A Travel Bucket List: Must-do Things in Finland

There is so much to love about Finland even before you get there. If you have ever dream of seeing the Northern Lights, meeting real Santa Claus and crossing the magical Arctic Circle, or enjoying the authentic Finnish sauna and taking a refreshing dip in the icy lake afterwards, Finland has probably made its way on to your travel bucket list. But once you get to Finland, you will discover there is so much more to this country than you anticipated. That original bucket list? As soon as you check one item off, then you add another and check off dozens more. Here are a few of those list-worthy experiences to get you started dreaming of Finland:

Spot the Northern Lights, check

The thrill of witnessing the Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people. Finland is one of the best places in the world to spot this unique natural phenomenon. The Northern Lights are visible on roughly 200 nights a year or every other clear night in Finnish Lapland. On the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s website you can even sign up for free email alerts sent whenever you are able to view the nature’s most spectacular light show.

Northern lights, Finland

Enjoy the Husky Safari, check

Experience unforgettable moments and thrill of speed in a husky sled ride through the forest. Friendly, active and jolly huskies will absolutely make your day pulling you at a speedy pace through the breathtaking Lappish scenery. Doesn’t it sound like the best sightseeing tour you can imagine?

Husky sled ride, Finnish forest winter season

Meet Santa Claus, check

Everyone knows that the one and only real Santa comes from Finland. Santa’s official office on the mysterious Arctic Circle is open each day of the year for everyone. Santa and his team of little helpers and furry reindeer friends are ready to deliver happiness and welcome you all year around!

Santa official office Rovaniemi Finland

Experience the Finnish Sauna, check

There is no better place in the world to experience a sauna than in Finland, the country that invented it. The Finnish Sauna is not just a “popular thing to do” in Finland, it is a part of the national culture. For the full sauna experience, you should consider going to sauna next to a lake, so you can cool off with a plunge into the icy water. Having grilled sausages and beer is a very typical Finnish after-sauna experience.

Finnish sauna

Midsummer has a special place in the Finnish calendar, representing the lightest time of the year and the proper start of summer season. Usually a celebration of Juhannus (Midsummer) is spent with friends and family at a summer cottage away from the city, either partying or relaxing. Lighting bonfires and bathing in saunas are two of the main Midsummer traditions in Finland. An important feature of the Midsummer in Finland is the white nights and the midnight sun. Spending the night outdoors admiring the different colors of the midnight sun set over a lake – can it get any better than this?

Midsummer bonfire - lakeside, Finland
An essential part of the Finnish Midsummer is lighting up a bonfire.

Party at a Festival, check

Finland hosts an unbelievable number of music festivals every summer. For many Finns, touring as many festivals as possible throughout the summer is a yearly tradition. Some of the biggest festivals gather tens of thousands of people and have been organized for decades: Ruisrock, Flow Festival, Qstock, Ilosaarirock and many other ones. Oh, there is a Sauna Festival too!

Fall in Love with Finland, check, check, check

Because once you visit this magical country and check all of your bucket list in Finland, it will stay in your heart forever.

Lake view in Finland
Finland is also called the “The land of a thousand lakes”.
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