Vaasa is a lively town on the West Coast of Finland. The city is the regional capital of the Ostrobothnia region and only 45 nautical miles from Sweden. As a result both Finnish and Swedish are spoken in Vaasa — about 25 percent of the population speaks Swedish. Vaasa is a good jumping off point for exploring the Kvarken Archipelago, a unique geological region encompassing parts of Finland and Sweden.
Ostrobothnian Museum (Pohjanmaan Museum)
Vaasa's Ostrobothnian Museum - also known as the Pohjanmaan Museum—is divided into two different sections. Upstairs, the museum hosts an incredible art collection. The collection features masterpieces from the Finnish Golden Age of paintings and an impressive collection of European artworks, including paintings, ceramics, silver and textiles. Downstairs is the natural science area also known as the Terranova Kvarken Nature Centre. The centre focuses on the environment, wildlife and land elevation in the Kvarken Archipelago—the narrow area between Sweden and Finland that separates the Bothnian Bay from the Bothnian Sea. The land in the region is rising by about eight millimeters a year.
Vaasa is a popular family destination and hosts the fourth largest amusement park in Finland, the Wasalandia Amusement Park. The park features numerous rides and attractions centered around different themed areas, such as Jumping and Climbingland, Pirate Land, Funfairland and even Trafficland. Across the way from Wasalandia is the popular water park and spa, Tropiclandia. At Tropiclandia, you can slide down giant waterslides, swim in the heated indoor and outdoor pools or just lounge around in the sun. The park also features three different types of saunas as well as swimming classes, a day spa and a wave pool.
From Vaasa, it's easy to explore the unique geography of the Kvarken Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage site. During the Ice Age, the area was weighed down by a large ice mass, causing the land to sink. Once the ice melted, the land slowly started returning to its original levels and continues to rise every year. As a result, the ecosystem in the area is constantly evolving as plant and animal life adapt to the changes in their surroundings.
What's up in Vaasa
Take the ferry to Umeå, Sweden just four hours away.
Dine in an old coal cellar.
Tour the Old Town and experience history.