears and hawk owls as well as a spruce forests that are transformed in the winter months.
The spruce trees, that during the summer months are like any other forest take on stunning shapes as they bend under the weight of the snow and frost that builds on their branches over the winter months. This is known as “Tykky” or frost-covered trees and is found in few other places. Tykky translates to ‘crown snow-load’ which perfectly describes these trees.
The best way to see these magical trees is by dog sledge. As I arrived in the forest the barking of the dog’s echoes across the otherwise silent woodland. The experience of dog sledging was a sensation like no other. The dogs pull you silently through the forest in teams of 6, up onto the high fell where the forest opens out to allow the trees to be seen.
Pausing to allow the dogs to rest the landscape is silent and the endless dusk that comes with a polar night gave a stunning orange glow to the sky. All around the trees stand shaped by the weight of the frost and the wind that blows across the fells.
If dog-sledging is not for you it is possible to snow-shoe across the fells with nights being spent in isolated locations where it is possible to see the northern lights.
23. Koli National Park
Last, but not least on this amazing list of the top landmarks in Finland. Koli National Park (Fin: Kolin Kansallispuisto) is amongst the smallest parks in the country, located in the North Karelia region, but its size does not diminish its beauty and the value of local nature. This bijou National Park is beautifully located on the eastern side of the Finnish Lakeland overlooking the majestic Lake Pielinen.
During our exploration of Koli, we were amazed by the National Landscape. Small hills of Koli, mostly covered by lush woodlands, offer countless vistas. Most visitors would find the exploration of Koli National Park an easy task, with marked paths and signposted trails. We found wandering from viewpoint to viewpoint incredibly rewarding, often mesmerized by the simple beauty in front of us: an endless blue lake, enchanting forest, and lush vegetation. We especially enjoyed views from Ukko-Koli and Makravaara!
Despite being a popular destination, Koli extends an atmosphere of relaxation and tranquility. Visitors scattered along countless trails rarely disturb one another. We were surprised to learn that such a small area may have so much to offer. A beginner hiker could enjoy some of the easier and shorter trails, while a seasoned walker would be invited to pick a longer, usually a multi-day traverse, like Herajarvi Trail (64km).
Interestingly, the park has a long-standing tradition of agriculture, and you will find many meadows cultivated, and simple farmers’ huts.
🌟 INSIDER-TIP: We visited Koli National Park in early autumn (Fin:ruska) and recommend this season as the best time to visit Finland in general. Finnish endless forests become colorful and feel so unreal in yellows, reds, and oranges. Abundant in wild mushrooms and forest fruit.
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Finland Landmarks Conclusion
I hope you enjoyed this amazing list of the famous landmarks in Finland, and found some inspiration to plan your dream trip to this fascinating Nordic country. Finland is kwon for its natural beauty such as National parks, forests and crystal-clear lakes. Also for the magic Northern Lights and midnight sun.
Whether you are looking to spend a family vacation in Lapland, or explore the Helsinki landmarks, Finland has a lot to offer. Have you visited Finland before? Am I missing any amazing landmarks in Finland from this list? If you have your own experience, I would love to hear from you.
If you are planning a visit to Finland, you may also enjoy reading the following:
- Best Things to do in Lapland in Winter
- How to Visit Rovaniemi in Winter
- Best Things to do in Rovaniemi
- How to Visit Pyha-Luosto National Park
- Everything you need to know about reindeer farms in Rovaniemi + Best Tours
- 15 Amazing Glass Igloos in Lapland to see Northern Lights
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