Finland is a harsh northern country. Ecotourism is popular among travelers coming to this country. Finland is famous for its nature - numerous lakes, water channels, national parks. All this creates an excellent ecology in the country. The climate of the country allows tourists to travel all year round. In summer, tourists prefer to visit amusement parks and open-air museums. And in the snowy winter, go to ski resorts or to the residence of Santa Claus.
Many interesting places are located in cities. Museums, fortresses and castles, ancient religious buildings - the choice is incredibly large. Sights are located not only in the capital. In the historical centers of small towns, such as Rauma and Porvoo, you can see the old buildings. Many of them are magnificent examples of Scandinavian architecture.
What to see and where to go in Finland?
The most interesting and beautiful places to visit, photos and a brief description.
Senate Square and Cathedral (Helsinki)
The main square of the country's capital. Three buildings form the basis of the architectural ensemble of the square. One of them is the building of the State Council, on its facade there is the oldest clock in Finland. Nearby is the building of the University of Helsinki and its library. Above them rises the Cathedral. Snow-white walls, five green domes and 12 statues of the apostles on the roof make the cathedral majestic and solemn.
Esplanade Park (Helsinki)
The park is 400 meters long, with lime trees planted around the perimeter. Founded in the 1830s. The undoubted decoration of the park are beautifully decorated luxurious flower beds. The park contains many monuments to famous and historical figures. Cultural entertainment is represented by the Swedish Theater, as well as one of the oldest restaurants, Kappeli. Artists of various genres perform daily on its stage.
Sveaborg Fortress (Helsinki)
The impregnable bastions of the fortified city of Sveaborg are located on rocky islands near Helsinki. This place is under the protection of UNESCO. The fortress houses a large number of museums of various subjects - a military museum, a customs museum, a weapons museum, a toy museum. Guided tours of the submarine, which participated in the Second World War. On two islands, you can see the remains of military fortifications.
Olafsborg fortress (Savonlinna)
The first fortress in the defense military affairs of Finland, which was built taking into account protection from artillery fire. Its construction began in 1475. Currently, this is a popular tourist place. Several museums of various subjects are open here - from the history of the castle to Orthodox iconography. Every year, opera festivals are held within the walls of the fortress. The event lasts about a month and is attended by approximately 60,000 people.
Abo Castle (Turku)
One of the most ancient castles in the country, located in Turku, founded in the XIII century. The impressive size, as well as the durable building material - granite and brick, made it possible to use the castle not only for defense, but also as a prison or storage. The castle looks like a harsh military fortification, it has a medieval atmosphere. But inside its walls a solemn atmosphere is created, the halls of the castle are often rented for events.
Historic center of Rauma. The city was founded in the 15th century, but the very first buildings of Old Rauma date back to the 18th century. Most of the old wooden buildings burned down in fires. Interesting wooden buildings are the House of the sailor Christie and the house of the shipowner Marel. They house museum exhibits. Rare stone buildings are represented by the Church of the Holy Cross and the City Hall.
Old town of Porvoo
A popular area of the city with buildings from the 18th century. New buildings were erected here after the fire of 1760. Travelers are attracted by the flavor of the Middle Ages in cozy small courtyards and narrow cobbled streets. Of particular interest is a walk along the embankment of the Porvoonjoka River, surrounded by small wooden houses of brown-red color. Porvoo Cathedral is one of the most popular religious buildings in Finland.
Monument to Sibelius (Helsinki)
Dedicated to one of Finland's most revered composers, Jean Sibelius. Sculptor Eila Hiltuten worked on the monument project for almost 10 years. It is a composition of 600 steel pipes. Created by the wind, the music creates an image of nature, which often sounded in the compositions of Sibelius. The ambiguity of the monument is often criticized, while it is one of the most visited places by tourists.
One of the most unusual churches in the world. Its interior is carved into the rock, and natural light enters it through glass domes. Rough and untreated rocks create unusual acoustics in the church. The church organ has 3001 pipes. One of the masses of the church in 2016 was held to heavy rock music. About half a million people visit the church every year.
Kamppi Chapel of Silence (Helsinki)
The shape of the chapel resembles a wooden bowl without a handle. The interior walls are made of black alder, the exterior facades are made of spruce laths, and the furniture is made of ash. Silver altar cross. There are no windows in the chapel. Services are not held in it, its purpose is meetings and conversations in silence, far from the hustle and bustle of the world. Psychological assistance to parishioners is provided by both chapel ministers and social workers.
Assumption Cathedral (Helsinki)
The height of the cathedral is 51 meters. Built at the end of the 19th century. Red brick walls are crowned with 13 gilded domes. The interior of the cathedral is made in the traditional Byzantine style. The columns are made of solid blocks of granite, arched vaults, decorated with paintings, rest against them. The main drawing is made on the upper part of the vault and above the altar. The Holy Spirit is depicted in the middle, and the starry sky is around.
Lutheran church, built in the 13th century in the Gothic style. The building survived a strong fire, several reconstructions and rebuildings. Currently, the height of the vault of the main nave is 24 meters, and the height of the tower of the cathedral is 101 meters. The walls of the cathedral are decorated with frescoes, and the chapels are decorated with stained-glass windows. The landmark of the cathedral is an organ with 81 registers. The church has a museum dedicated to the history of the Cathedral.
A modern architectural complex, which includes a museum and a science center. A feature of the building is a glass atrium 172 meters long. It is called the "portal to the Arctic". The tunnel is located on the embankment of the Ounasjoki River. It is decorated with natural materials typical of the region. Various exhibitions tell visitors about the culture and history of Lapland, nature and Arctic exploration.
An art museum with the largest art collection in the country. The museum has collected more than 20,000 exhibits of various types of art - sculptures, graphics, paintings. The works of masters from the middle of the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century are presented. In total, more than 4,000 paintings and about 700 sculptures are exhibited. The museum's collections contain paintings by famous artists - Repin, Van Gogh, Levitan, Chagall, Shishkin.
Open-air museum island. The houses and buildings of the museum are designed to acquaint visitors with the way of life and traditions of the Finnish people. 87 buildings are collected from all over the country. Among them are examples of rural architecture of the 17th century, and estates of wealthy peasants of the 19th century. The oldest building of the museum is a wooden church from the village of Karuna built in 1686. Every year the museum is visited by several tens of thousands of visitors.
National Museum of Finland (Helsinki)
It was built at the beginning of the 19th century in the style of romanticism of national architecture. The decoration of the building is a high cone-shaped tower. The expositions of the museum tell about the history of Finland - from the Stone Age to the present. Most of the exhibits were found during archaeological excavations. The museum's collections are extensive in terms of subjects - coins, weapons, orders, jewelry, they tell about the culture and traditions of the country.
Modern Art Museum. Considered one of the most visited in Finland. It was opened in 1998 and by now has collected a collection of works by contemporary masters from 4,000 exhibits. Paintings, photographs, video installations, spatial art objects are presented. The building itself attracts attention no less than the exhibits within its walls. Its architecture is interesting with curved lines, mirrored windows reflect the sun's rays.
Turku Art Museum
Located in a Romanesque castle with gray walls. The building was built on Puolalanmäki hill. The museum has a rich collection of art objects - paintings, drawings and sculptures, works by foreign and Finnish masters. There is an exposition of wooden sculptures of the Middle Ages, a collection of weapons, coins and old toys. Art objects belong to different historical periods - from the Stone Age to the present day.
Helsinki Central Station
A world famous example of Finnish architecture. The building was built in the Northern Art Nouveau style, designed by the architect Eliel Saarinen. The station was opened in 1919. The practical architecture of the modern building was decorated with interesting details. The clock tower, almost 50 meters high. The walls of the restaurant hall are decorated with paintings. Sculptures with lanterns in their hands were installed at the main entrance.
Old Covered Market (Helsinki)
Founded in 1815, located on the embankment near the Market Square. It attracts the attention of not only tourists, but also gourmets of Helsinki. Gastronomy shops offer a wide range of dishes - both traditional products and delicacies from Lapland. In total, the market has about 40 outlets. Recently, for a large-scale reconstruction, the market was closed for more than a year.
Woodworking factory in Werl
The industrial village of Verla has a unique atmosphere. The woodworking factory in it was founded in 1872; it is a UNESCO protection site. Now it is a real industrial museum. In it you can learn the history of the development of the country's forest industry. The original factory buildings, factory machines and workers' houses have been preserved. The cardboard made at the factory was shipped to different parts of the world, even to South America.
Pyynikki Lookout Tower (Tampere)
Located on the territory of the reserve in the city of Tampere. The tower was built on top of the ridge in 1929. The height of the tower is 26 meters, so its observation deck is located at an altitude of 180 meters above sea level. It offers a beautiful view of the city and two lakes. There is a cafe on the ground floor of the tower. It sells delicious donuts, and local artists arrange exhibitions of their paintings there.
The largest park in Finland and one of the largest national parks in Europe. Its area is 2850 km². Most of the park is occupied by impenetrable forest. More than 60 hiking trails have been laid in places accessible to tourists. Trails lead to the main attractions of the park - the Ravadasköngäs waterfall, the Lemmenjoki river valley, Ukonsaari Island. You can also try your hand at gold mining - there are gold mines in the park.
A picturesque national park in northern Finland. The main excursions start in the village of Saariselkä. About 180,000 tourists visit the park every year. Including families with children - for them, on the border of the park zone, resort areas are equipped, where you can even go skiing. The unofficial landmark of the park is the Korvatunturi fell. According to local legends, Santa Claus lives on this hill.
The national park was founded in 1938 and is part of the UNESCO reserve. Its feature is an unusual landscape - several thousand islands and rocks. The larger islands have a permanent population. From the animal world, moose are interesting representatives; seals and seals live in coastal waters. There are a number of attractions on the islands - stone and wooden churches, lighthouses and fortifications.
The largest lake in Finland is formed by eight bodies of water connected to each other. The area of the entire water surface is more than 4000 km². There are about 13,000 islands of various sizes in the waters of the lake. Among the abundance of inhabitants, one can single out rare salmon pitchforks and the endangered Saimaa seal. Dense coniferous forests grow along the banks. This is a great place for outdoor recreation.
The water channel, 60 km long, connects the Gulf of Finland and Lake Saimaa. It has eight locks, three of which are located in Finland, the rest - in Russia. Both river and sea vessels can ply along the canal. A boat trip along the Saimaa Canal is popular with tourists. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the nature of the coast, historical sites, monuments and attractions.
Sapokka Water Park (Kotka)
A picturesque and well-groomed park in the city of Kotka is beautiful at any time of the year. The flowers in it are planted so that their blooms succeed each other. The main feature of the park is the use of water as the main element of landscape design. Ponds, streams, waterfalls create a special atmosphere. Natural stone is also used to decorate the park. Original compositions from it have repeatedly received awards at international competitions.
Waterfall in the city of Imatra. Some admiring tourists call it "Finnish Niagara". Until the 1920s, the waterfall was natural. However, the construction of the hydroelectric power station changed everything. Since then, water from the reservoir has been released strictly according to the schedule - twice a day on Sundays in the summer. In honor of the descent of water, a whole show is sometimes arranged with fireworks and musical concerts. Observation platforms are equipped to observe the flow of water.
Yuyuteri Beach (Pori)
Sandy beach in the west of the country, about 6 km long. It is popular not only with locals, but also with travelers. Large areas of shallow water warm up well, and entry into the water is smooth. This is especially appreciated by vacationers with small children. For surfers and kiters, Yuyteri Beach is one of the best places in the country. The waves here are not particularly high, but stable, which is especially valuable for beginners in these sports.
An amusement park of incredible size - its area is 50,000 m². There are 34 attractions for any category of visitors. For kids there are small play areas, for adult thrill-seekers there are 30-meter slides. A separate entertainment area was created based on the Angry Birds game. In addition to attractions, Särkänniemi Park has a planetarium, an oceanarium, a mini zoo and the highest observation tower in the country.
An amusement park located in the capital of the country. It has 43 attractions, slot machines, an aquarium, an observation tower, cafes and restaurants. Popular artists in Finland perform on the open stage in the summer. The annual number of visitors to the park is more than a million people. The most popular attraction is the wooden roller coaster. The carousel, installed in Linnanmäki in 1896, still operates in the park.
Joulupukki Village (Rovaniemi)
The village of Joulupukki (Santa Claus, or Father Frost) is located in Lapland, inside the Arctic Circle. It is traditionally believed that this is where the Finnish Christmas grandfather lives permanently. This place is one of the most visited by tourists. The Joulupukki residence has a lot to offer. There is a fabulous post office, a snowmobile museum, a reindeer farm. Guests are attracted by the Snowman Ice World zone with slides and ice sculptures.
Vejo Rönkkönen Sculpture Park
The park is located in the forest thicket. All 500 concrete sculptures of the park were created by the self-taught master Vejo Rönkkönen. The sculptor spent about 50 years creating the works. He depicted people, animals and fabulous creatures. Caricature figures evoke different emotions in visitors. Someone they admire, someone calls them ugly and creepy. But no one remains indifferent. Entrance to the park is free, this is the desire of Vejo Rönkkönen himself.
One of the best theme parks in the world where you can immerse yourself in a fabulous atmosphere. In it, you can meet your favorite characters and look at their lives. The park is located on an island and is an image of the Valley of the Mummy Trolls. It has a Moomin house and houses of other characters, a laboratory, talking trees. Artists in the characters of Tove Janson's books play with children. There are performances on the stage several times a day.