The picturesque serenity of the sea, spectacular greenery and forests, delicious local delicacies, a white snow-blanketed winter or a summer where the sun never sets, and maybe, the Northern Lights too. These are all things you can see on a trip to Finland. In addition to impressive natural characteristics, the Nordic country also boasts a thriving capital metropolis known as Helsinki. With a unique creative vibe, endless shopping opportunities, innovative and active food culture, numerous museums, urban saunas, an eclectic mix of architecture and many more things to see, choosing to visit Finland is sure not to disappoint.
WHEN TO FLY TO FINLAND
Though impressive during any season, Finland is especially enchanting during the summer and winter. In the summertime, clear lakes and lush nature blanket the landscape. Especially interesting for visitors from the U.S. is that the sun never fully sets and you will witness the sun shining north of the Arctic Circle around the clock—without a doubt an experience in itself. Throughout the winter snow covers the northern and eastern sections of Finland for nearly the entire season. During the long days of March and April, you can even ski, snowboard or sleigh for up to 12-16 hours of full sun in the Lapland region. And Christmas in Finland? It’s guaranteed to be white!
SAS flies from New York City via Oslo, Copenhagen or Stockholm to multiple locations in Finland including: Helsinki, Turku, Tampere and Vaasa in less than 12 hours.
EXPERIENCE FINNISH NATURE
Finland is known as the “Country of the Thousand Lakes”. In fact there are more than 55,000 lakes throughout the country that are at least 200 meters wide. To experience the wonder of Finnish nature to its fullest, the perfect option would be staying in one of the many quaint little cottages that are located just steps from the lakeshore. Here, you can relax and enjoy, soaking in the sounds and smells of the pristine environment. Along with the possibility of swimming in the clear waters, you can also choose to fish, enjoy a warm sauna, pick berries or mushrooms, hike or go sailing.
Did you know the sunniest spot in northern Europe is located in Finland? Known as the Åland Archipelago, this small collection of islands boasts white sand beaches and secluded areas, especially favored by sports fishermen. Also impressive is the city of Turku, the fifth largest in Finland. In addition to possessing all the qualities of a medieval European city—a riverfront, cathedral, market square and castle, there is also the possibility to explore the stunning natural surroundings such as hiking or canoeing. To get the full northern lights experience, make sure to visit Lapland, where you can even sleep in a glass igloo!
CULTURAL IN HELSINKI
The capital of Finland, Helsinki (Helsingfors), truly offers something for everyone. The harborside city has a flourishing creative and cultural life, stylish locals and a personality all its own. Go shopping, visit a number of museums, exhibitions and concerts and even take a trip the famous urban saunas. The futuristic architecture will fascinate you at every turn, the fashion is bright and quirky and the food? How do homemade pastries, NY Style Pizza (that really tastes like it could have been made in the heart of Brooklyn), endless candy shops and salty licorice ice cream sound?
If you are fascinated by the Old Finland, don’t miss out on the 250-year-old fortress, Suomenlinna/Sveaborg. This is one of the main tourist attractions in Helsinki. Make sure to also visit the open markets such as the Hakaniemi Market Hall, where you can find a variety of Finnish specialties—everything from Finnish handcrafts and furs to homemade cheeses, and local produce.
TAMPERE JAZZ FESTIVAL
The southern Finnish city Tampere (Tammerfors) is particularly known for its beautiful architecture, especially the city’s ability to seamlessly blend the old with the new. In addition, there are many cultural offerings such as, performing arts, art festivals and museums. Perhaps the most famous cultural activity is the Tampere Jazz Festival, held each year since 1982. Every November, large audiences of all ages gather for the four-day festival to watch international artists showcase their skills and to experience Nordic Jazz, considered a top global spot for progressive jazz music.
Visit Turku with SAS
Visit Helsinki with SAS
Visit Tampere with SAS
Visit Kittilä with SAS
Visit Oulu with SAS
Visit Vaasa with SAS