Finland convinces with several natural spectacles. In winter, when it is sometimes dark for weeks, you have the chance in Finnish Lapland to see the magical northern lights dance in the sky. The exact opposite of darkness is called the midnight sun, in which the sun does not set at all. Although not a natural spectacle, it is still typically Finnish, the sauna is an integral part of Finnish tradition.
The land of lakes and forests
With almost 90% forested land area and more than 180,000 lakes, Finland is not only the most forest-rich, but also the most lake-rich country in Europe. And anyone who travels through this wonderful country quickly becomes aware of what that means – namely numerous animal and plant species, unique natural treasures and a fabulous tranquility that quickly transfers to every traveler.
Travel information in brief
There is no best time to travel to Finland. That depends on what you would like to see on your trip. Finland offers special experiences for every season. It is best to come in spring to see how nature is slowly awakening. You can experience the midnight sun in summer, the bright colors in autumn. All snow and winter sports fans and those who want to see the northern lights should definitely travel to Finland in winter.
Currency / money
In Finland you can pay conveniently with the euro. You can withdraw money with your bank and credit card at appropriately marked ATMs. Since 1 and 2 euro cent coins are no longer minted in Finland, the respective amount is rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents. You can also make cashless payments almost anywhere in Finland.
No special vaccinations are required to enter Finland. However, make sure to check the vaccinations according to the Robert Koch Institute and, if necessary, to complete them. Since there is an increased risk of tick bites, especially in southern and central Finland (usually from March to October), the Federal Foreign Office recommends an additional vaccination against TBE. Please consult your doctor about this.
Visa / entry
It is possible to enter Finland with the passport, the temporary passport, the identity card, the temporary identity card and the children’s passport. A visa is not required when entering from Germany. The travel documents only need to be valid beyond the travel period.
Versatile, varied and incredibly decelerated – this is Finland
Whether in winter or in summer, the country on the border with Sweden, Norway and Russia offers unique natural spectacles in every season and can therefore be visited more often during the year. In addition, Finland is considered a very safe country with a high standard. It is not for nothing that it is found high in the ranking of the countries with the best quality of life and the best reputation.
With just 5.5 million inhabitants, on an area the size of Germany, people share their space with numerous animals such as elk, reindeer, brown bears, wolves and lynxes. Finland’s bird world is also large, with up to 430 species living in the 40 national parks, which make up around 2.7% of the country’s area. In order to protect the unique landscape with its thundering waterfalls, the deep gorges, the thousands of lakes and the untouched forests with their animal inhabitants, one tenth of Finland is under nature protection.
Finland offers all kinds of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Suomenlinna Fortress, which was built on an island and is one of the most popular excursion destinations. The old town of Rauma is also a World Heritage Site and an example of the ancient woodworking art of Finland. Not a world cultural heritage, but an integral part of Finnish culture are the so-called korvapuustis, small cinnamon buns with a pinch of cardamom. This delicacy can be found all over the country and goes perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee.
But the most remarkable thing about Finland is certainly the light. In hardly any other country can nature’s delight in light be felt as clearly as here. It seems as if all creatures want to use the few rays of sunshine in the summer months as well as possible, which is why the summer shines with incredible power. During these months the country is bursting with life and many events and festivities take place. For example, the midsummer festival in June, when the sun doesn’t set over Finland.
As soon as it gets darker again, you can marvel at another natural spectacle – the northern lights. In Finnish Lapland these can be admired on up to 200 days a year, in Helsinki on the other hand only on about 20 nights. To experience this impressive natural spectacle, you need a clear sky and as little light pollution as possible. The best chances are also one to two hours before or after midnight. The peculiar green and purple lights can be observed from a few seconds to several hours.
Autumn and winter are also the seasons of the sauna. This is particularly popular in the cold months. There are said to be more than 2 million saunas in Finland, with a population of just 5.5 million, i.e. one sauna per household. Even Parliament has one, so it is not surprising that even the word ‘sauna’ is Finnish.
To cool off after a hot Finnish bath, the Finns like to hop into one of their “thousand lakes”. If that’s too cold for you and still wants to bathe, you should come in summer. Because Finland, with its more than 180,000 lakes, has the most lakes in Europe to offer. Lake Inari is one of them and convinces with its crystal clear, deep blue water. Lake Saimaa is also very well known, but less for its water than for its cute, but unfortunately also very endangered ringed seals, of which there are only a few specimens left.
And Finland has another trump card, as writer Dan Brown describes it, and that is the silence, which is needed more than ever in today’s world. Because Finland is the sparsely populated country in Europe, you can find a quiet place almost everywhere. Whether in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, on the top of Haltiatunturi, the highest mountain in the country or in the picturesque village of Punkaharju.