This Nordic nation is defined by its immense natural beauty. Over 180,000 lakes reflect the dense birch and pine forests that cover 70% of the land. In summer, Finland’s rugged yet serene landscape is perfect for exploring by hiking, canoeing, or skiing on emerald, island-dotted waterways. Come winter, the country transforms into a snowy wonderland, and coastal communities become accessible only by ice roads or dogsled as the Northern Lights dance overhead.
The best way to experience Finland’s blend of nature and culture is to base yourself in its capital, Helsinki. Here, modern architecture sits side by side with historic quarters like the Medieval Old Town. Stroll along seaside promenades, taking in sunset views of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO heritage site consisting of a preserved 18th-century naval fortress. Foodies can enjoy dockside fish markets as well as the bustling indoor market at Hakaniemi. By night, world-class museums, theater, and live music infuse the streets with energy.
Venture outside Helsinki to find even more Nordic charm. Porvoo, the second oldest town, retains its colorful stripes of buildings along a sleepy river. Turku, once the capital, welcomes visitors with a newly reconstructed castle overlooking the Aurajoki River. Elsewhere, quaint fishing villages and centuries-old wooden churches populate the remote island shores and Lakelands. For pure solitude, rent a lakeside cottage and enjoy foraging for berries alongside glimpses of the enchanting Northern Lights dancing across winter night skies.
Throughout it all, warm Finnish hospitality and a spirit of togetherness shine through, making this Nordic country a memorable destination for all travelers alike.