Welcome to Finland; from Helsinki to the Arctic Circle | News, Sports, Jobs
Finland is not necessarily the most popular tourist destination in the world. One of the reasons for this is Finland’s geographic location in Northern Europe, which is not close to more popular countries, such as France or Italy. However, Finland has a lot to offer, such as seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you are planning a trip to Finland, here are a few places you might want to visit.
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, has an excellent airport, ranked 15th in the world, which is why it is a natural starting point for your trip. The city of 650,000 inhabitants has much more to offer than its fantastic shopping opportunities. Helsinki Market Square is hundreds of years old and its central location makes it a must-see place to visit.
Right next to the market square is the Allas Sea swimming pool. In addition to saunas and swimming pools, you can enjoy a refreshing drink on a hot summer day right in the city center.
Helsinki Cathedral is a short walk from the Market Square and Allas Sea Pool. The cathedral, possibly Finland’s best-known building, was completed in 1852. At that time Finland was still under Russian rule. This is why you will often see similarities with Russian architecture, especially with the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
If you like modern architecture, you should visit the Kiesma Contemporary Art Museum. Another impressive building is Helsinki’s central library, Oodi.
Suomenlinna, a maritime fortress just outside of Helsinki, is a popular tourist attraction. While still under Swedish rule, the castle was built in the mid-1700s and its purpose was to drive the Russians away. However, the Russians still ended up seizing Finland.
Suomenlinna is not the only castle in Finland. Turun linna and Hämeen linna both date from the late 1200s and are definitely worth a visit. Another medieval castle that attracts tourists is Olavinlinna. Like Suomenlinna, most of these castles were built by the Swedes.
If you decide to visit Turun linna in Turku, it would be a no-brainer to go and see the archipelago sea. Bridges and ferries make navigation easy and are a great way to explore the 20,000 islands of the world’s largest archipelago.
You can even visit the… Land Islands, an autonomous Finnish province on the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. … The country is mainly made up of Swedish-speaking Finns, as are many other cities on the west coast of Finland.
The narrowest part between Sweden and Finland is called Kvarken, or Merenkurkku in Finnish, which means sea gorge. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is extremely unique, as the terrain rises from 0 , 39 inch each year. At this rate, the 49-mile distance between Sweden and Finland is expected to close in 2,000 years.
In Finland, visiting Lapland is a must. However, you shouldn’t just drive through Finland or take a train without making a few stops elsewhere.
I would be remiss if I did not mention Tampere. Even though it’s my hometown, it’s not the only reason you should visit Tampere. Finland’s third largest city is located between two lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi.
Pyynikinharju, which is the world’s tallest gravel ridge, is a great place to get a great view of the city and its surroundings. If you are traveling with children, the Särkänniemi amusement park and its aquarium would be a good time.
Tampere also has some historical significance. Since industrialization in Finland started in Tampere, the Finlayson area and its old brick buildings are great places to spend time if you want to experience something culturally significant. The Museum Center Vapriikki, on the other hand, is the perfect place for history buffs. In addition to the Finnish Civil War exhibit which includes the Battle of Tampere. The Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame is also located in Vapriikki.
Even though the cities have a lot to offer, Lapland is what Finland is known for. You have to travel to get up north, but it’s totally worth it. By crossing the Arctic Circle in winter, you enter the winter wonderland. If you’re not into skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobile safaris, there’s still plenty to do.
The igloo hotels in Lapland are very popular and known around the world. Glass ceilings are great for viewing the beautiful Northern Lights. Even though there may be a lack of sunshine during winter, you can still brighten up your day by visiting Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi.
It should be mentioned that Lapland will not disappoint you in the summer either. Packing your bags and going for a hike is something I recommend if you have had enough of other activities such as gold panning, kayaking or visiting reindeer herds. The possibilities for hiking are endless in Lapland, thanks to its many national parks. Of Finland’s 40 national parks, the most popular are located in Lapland. Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park and Urho Kekkonen National Park offer some of the most amazing views you can experience in Finland.
It is impossible to name all the tourist attractions in Finland, but I hope this has inspired you to visit the land of a thousand lakes. And since tourists should always have the full Finnish experience, it is a must to try traditional Finnish dishes such as Karelian pie and cheese bread. So if you’re ever in Finland stop in Tampere and I’ll show you around. The bravest can even taste a local delicacy, a Finnish blood sausage.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Roni Salmenkangas is a student-athlete at Ferris State University specializing in sports communication. For the most part, Roni’s stories focus on Finnish culture and people. He finished his internship in Tampere, Finland.